Let’s look at a few verses from the Old Testament this week.
The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
nothing to cause us to take a second look. Isaiah 53:2-3 (The Message)
These words, written by the prophet about the coming Messiah look like the backstory of a hero. As believers who know the end of the story we tend to forget what the early days looked like for Jesus. But we would do well to consider our current days look a lot like his early ones. We can relate to Jesus. And God wants us relating to him so we will look to him for everything.
The New American Standard Bible translates these verses as follows:
Let’s look at a few specific words from these verses in the original Hebrew:
For he grew up before Him – “vaiyaal lefanav” – to go up and face God
like a tender shoot, and like a root – “kaiyovnek vechashoresh” – like a young plant, a root
out of parched ground – “tziyah meeretz” – a dry land, drought
He has no stately form or majesty to look upon- “lo- toar hadar venirehu” – he has no form or splendor to see
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him – “venechmedehu” – to desire or take pleasure in
Have you ever felt defined by these words?: scrawny, little, weak, from nothing, ugly, unattractive, overlooked, ignored.
I want us to consider two things about these words. In verse 2: “before God” and in verse 3 “to cause us” or “that we should”.
We looked at Isaiah 53:1 last week. God’s saving power LOOKED to us like nothing. Jesus was born into a family from the wrong neighborhood, to an unwed teenager betrothed to a carpenter so far removed from his ancestor, King David, that no one knew of him. It’s so important to see yourself and others as God does. We MUST look at everything, but especially people, from the King’s perspective. Jesus saw Mary and Joseph as his earthly parents long before time began – think of that! And he sees you! What is God at work doing in your life today? If you are focused on an earthly to-do list, the story your husband, child, friend… (and dare I say God) is telling you may seem unimportant. Refocus with a Kingdom perspective so you can see redemption in the details. Redemption is not something you will see if you are looking for a conquering hero. Redemption will look a whole lot like you becoming less so God’s hand can become more.