Life-Study of Markby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
This message is a continuation of the introductory word in our Life-study of the Gospel of Mark. We have seen that this Gospel portrays the excellency of Christ’s virtues in His humanity as a Slave. The Gospel of John presents Christ as the God-Savior, the Gospel of Matthew presents Him as the King-Savior, and the Gospel of Luke presents Him as the Man-Savior. But the Gospel of Mark presents Christ as the Slave-Savior. Therefore, the subject of this Gospel is the Slave of God as the Slave-Savior of sinners. First we shall see the Lord as a Slave of God and then as the Slave-Savior of sinners (10:45).
In this message we shall concentrate on Isaiah’s prophecy concerning Christ as the Slave of Jehovah.
Isaiah 42:1 says, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth.” Jesus Christ, the Slave of God, was God’s choice from among billions of human beings. Because He was God’s choice, God delighted in Him. Hence, He became the delight of God’s heart.
Isaiah 53:2 and 3 say, “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” If you read chapter two of the Gospel of Luke, you will see Christ growing up like a tender plant and as a root out of dry ground. The Lord was raised in the home of a poor carpenter in the despised town of Nazareth and in the despised province of Galilee. This was the fulfillment of the dry ground in Isaiah.
The Lord had no form or comeliness, no physical beauty, that He should be desired. Rather, He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, who was acquainted with grief. The Lord’s life was a life of sorrows and of grief.
Concerning the Lord Jesus, Isaiah 52:14 prophesies, “As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.” This indicates that the Lord’s appearance, His countenance, was marred. The word “marred” is a strong word and indicates that the Lord’s visage was somewhat damaged or disfigured.
Many years ago a certain artist painted a portrait in which the Lord is depicted as a handsome man. That portrayal is altogether false. Nevertheless, a great many Christians have a copy of that portrait in their homes. While I was traveling in central China in 1936 doing the work of preaching the gospel, I encountered a case of demon possession related to this picture. A young woman had become demon possessed, and those who were trying to help her referred the case to me. I told them that, for the most part, demon possession is due to the worship of idols, and I asked if there were any idols in her home. They told me that there were no idols. However, there was a copy of that well-known picture of Jesus. I told them that the picture was an idol and that they should take it down and burn it. After the portrait was burned, the demon left that young woman. To have such a picture of Jesus is altogether contrary to the Scriptures. My purpose in relating this story is to point out this fact. According to the Bible, the Lord Jesus did not have a handsome face. Rather, His visage was marred, disfigured.
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