The Ordinary Made Beautiful

“he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.”

Isaiah 53:2

When the Son of God came in an ordinary body that looked like ordinary men, and lived an ordinary life among ordinary people working an ordinary job, he made a tremendous statement about beauty.

That what appears as beautiful to the eye is significant is not the issue. To deny visible beauty is to deny our creatureliness and to become like the Gnostics who eschewed the physical.

What Christ demonstrated is our inability to handle physical beauty. The manner of his incarnation was to show us that our hearts will constantly seek to replace the true substance of beauty (what is eternal and enduring) with an ephemeral and transient beauty.

If the Father sent his Son in an ordinary body to then be slaughtered, it behooves us to focus our attention. A crucified Savior must transform or conceptions of beauty, or we shall be like our first Parents who “saw that the food was a delight to the eyes” and took what we in our frailty are incapable of possessing.

It is crucial that we pay attention to the fact that Isaiah marked out this interesting facet of our Savior – that he had no beauty that we should desire him. We serve an invisible God and yet he is more beautiful than all the worlds contained in the universe. Our hearts are to be drawn to him, and to our Savior whom “though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Peter 1:8)

It is not that we must reject the perishable world that God has created, but we must learn to find beautiful again what God reveals as most beautiful. Only then will the ordinary take on its truest beauty. Only then can we look at a man born in a manger, serving as a carpenter, with “no beauty that we should desire him” as beautiful.


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