Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What Does Jesus Look Like?

Artists from around the world have made renditions of Jesus throughout the ages.  I have researched the appearance of Jesus.  (By research, I of course mean watching the History Channel.)  From this wide <sarcastic voice> pool of research, I have found that no one really knows.

There are conjectures.  There are digital images based off of old skeletons (seriously).  But there are, thankfully, no pictures or even eyewitness drawings of Jesus.  Instead we have the refreshing joy of not knowing what He looked like.  And that, to me, is so wonderful.

Because of the mystery of Jesus' appearance, cultures tend to draw Him as they themselves are.  Some do not like this.  They view it as people molding God to be who they want Him to be.

Not me.  I love that we see Jesus as we are.  It speaks to me of our God being a God to all races.  All cultures.  All people.  He is my God in a personal way.  He lives in me.

So, without further ado, I present to you two Hannah Awards for Best Jesus Pictures.

I will now give out the Hannah Award for Best Jesus Hat.  Hands down, it goes to Mexican sombrero-wearing Jesus.  I love everything about this picture.  It makes me happy all the way to my toes.  Hola Jesus.
On to the Hannah Award for Best Disciples.  This one goes to Chinese Jesus.  Notice his disciples' robes and hair.  Fabulous.  How great is it that a country so bent on censoring the gospel of Christ cannot stop its citizens from loving Him?  This picture makes me want to hug a Chinese Christian.

What about the picture of Jesus that speaks most to my heart?  I had a hard time deciding.  Many pictures show Him sorrowful and slightly anorexic.  Hardly how I picture my Lord and Savior.  I also don't really see Him as having that odd halo/hat thingy.  Seems suspect.

I searched high and low on the Internet for this picture I carry in my heart of Jesus.  I could never quite find the right one.  Probably because the heart picture of Jesus is different for everyone.

While not exactly what I see, this Rembrandt portrait comes pretty close.  He just looks like a normal guy (Isaiah 53:2).  One kids would like.  Real.  Kind.  Thoughtful.  The more I look at this picture, the more I like it.  I want to know this guy.  That is how I think Christ was.  Is.

No matter what image we have of Jesus' physical appearance, His message never waivers.  He is the Christ.  The way.  The truth.  The life.  To know Him is to be changed because of love.

Further reading for the nerd (like myself):  This article (http://christiancentury.org/article/2011-11/faces-jesus) talks about how Rembrandt painted portraits of Jesus.  He used real models that were Jewish.  Both of those things were unheard of and considered almost heretical.  Two of his portraits of Jesus hung in his own bedroom.


  1. Sometimes I wonder WWJW - What Would Jesus Wear? Today, I mean. When he comes back do you think there will be people who don't recognize him, refuse to recognize him, because he's not wearing the white robe/blue sash ensemble?
    Could people follow a Jesus in overalls? Seriously, Jesus was a blue-collar kind of guy. He wore work clothes back then and I doubt the three-piece suit is his thing. Just watch, when he comes back there will be people hung up about his clothes.
    Yes, I think about these things.

  2. When I ws in college with no money, an artist that graduated from Lamar had published a book called "God's Images". In it, an etching of Jesus laughing..always a favorite of mine. I will try to remember to bring it...it is a beautiful book. As I remember, the artist eventually lost his eyesight.Some rough pics are on this link:

    I enjoy your blog...