Biblical Interpretation from Someone with no Training in Biblical Interpretation
Alright, confession time: I’m fairly judgmental of people I see as unattractive. Not in a, “Wow, that person must be bad” way but in a, “Wow, that person is really ugly” way. This is totally not cool and I know it. Heck, it’s not like I’m even that attractive either. My pastor as been fairly consistent in calling everyone beautiful but I’ve never really gotten it. Finally, the Holy Spirit taught me that I’m not seeing things right; everyone is beautiful, at least from God’s perspective –even you!
First off, you are made in God’s image. The Holy Spirit makes sure we know that by putting it right at the beginning of the Bible in Genesis 1:27; “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” If that’s the case you must look good, because God is perfect. “But what about sin’s effect on the world? Surely that has marred our appearance as it has scarred our hearts.” Keep in mind though, reader, that creation was before the fall, and everything was perfect then; as it is written, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning – the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31). This means that the human “mold” was designed before sin came into play. But, it is true that sin came and messed everything up in this world (tangent: Did you know there’s a bird that drinks blood?). Now, even accounting for sin’s world-scarring abilities you have to remember that the devil can’t do anything to you without God’s permission. Both times when the devil tried to mess up Job’s life, he had to ask first. Let’s check out one of these exchanges:
“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has and he will surely curse you to your face.”
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”
Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord (Job 1:9-12).
After putting his life through hell, Satan later asked to be allowed to ruin Job’s body too, this also was approved by the Lord; meaning he kept a close watch on Job when it happened. Surely all of the devil’s effects on us are regulated by God.
And even if the devil was present in your creation, so was God. According to Scripture, every person is handmade by the Lord in the womb no matter what the circumstance of their birth was. That’s why David was able to proudly proclaim,
For you created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well (Psalms 139:13-14).
We know that God’s works are wonderful, and therefore if you are a work of God, then you too must be wonderful in his eyes. Ephesians 2:10 puts it this way, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We are the Lord’s craftsmanship, created with a specific goal in mind. Check out the example of Jeremiah,
The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
Before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:4-5).
Jeremiah had been called before birth to be a prophet; but you too have a call on your life, set up before the Lord even made you. God made you himself, planned a purpose for your life, and gives you hopes and dreams to put you onto the right path. In his eyes you are a beautiful and wonderful work of art; designed exactly for what you’ve been called to.
And now, as a follower of Christ, you are the Lord’s temple. The Bible tells us, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). The Temple was a large and magnificent building that housed the Lord. You too, upon accepting Christ as your savior, house the Lord. Scripture records, “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Notice that Christ isn’t just with you; he is in you, housed within your Temple along with the Spirit of God. Churches come in all shapes and sizes (just like we do); but when they are Christ-centered churches, they glow with his presence (just like we do when God comes into our lives).
You are a beautiful creation in Christ Jesus, and when you give your life to the Lord, you’ll be clothed on high. To the unbeliever (beautiful, but incomplete) Jesus says,
I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes so you can see (Revelation 3:18).
All of these symbolic things come from Jesus (hence the “buy from me” part), and help make us to shine brighter among the rest of God’s creation. By embracing Christ and allowing him into your bodily temple, you will be clothed from on high and be made even more magnificent than you already are. The salvation experience is further shown via clothes in Zechariah 3:3-4,
Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”
Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.”
People say that beauty comes from within- but to be fair most people don’t actually believe that. However, the Bible suggests this is absolutely true.
Well what about birth defects and the like? I don’t know. But what I do know is that God doesn’t make mistakes. Your life was planned, your form designed by the hands of God. You, person reading this article, are beautiful in the eyes of God. And he loved you so much as to die for you so that you may have a relationship with him and have him live within you; only beautifying you even more.