Images

I've been in several churches where pictures of Jesus hanging on the wall were commonplace. Actually, they weren't pictures at all but rather representations of what others thought He might have looked like. Typically, he's got more European features in these portrayals and in many He has blue eyes. I've seen where, in Asian churches, the portrayal of Jesus is as an Asian man and in African American churches He is sometimes portrayed as an African man with dark skin. My personal belief is that, since Jesus was Jewish and was born and lived in the area we now call the Middle East, that He probably had physical characteristics there were more Arab in nature. That means no blue eyes and no blonde hair. But regardless of how Jesus really looked physically, it's only natural for those who seek Him to connect a visual image with Him.

I've been reading a book by Thomas Young entitled Do You Want to Go to the Mountain? and it is his take on the material from the New Testament gospel of Matthew 17:1-8 called the "transfiguration of Jesus." In this gospel story Jesus took 3 of His disciples with Him up to a mountain and while there revealed (transfigured) Himself to them in all His glory. In chapter 6 of his book Thomas Young points out that it was at this moment in history where Jesus went from what they could actually see - His physcial self - and transformed Himself right before the eyes of His disciples into who He really is. In doing so, any limitations that His disciples had placed on Him were removed and their natural response was fear and worship. Like Thomas, I wonder how often I limit Jesus to being just some human representation instead of focusing on who He really is. And, I'm not so sure I know exactly how to see Jesus for who He really is, in all of His glory and power. But I want to. My desire is to strip away all of the clothing and preferences that I've placed on Jesus and get to the essence of who He is. My prayer is that God will allow me to see Jesus the way He is, not the way I want to see Him. When I see Jesus in His essence, it's His glory that is the focus, not any selfish intent on my part. My hope is that when I am able to do that, that I will be able to worship and serve Him as never before.

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