Dec 062013 1 Response

Why Jesus Never Got Botox

We live in a world of sight.

What is seen is valued. It’s true; it’s real. In a world of sight, surface outweighs substance in almost every aspect. Gone are the days where scientists, presidents, or even preachers are the role models. Here are the days where the photogenic are the shapers of all society. The prettiest faces do more than wallpaper our magazines; they create our worldview, influence our beliefs, and even shape our politics.

There is a great danger when sight becomes the determination of substance. Far too often our eyes can be deceived. Even today those that we think are the most beautiful have been lifted, tucked, lipo-d, implanted, botoxed, augmented, peeled, injected, reconstructed, and ultimately air-brushed before being printed on glossy paper and sold only in the proper lighting.

While sight may take more precedence today than ever before, the love for that which is seen is not a new fascination on our part. Humanity has long lusted for the visual. That’s especially true when it comes to things of faith. Having a visual confirmation is far easier than having a faith which withstands the unseen.

The promised coming of the Messiah was the great hope of believers everywhere. Finally they would see him. Finally their doubts would pass away and their eyes would confirm what their hearts had long desired.

They had waited for an Immortal Messiah, yet they got a mewling infant. Humanity longed to look upon the face of God, yet when we did, we didn’t like what we saw. The eye is the ultimate tool of the Great Deceiver. We are told that when we see, we will then believe. Yet when a mirage is placed before us, we try to drink, and when a fountain is placed before us, we deny its supply. Humanity wanted to see God and God showed up. But there was nothing about him that would lead us to believe that he was a King.

There was:

no beauty that drew us.

no strength that wooed us.

no power that overwhelmed us.

God showed up and humanity let out a collective question of, “Is this it?”

And yet this was “It.”  This was more than humanity could ever hope for, but at first glance it looked like far less.

I don’t think it is any coincidence that our faith is not based on our sight. Christianity is not a faith of sight; it is a faith of sound.

And so God did not tell the Israelites, “See, O Israel.” He instead said, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6.4).

Jesus said on several occasions, “Let him who has ears, hear.”

Paul asks, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one whom they have not heard?” (Romans 10:14).

He goes on to say, “Faith comes from hearing” (Romans 10:17).

Some have wondered if the reason Saul went blind at his conversion was so that he could truly hear God for the first time.

Few things should speak to our culture as much as the prophecy about Jesus from Isaiah, “He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.” Is it any wonder this world ignores Jesus? In this day of sight, Jesus doesn’t draw a crowd. He isn’t hated as much as he is ignored. So it is with those who have no physical beauty.

Jesus doesn’t call out to this visual society and say, “Look at me” as much as he calls to us and says, “Hear me.”

He speaks more than he shows.

He whispers truth. At some point everyone hears it.

The gnawing suspicion that on our own, we are not good enough.

The faint sound calling us to something more than this world.

The echo of love which creates a desire deep into our soul to be known and accepted.

It’s the voice of God. We aren’t good enough on our own, we need him. There is something more than this world. We can be known, accepted and loved. This is the gospel message, but it doesn’t come to the world in an action-packed movie; it’s not a pinable image for Pinterest; it’s a voice.

Notice we speak its message; we sing it; those who proclaim it are “called.”

In the midst of a visual world, God invades creation with a sound—a message, a proclamation, the Word. We can’t airbrush or botox it. The gospel story changes our vision, but it does so through our ears. Our eyes are changed by the message our ears hear.

We are not a people of sight. We are a people of sound, a people of story. We remember in this season the coming of the Word; it is not a story that we can see, it’s a story we can hear.

One Response to Why Jesus Never Got Botox
  1. […] Healing is often an unseen process. (See: Why Jesus Never Got Botox) […]... kevinathompson.com/going-see

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