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Something Beautiful_Mumbai 2018

Mumbai Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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HEBREW ideas of beauty

not Greek, that was outward of physical. in OT beauty as an outward thing attached to a human is infrequent.
God and his creation are said to be beautiful, his attributes and regality, his reign, and Israel as a nation, his Ways and Plans are said to be beautiful or glorious, but MEN...men are like grass, says Peter and our beauty is fading like a field flower ,
Physical beauty is rarely mentioned in the OT, and when it is, it is as a characterization, not a characteristic...
: beauty fleeting
. Beauty of the King, God is the King
Israel is beautiful
Gods plan is beautiful
Gods People (plural) are beautiful
. Fallen Jerusalem is lamented for her loss of beauty
Gods beauty leads to our salvation, itg is not our beauty that saves us and this is not why God saves us, we are saved by his beauty , because of his beauty.
Womanly Beauty in Biblical Texts
Women and Beauty in Scripture
When women are described as physically beautiful in scripture, it has consequences, (Sarah: Abe Lied about her beauty, Jezebel "painted her face", women of questionable moral character are portrayed in the Proverbs as "captivating" but in a dangerous way, not a holy way, Bathsheba "beauty" was what David was drawn to...as the classic example.
Hebrews saw beauty as ultimately something that GOD defined, not the EYE of man. Beauty was NOT in the eye of the beholder, but was in the EYES of God

The Temple Complex was Designed to reinforce cultic norms

(204) Now the magnitudes of the other gates were equal one to another; but that over the Corinthian gate, which opened on the east over against the gate of the holy house itself, was much larger; (205) for its height was fifty cubits; and its doors were forty cubits; and it was adorned after a most costly manner, as having much richer and thicker plates of silver and gold upon them than the other. These nine gates had that silver and gold poured upon them by Alexander, the father of Tiberius.
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The Rhetoric of Ridicule

Ancient perceptions of disability:
The way the world beats us down, takes away our dignity and self worth. Calls us broken, not beautiful
If I am disfigured, I am no longer beautiful
If I cant do something, then I have no value
If I don’t have any money, then I am of no value
Crippled dancers feature prominently on Corinthian pots, as, for instance, on an alabastron which depicts a padded dancer with clubbed feet who is about to have his leg pulled away by another dancer—to the side-splitting laughter no doubt of the drinkers witnessing this prank. Whether scenes like these were acted out by genuine cripples or by actors taking their parts makes no difference. Evidently the joke was deemed sufficiently amusing to bear frequent repetition in the artistic repertoire, which presumably reflects its popularity at symposia.
The world we live in wants to define us byu how we look, by what we can do, by whether we are pretty, or smart, or useful, or make some kind of contribution...what if all that was wrong, an God saw us a completely new way.
A Man at the gate beautiful, that excluded him instead
Ugly Feet Makes you weak (cultural reinforcement of disability)
Adamantius: likewise, comments on the importance of ankles:
Perfect, solid ankles belong to a noble man, those which are soft and smooth to a more unmanly man and those which are very thin to a cowardly and intemperate man. All those who have thick ankles, thick heels, fleshy feet, stubby toes and thick calves are for the most part stupid or mad. (Adam. 7)
The comments about feet (here the more familiar πόδες) are similar:
Those who have well-made, large feet, well-jointed and sinewy, are strong in character; witness the male sex. Those who have small, narrow, poorly-jointed feet, are rather attractive to look at than strong, being weak in character; witness the female sex. Those whose toes of the feet are curved are shameless, just like creatures which have curved talons; witness birds with curved talons. (810a15–22)
Word group signals weakness, a physical deformity was a spiritual liability, Luke as a medical practitioner knew of this prejudice...he knew how untrue it was

The Kindness of the King

. Mephibosheth always ate at the table of the King
Davids relationships with Jonathan made this possible, and his mercy to Saul.
Mephibosheth calls himself "dead dog" as if that were a common title used of those with disabilities. Crippled by sin, but God lets us in...
Walking like a man!
David shows us what it means to be kind, to love those from whom we cannot get anything. Those who need us.
Compassion Drove Action
The law permitted him to do otherwise, BUT his conscience and his heart kept him from living by the rule of the land, He had a heart over-ride.
Culture did not dictate; his compassion dictated his action
The Name of Jesus Heals when nothing else will do
Money cannot fix our problems
Money cannot make us well, or whole
Money gives the illusion of security, but only Jesus can heal

An Eye for Beauty

Big Idea: God sees beauty where we see defects. God heals the ugly and brings us into his presence.
Beggar, crippled, ugly, prohibited access to temple and life of community.
Sitting at gate called Beautiful: Corinthian Bronze gate, largest, faced East toward court of women and Gentiles. Only gate that was not gold and silver plated. (irony) This was the gate most familiar to those that were restricted access.
Peter and John; “no silver or gold, but you can walk”
Healing made him able to walk through the Beautiful gate, access the worshiping community.
Silver and Gold did not help. Only the Name of Jesus can make the ugly a thing of beauty.
Beauty and value are not the same things. God sees value in that which is not pretty and God sees beauty in that which is offensive to us, because he sees us through the eyes of Jesus!

Final Remarks

1: You are Beautiful, whatever your situation. God sees beauty in us and wants us to be close to him, to enter into his gates with thanksgiving, so to speak. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, in this case, God.
2: The Name of Jesus is filled with the power to heal and to transform. It is His Testimony and his story that heals and transforms.
3: Becoming Real is messy business. Getting better is not instantaneous. Salvation happens in a moment, but transformation takes a lifetime and we have moments of great ‘ugliness’ in that process.
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