And He Brought to Nothing the Things That Are.
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even the things that are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
A headline on the front of People magazine reads: Sneak Peek! World’s Most Beautiful! Julia! Zoe! Jake! See which superstars and rising stars made this year’s list. The cover displays several pictures of Hollywood’s finest. We are bombarded with this everyday in the culture in which we live. But what does it matter, anyway?
Last week, I sat around the dinner table with some of my dearest brothers and sisters. The question was asked of us by our dinner host: What do you think is the most attractive thing about Christ? That seems like such a no-brainer. Everything is attractive about Him. But gradually each of us, one by one, came up with a different response. It was so awesome to hear how everyone found something different to add. I gave my answer without much thought, but I have since been reflecting on it more.
We live in a culture saturated with everyone’s ideas of beauty and success. Status is everything. The outward appearance is everything. But Jesus had none of those things. He was not notably outwardly attractive. He wasn’t born into nobility; he was a carpenter. He was despised among his people. Although he was infinitely glorious and fully divine, he humbled himself into a rather unimportant (I speak in earthly terms), undesirable man. The world was blind to who he really was. Isaiah 53:2b-3 prophecies of Jesus: “…he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hid their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
This is the most attractive thing about Christ to me: He didn’t choose us based on our achievements, or our abilities, or even our appearance. He chose us for what we are not. Many of his chosen are unattractive, uneducated, unappreciated, unloved, and unwanted by men. Some of our brothers and sisters are impoverished and have nothing by worldly standards. Some of them barely have food to survive. They are plagued with sickness and disease. They have no education, nor hope of one. But these lowly of the world were chosen by God to shame those who are exalted on the earth. The weak and lowly are the ones that God will exalt in His Kingdom. He himself became one of them in order to exalt himself.
When I see the magazines and the televisions shows devoted to following the hottest celebrities, I stand in awe that God does not choose based on these standards. On the contrary, he chooses the low and despised, the things that are not in order to display HIS glory in all the earth. There is no god like our God!