What did Jesus Look Like?
As I was walking through the hallways of the church I pastor I noticed a number of portraits of Jesus. Most of them are paintings from the time of the Renaissance and many of them picture Jesus with wonderful blonde hair and beautiful blue eyes and fat white children who also have blonde hair and blue eyes surround Him. Did Jesus really look like this? I have been in a number of black churches and have seen Jesus depicted as a black man with black disciples. Was Jesus a black man? I have also seen many movies depicting Jesus, in most he has brown hair with a well-kept beard and flowing brown hair that is longer than the hair of the other men in the movie. He is very pleasant on the eyes. The latest big screen movie production of Jesus (The Son of God) portrays Him as a very pretty man with flowing brown hair. My wife made the comment that it would be odd for her to watch the movie because Jesus was a bit too attractive. So what did Jesus look like?
Did he look like this Renaissance Blonde Hair Jesus?
Or this Black Jesus?
Or this Blue Eyed Emaciated Jesus?
Or this handsome Vidal Sassoon Jesus?
Or was He more like this?
I think the Bible is pretty clear that Jesus most likely looked more like the last guy. Scripture is clear about a few things in regard to the appearance of Jesus. Jesus was Jewish. Jewish men in his day had dark hair and beards. Long hair was not customary for men. (1 Corinthians 11:14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him). Jesus spent most of His time outside. He would not have been a black (African) man but he would have had dark skin from His frequent exposure to the sun. I think the most important thing the Bible tells us about the appearance of Jesus is that He was not physically desirable. God seems to go to great extremes to make sure there were no external factors that would draw men to Christ. He would be born to a very poor family. He would come from a very small town. He would have access to very limited education. He would not be physically handsome. Jesus did not come to be worshipped for what He looked like. Jesus came to save our souls.
The power of the Holy Spirit using His words to convict the hearts of people would have been the irresistible attraction of Jesus. The hope He would offer as the bread of life, the Living water, and the Way to Heaven would be what captivated the hearts of man.
In a prophesy of Jesus it’s made so clear that the images we use today to picture Jesus in our mind are simply wrong. They are perhaps even idolatrous. Isaiah 53:2 “…he had no form or majesty the we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
When you think about Jesus think about who He was and what He said…NOT what He looked like. Be very careful that you do not make God’s Son into the image that you want Him to be.