Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

What Did Jesus Really Look Like?

We’ve all seen paintings of Jesus leading us to wonder how he really looked. Though not offering us much, Isaiah prophesied what the Lord’s appearance was going to be with a snippet of information…

He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. Isaiah 53:2 (ESV)

Some have read Isaiah’s description to indicate that Jesus was homely or unattractive, but I think that the prophet is really saying that he would look pretty much like…the rest of us – very normal, I suppose, that is, for the prophesied Servant of Yahweh (Isaiah 52:13). In other words, you wouldn’t be able to see Jesus in a crowd of people and say, “Oh, that One must be the Son of God.”

But John got a different picture. When Jesus appeared before his beloved Apostle on the Island of Patmos, He didn’t look like a regular guy. He looked like the second person of the Trinity

 …on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Revelation 1:12-17 (ESV)

What a glorious picture. It’s worth reading two or three times just to get an idea. Now, theologians surely have many ideas of what all this means, but overall, I think the Scriptural picture is there for us to see that Jesus is glorious, that Jesus is God.

And one day we will see Him just as He is. (1 John 3:2)

For Thursday, December 3: Revelation 2


Posted by on December 2, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Two-Faced People?

Merging theater masksTrue or false? The people who worshiped Jesus by calling “Hosanna” on Palm Sunday were the same folks who shouted “Crucify” on Good Friday.

Probably false, and I don’t know if I ever said that – I hope not, but then again, I’ve said a lot of things – but either way I’ve certainly heard it said. And it didn’t quite smell right, because, after all, how would anyone really know that?

So I was glad to see this article on Five Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon in the recent web issue of Christianity Today. The authors write how the first statement makes for a good sermon point illustrating the fickleness of the human heart. But…they say:

“…it is not entirely clear that the ‘Hosanna!’ crowd acclaiming Jesus’ triumphal entry is the same group of people as the ‘Crucify him!’ crowd gathered before Pontius Pilate. The former seem to be mainly pilgrims from Galilee along with Jesus’s disciples, while the latter seem to be largely those from Jerusalem.”

Well, that makes sense.

So the next time I’m preaching and looking for a point on fickleness, maybe I’ll tell the congregation about David writing Psalms on a hillside and then years later writing the ruin of a man’s life from a rooftop. Or perhaps I’ll say something about Peter proclaiming his forever faithfulness to Jesus after the Last Supper and then hours later reneging with three denials before the rooster crowed.  Or maybe it will be Demas standing by Paul’s side in Colossians 3:14 and then “in love with this present world” in 2 Timothy 4:10.

There are plenty of examples, not to mention the one that stares back at me in the mirror.  So next time, I’ll plan to leave the “Hosanna”/”Crucify” crowd out of it.  Maybe they were all perfectly stable people.

Then again, somehow, I doubt it.


Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 28th: Mark 12


Posted by on April 27, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Herod The Great People Pleaser

“What will my friends think?” This pressing question is constantly swirling in the head of one known as a people pleaser. The clothes they wear, who they sit with at lunch, the college they attend, the person they marry – in short, almost everything they do, every decision they make is calculated to please other people, with the ultimate desire…to have their approval and praise.

Herod, of course, is one of the great people-pleasers of history, and his antics are on full display in Matthew 14. He was called Herod Antipas, or just Antipas, and was the Roman ruler over Galilee and Perea for most of Jesus’ life and ministry. One of three sons of Herod the Great, Antipas shared the rule of Palestine with his two brothers.

And undoubtedly he had very poor relations with one of these, his brother Phillip, for on a trip to Rome, Antipas met Phillip’s wife Herodias and “fell in love.” He subsequently divorced his own wife and married her.

But unfortunately for Herod, John the Baptist didn’t have a people-pleasing bone in his body, and the prophet of the Jordan River did not hesitate to call him on it:

…John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet.

Matthew 14:4-5 (ESV)

John said a loud “No!” to this union, and Herod locked him up for it, but he feared the people…so he didn’t put him to death.   That motive worked for a time, until as the story relates, another desire to please people took over, and through a series of events including a sultry dance and a foolish promise, he heeded the request of an adolescent girl:

Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” And the king was sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given.

Matthew 14:8-9 (ESV)

Behold Ladies and Gentlemen: Herod the not-so-great, refraining from killing a man because he wanted to make the people happy, and then killing the same man, because…he wanted to make the people happy. Talk about a buffeted life. You might call Herod a pinball, and the people around him? They controlled the flippers.

But as we sit in judgment of Herod, don’t we have to admit that we’ve all been there to one degree or another? We’ve all been there because all of us have had the sense that if only our friends approved, or the “important” people liked what we did, all would be well, and we would be finally happy. And our search for pleasure in the opinions of others has repeatedly ended only in pain. So into our foolishness, the great prophet Isaiah warned,

“Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils, for why should he be esteemed?”

Isaiah 2:22 (NASB)

Why indeed?

Herod would eventually be exiled, punished by Emperor Gaius – the one man he would apparently not be able to please. But before that, this same Herod Antipas would encounter another Prophet…at the kangaroo court of the Son of God (Luke 23:6 – 12). Herod would question Jesus at length, and receive only silence. Of course we know better, but you might almost wonder if the conversation lagged because they really had nothing to talk about. For the one who could only ask, “What will make the people happy?” had nothing at all in common with the One who could only ask…“What will please my Heavenly Father?”


Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 21: Matthew 15


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Posted by on January 20, 2015 in Uncategorized


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