Reverend Steve's Christian Website


 What Did Jesus Really Look Like?

Be transformed ...

~ Romans 12:2

Which of the images below is closest to how Jesus might have looked?

Answer: The first is influenced by the art of the Middle Ages and shows Jesus with European, rather than Jewish, looks.

In reality, Jesus must have had Semitic features with olive skin, darkened by exposure to the sun. His hair and beard would have been black, curly and bushy – untrimmed in obedience to the command in the Law [Leviticus 19:27]. The Bible says He was not physically attractive [Isaiah 53:2]. Beauty, in God’s eyes, comes from within [1 Peter 3:3-4].

 

                        

The Bible never gives any physical description of Christ. The closest thing we get to a description is in Isaiah 53:2b, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.” All this tells us is that Jesus’ appearance was just like any other man's – He was ordinary-looking. Isaiah was here prophesying that the coming suffering Servant would arise in lowly conditions and wear none of the usual emblems of royalty, making His true identity visible only to the discerning eye of faith.

Isaiah further describes the appearance of Christ as He would appear as He was being scourged prior to His crucifixion. “His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness” (
Isaiah 52:14). These words describe the inhuman cruelty He suffered to the point that He no longer looked like a human being (Matthew 26:67; 27:30; John 19:3). His appearance was so awful that people looked at Him in astonishment.

Most of the images we have of Jesus today are probably not accurate. Jesus was a Jew, so He likely had dark skin, dark eyes, and dark hair. This is a far cry from the blond-haired, blue-eyed, fair-skinned Jesus in many modern pictures. One thing is clear: if it were important for us to know what He really did look like, Matthew, Peter and John, who spent three years with Him, would certainly be able to give us an accurate description, as would His own brothers, James and Jude. Yet, these New Testament writers offer no details about His physical attributes.
 

Leviticus 19:27 “Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.”

Isaiah 53:2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
 
1 Peter 3:3-4 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

On the other hand, the devil is handsome [Ezekiel 28:14-17].

Ezekiel 28:14-17:

“You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones.

You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.

Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones.

Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.”

The gospel rings true in my heart is because it is the opposite of the way man normally thinks.

Who would have conceived a philosophy where salvation would come through believing that God would come to us as a helpless baby, born in a stinking stable, a peasant among a despised, subjugated people in an obscure land, and would later be nailed up to die like the worst of criminals.

The natural mind is more attracted to youth and beauty, success and acclaim.

But, God’s thoughts are the opposite of man’s thoughts [Isaiah 55:8-9].