And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”
—Isaiah 53:1-3 (NASB)
I found it quite fascinating that a Christian evangelist to the Jews stated that he never begins witnessing to them from the New Testament, but from the Old. He cited Jesus’ own statement to the Jews of His time,
—John 5:46-467 (NASB)
The evangelist’s assertion is that the problem is not that Jews have rejected their Messiah, but first rejected Moses. When they accept Moses and his teachings in the proper context, they also accept Jesus as their Messiah.
There appears to be three-fold rejection of the Messiah as provided through Isaiah:
At one time or another, it seems that in the course of His earthly ministry, Christ was rejected by everyone including His disciples and family. I guess it’s human nature to reject God when He does not come as we expect nor act in the manner we envision. It’s a process God set in motion to force us to accept the Savior on His terms rather than our own. What we “expect” and what we “get” are not always the same.
I believe this is a pattern and lesson that continues even after we accept Christ. We continue to learn that living according to the Savior’s will and ways is often different than what we envisioned walking with God would be like. We are set on a path to regularly seek conformity to HIS image rather than our own. Instead of holding HIM in low esteem as we did previously, we now must hold the things of this life in low regard, considering them as having “no stately form or majesty“, but holding to a new standard of value and beauty and worth. His rejection is a lesson and pattern for our own rejection of the old life for the new.†††