Sunday, April 3, 2011

Outward appearances

Kelsey and I were talking yesterday about how society responds to beauty. Psychology studies show that kids respond better to more physically attractive teachers, the physically attractive are often attributed higher intelligence, and many times are more favored in the job market. Society rewards, seeks, and places much on physical beauty. Beauty sells. Anyone will notice how even animals who are cute will get far different treatment than those who are less "cute". It's a little sad just how much changes depending on physical appeal or lack of.

Look at almost any Hollywood action video.  How many hundreds of "security guards" or cops, or bystanders, or "bad" guys or girls get killed to protect the one pretty girl.  But only if she's very physically attractive.  It's as if the more beautiful the woman in the movie, the more normal and accepted it is to dispose of all other forms of life that get in the way.      

It's so easy to focus on what is immediately visible. The outward appearance. My mind drifted to this scripture and I thought it was very interesting in it's descriptions of Christ's beauty.

Isaiah 53:2 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.

No beauty that we should desire him...... I don't know whether it refers to a physical lack of symmetry or other things the human mind finds attractive, or whether it more refers to lack of credentials or not "looking or acting the part" how people wanted him to, or both.

Here are some historical descriptions I found interesting after thinking about Isaiah's words. These were organized by Donna Nielsen.

"The first source of evidence comes from The Archko Volume (or the Archaeological Writings of the Sanheidrim & Talmuds of the Judeans). These are the Official Documents made in These Courts in the days of Jesus Christ; translated by Drs. McIntosh and Twyman in 1887 of the Antiquarian Lodge, Genoa, Italy, From Manuscripts in Constantinople and the Records of the Senatorial Docket taken from the Vatican in Rome; Published by Keats Publishing (1975).

Chapter V - Gamaliel - Interview With Joseph And Mary And Others Concerning Jesus; The hagiographa or holy writings, found in the St. Sophia Mosque at Constantinople, made by Gamaliel, in the Talmuds of the Jews, 27 B.C.

It seems Gamaliel was sent by the Sanhedrin to interrogate Joseph and Mary in regard to this child Jesus. Gamaliel is recorded as reporting:

I found Joseph and Mary in the land of Mecca. ...Joseph is a wood-workman. He is very tall. His hair looks as though it might have been dark auburn when young. His eyes are grey, Jesus, He is the picture of his mother, only He has not her smooth, round face. His hair is a little more golden than hers, though it is as much from sunburn as anything else. He is tall. His visage is thin and of a swarthy complexion, though this is from exposure. His eyes are large and soft blue, the lashes are long and his eyebrows are large."

This is found in a letter written to the monarch of Rome by Publius Lentrelus who was a resident of Judea in the days of Tiberius Caesar. This letter first appeared in the writings of Saint Anselm of Canterbury in the eleventh century A.D.

There lives at this time in Judea a man of singular virtue whose name is Jesus Christ... his followers love and adore him as the offspring of the Immortal God. He calls back the dead from the graves and heals all sorts of diseases with a word, or a touch. He is a tall man, well-shaped, and of an amiable and reverend aspect; his hair of a color that can barely be matched, falling into graceful curls, waving about and very agreeable.... His forehead high, large and imposing, his cheeks without spot or wrinkle, beautiful with a lovely red; his nose and mouth formed with exquisite symmetry; his beard and of a color suitable to his hair...his eyes bright and blue, clear and serene. Look innocent, dignified, manly, and mature; his arms and hands delectable to behold."

(Taken from page 75, Appendix B of The Resurrection Tomb, by E. Raymond Capt.)

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