Category Archives: Devos

What do you think Jesus looked (or looks) like?

Faceless JesusWhat picture would come to your mind if someone asked you, “What do you think Jesus looked like?”

You are aware, aren’t you, that there are a lot of “pictures” of Jesus floating around? Some of the most popular and well known facsimiles of “Jesus” picture Him with long flowing locks of hair, and a handsome (almost effeminate), rather Caucasian face. In other pictures “Jesus” is more macho – almost scruffy. I’ve seen “Him” pictured in a business suit… but also there’s also a Bedouin version of “Him.” Oh and while we’re talking about “Jesus” pics there’s an African (or African American) version, an Asian version, even a Native American “Jesus” – let alone a Jewish and Arabic version of “His profile.” So what did (or perhaps better yet, does) Jesus look like anyway?

I read a prophetic passage about Jesus during “coffee with the Lord” the other day that left me wondering if a “faceless Jesus” might be a better idea… A representation of His person and countenance that permitted a vast number of different people, backgrounds, vocations, cultures and races to identify with Him. It seems to me it would be much more in keeping with the spirit of the second commandment (the one having to do with “no graven image or any likeness of anything in heaven or on earth, or under the earth) and it would allow Him to relate meaningfully to the maximum number of people in our world today! … After all we call Him “the Savior of the world!”

I mean, see if the words of this great prophetic passage fit the popular image that people have of Jesus…

“For he grew up…like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces. He was despised, and we esteemed him not.

“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth… He was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

“Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt. The will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities… He was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.” (From Isaiah 53)

I mean think about it… Fabulously wealthy (and hated) Zacchaeus related to Him – as did the poverty stricken woman with only two mites… Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, sought him out and a rugged ol’ fisherman left everything to follow Him… A woman of questionable character was forever impacted by His promise of “living water,” and another helpless, hopeless woman pressed through a throng to just touch the hem of his garment… The multitudes heard him gladly and the rich and famous cried “what must I do to inherit eternal life.”

I’ve got to admit it, I don’t know what He looked (or looks) like… And in some ways I like the idea of a “faceless Jesus!” But one day as His devoted follower I will know Him, for “When he appears… I will see Him as He is!” (1 John 3:2) … My Savior and Lord… and He can be your Savior and Lord too!

“Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God!”

Israel and Judah, nations that God had labored to redeem as His own, because of their sin and rebellious ways, were worthy of judgment, condemnation, and complete rejection! They had experienced His discipline. However, in a passage that I read this morning – Isaiah 54, during my time of “coffee with the Lord” the Lord instead assured them of His incredible, lavish love, mercy and grace…

As I read Isaiah 54 today I was reminded of what God offers us, the undeserving and worthy of His judgment and condemnation, through Jesus Christ… An opportunity for growth and expanded fruitfulness, instead of a life of barrenness! Acceptance and embrace instead of rejection. Compassion and everlasting love instead of judgment. A covenant of peace instead of condemnation. Vindication when we really deserve to reap all of the consequences of our sinful ways…

Here’s just a taste of the language of the passage (you really should read the whole chapter for yourself!)…

“Sing, O barren one! … Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities… For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called… For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD, your Redeemer. This is like the days of Noah to me: as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, and will not rebuke you. For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed!” says the LORD, who has compassion on you… All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you. If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from me; whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you… No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from me, declares the LORD!” (From Isaiah 54)

I’ve got to tell you, it brought to mind the words of this contemporary worship song…

Here’s a Short Transformation Assessment for Your Spiritual Life…

Life transformation

A transformed life is the true outcome of “new birth” through faith in Christ. Here’s a quick spiritual life transformation assessment that you can use to determine your progress in your new life in Christ… (just a suggestion… if you use it you may want to password protect it 😉)

As honestly as possible answer the following questions…

1. What did I love doing before I found Christ as my Savior and Lord that I no longer choose to participate in now? What activities did I engage in in the past that I no longer engage in? What did I find enjoyable that I am now ashamed of?

2. On the other hand, what do I love doing now that I didn’t enjoy before? What do I find satisfying to participate in now, that I am a Christ follower that I didn’t find fulfilling before?

Here’s a couple of key Scriptural passage that support the assessment…

“Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (from 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:1–2 NLT)

Truly transformed people won’t “spend the rest of their lives chasing their own desires, instead they will be anxious to do the will of God. You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy—their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols… Your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you.” (1 Peter 4:2-4 NLT)

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