DayBreaks for 8/24/16 – The Power of Outward Appearance
We live in a world that is obsessed with outward appearance. You can see it without even trying at the gym where I work out. People sweating and straining to make their bodies look better (I like to think that I’m just there so I’ll be healthier, but I know in my heart that I, too, am vain about my appearance!) Advertisements for botox injections for just $8 per unit (whatever that means!!!) I noticed a new ad the other day for something that will take away a double-chin…for a fee.
As I was having some time in the Word this past week, I was struck by a passage from John 10:22-24 (ESV) – At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
I love how John puts it so matter-of-factly…Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. He could have said “Peter was walking in the temple” and it would have been just as nonchalant.
Get it: John is say that God walked along the colonnade of Solomon in winter in the temple. It wasn’t just a man who was walking through the temple that day – God was walking there! He had a physical presence that could be seen but his glory was masked by the tent of human skin and bone. Yet make no mistake about it – it was God who walked in their midst…the very God who had parted the sea, kept a boat afloat in the greatest storm the world has ever seen, who slew giants, who dispatched an angel to slay thousands of Assyrians. This was the very God who had healed the sick, given sight to the blind, raised the dead, and yet the question remained in their hearts, Are you the Christ?
The power of outward appearance is immense…for good or bad. The physical presence hid the glory of God as Jesus walked through that colonnade that day. And that raises a terribly vexing question in my mind: How often does my outward appearance hide His glory from others? I’m not really talking about my physical appearance, but my actions and words that people see expressed through my physical appearance. My doubts and fears hid his presence in me. My insecurities mask my true identity in Christ as a child of God. My lack of faith, my explicit sin, my lack of compassion certainly hides the glory of God that is meant to be so visible in all His children.
I think they truly didn’t know if he was the Messiah or not, in spite of all he’d done. I’d like to think that if they did know he was the Messiah that surely they would not have killed him, would they? Maybe they would. They were so focused on what they believed was good for themselves that they didn’t really care. And maybe I am more like than I want to admit.
PRAYER: Jesus, would I recognize you if I saw you walking in the mall today? Would I believe if you looked just like me? Help me to learn from this – that my outward appearance and actions often hide your glory and make it impossible for others to see you in me. Forgive me! Let me look more like your true nature! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.