Thoughts on life and Scripture...

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Isaiah 53:2 The Ordinary Messiah

 The last post I wrote was a short explanation and application of  Isaiah 53:1. In this post the second verse will be our meditation.

"For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, 
And like a root out of a parched ground; 
He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, 
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him." 
Isaiah 53:2 

    One of the reasons Jesus was rejected as the Messiah was due to the manner He came in. He didn't show up like people wanted Him to show up. Their expectations were at odds with God's plans.

   The people were expecting a great king from the house of David. This is what God promised and yet it came to fulfillment in a way no one expected. The house of David was like a barren land. None of his sons sat on a throne or held any position of leadership. Joseph was a son of David but he was a poor man living in a small town. Instead of a throne and a crown, he had a carpenter's workshop. The line of David seemed to be all but dead. But God raises the dead. The fallen house of David was about to be rebuilt through the Lord Jesus. He came out of the fallen Davidic line like a small branch growing out of a dead stump or like a blade of grass growing in the wilderness. Jesus never lived in a palace. He was never rich. But He was the Son of David, even if outward appearances seemed to say otherwise.

People in every time and age are just like the Jews of Jesus' time. People have their own ideas of what Jesus should be. Some want Him to be a heavenly Santa Claus that gives them all their heart's desire. Some want Jesus to be just a good teacher who tells people how they should live a good life. Maybe the Jesus that some people want is less holy and winks at their sins. Whatever the reason may be, people will reject Jesus as their Savior and Lord since that is not what they want Him to be. Only those who are desperate for forgiveness and repent of their sins will find in the Lord Jesus the Savior they need and the Lord they must follow.

   Painters and artists have for years depicted the Lord Jesus as a handsome man with long flowing hair and a perpetual glow of light around His head. Even His clothes are somewhat other worldly compared to whatever anyone else is wearing around Him. If you saw such a man on the streets, you would surely take notice. Right away you would think that something is special or unique about a man like that. I think people depict Jesus like this out of a sense of respect and love. But it is not a biblical portrait of the Savior. The verse we are looking at makes this clear.

  Jesus' outward appearance was ordinary. He looked like any other Jew of His time. There was nothing in His face or body that made Him stand out. People like to have a leader that has good outward features. They want him to have the look of royalty. We desire a king who looks strong, handsome, and regal. But Jesus didn't look like that. His appearance didn't attract the admiration of anyone. In fact His appearance may have been unattractive. So when Jesus said he was the Messiah and the Son of God, people rejected this due to His rather normal appearance.  Perhaps they asked how could this normal, plain, and unattractive man be the very Son of God.  God planed it this way so they would have to believe the words of His Son rather than trust His looks.

    Consider this truth for a minute. Consider how low was the humiliation of Jesus. He is eternal and dwells in unapproachable light. He is beautiful in holiness. Angels hide their faces from His glory. Yet Jesus was willing to live a life of poverty, hard work and obscurity in the carpenter's shop in Nazareth. He was willing to dwell in a normal and plain human body. His divine glory was not to be seen from His outward appearance. It is hard for people who are famous or powerful, to become low and common. But Jesus was content to do the Father's will in this matter. Only once was the veil of His human flesh pulled back. This was on the mount of Transfiguration. For the rest of His life, He looked like a normal, ordinary person. Only when He returns, will we see our Lord in His full glory on this earth as He rules as a great king from sea to sea.

    The Christian is in a somewhat similar position. We are adopted by God into His family. We are citizens of a heavenly kingdom. The Lord of all loves us and delights in us. We are united with Christ and will reign with Him forever. But this world doesn't see this reality. Often Christians are despised and rejected. We are mocked and persecuted. We are treated like untouchables or lepers. But let us bear with these persecutions for a time. Our Lord went through the same sufferings that we do, in fact His were worse. Let us cheerfully endure such hardships for the sake of the One who loved us so much to suffer for us.

 "Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is." 1 John 3:2

  "For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond comparison." 2 Corinthians 4:17



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