I have grown very fond of this picture over a number of years. Early on after seeing it for the first time, I asked myself whether it is appropriate to portray Christ at all and I am not sure I have fully resolved that one in my mind? But the picture has many facets to it and there is much to commend it’s provocation and reality.
It of course portrays something of Jesus’s early childhood; his father was a carpenter! But it reminds me most of all that of the thirty three years he spent here on earth it was only in the last three that his public ministry really began. And before that, growing up and (reasonably assuming) working with his father. We know very little apart from that.
And so, putting all that together it brings out once again the place, dignity and status of work, however gritty and real in the creative expression of any soul for if he Jesus was involved in such work for so much of his limited life on earth, it speaks so much of all of that!