Outside Appearances Are Not Important
Copy of Warner Sallman’s “Head of Christ” portrait and various other pictures of Jesus
Have you ever noticed the many different pictures there are of Jesus? I have printed off just a few that you have probably seen before maybe in books, Sunday School, or Bible School. [show pictures]
[Show Sallman portrait] This one here is probably the most recognized of all of portraits of Jesus. It was painted in back in the 1940s by an artist named Warner Sallman. I learned that it has been reproduced over 500 million times!
But, the fact is, this is just one man’s idea of what Jesus might have looked like while Jesus was on the Earth. There is no real record of what He actually looked like. Even the people who saw Him everyday and wrote about Him in the Bible didn’t tell us what He looked like. The only clue the Bible gives about what He looked like is found in the Old Testament in Isaiah 53:2-3: “He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. 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 men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.”
It seems that Jesus’ outer appearance was not made important on purpose. That’s because the people that wrote about Jesus in the Bible wanted us to focus more on His inner beauty - the things He said and did and His message of love & forgiveness.
And that is Jesus’ message to us too. We should not worry about the things on the outside-like the color of our skin, the clothes we wear, how short or tall we are, how much money we have, stuff like that. Instead, we should focus on the stuff on the INSIDE by showing others our love. If we let others see our love for them, then they will see Jesus through us.
Dear Lord, help us not to focus on the outer appearance of ourselves and of others like the world does. Instead, help us to concentrate on how we look from the inside so that others will see You through us.