‘He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”
Isaiah 53:2 (NIV)
“When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’” Luke 5:8 (NIV)
In the early 1970’s I had the privilege of attending a pastors’ conference in Carlyle, Pennsylvania. A world renowned preacher was the guest preacher.
At the beginning of the first meeting I looked carefully at the men filing onto the platform and tried to determine which one was the famous preacher. I was unable to decide which man it was. How surprised I was when the shortest, most unimpressive looking man got up and started to preach!
As we observe the many paintings made of Jesus over the centuries it is interesting that in every one our Lord is shown as a handsome young man. Such portrayals of Jesus contradict Isaiah 53:2 where we read that Jesus, when He came to earth, would be a very ordinary looking person without any special features to make Him attractive to us.
However, when Jesus did something miraculous the people often became fearful and drew back from Him in dread. The story around our verse from Luke describes Jesus creating a great catch of fish for Peter and the other fishermen. The men had not caught any fish the previous night but obeyed Jesus and caught a great number of them. Peter reacted in awe when he witnessed the power of Jesus over nature.
Our first impression of Jesus may not cause us to be in wonder of Him but as soon as He speaks or acts we should discover ourselves amazed at His work and His teaching.
Matthew 7:28 (NIV) reads,
“When Jesus had finished saying these things,
the crowds were amazed at his teaching,”
Our verse in Luke 5 today tells us that Peter was afraid of Jesus after seeing the miraculous power He possessed. We too ought to be awed and in wonder of Jesus when He does miraculous things in our presence.
The fear of the Lord is not terror rather it is wonder, amazement, awe, and astonishment. Do you have this important reaction to the Lord when you read about Him in the Bible or see His power in creation? It is the fear of the Lord that is the true beginning of wisdom.
May you stand in awe of the Lord as you see His glory in creation, in Scripture, and in providence. Then draw near to Him in worship, love and praise. He calls for each of us to respond to His invitation to come to Him and find all we need for time and eternity. Come, and come today.