“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Isaiah 53: 2-3, 4

A student in one of my classes at California Baptist University, shared this verse in reference to persons with disabilities. I may be the only one, but I hadn't thought of how Christ's experience is so similar to that of those with disability. Isaiah writes,
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not...we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him and aflicted.

A very interesting characterization which could easily describe many persons with disabilities. Christ understands them.

McNair

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I completely agree that Christ knows what a disabled person has to go through on a daily bases. Christ knows each of us individually, and this is why Jesus suffered and was crucified on a cross in order to pay the punishment for our sins. When Jesus came to Earth as a man he personally experienced what it was like to not have a normal appearance when He was on the cross dying for each and every one of us. The verse talks about how He was despised and rejected by men because of the way that He looked. There was nothing in His physical appearance to attract man. This is how Christ personally experienced the rejection that people with disabilities have to go through. People tend to treat those with disabilities with no respect because there is nothing in their appearance to attract us to them. This is what Christ experienced when He was crucified on the cross. It is important for us to look at the heart and not the outward appearance of a person. People with disabilities were also created by Christ and have an important roll within society and most important within the church. We are to treat everyone with the same respect whether they are physically impaired or appear normal. Even the person, who appears normal, may have a disfigured heart inside. No one is perfect and it is important to realize that. We need Christ in our hearts just as much as the person who is disabled.

Anonymous said...

I am in that class in which this verse was shared, and I had never heard this verse before. I had always thought of Jesus as a handsome man, well-built like a crafstman or carpenter should be, and attractive as He is the Son of God. It was surprising to me that the Bible describes Him as someone that people hid their face from.
This is so telling of Christ's sovereign love for every person on earth. Paul talks about how he became all things to all people, and I believe that he was following the example of Christ, laid down right here in this verse. He was not made physically attractive, and He knew many sorrows, much like those with disabilities do...Christ came to earth to become all things to all people, so that all people can come to know Him. He never wanted anyone to be able to say, "Well, He just doesn't understand, He wasn't looked down upon like I am, He wasn't ugly like me". Christ suffered more than I think we are able to grasp. I think these verses show a true connection and God's heart for those with disabilities.
~Robin Moore
The Exceptional Child
W-7pm-9:30pm
California Baptist University

Jennifer Riddle said...

At first glance, the verse in Isaiah seemed strictly about Christ and how he was judged and persecuted by others. However, looking more closely at it, people with disabilities have to overcome this judgement everyday, as Christ himself did. In Luke 6:37-38, Jesus tells us not to "judge others and you will not be judged." It is not how a person looks on the outside that matters, but what is on the inside that counts. People today care more about vanity, then they do about a person's soul. Jesus was just an ordinary man who believed in everyone and sacrificed himself so we could have a better life. As the verse in Isaiah states, "he had no beauty or majesty...," we should not care about the appearance of a person who may not "look normal." We should be like Jesus and help those in need and be kind and giving to everyone, no matter if they have a disability or not. It is not up to us to discriminate against those less fortunate than most. It is our job to lend a helping hand and encourage others to do so, as well. It shouldn't be about looks, or disabilities, it should be about love and friendship. Those two things can accomplish anything.

Jennifer Riddle
EDU 541 - Exceptional Child
CBU

Erin said...

These verses truly give us a deeper look into Christ’s life. We are constantly told of the suffering he endured while on earth, but these verses illustrate that suffering in detail. The hardships Jesus had to bear are exactly the same as those that disabled persons must endure. Like Robin Moore, I also picture Christ as a handsome man. I always thought of him as strong and majestic, with a smile on his face sharing his good news. In reality he was probably not much like this. His was not accepted or liked by many, and his world was full of heartache. I believe that God knew it would be best to send a person who was not beautiful, majestic and wealthy because these things would attract people to Jesus for the wrong reasons. Those who love Jesus are not attracted to him because of his looks or wealth but because the love that he offered. This is the same principle that many people discover when they become friends with disabled persons -- although they may not look beautiful they have a lot of love to offer, and by letting them be a part of our lives we often benefit more than they do.
Erin McDermith
Exceptional Child
November 28, 2005

Anonymous said...

Isaiah 53:2-3, 4 is truly an eye-opener for all Christians who walk the world "blindly". In reading the verse I was not really sure if the passage was about Jesus or a handicapped person. When you analyze it you make the connection that this is about Jesus and how he was also treated in the same manner as most disabled people are. I needed to get the bible out and read the entire passage of Isaiah 53 to get a real good feel as to what the details were within that passage. This was the Messiah’s Atonement. I feel that this verse reminds us all that we still walk the earth judging people who may not appear normal or look a certain way. We still pick and choose who we speak to and who we ignore even if it is just in passing. For example when I walk the campus at my job or here at CBU, I like to say, “Hi” as I pass a person after making eye-contact. I will sometimes just smile if I feel that person may not want to say, “Hi” in return. I do not care what the appearance is of the individual that passes me or vice versa, I simply want to acknowledge that person. I recall in high school, we had a special education program where the students with disabilities would be walking to class with the rest of the school. Many students did not mingle with the handicapped students. I did even at that age where most did not. I remember a student there named Darlene. She had Down’s syndrome. She would say, “Hi” to me when I was walking to class and going to lunch. I remember talking to her almost on a daily basis. She was very nice and polite. Her sister Brandy was not handicapped in any fashion but seemed embarrassed of her sister because of her condition. After a while her embarrassment diminished and conversations among us three were not as uncomfortable for anyone. I was invited to Darlene’s birthday party and I had a blast. At that age and more so now I have this feeling that if someone says, “Hi” to me, I say, “Hi” in return no matter who it is or what they look like.

Anonymous said...

What a humbling passage, especially in light of our Exceptional Child class! The Bible is filled with examples of how Jesus was viewed by those not only in his own culture, but it is also interesting to note what is included about him and what is ommitted. Until the Catholic Church began pushing the "iconic" depiction of Jesus, He was believed to be repulsively ugly. Michelangelo's early painting of Jesus shows him to be portly and hideous. He was also probably very sickly: 1) He was a man of sorrows Is 53:3 2)He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground Is 53:2 alluding to his physical frailty, and 3)He was the only one who fell asleep during the extremely short journey across a lake Luke 8:22. Isaiah also goes on to state that there was nothing about Christ's appearance that would have drawn us to Him, and that He made Himself the lowest of the low in order to fulfill the Lord's purposes. This is such an ego check, as I realize that those around me who are disabled, those that our society so flippantly discounts and useless and unattractive, those beautiful people were knit together in the womb by the mighty hands of God. We are all made in God's immage, and to side-step someone who is disabled, or to turn away from someone in a wheelchair is to discount God's creation.
Amber Baker
The Exceptional Child
W 7:30-9:30pm
CBU

Anonymous said...

What a humbling passage, especially in light of our Exceptional Child class! The Bible is filled with examples of how Jesus was viewed by those not only in his own culture, but it is also interesting to note what is included about him and what is ommitted. Until the Catholic Church began pushing the "iconic" depiction of Jesus, He was believed to be repulsively ugly. Michelangelo's early painting of Jesus shows him to be portly and hideous. He was also probably very sickly: 1) He was a man of sorrows Is 53:3 2)He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground Is 53:2 alluding to his physical frailty, and 3)He was the only one who fell asleep during the extremely short journey across a lake Luke 8:22. Isaiah also goes on to state that there was nothing about Christ's appearance that would have drawn us to Him, and that He made Himself the lowest of the low in order to fulfill the Lord's purposes. This is such an ego check, as I realize that those around me who are disabled, those that our society so flippantly discounts and useless and unattractive, those beautiful people were knit together in the womb by the mighty hands of God. We are all made in God's immage, and to side-step someone who is disabled, or to turn away from someone in a wheelchair is to discount God's creation.
Amber Baker
Exceptional Child
W 7:30
CBU

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent verse which applies to people with disabilities. It is very true, the way Jesus presented Himself to humanity and the way in which His appearance was not liked at all by the masses just like many react to the disabled. Jesus was not rich or had anything that would attract us to Him and instead His life was full of pain and suffering. Personally, I have not had much opportunity to be around people with disabilities and sometimes when presented in such situation tend to get a bit uncomfortable. For example, about two weeks ago while visiting the IRC Library there was a small group of disabled adults sort of cleaning and doing volunteer work. Well, this man with Down syndrome simply came up while staring at me in an angry way and pointed at me with his finger. I simply said “Hi, how are you?” and walked away calmly. By the look in his eyes I could tell he was upset and felt he could hurt me. Maybe I overreacted but for some reason felt I had to get away. On the other hand, a few years ago, once my family and I were invited to have lunch after church at this lady’s house that took care of about four disabled adults. My experience at the lady’s house was different. This man was very talkative, funny, did not give any mean looks, and did not make anyone uncomfortable at any time. Therefore, in a way I can sort of relate to the verse where one does not feel attracted to certain disabled people due to feeling threaten. Maybe by being exposed to more people with disabilities would definitely make me feel more at ease. I definitely believe God loves us all equally and therefore must ask God for guidance on controlling myself when presented in such new, unexpected situations and I am sure many can do it too!
D. Gomez
EDU 541

Anonymous said...

I do have to say I have been told of Jesus' suffering all my childhood and teenage life but in my adulthood I have fallen short of staying up with attending church and learning more about God. I feel that I have only tid bits of information in my head and cannot recall all the information I once was taught in school and church. Attending Cal Baptist University has opened my eyes and also my mind. I have started thinking about what I think I know and what I need to learn more about. I am guilty of not being a person who has made much effort to get to know people with disabilities and have not really felt comfortable around people with disabilities. McNair's class has definitly opened my eyes and made me realize that just because they are different physically or mentally does not mean they are not someone I need to know. This passage in Isaiah is one that I have never heard or at least do not remember and find that, like a few have mentioned, assumed what Jesus looked like and I did not have this visual picture of him being despised and people not wanting to look at him because of his appearance. It made me stop and think how many people get pushed aside or not even acknowledged based on their physical appearance and it is a shame. I know I will be making more of an effort in getting to know people that I would have not really paid to much attention to before. I am missing out - this is obvious because of some of the observations I have done and the conversations I have had with people who are disabled recently. I find myself smiling and laughing every time. Jesus was put though a lot when he was here on Earth, no person can say he does not know of hard times and pain - it becomes more and more obvious as I am becoming more educated.

Teacher X said...

I've got a somewhat different approach to this quote: it reminds me of the concept of the Christ figure as it has appeared in literary works for as long as there has been literature. The Christ figure can be old, young, black, white, male, female...anything...he can be someone dying so others may live, or one who sacrifices in another way, but their very varations speak to the basic ability of anyone to possess Christ-like qualities. Christ doesn't have to be perfect, or uber-attractive, or even striking. Like the passage that started this discussion said, the concept of Christianisty, and what makes Christ "Christ," is more of an inner quality, I believe. In an odd way, this extends to a movie I saw a few years back called "Being There," wherein a disabled man who has spent his entire life living indoors in a Washington D.C. townhouse is suddenly cast out into the world after his benefactor's death. The man, who communicates mainly through phrases and idealogies picked up from television, is seen as a philosopher, a brain, someone to be admired and listened to -- a Christ figure! Yet the man most likely doesn't possess the qualities people are attributing to him. It's more a case of people seeing what they want to see in the man, his actions, and his words.

Ben Harrer

Anonymous said...

i think that Christ did have something special about him, that may not have been obvious to the "normal" man, but the person who was ready to receive his word saw Christ for who he was. I think that we are the same way with people with disabilities; we know they are there, we feel good about ourselves with we do something small to help. but it takes a truly prepared person to see past the disability and the trials associated with it. we are quick to dismiss the disabled as incapable, or unworthy. i think that it is a great blessing that the only truly perfect person came to earth to die for our sins, so that every man, woman and child can one day be resurrected into the perfect body, we all had once. a body without disease, deformity or misgiving.

Karina Roblee said...

Jesus did not have some kind of attraction to get our attention, it was just his self. All men did not want him they thought he was a weirdo. All men despised him and all of us did not believe him that he was sent from God. Everybody sees a person on what they are in the outside but they should look at a person by their quality, personality, beliefs and other unique things those peoplel are very good at. So Isaiah sees that we have a disability about seeing people by the outside and not the inside. A person that has something that interest people is what people want to see in the outside. I like to use see people, talk to them, get too know them and see how that person is.

Anonymous said...

Pride may play a part in this passage. In Psalm 31:18 it states, " Let their lying lips be silenced for with pride and contempt they speak arrogently against the righteous." With this said people were ignorant when it comes to the voice of truth. Like Jesus, those who are disabled are rejected by the majority of people. When looking at what Jesus did for us even though people rejected him, he still forgave us and died on the cross for our sins. Those sins probably include those of rejection, ignornance, and pride.
Kristy LeBlanc
CBU 341/541