My previous writing was based on Isaiah 53:2-12, and examined the suffering Christ endured for me. For you, and how unworthy we are.
But even as I published that blog, another thought hit me as I read those verses: physically, Jesus didn’t stand out from the crowd. He wasn’t the best looking, the richest, the most famous, the most popular.
Quite the opposite, in fact.
He never married, and more than likely lived with his mama until His ministry began at 30 years of age. He gave His neighbors plenty to talk about, I’m sure.
Regarding Jesus’ appearance when He walked the earth:
“He didn’t look like anything or anyone of consequence—He had no physical beauty to attract our attention. So He was despised and forsaken by men, this Man of suffering, grief’s patient friend. As if He was a person to avoid, we looked the other way; He was despised, forsaken, and we took no notice of Him.” (Isaiah 53:2b-3)
No one of consequence.
No physical beauty.
Despised and forsaken.
A Man of suffering; grief’s patient friend.
As if He was a person to avoid.
Despised, forsaken, nobody taking notice of Him.
That may not jive with the opinion you have of Jesus, but that’s what the Bible says.
Now that Jesus I can relate to.
I don’t know about you, but many times I’ve felt like a ghost, floating through my days, nobody taking notice of me at all.
Suffering in silence.
Yeah, Jesus knows the feeling, which brings me great comfort.
In His day, Tax Collectors were notorious crooks, and among the most despised people in the region. Jesus knew this, and figured He’d use it as an example of His Father’s grace and forgiveness to the religious leaders—the Pharisees—whom He knew to be mostly hypocrites.
Jesus walked right up to a man named Levi, as he was sitting at his booh collecting taxes.
“Follow me,” Jesus said.
There must’ve been something in His eyes which struck Levi, because he left his booth immediately and followed Jesus (Mark 2:14). Later, at Levi’s house, Jesus and His disciples were hanging out with Levi’s family and friends, having dinner.
The Pharisees asked the disciples, “If your Master is such a righteous person, then why does He eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners, the worst among us?”
They weren’t talking directly to Him, but Jesus responded anyway (ha, I’ve done that, too): “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do. I didn’t come to invite good people to be My followers. I came to invite sinners.” (Mark 2:17)
Don’t believe everything you’ve heard or read: this is the real Jesus. A Man who loved His mama. A Man of no consequence to many. Nothing special to look at. The entire universe in the palm of His hand, yet sleeping in the dirt, associating with “undesirables.”
The totality of Heaven’s angels at His disposal, yet bowing silently to violent, lying, spiteful men, dying a criminal’s death, alone on an angry cross.
God of the Ages, camouflaged as a common man. Immortality and redemption, dawning the mask of “average.” The extraordinary, cloaked in the ordinary. Amazing.
Jesus, Son of the most high God, was loathed and despised, branded a “criminal,” and then tortured and wrongly executed.
Yeah, Jesus loves the losers, of whom I am chief.