November 12, 2007
He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him. Isaiah 53:2b
When Joseph interpreted the dream of Pharaoh, he talked about the “lean years”. For many people, the “lean years” are the time they spent at college. Tuition is overwhelming, the price of books is outrageous, and living expenses are shocking. That’s why college students cut financial corners in any way they can.
Cutting corners –that’s what a student in Berlin, Germany was doing when she went to a flea market a few months ago. Having to furnish a room on a shoestring, she debated about every purchase she made. Only with great reluctance did she lay out $215 for the purchase of a sofa bed.
It was a good investment. When she got the couch home and pulled out the bed, she found an unsigned painting. The painting was only 10x15 inches in size, but she liked it. She liked it enough to have it appraised. The person who did the evaluation concluded the picture, which was now being called “Preparation to Escape To Egypt”, was painted by an unknown artist somewhere in the early 1600’s. The appraiser also said the artist, while unknown, was close to the Venetian painter Carlo Saraceni.
Now unless you are a serious lover of Italian painters, the mountain of information I’ve given you may seem like cultural overkill. That may be what the college student thought until she put the painting up for sale at a Hamburg art auction. Last week the picture sold for $27,630.00.
Sometimes things are more valuable than they appear. That is certainly true of the Savior. The prophet Isaiah, when He was talking about the coming Messiah said Jesus “had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, and no beauty that we should desire Him.”
Anyone who looks at the Savior’s life will quickly conclude Isaiah was right on the money. The people of Nazareth saw Him as “the carpenter’s Son”. The Galilean crowds saw Jesus as a free meal, and the Priests and Scribes looked upon Him as competition.
It is only when the Holy Spirit lets us see the Savior with eyes of faith that we are enabled to perceive Him for who He really is: the sacrificial Savior who loves us so much He died on a cross so we might be forgiven. Only when we see Him in this way can we join with the saints of heaven and say, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” (Rev. 5:12)
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, may I always see You with eyes of faith; may I always proclaim You as my Savior and Lord. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries