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Certain Bible truths we know but don't see. Alternatively, we can see them but not know them. For example, let’s say you asked the people of Capernaum if they knew Jesus Christ. They would say they knew Him, but what did they mean? There are times and seasons when God chooses to lift the veil for us to see the Bible's truths that can set us free.

I want to talk to you about the power of being ordinary. In Isaiah 53, Isaiah says, “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”

In chapter six, Isaiah had already seen the magnificence of God. He'd been drawn into His presence and worshiped God like you won’t find anywhere on Earth. He'd seen the manifestation of God's glory filling the temple and all of the angelic beings moving in perfect unison with His presence. It caused Isaiah to draw back and declare himself and all of his associates corrupt in body and speech. Isaiah could have started chapter 53 with, “God, I've seen your glory personally and have been touched by your power, but how you've chosen to reveal this on the earth is so ordinary. Who will believe it? Who will find the strength that you've chosen to reveal through your Son Jesus Christ?”

History shows us that sometimes, in the flurry of religious activity, God’s words can get lost. In 2 Kings 22, when King Josiah set out to rebuild the temple, one of the workers ran to him and said, “Hey, we found the Word of God when we were repairing the house.” Why can't people see God’s presence when it’s right in front of them? Perhaps everyone wants to be something, and no one is willing to be ordinary. They lose sight of God because they allow their imaginations to take over and think God will do something in a glittery way.

In the gospel of John, 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” But in 1:10–11, the scripture says, “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.” These are people who lived and breathed the coming of their Messiah. They were given an incredible promise to become a blessing because of God's presence through the people, but they couldn’t see. Isn't it true that when you came to Christ, you began crafting your vision of life? Did you read the Bible in the context of what you thought your life should be? We don't rise above our self-view, and we become discouraged. As it turns out, we're ordinary.

Matthew 13:54–57 says, “When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, ‘Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?’ So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.’” God's plan offended the people because they thought being a carpenter was an ordinary job. They said there's nothing royal or noble about His family, and at this point, they believed He came from a single-parent home.

Interestingly, there is no record of Jesus’ appearance. If you look at other people God used in scripture, you get a description of how they look. Saul was head and shoulders above the people with a bright countenance, David was handsome, and Esther was beautiful. I sometimes wonder if people found it hard to write down Jesus’s appearance because it was ordinary. Isaiah said, “He's like a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness.” The disciples were offended that God didn’t make His Son shinier.
Have you ever looked in the mirror and asked, “God, surely you could have done better than this?” Have you thought you should be taller or thinner? Our culture praises sparkly bags of bones walking down red carpets, even though we do not know where they go when they die. We don’t need to look like or be like celebrities. God didn't make a mistake when He made you. He made you exactly the way you are supposed to be. We are called to be ordinary.

Philippians 2:5–9 says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

Jesus was, and is, fully God. He could have manifested His presence on the earth any way He chose—He chose ordinary. Nothing would draw you to Him; there's a reason for this. It wasn't just happenstance. God made Himself of no reputation. Not His job, family, lineage, appearance, or even the house that He lived in stood out. He has no form. He has no cleanliness. When we see Jesus, there's no beauty that we should desire. Yet, the way God chose to reveal Himself is the place where His power would be made known. God chose to reveal Himself as an ordinary, nondescript man. Jesus was equal to God. If His appearance was equal to God's, He could have had such glory upon Him that everywhere He walked, people would've fallen to the ground and said, “This is God's Son!”

After Jesus was raised from the dead, the scripture shows He appeared in three distinct forms. At least in these instances, He was not recognized as Jesus Christ. After He was raised from the dead, He was to be recognized by the presence of the Holy Spirit within whatever form He chose to occupy. First, in John 20:15, when Mary went to the tomb to find the body of Jesus, she saw a man and supposed He was the gardener. This sighting is the first post-cross appearance of the resurrected Jesus Christ on the earth. Still, the power of God is being manifested through the ordinary. Jesus continued work on the earth in these forms, like our ordinary nature. He speaks tenderly and comforts a broken-hearted woman as the scripture says He will Luke 4:18.

Second, in Luke 24, two men are on the Emmaus road. They're going away from the place of their calling. They're leaving Jerusalem discouraged and disappointed. They thought they had a vision of what the Messiah would do, what He would look like, and what He would accomplish. When it didn't happen, their hopes died. This discouragement often occurs with people in the church today. You have a vision of your life, how this relationship with the Messiah will pan out, and it doesn’t. You become disappointed and leave your calling like these men on the road. You don't even realize you're walking away from God's incredible calling in the ordinariness of who we are made to be. We're not all called to be super Christians.

Jesus walked with these men on the Emmaus road, and they didn't see him. He hid His identity and became a traveler. As He walked with them, He began to open the scriptures and set them free from wrong thinking. Part of what God has called me to do today is to help free people from wrong thoughts about God and their lives. Maybe you have a particular thought about how this whole Christian experience is supposed to play out, and you're walking away from God's high calling.

Lastly, in John 21, Jesus appears as a cook. Verses 3–4 say, “Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We are going with you also.’ They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night, they caught nothing. But when the morning came, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know it was Jesus.” Jesus was an ordinary man, putting fish and bread on coals and cooking breakfast for discouraged believers. He combined a word of encouragement with kindness. When Jesus asks His disciple Peter if he loves Him, I think He is asking if Peter is offended by Jesus being ordinary. Are you offended at what the risen Christ looks like? Are you offended by where the power of God is found? Does this offend you, James and John? Are you still wanting to sit at God's left and right hand? Are you still lusting for seat titles and power? If so, you won't find the power of God.

Jesus said I'm going to have an ordinary body on this earth. There will be cooks, gardeners, travelers, and factory workers. There will be people at the unemployment office. Not many who are mighty, noble, or royal are called. God chooses the foolish and weak of the world that are despised and nothing. We are the body of Jesus Christ. We've known, but we've not seen it. When we see it, there's a rejoicing that gets into our hearts. You say, “God, thank you for putting me exactly where I need to be! Thank you for making me exactly as I'm supposed to appear!” We are called to walk among the people. The power of God is found in the ordinary.

We think the power of God is casting out devils and laying hands on the sick. How about the power of cooking for somebody hungry? That was the risen Christ. How about encouraging travelers in this world who've lost their way and lost their hearts? What about offering compassion for those with bruised hearts? Jesus was sent to release the captives, set free the oppressed, and give sight to those who can't see a way forward. He’ll sit with all of them.

Jesus is ordinary because He was identifying with you and me. We're the body of Christ. We are the nondescript people through whom God is manifesting His power. As long as we're still lusting to be other than what we are, we'll never know the power of God. We always walk around with our heads down. We walk around apologizing for who we are. We walk around wringing our hands, discontented, and feeling like failures, and the reality is we are everything that God ever intended us to be. Yes, our inner man is being changed. Our characters are being formed, but we are in these containers.

Many people knew Jesus but didn't see Him. They didn't see God standing before them, and today, people in Christ's body don't see God's presence. They don't understand the purpose of God because they're not superhumans. The truth is, we are who God intended us to be. He wants us to love who He made us to be. God wants us to love how He made us and who He is making us into. God made Jesus ordinary so we can see Him when we look at ourselves in the mirror.

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