When Jesus was baptized by John at the Jordan River, the heavens opened as Jesus came up from the water. The Spirit confirmed His identity: “This is my Beloved Son with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). The Spirit also confirmed Jesus’ identity on Mount Tabor. Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John. They saw Jesus in context with Moses and Elijah. They had the privilege to see Jesus in all His beauty. “Out of the cloud came a voice which said: ‘This is my beloved Son on whom my favor rests. Listen to Him’” (Matthew 17: 5).

Jesus Christ is the most beautiful person who ever walked the face of the earth. He is the Son of God, the Holy One of God. The challenge of faith is to know Him and appreciate Him. This is key to the reading of Scripture. Clearly, what Jesus has to say is important. His words are words of life. But the real key to praying with Scripture is to appreciate the person of Christ. When He speaks He is not just speaking to the people of His time; He is speaking to us. This is the living word of God. So, first, we might picture the scene and put ourselves in the scene. If Jesus is speaking to a crowd, be in the crowd. Even where you place yourself may be revealing to you. If Jesus is speaking to an individual, be that individual and allow Him to speak to you. It is important to go beyond the words He speaks to meet Him, Jesus Christ, the most beautiful person who ever walked the face of the earth. Listen for the tone of voice and you will hear welcome and mercy. Look into the eyes of Christ and you will see gentleness and compassion.

A very good instance of this is found in John’s Gospel, chapter eight. The Pharisees drag a woman into the Temple before Christ and accuse her of adultery. Jesus challenges them and they leave, recognizing their own sinfulness and thus, their hypocrisy. Now the woman is alone with Christ. She is probably more afraid now since He seems to have some authority. Will be condemn her, banish her, punish her? Listen to the tone of voice as Jesus says: “Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir” she says with her eyes cast upon the ground. Or perhaps there was something in His tone of voice that enabled her to lift her head and look at Him. She now looks into the eyes of gentleness and compassion as He says to her: “Neither do I condemn you. You may go. But from now in avoid this sin.” No judgment, no condemnation; simply words of mercy and compassion.

Yes, Jesus is the most beautiful person who ever walked the face of the earth. Why would you not want to get to know Him?

May the Lord give you peace.

Rev. James M. McNamara