Isaiah 52:13-15 ESV - 13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. 14 As many were astonished at you-- his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind-- 15 so shall he sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand. Isaiah 53:1-3 ESV - 1 Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him 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. 3 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.
Just an ordinary man . . .from an ordinary town . . .in an ordinary family . . .doing an ordinary job . . .it’s interesting that the text highlights the servant’s physical appearance. We are so quick to judge physical appearance, even attributing mental competence or cultural sophistication to styles of dress or physical characteristics. We don’t actually know what Jesus looked like. Mary was Jewish, from Nazareth, so he likely had the physical characteristics of a middle eastern man (in other words, not blonde hair and blue eyes). Other than that, we only know there was nothing out of the ordinary regarding his physical appearance.
Scripture does point out physical characteristics of different individuals.
1 Samuel 9:1-2 ESV - 1 There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a man of wealth. 2 And he had a son whose name was Saul, a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.
Saul of Benjamin, son from a wealthy family, handsome, distinctive — and we read his life was a disaster.
1 Samuel 16:12 ESV – 12 And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.”
This speaking of King David. God had just made it clear to Samuel (see earlier in the chapter) that God did not look on outward appearance, but on the heart. Yet God did not dismiss David because he was handsome. . .
God appoints our physical characteristics, our athletic ability, our mental capacity.
Psalm 139:13-16 ESV – 13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Lord, I have no right to discount or elevate anyone based on their physical appearance. That is showing partiality and You say that is making myself a judge with evil thoughts (James 2). Also, Lord, I want to be content with how You made me. Not only my physical body, but my health and my mental acuity. I am fearfully and wonderfully made by You, for Your purpose. I don’t have to be the smartest or the prettiest or the most athletic to be Your servant. I want to faithfully care for the body You have given me so that I am ready to serve however You ask. All the credit and the glory is Yours.
Pray for the Persecuted Church — OpenDoorsUSA
Day 6: Pray for the families of believers who were
martyred for their faith and commitment to serve their
Daily Wisdom Psalm 6, 36, 66, 96, 126 Proverbs 6