The prophet Isaiah wrote “Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold a land that reaches afar” (Isaiah 33:17). The immediate application in context would appear to be the king of Judah, King Hezekiah, who had worn sackcloth because the Assyrians had besieged the beloved city of Jerusalem. But Jehovah had come to their rescue. He had delivered His people from the cruel hands of the Assyrians. The people would once again see their king clothed in his beautiful royal garments.
However, there is a greater application than the immediate one, and that is the Messiah, the true King of Judah–the true King of the world. The promised Messiah would come from the Jews and they would see the King in His beauty.
And indeed King Jesus did come! John records His coming in these words, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
And, oh, the beautiful things He did when He came and dwelt among His creation.
We see the King in His beauty in the way He reached out and touched the leper who came and worshipped Him, seeking to be healed. (Mark 1:40-41) Mark records that Jesus was moved with compassion for this man with leprosy. His compassion moved Him to place a loving hand upon him. How long had it been since this man had known the touch of a human hand? It was not necessary for King Jesus to touch the leper in order to heal him– it was necessary due to the nature of God. Can you imagine the joy the man felt when Jesus touched him? And then to realize he had been healed! The presence of King Jesus brings joy to those who seek Him.
His beauty is seen in His conversation with a Samaritan woman (John 4:5-29). The woman is truly surprised when Jesus speaks to her. Not only was there animosity between the Jews and the Samaritans, but it was also against society rules for a Jewish man to speak to a woman in public (see John 4:27 for the reaction of his disciples). Many Jewish men started their day with a prayer of thanksgiving that they had not been born a Gentile or a woman. No wonder she was so surprised that this Jewish man would speak to Her. To her wonder and amazement He continued the conversation with her, and she soon discovered that this was no ordinary Jewish man but the longed for Messiah! (vs. 25-29) Do you see it? Do you see how King Jesus breaks down racial barriers? Do you see how King Jesus lifted woman to the honor He had created her with in the beginning? He had created woman with great honor but the Hebrew nation had been influenced by the pagans around them. The King came and lifted woman. He returned her to a place of honor. The King in His beauty shines forth in a conversation with this woman of Samaria! It is certain that she never forgot this day–the day when the Messiah lifted her–the day she saw the King in His beauty.
We see the beauty of the King in His compassion on the blind (Matt. 20:34), on the sick (Matt. 14:14), and on the people because they were like sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34). We see His beauty in His reassurance to His disciples when they were in a ship that was being tossed by the waves because the winds were contrary (John 6:16-20). The disciples were already anxious due to the waves tossing their ship. Now they see someone coming toward them walking on the water. Their fear increases to the point that they cry out. The beauty of the King is seen in the wondrous words He spoke to them:.. “It is I; do not be afraid.”
The wonder of His remark is that He literally said “I AM; do not be afraid.” I AM –the Name by which God revealed Himself to Moses. I AM– the Self-Existent One. The beauty of the King–He offers peace to His disciples in the midst of a troubled sea. The beauty of the King– God is in their midst and He says to not be afraid– I am here.
His whole life as He walked upon this earth revealed the beauty of Deity. He offered forgiveness, peace, and rest to those who would follow Him. His life shone in the darkness. With every step the Light cast out the shadows of darkness.
The beauty of the King shines the brightest in the most unlikely place–a Roman cross. The Creator–the King of the Universe– gave His life for His creation. The cross was cruel and ugly. The King upon it was filled with goodness, love, and beauty. An ugly crown of thorns was placed upon His gracious brow. Darkness was over all the earth for three hours. But the true Light of the world was shining from the cross! Not one word of ugliness passed His gracious lips. In pain, He spoke words of forgiveness to the penitent thief who exhibited great faith in Him. As always, the thoughts of the King were for others and for the glory of God!
The King was buried but the chains of death could not hold Him. Praise God! He burst those chains and reigns forever! The King in His beauty is on the throne. Exalt Him! He is worthy of all praise and all honor and all glory.
He no longer physically walks among us but He is still among His people. We behold His beauty in the revealed Word of God. One day our eyes will see the King in His beauty. To gaze and gaze upon him…to serve and to worship Him. Wonderful Savior! Glorious King!
One thing I ask … to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord… (Psalm 27:4)