Only as we uncover can we discover. Only in uncovering Jesus can we discover His beauty, and we uncover Him in His lowliness. He meets with us in His lowliness. The beauty of Christ is His lowliness! In order to connect intimately with man, the Son of God became the "Son of man." Jesus humbled Himself and took on clay, and the inward beauty of Jesus was hidden behind the drab exterior, just as the beauty of the ark of God was hidden behind animal skins. "He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him" (Is. 53:2b).
A group of religious people once wined and dined Jesus, but saw nothing in Him worthy of honor, and while these stiff necked white-washed sepulchers esteemed Him not, a sinful woman stood behind Jesus quietly uncovering His beauty (Luke 7:36-50). As she bent low and uncovered the calloused and sullied feet of Jesus (his lowly humanity), she discovered the hidden beauty of the Son of God. "He was despised, and we esteemed him not." While the religious bunch despised him for His lowliness, the new born lover of God washed with her tears the feet of the "Son of man" as she poured out pure love and devotion upon the Son of God. As she uncovered, she discovered.
When John saw Jesus exalted, he fell at His feet as dead, but when He saw Jesus in His lowliness; on His breast he laid his head. There is a glory and a beauty of Jesus in His lowliness, but it's a beauty that must be uncovered. I believe that Jesus loved to refer to Himself as the "Son of man" because it was in this lowly state that he would purchase to Himself those whom He loved. His invitation to the burdened is to "come and learn of me", and the well-spring of that invitation is His meek and lowly heart (Mat. 11:28, 29). It is His lowliness that allows lowly man union with a God who dwells in unapproachable light. His heart is meek and lowly. His heart stoops low to woo and win His beloved. His heart stoops low to give burdened seekers a point of contact, a conduit for intimacy with Christ. The Son of God stooped low and became the "Son of man" in order to win many, and today, as always, the beauty of Christ is hidden from the "Christian" Pharisee and revealed to the "self-UNrighteous" who will uncover His feet. He makes the place of His feet glorious (Is. 60:13).
As Ruth uncovered the feet of her beloved Boaz, she discovered the beautiful and joyful news that the one whom she loved could and would become her husband because he was a "near kinsman". He was a close relative, which made it possible for an honorable Jewish man to marry a poor widow from a despised race, and it was the lowliness of Jesus in the form of sinful flesh that made it possible for Him to marry those of a destitute humanity lost in darkness and sin. However, His true identity must be uncovered. We must uncover to discover. We must uncover the beauty of the "Son of man" to find union with the Son of God. We must uncover the hidden beauty of Christ that ties us to Him in intimacy. Man's loving contact with God is not in doctrine or theory, but in the lowly heart of Christ. Beware ye high-minded, you'll never find God up high. He is ever ill-esteemed by those of Pharisaical mind, but for those who long for their kinsman redeemer; these poor lowly souls still find Him down low. "I dwell in the high and holy place , with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones" (Is. 57:15b).
In the story of Joseph, the son of Israel, we see the beautiful but hidden truth of the "Son of man". Despised and rejected of his brothers, the favorite son of their father, Joseph was sold into slavery yet arose to great prominence and position as a leader second only to Pharaoh in Egypt. Joseph's brothers found themselves unknowingly bowing before their long "dead" brother, begging the sustenance that would save their lives. The brothers saw Joseph as the great leader of the known world; their only hope of salvation, but they were completely unaware of his true identity as it related to them, and most Christians see Jesus as their savior, the great King of Heaven and Earth who is their only hope of salvation from destruction and Hell. Yet, sadly, most will never uncover His true identity as it relates to them. They will never uncover the beauty of the "Son of man"; they will never uncover His lowliness, they will never meet with Him down low at His feet. "...I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet..." (Luke 7:44).
Joseph loved his father and brothers, and would most assuredly give them the supply that would rescue them from destruction, but his love and desire for them compelled him to manipulate and squeeze the brothers to a place of desperation. Joseph longed not just to see his family saved from destruction, but he also longed to have the loving bond of brotherhood and intimacy that he never knew with his brothers; his brothers that had done away with him so long ago. Finally, his brother Judah became willing to surrender his life to Joseph as a bond-servant, laying down his life for his brother Benjamin. Judah became more concerned for his father's heart than for his own well being (Ge. 44:33, 34). When Judah came to that place of surrender, Joseph could restrain himself no longer, but revealed to his estranged brothers his true identity. "Joseph made himself known unto his brethren" (Ge. 45:1b).
"And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt" (Ge. 45:4). Joseph said, "I am your brother. I am not just a prince that can rescue you from destruction. No, I'm much closer to you than you know. I was one of you. I was just a man like you. I feel like you feel, and I hurt like you hurt. I was the beloved of our father whom you did away with so long ago. I am he that was dead, but behold, I am alive. I'm not just a savior in the land. No, I'm your brother that you sold into Egypt." Jesus says, "I'm not just the savior of the world that died for the sins of the world, but I'm the one that YOU wounded and bruised."
Joseph uncovered to his brothers his true identity, and in uncovering, they discovered the lowliness of this great prince. They discovered his humanity. They discovered his mercy that suddenly became greater than just the mercy of a distant and strange ruler who would save them from death. The mercy they discovered was far greater; infinitely greater, because they discovered that the mercy that Joseph was showing them was not just the mercy of salvation, but the mercy of a close relative who was willing to forgive them for the most personal offence; the most cruel and undeserving of betrayals. "Come near to me my brothers, and let me show you who I really am", said Joseph. "Come close brothers and take my hands. I'm the one you did away with so long ago, and I forgive you." The mercy of the "savior" was beautiful not because of what it did for them, but for what he had suffered at their hands.
As the truth began to impact the brothers, they fell at his feet and oh, the shock of the revelation of their own sin, and of their brother's mercy. "Can it be? Can it be that you the great ruler are our brother Joseph?" said one of the brothers as he held him by the hands, kneeling before him in awe. As he looked through tear washed eyes, the brother noticed deep scars on his brother's hands, a trait more befitting a shepherd boy than a great prince. His mind bounced back and forth from the faded memory of a rejected young shepherd boy to the regal prince standing before him. His mind reeled as he bowed low to Joseph's feet where he discovered more terrible scars marring the surface of the beautiful white skin of nobility. "What are these wounds in your hands and your feet?" he asked. "The wounds in my hands are those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. These are my feet that were hurt with fetters", Joseph replied.
As the truth of their brother's true identity gripped the hearts of these men, the truth of their sin against him revealed the wonder and the beauty of his mercy. The true beauty of this great prince lay not in his royalty, but in his humanity: he was one of them.
Joseph's brothers tried to escape the terrible presence of this fearful ruler of Egypt, grateful for the salvation of food in a time of famine. They would have gladly returned to their home to tell friends and family about the merciful ruler who could save them as well. However, Joseph constrained them several times to return to him so that he could finally reveal to them his true identity. Once he did this, his family was free to dwell with him and they had access to all of the resources of this great prince. He would supply their every need.
Likewise many Christians leave their encounter with Christ to spread the good news of salvation to a dying world, having not yet uncovered the true beauty, the true wonder, the true identity of Jesus. These have without a doubt met Him, and have received from His hand salvation. However, they never uncover the hidden beauty of Christ and they never find their dwelling in the presence of the King. For them, Jesus is a far off God to whom they pray and about whom they read or talk. For some, the "Son of man" is "a friend that sticks closer than a brother", a "near kinsman", a "husband", and for them, His beauty is in His lowliness.
One must uncover to discover the beauty of Jesus. To many, He's a savior to save them from destruction. To a few He is a savior, AND the fairest of ten thousand. He is my beloved, my brother, my friend. This is the Lamb of God; the one wounded in the house of His friends. This is the tender plant, a root out of dry ground, despised and rejected of men. This is the one wounded for my transgressions, bruised for my iniquities, chastised for my peace and scourged for my healing. This is the one who bowed so low for me, and his beauty is uncovered down low. "His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem" (Song 5:16). This is the "Son of man".