What do you think Jesus looks like? Would you recognize Him?
The gospel is full of stories of those who did not recognize Jesus.
Those who were anticipating the Messiah’s birth never expected to find Him in a manger.
John the Baptist never knew his cousin was going to be revealed as The One for Whom he had prepared the way.
Peter and Andrew never expected to go to work one day and be called to leave their nets by The Son of God.
The woman at the well was expecting her savior to come one day, but not this day. A thirsty stranger who asked her humbly for water and then offered to give her Living Water was not what she expected.
Zacchaeus just wanted a good view of this man everyone was talking about. He never expected Jesus would even notice him, much less know him by name and want to come home with him.
The woman condemned for adultery never expected a man to defend her. She never anticipated He could not only defend her, but He could forgive her and free her from her sins.
Peter thought he knew Jesus, but until that special day, he never recognized Him as The Son of God. He never knew Jesus could or would give him The Keys to The Kingdom of Heaven.
The disciples never expected Jesus to come walking to them on the water. They thought He was a ghost!
Herod and Pilate never expected the strange man who polarized their world to be The Promised Messiah. They could only see Him through the lens of their preconceived beliefs and He didn’t fit.
The men crucifying Jesus were used to the dirty job of torture. They had seen such suffering up close. But this one was different. They didn’t know they were in The Presence of One they could not kill. And they did not know His Blood was making them clean, as He forgave them.
The thief ever expected to meet The King of Kings and Lord of Lords in such a tormented hell as being next door neighbors on a cross. He thought he was headed for an even worst hell. And yet on that very day, he went to Paradise with his new friend.
Mary knew Jesus very well. She certainly would have been able to identify Him anywhere. But, in her grief after His Death, she thought He was the gardener. He was! Jesus had told them earlier, “I am The True Vine and my Father is The Gardener.” And then He called her name … and she knew.
Jesus said to Philip, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me?”
Jesus could say the same thing to us.
He has always been with us, is now and shall ever be.
Look in the mirror. Look into the faces of all those around you. We are all created in His Image! He lives and because of Him, we also live!
“Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live!”