The Master’s Class, Summit Church
WHAT DOES JESUS CHRIST LOOK LIKE? (Revelation 1:9-10)

WHAT DOES JESUS CHRIST LOOK LIKE? (Revelation 1:9-10)

March 26, 2017

What did Jesus look like when He came to earth the first time?

Was He handsome like a movie star, or was He plain looking? Did He have long hair, and a beard? Did He wear a white robe everywhere He went? Was He short or tall, heavy or thin, muscular or weak looking?

Nowhere in the New Testament does it give a description of Jesus, and I think that was intentional, because we would have statues and busts of Jesus everywhere for people to worship. So, let’s talk about what we know about Him, and make some guesses from there. Now, notice what I said, this is all supposition and guess work, which is not something we do in this class very often. So, don’t anybody go off huffing and puffing because I described Jesus differently than you imagined. You might be right. I don’t know what He looked like, nobody alive now does.

First, He was a Jew, living in the Middle East area of that time. That probably means He had dark hair and a darkish complexion common in that area.

And contrary to every photo, painting, movie appearance, stage actor, that portrays the Lord Jesus, I don’t believe He had long hair. A lot of this comes from people who confuse the fact that Jesus came from Nazareth, and was called a Nazarite, and the Old Testament ritual of people who make the Nazarite vow of dedication. This could be anybody, man or woman, who choose to be separated for a period of time, or who were dedicated by their parents to be a Nazarite before they were born. They didn’t have to come from Nazareth to be a Nazarite in this ritual. The details of this ritual can be found Numbers 6:1-22. It contains a list of all the required do’s and don’ts of that vow, and one of them is that a razor shall not touch the head during the period of dedication, which means they would have long hair and a long beard. It also talks about not drinking wine, or vinegar, or eating any type of grape, or coming near the dead. Which are all things that Jesus did. The Bible does not say anywhere that Jesus made such a vow, nor does it give any indications that He did the things required to be a Nazarite according to the Old Testament ritual.

It was not common for men of that time to have long hair or beards. A fact that Paul addresses in 1 Cor. 11:14. This verse would lead us to believe that Jesus would not have long hair since it says that having long hair would customarily bring shame to a man. So, you can disagree if you like, but I don’t think Jesus had long hair.

We are also told that Jesus was a carpenter by trade. Carpenters in those days did not have power tools to work with. Everything was done by hand. They worked on wood and stone, and the wood was not already cut into nice smooth 2x4, or 4x4 pieces of lumber. They had to work with rough timber, debark it, and trim it down, all by hand. Every part of a carpenter’s work was intense physical labor. This would imply that Jesus would have been a big, strong, man with great physical strength. Yet this strength was kept under control, which is a good description of meekness. So, Jesus was likely what we would call a man’s man, not a body builder type that we think of today, but a man with the body of a heavy construction worker. This is born out by the description of Jesus carrying the cross after suffering such intense torture at the hands of men who were experts at hurting people. Even surviving this torture, and I believe Satan made sure it was the most horrible possible, to be hung on a cross would have required Jesus to be a tremendously tough and strong individual.

So, was He movie star handsome, with a twinkle in His eye, and a set of pearly white teeth? I don’t think so. The only description found in the Bible of what Jesus looked like is found in the Old Testament, in the book of Isaiah.

Isa 53:2
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
KJV

The key words here are, he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. Isaiah tells us that Jesus looked like an ordinary man and that there was nothing special in His appearance that would make Him stand out. In other words, He likely didn’t have the typical TV preacher wave to His hair, and He probably would not look good on a movie screen. All of this is born out in the New Testament when time and again, Jesus would slip away into the crowds and could not be found.

John 5:13
13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.
KJV

Luke 4:29-30
29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way,
KJV

Now, I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit was doing His work in these events as well, but if Jesus had long hair and wore a white robe, when most Jewish men of that time had short hair and short beards, then He would have been easy to find, for He would have stood out in a crowd.

So, we are told that He was not desirous to look upon nor had no beauty, in other words, He wasn’t handsome. That doesn’t mean He was ugly, just plain looking, like everybody else. Jesus’ humanity made Him out to be no different looking than any other man of the day. He was strong and extremely physically fit and that He was able to blend in with the crowds very easily. The Bible is silent on exactly what He looked like and if the Bible is silent on His exact appearance, then God apparently doesn’t think it’s important for us to know.

What we do know is that people were attracted to Jesus, not by His looks, but by His words and His actions, including the miracles He did. The miracles were His proof of who He was, the Promised One. His words were for us to learn about the gospel message of eternal life that He purchased for us on the cross. Jesus drew crowds everywhere He went. They were drawn to Him by His humanity, His words, and His actions. So, we may not know what Jesus looked like when He came the first time, but in our lesson over the next two weeks, we are going to be given a firm description of what our Lord Jesus will look like when He comes the second time. Click the link and listen to hear a description of what our Lord Jesus looks like.

THE SALUTATION OF REVELATION (Revelation 1:4-8)

THE SALUTATION OF REVELATION (Revelation 1:4-8)

March 19, 2017

THE SALUTATION OF REVELATION

In the day of text messaging, Skype, Instagram, Snapchat, emoji’s, and Twitter, the art of writing a salutation to a letter is not even a concept that is used. The word salutation is defined as a greeting at the beginning of a letter, or even at a meeting of two, or more, people. In today’s text world, it would be something like saying "Hey, 😊." However, prior to the advent of email, when letters and snail mail, ruled the day, the words at the beginning such as Dear Mr. Jennings, or To whom it may concern, were used as salutations. Often it extended into the first sentence or two and it let people know who the letter was written to and why they were getting it.

In the day of the New Testament writers, the salutation was important for establishing who the letter was being written to, who it was being written by, as well as the authority for the words of the letter. The New Testament books were often written as letters that were carried from church to church, read by the messenger to the congregation, and then sent on to the next church. Establishing the authority of writer, be it the apostle Paul, or Peter, or John, or any of the other writers was incredibly important to the people hearing the letter read to them.

As appropriate for a book that describes the Almighty God’s plan for the consummation of the ages, the salutation of the Book of Revelation is important for us to read, and it sets the stage for all that comes after it.

Here is the message that we have before us today. Jesus is coming again, and it may happen at any moment. And when it does, you will be caught unaware. You may be living the successful life of this world. You may not even know about the sufferings of the Lord Jesus when He came the first time as the Savior of the world. You may even use His name in vain. This is your hour, but one of these days, the hour of the Lord will come.

1 Tim 6:15
15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
KJV

John declares the victory from the beginning of the book. It is no mystery. You don’t have to skip ahead and read the last chapter to find out how things are going to work out. He says, Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Click on this link to hear a podcast describe the salutation of the Book of Revelation written by the triune God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

THE NUMBERS OF REVELATION

THE NUMBERS OF REVELATION

March 12, 2017

The Book of Revelation is full of symbols, signs, analogies, hyperboles, figures of speech, and cryptic numbers. Think about it, as John writes, he sometimes speaking like a zoologist. There are other times that John will speak as an astronomer. And then there are the colors that John uses symbolically like an artist. John also speaks as a geographer. Finally, we see that John also speaks as a mathematician. The numbers used in the Book of Revelation give us great insight into God’s true meaning of the symbol it represents, or is attached to.

For example, the number one tells us of the unity of God. The number two is the number of witness, and the number three is the divine number of God in His Tri-Unity. Learning about the meaning of these numbers in the Word of God is important to our ability to understand the Book of Revelation. It is also interesting to me to see how God uses numbers in all of His creations. In doing so, He shows us that there is a Creator, an almighty God, behind the things that we see around us. The deeper we look at His creation, we see more of His order, we see more of His beauty, and we see more of the numbers that God has installed in the world around us. This world was not created by accident. It did not come from chaos. It came the from the mind of God. God spoke and it was created.

Numbers tell us that we are a creation of God, and they show us the gospel message of Jesus Christ. The spiritual message of the numbers of the Bible is that there is but one God, man is His creation, man has sinned and come short of the perfection and glory of God. God is the God of new beginnings, offering sinful man a new life. God has a complete plan for the whole of creation, and that includes believers joining Christ in the new heaven and the new earth for all of eternity.

Click on the link to listen to this podcast and learn the meaning behind the numbers of the Book of Revelation. God bless you as you join me in studying this wonderful book of Revelation.

GOD’S GUARANTEED BLESSING (Rev. 1:3)

GOD’S GUARANTEED BLESSING (Rev. 1:3)

March 5, 2017

How many of you seek God’s blessing on your life? Well, of course, everyone would say yes to that. That may be the only time I get a 100% agreement from everyone listening to this lesson. Everyone wants to be blessed by God. In fact, I pray for the blessings of God in my life, and that of my family’s. When we think of blessings, the first thing that comes to my mind are the beatitudes. Jesus tells us that blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, those who are meek, merciful, pure in heart, and many more.

So, these blessings are from the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount where He described the principles and the rule of the Kingdom, meaning the Millennium Kingdom. These are the characteristics of those who will be blessed during Christ’s reign on earth, but they are also the characteristics of believers in today’s world whom the Lord will bless. Our Lord is saying this is how we should be living our lives, and when we do so, we shall be blessed. In fact, He tells us,

Matt 5:12
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
KJV

It is a Biblical truth, that many of our blessings for being an obedient and faithful child of God will come in heaven and not on this earth. This is not bad news, in fact, this is really great news, because we get to have those blessings for all of eternity, not just some minor period in our today. To me, that is a blessing I want to have.

Now, what if I told you of a promised blessing from God, that would occur while you lived on this earth? I am not talking about a fortune cookie type of blessing, I am talking about a true blessing from the almighty God of all things.

Rev 1:3
3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
KJV

We are to read this book, we are to hear this book, and we are to keep this book. If we do those things, then we will be blessed. The Bible is the only book I know of that that you can study and be God-guaranteed to be blessed by. Join me as we study God’s word in this lesson. Click on the link and listen to the podcast as we learn of The certain blessing of Revelation.