If you’re like me, you grew up thinking you needed to look like a model or famous actress in order to be popular. You pleaded with your parents for the latest fashionable clothes. And “please, don’t cut my bangs so short!” (Unfortunately my mother never gave into my requests for the coolest clothes or trendiest haircut – my bangs were typically shorter than short!)
Once I reached 17 years-old and was working full-time, I moved out of the house and often would buy clothes in the latest style. I also would bring in pictures to my hairdresser pleading with her to cut my hair just like a certain celebrity. It was the latest hot haircut, and I needed it! (Remember Farrah Fawcett’s shaggy mane?)
But here’s the thing: Having stylish clothes and the latest haircut do not make you popular. It’s what’s inside you that counts!
Do you ever think about what Jesus looked like while He lived on earth? I think we all have some sort of image in our minds.
The picture to the right is the one I remember growing up seeing more than any other.
It’s very interesting that almost every movie or TV documentary I’ve seen always depicts Jesus as a handsome man. Jim Caviezel really moved to the top of the charts after he starred as Jesus in “The Passion of the Christ”.
However I have to give director Mel Gibson and Twentieth Century Fox credit, because they didn’t shy away from also graphically displaying the brutality of the torture that Jesus had to endure – and for that I’m thankful. They showed Jesus torn up; His body beaten and ripped to shreds after His flogging. He wasn’t portrayed as just a handsome guy, who also happened to be God in the flesh!
But what did Jesus really look like? It’s probably a question that’s haunted people for generations.
Does it really matter? Well, kind of.
So many of us idolize and flock to beautiful men and women that we see on the big screen or in the sports arena. And since many people were drawn to Jesus, often barreling their way through throngs of people just to see or touch Him, His appearance must have been something to look at, right?
Wrong – that wasn’t God’s plan. Father God knows exactly how fickle we are, so He made sure that the Messiah wasn’t idolized because of His appearance. As a matter of fact, Isaiah 53:2 says that there was nothing about Jesus’ looks that would draw us to Him.
He was just a normal guy appearance-wise.
Now Jesus also certainly could’ve flaunted His equality with God (Philippians 2:6-7) to make Him more popular, but He didn’t, except when He was supposed to. Instead of continually displaying His power, He chose to live as a servant to those around Him, loving others and putting them ahead of His own wants and desires.
He willingly allowed Himself to be treated just like you or me by suffering all sorts of temptations and trauma – just like us. That’s why He can truly understand and sympathize with us when we’re hurting (Hebrews 4:15).
Friends, it’s tough in this world when we set our eyes on how others look, or on what others have. But what does God wants of us? What He wants is for us to have an obedient, loving, servant’s heart. Willingly doing whatever He asks us to do, with love and gratitude.
Yes, all of that is totally opposite of what the world thinks. But remember, God made you very special – His children are not to act like everyone else in the world. And He loves you just as you are, so very much.