I met my daughters at the theater tonight for a movie we were all looking forward to seeing. It was the first of the Twilight movies. I confess I was disappointed in the movie. And I could not help notice that the camera focused almost constantly on Edwards’ face! It got annoying. I know that it was in keeping with the book that constantly talked about his physical beauty, and so that is what the camera refused to let us forget: Edward had a beauty that made him desirable.
After the movie I went home and pondered this and I came to understand why a description of the beauty of the Lord is not detailed physically. THAT would have been the draw! Isaiah 53:2 …”He has no form or comeliness; And when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him!”
Wow! We do not desire Him because He has a beauty of the world… the kind of worldly beauty that the Bible tells us that Rachel, or Sarah, Ruth, Saul, David, Daniel or Joseph had! Had He, Jesus, walked the Earth that He created, clothed in His Kingly Splendor and beauty, THAT is what we would have seen and spoken of! That is what would have drawn men and women to Him! They would looked at the outside, His fleshly, worldly beauty, and been drawn to that, to His flesh by flesh, and not drawn to Him by the Spirit! —No! That is not the way of this lowly and humble God! His way was gentle, kindness, compassion and holiness! He stood before mankind in a kind of Holy Beauty that we did not recognize; it was new.
In the case of Edward, people are drawn to him because of his physical beauty. When we look upon someone who is beautiful, there is within us an unconscious belief that someone this beautiful on the outside MUST therefore be beautiful on the inside as well. Belle would not have noticed his “selfless nobility” had he NOT been physically beautiful and attractive first! It was Edward’s beauty that drew her to him. It was not the “selfless nobility!” Would she notice the “selfless nobility” of a homeless man in the street? Would she stop and listen to him, to discern if he was selfless or noble? No. Probably not! And what if Edward was NOT selfless or noble? How long would it take before she would be able to take her eyes off his face long enough to see his heart did not match his physical beauty? People are often blinded by wealth and beauty. Even though we all know the adage that “beauty is only skin deep,” we give the benefit of the doubt to the beautiful and certainly want to be friends with the talented, the wealthy and the beautiful! Not many seek the company of the poor, and ill-favored man or woman, no matter how noble the heart!
It is not God’s plan to offer the flesh that which the flesh of this world feeds on! The spirit of this world worships money, beauty and power of the self-serving kind. He offers us a different KIND of beauty, wealth and power… for the glory of His Name and in “kind” and type as what is in His Kingdom! All things, that the flesh values in this life, are worthless in the next, the eternal life! Beauty fades with age, wealth of the worldly kind cannot go where the Eternal Spirit goes, and all power is relinquished when we pass from this world into the next! ONLY the power, wealth and beauty of that other world can be attained and then stored up for our eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven!
So, we speculate about what Jesus might have looked like. Some insist what he was handsome and strong, because as the Son of God, it offends our sensibilities if One such as Him had been bald (hair was considered a sign of strength and honor) or short, or plain. But, in keeping with the Nature of God and the manner in which He has chosen to give Himself to mankind: as the son of a young virgin who conceived before she was married… casting a shadow on His true parentage in the eyes of that society… WHY would we expect Him to carry a worldly kind of beauty?
Why else would it be so offensive to the rulers that a man, born of an unknown father… but son to a day-laborer… with no formal training, no sign of worldly beauty or attractiveness, should carry such authority, wisdom and spiritual power? Why else would they have had to have him pointed out to them, except that he was not what their flesh expected! Had He been born of royalty, or of the priesthood, heralded by Angels to those in the ruling class, trained by the most learned of the scribes and Pharisees and beautiful in fleshly standards… He would not have been so offensive to the Jews. But He was none of those things.
“He had no beauty that He SHOULD be desired”… and yet HE WAS! He shall draw ALL MANKIND TO HIMSELF! This again is something that is beyond our understanding; it is Holiness and of the Kingdom of Heaven, not of this earthly realm.
[Originally composed: Sunday, January 04, 2009]