I don’t like to look at grotesque things, do you? Most of us tend to look away when there’s blood. Some people are gawkers – but not me!
Isaiah speaks of the Messiah in Isaiah 53 as the “suffering servant”, and he tells us that people will reject Him. In Isaiah 53:3 he says, “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and like one from whom men hide their face…” Now that’s amazing, when you think about it! The Messiah was described as One from whom men hide their faces.
The word “hide” is the Hebrew word satar, which means “to hide; to cover oneself; to conceal.”
Have you ever covered your face so that you did not have to look at something that was particularly repulsive? That, in essence, is what people did to Jesus. They hid their faces from Him. Now Jesus was not repulsive to look at – but people treated Him as though He were.
Edward J. Young, the Hebrew scholar, paraphrased the verse this way: “We found Him so revolting to look upon because of the griefs and sicknesses that surrounded His life, that we turned our faces away from Him as though He were stricken with some repulsive disease.”
Our son and his family are missionaries in Slovakia. Some time ago they came upon a tragic automobile accident right after it happened. It had been a head-on collision and several people were already dead. Both our son and daughter-in-law tried to help those who were hurt, but nobody else wanted to get involved. Many people stopped and watched, but they were repulsed by the blood and gore. They were grossed out, so they simply hid their faces.
Now that’s what they did to Jesus because He spent His time with the sick and infirmed. Because He was “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,” they wanted nothing to do with Him. They hid their faces from Him.
So, do you avoid those who are ill or hurting? Jesus doesn’t – He actually seeks them out.