What does the world see when they look at Jesus? They see a peasant from Galilee, a man with a lot of promise but who ruined it all by claiming to be God. They see a man who failed in His mission, and they think we’re stupid for believing in Him.
Isaiah tells us why so few people accepted Jesus. In Isaiah 53:2 he says, “For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.” The phrase, “For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot” is an uncomplimentary analogy.
“Tender shoot” is the Hebrew word yonek, and refers to “a sucker; a shoot, or a sprout.” It is the normally unwanted shoot that springs up from an exposed root of the tree. It’s not wanted – it’s worthless. And it saps the energy from the tree. So we snip it off – we cut it off. It’s a worthless shoot – a little sucker.
Now that’s what the world thinks of Jesus. This man didn’t fit the picture of the Messiah at all. The people were looking for someone who was dominating, forceful and attractive – someone with personal magnetism – with money and prestige. But Jesus didn’t come that way. He came as a carpenter from Nazareth. His parents were “poor folk,” and His followers were unlearned fishermen. They were not the athletes and beauty queens, or impressive politicians of the world. So the Jewish leaders saw Him as unnecessary and pathetic. They cried, “Snip Him off! Crucify Him!” He grew up before them like a worthless shoot – a little sucker.
So – what do you see when you look at Jesus? I see a mighty oak – the Son of God!