how do you see jesus?

Posted on June 13, 2011

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i posted this a few years ago on my private blog, and stumbled acrosss it while looking for something else. so here it is for your delight. i’d be interested in any comments on the subject.

i got thinking today about what jesus looked like. there are the usual popular images of him being a tall blonde white man which i’ve never really liked, sorry but they just make me cringe. interestingly the images of jesus being white also depict *everyone* in the painting as white, which just would not have been acurate. then there are the images of jesus as depicted in other cultures – he’s predominantly african in african art. there are images of an oriental christ in eastern art and recently a reconstruction of a skull found from the 1st century also gives us an idea of how people looked around the time of jesus in the area where he lived. could this have been what he looked like? what he really looked like isn’t recorded anywhere (as far as i know), and the fact that he was not ‘created’ by an earthly father makes it even more difficult to imagine what he looked like. i myself imagine that he pretty much blended in with the jews of the time. dark hair, tanned skin, i never imagined that he would look like a foreigner. the other thing is that artists tend to focus on the love part of christ and in their work he ends up looking like a whimp – someone who with one slap would hit the floor. christ’s love is not whimpy, christ’s love is strong and powerful and world changing and true. i think these images of christ have been one of the main stumbling blocks of the christian faith for hundreds of years. what man wants to follow someone who looks like a big girl (no offence ladies). i’m serious. christ was a carpenter for 30 years, he would have been a big strong fella. he had a brother and a load of mates who he hung out with. there’s no way this guy was a softy. jesus challenged authority and spoke out against hypocrisy. he was a revolutionary, a dissident. dozens of guards were sent to arrest him at gethsemane – not one or two, dozens. as if they expected trouble from him. just by knowing the torture he went through you know he wasn’t someone who squeeled like a sissy. jesus was *not* crucified for being meek and mild. this bold image deliberately imitates the style of the well known poster of che guevara.
what did jesus really look like? i don’t think it matters – it’s who he was that matters.
meek. mild. as if. *this* is my jesus.

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