The Beauty of Jesus in John 1:19-23
What do I find beautiful about you Jesus based upon John 1:19-23? 19And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ." 21And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No." 22So they said to him, "Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" 23He said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,' as the prophet Isaiah said." (1)
This passage in John is more about John the Baptist than it is Jesus. At least in it’s specific tone. Yet the context to this passage is Jesus. Jesus’ influence, while He is not in the scene literally, still casts His glorious light onto John. You can hear it in John’s voice. He has been captured by the charm of Jesus and the magnificent unfolding of God’s plan to redeem mankind, initiate the unstoppable kingdom and awaken human hearts to intimate relationship with the Father. John has been captured because he openly states, “I am not the Christ.” Christ was not Jesus’ last name, but a description of him. He is Jesus the Christ or Jesus the Anointed One. That’s another point entirely! We could write about that fact alone. He is beautiful because HE IS THE ANOINTED ONE! But sticking to my main thought...Jesus is beautiful and John is not afraid to take his place behind the splendor of Him. If we are in front of Jesus, we may be impressive in our own eyes, but in the eyes of God we are not. Pride, Protectionism, Fear of Reputation can cause us to lead out front. It’s the original sins - lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life that push us to the front of the line. We cut in on HIS line! However, truthfully said, we are beautiful as sons and daughters, as the bride of Christ, only when we stand behind him. He is beautiful because He has enough beauty that flows downard to us and we then reflect his loveliness, as the moon reflects the sun.
Jesus is beautiful because he is the “way of the Lord.” John is making a straight way, for the way of the Lord. Jesus later mentions about himself in John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (1). In Jewish custom “the way” was a descriptive phrase for how one had harmony with God. Ask a Rabbi whose teaches reflect worship as “the way”, and they will tell you all about worship. When a Rabbi, a religious teacher, heres the question he knows that someone is asking for guidance and direction on living a life that is harmonious with the very nature of God. The beauty of Jesus comes forth in strength when he openly states that He is the way to harmony with God. That is to say, it’s not a strict adherence to his teachings that gives you have harmony with God, but by placing faith in his death, burial and resurrection. It is by faith (2) we are justified. That is the beauty of Jesus.
His beauty also exists in his commissioning. As John prepared the way for Jesus first arrival and mission, so we have that marvelous assignment in these days. We, too, are preparing the way of the Lord. As John was commissioned, so are we. We are commissioned to declare his truths, reveal his beauty, make disciples of nations, teach others, baptize them, heal the sick, cast out devils, cleanse lepers, raise the dead, do greater things than Jesus, do good and heal all who are oppressed by the devil. What an awesome commissioning, only to be trumped by something, someone, more grand and transcendent...that is Jesus himself.
John 1:19-23 doesn’t reference Jesus specifically, but He is very visible in this passage. Who He is gives this passage definition and meaning. Today, Jesus may not literally be present, but he continues to give our lives definition and meaning. Without Him our lives are flast and two dimensional. He brings terrain, texture and a three dimensional nature to our lives. They have depth, character and structure. The very essence of who He is contextualizes our lives. Our pleasure is to make a straight path for him. We do it out of the secret place, as friends of God, demonstrating love supernaturally and powerfully. Jesus is exquisite, full of grace and wonder. He is beauty for all to see. Take a moment. Stop. Look. And behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Scripture Reference Copyright -
- The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
- (NIV1984) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica