But I realized that lots of people, including me from time to time, do everything we can to make Jesus sexy. We dress him up pretty to take him out with us.
When I look at Luke 15, I start to think that must have been what was happening, why he was so interesting to tax collectors and “sinners”. I mean, why else would they have wanted to hear what he said? He had to be fun, edgy, sexy.
But then I look at Isaiah 53 and read that
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Sometimes we like to be around skin-deep people. It’s fun. We like the lack of probing. We like not having to work hard. We like people who can tell us what we want to hear. We like air-brushed.
But sometimes we look in the mirror and we realize that we are that shallow too. We understand that we’ve airbrushed sexy all over the mirror, all over the window we hold in front of us as we walk.
And we look in the mirror and out the window and feel skin deep safe and fear X-ray vision. Which is wise. X-ray vision can kill. Unless, of course, X-ray vision comes with a heart.
Man of Suffering, an odd superhero, with eyes that don’t look through you but into you, finding pain and offering peace, coming with stories of one in 100 sheep, 1 in 10 coins, 2 of 2 sons.
Sexy Jesus looks lovely. Man of Suffering looks awful.
But only one of the two will understand a conversation which starts with, “I’ve got nothing.”
One says, “pfft.” One says, “Take me.”
Here’s the Luke 15 story.