Ours is a largely youth-obsessed, beauty-conscious culture. We need
look no farther than the grocery store to know this so. Cosmopolitan constantly proclaims, with a picture of a young, beautiful person on its cover, how to have the best sex ever. Us, Self, Vogue, GQ, and People follow suite: images are almost always of young, attractive,
toned, in-shape people.
As if our lives would somehow be incomplete if we did not know that
Kristen Stewart cheated on Rob Pattinson. Apparently, such knowledge
sells magazines. Or something.
People even has annual feature proclaiming the “Sexiest Man Alive.”
That it’s an annual occurrence highlights the fleeting nature of beauty, and the fickle tastes of the populace. One year, it’s Ryan Gosling; another, Brad Pitt. Or George Clooney.
All handsome men, to be sure.
You know who would never grace the cover of People as a sexy man?
That’s right, God the Son, Second Person of the Trinity–the One Who made the Brad Pitts, Goslings, Clooneys, et al.
You know why?
Because He was ugly. That’s right: Jesus was not a “looker.” In Isaiah, it says that he “had no form, or comeliness.” In other words, He was not good looking. Was not possessed of a physical charisma. Which means that it was not His looks that attracted people to Him.
It was something else.
It was His strength of character, His moral authority, and yes the wonders He performed. He backed up His teaching with signs: turned the water into wine, fed the five thousand, opened the eyes of the blind…
Set the captives free.
Yet, none of this was enough to endear Him to the leaders of His day, who–as you know–called for His crucifixion. They denigrated His apparent lack of learning, and His city of origin (“Can any good thing come from Nazareth?”). And they wanted His head–because He threatened their power base.
This ugly man from Nazareth.
He would, as His followers are, be just as misunderstood today. And the last place you would hear of him would be in the pages of some beauty-obsessed magazine. You certainly would not see His visage gracing the cover of People, GQ, Vogue, Us, et cetera.
Because grace, like Jesus, is not sexy. Rather, it is scandal that sells, or that which titillates us. Revenge, by this world’s measure, is sexy. Forgiveness, however, is not.
Jesus was not the sexiest man alive, nor did He come to titillate, but instead to give sight to the blind, raise the dead, sets hearts free, and forgive.
And that’s enough for me.
How about you? What draws you to Jesus?