Malcolm Muggeridge in his book ‘Christ and the Media’ in which he was damning critical of the Media, said that the Fourth Temptation of the devil to Christ was to offer to give him a Worldwide TV channel. I doubt that that TV channel would have been a good idea, even if the Media was good per se, because the Truth about the greatest Man that ever lived is that He did not have a photogenic profile, not even to the prophets of more than two millennia ago.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. Isaiah 53:2b
This is a prophecy about Jesus’ appearance. With creation of the cosmos, God created beauty, yet He chose for Himself an ugly profile because I think He wanted to show that He would win people over not through their eyes but through their hearts.
Some theologians say that a credible reason why the Jewish Priests of that age found Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah to be unacceptable is because the Jews were used to having ‘handsome’ and charismatic God appointed leaders. Their Matriarch, Sarah was an astoundingly beautiful lady. Moses was very beautiful even as a kid. Bible speaks good of David’s handsomeness. So the expectation of a handsome and charismatic Messiah was ingrained into the psyche of the Jewish Priests. “How could perfect Man, the Messiah, look so imperfect?” Isn’t it ludicrous that a Man who was to reverse the fall would in His very body be an epitome of the ugly consequences of the fall.
Jewish Priest made the mistake of miss-attributing value to Jesus, our mistake isn’t much different either. We envision Jesus as a 6’2 lean-muscled male with sharp Caucasian features and flowing hair and neatly trimmed beard. In picturing Jesus as a guy who’ll give our most handsome models a run for their money, posterity has done the most disservice to the image of Jesus Christ.
This photogenic image misrepresents what Jesus’s essence is, in the state of His assumed humanity. What made Jesus special was not His pleasing disposition or pleasant looks. He had neither. Jesus Christ’s essence was derived from the ‘relationship’ He had with the Father. The long lonely hours He spent praying to His Father and enjoying His presence is what made Him special in His humanity. When Jesus’ disciples couldn’t exorcize a guy, He exorcized the guy said to the disciples that failed because they did not pray ‘much’.
When Jesus’ Godly value is predominantly envisioned by modern man as being a peaceful good looking dude, and not as a prayerful God who took the form of man to show man how the life of a perfect man should look like, it is not too surprising that many modern Christians too derive their ‘personal value’ from their good-looks as seen by others as ‘religious’ or/and ‘sexy’, suiting ones personality, instead of deriving their value from their prayerful ‘relationship’ with the Father in Heaven.
A regular concerted daily Prayer time is a lost virtue among many modern Christians who pursue their happiness through their eyes, in the TV, rather than through their heart, in the heavenly Relationship. Both the ancient Jews and the Modern folks miss Jesus because they see Him as He is not, through their eyes and not through their hearts. Even God may not help a person who does not find his/her pleasure in prayer.