10 Misconceptions About Jesus: #1 – Jesus’ Appearance

Jesus’ appearance has always been a source of debate. It seems that every people group wants Jesus to look like them, which is understandable. Even Newsweek did a piece about the many faces of Jesus. The article presented a multiplicity of paintings depicting the Son of God in various racial forms. One painting even depicted Jesus a woman.

Wackiness aside, even conservative Christians seem to have some issues with His appearance. At Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Jesus is depicted in a bronze statue with His typical 150 pound frame, long hair, and model beard.

Bronze Statue at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Bronze Statue at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Why is it that Jesus always has the same body?

Notice that Jesus can’t be overweight, because that would be gluttony.

He also can’t be too muscular, because that would be vanity.

He must, therefore, have a 150-160 pound frame with a slightly muscular build.

We also can’t have a tall Jesus. Why not? Studies have shown that tall people come across as natural leaders (Don’t ask me to cite the study. I’m sure it exists somewhere). We can’t have people following Jesus because He’s tall, because that would take away from His character. If you’re going to follow Him, it has to be because He has great leadership skills, not an eligibility to play basketball.

But He can’t be too short, either. I’m not sure why He can’t be short, but it would just be weird. We don’t want our Jesus to be short.

We must, of course, address the beard. The beard is the one area where Jesus is allowed to achieve model status.

A Troxasaurus Beard

A Troxasaurus Beard

In just about every depiction of Jesus, He could be a model for a company selling beard trimmers. It’s never a thin wispy beard or a goatee. It’s never too long, because really, who wants a Gimli as a savior?

Gimli son of Gloin

A few grays are permitted, though giving Him a mature edge. In short, Jesus’ beard is typically flawless.

I wonder if Jesus ever consulted this chart?

gospelgeeks.net

Finally, we come to the hair issue.

If He shaved His beard and bleached His hair, He would make a great surfer. But really? Why the long hair?

gospelgeeks.net

Humor aside, does it matter to you what Jesus looked like?

Here are the few things we actually know about His appearance.

1. He likely had a beard:

How do we know this? Beards were common, as razors and trimmers were not readily available. Moreover, Jews were instructed not even to trim the sides of their beards.

“You are not to cut off the hair at the sides of your head or mar the edge of your beard.” Leviticus 19:27 CSB

Also, depending upon your interpretation of Isaiah 50, it refers to the Messiah’s beard being torn out during His sessions of mockery and torture:

“I gave My back to those who beat Me, and My cheeks to those who tore out My beard. I did not hide My face from scorn and spitting.” Isaiah 50:6 CSB

2. He likely did not have long hair:

Contrary to just about every depiction of Jesus, He likely did not have long hair. According to Paul, it was shameful for a man to have long hair:

“Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him,” 1 Corinthians 11:14 NIV

3. He was likely not an attractive person:

“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.” Isaiah 53:2 CSB

So there we have it. He was a 30 year old, unattractive,  Jewish guy, with a beard and short hair.

We are left with four questions:

Can you follow a guy who was not of your ethnic background?

Can you follow a guy who had nothing in appearance that would make him desirable?

Can you follow a guy who may not have had a model beard?

Off topic, but can you follow a guy who never ate Bacon?

By the way, here’s what Spurgeon said about beards:

gospelgeeks.net

 

10 Misconceptions about Jesus #1: Jesus’ appearance
10 Misconceptions about Jesus #2: Jesus is the same as He was
10 Misconceptions about Jesus #3: Jesus would never judge anyone
10 Misconceptions about Jesus #4: Jesus was a carpenter
10 Misconceptions about Jesus #5: Jesus was pierced through His hands

 

Comments

  1. Hey,

    Loved your article. Hilarious! ^^
    Just one question. Did Jesus wear a sash?
    M
    Cheers,

    Lachie ^^

  2. Richard L Marcus says:

    Jesus Dreams of Chakra Petals

    Jesus dreams of Chakra petals,
    Tao kites,
    Kabala science fiction,
    Upanishad Westerns,
    Santeria romance and
    Agnostic Mysteries of the Universe.
    He can’t help it.
    He keeps them to himself.
    But occasionally
    He’ll forget one,
    In the pocket of a robe,
    From a five star hotel,
    Or at a bar,
    Or on a park bench.
    And it will fall to earth.
    Falling up.

    But these dreams
    Don’t just belong to Jesus,
    Just as they don’t belong
    To Buddha, Allah or Krishna,
    Who dream only of each other,
    Meaning, they dream only of themselves.
    Gods are like that.
    And because they dream for eternity,
    They’ll leave behind their scent,
    Or a number
    Where they can be reached,
    Or highlight reel
    Of the dreams they host.

    You pick up
    Their scent on your walks.
    See their numbers in your dreams,
    Their app on your i-Pad
    You keep it to yourself.
    Fail to mention it to friends
    When they ask if you’re seeing anyone.
    Even though a simple yes
    Would do.
    The silence
    Burns through your palms,
    And pockets,
    Heart and bone.
    You fail to check with somebody.
    Any one.
    Like, maybe, that voice in your head
    Is a good thing?
    That maybe,
    You are the dream vessel
    For the reverie of Chakra petals,
    Tao kites,
    Kabala science fiction,
    Upanishad Westerns,
    Santeria romance and
    Agnostic Mysteries of the Universe.
    Just maybe?

    But because people are watching,
    It becomes too much;
    As if you had something better to do.
    You act
    As if you’ve failed.
    As if it doesn’t make sense
    So you’ll live with it,
    Accommodating all the gods
    Just passing through.
    Who leave a number
    Where they can be reached
    And you find yourself
    Falling up.

    Falling up,
    Even as the petals open,
    Like the palms of your hands open,
    The petals,
    Cupped in the palms of your hands,
    Which you bring close to your breast,
    To your heart,
    Into your bones.
    They burn through you,
    Consuming you over
    And over.

    Maybe that should tell you something.
    That maybe,
    Just maybe
    Christ, Buddha, etc.,
    Even Adi Parashakti,
    Mother of them all,
    Comes from inside you,
    Burning out.
    And what you hear
    In the mournful songs,
    Are the deaths of squandered stars,
    Of a falling brilliance.
    You know: “Stars?”
    Whose light you do not feel for light years.
    Whose heat you do not feel mixing
    With some personal religion,
    (One that names constellations,
    That navigates astral kites on solar winds.
    Navigates; not falling.
    Then falling. Then not falling.
    Like a dream of petals).
    Whose light is a dream,
    Heat,
    That consumes carbon and molecules,
    Sending the fire of the petals’ flames
    Back into its creator as an offering,
    As another dream,
    Or at least another chance to dream.

    Do you hear that?
    Yes. You hear that.
    Can you do that?
    Yes. You can do that.
    Will you?
    Maybe not.
    If you tell yourself
    It’s just Jesus forgetting.
    Does he ever?

    • Richard Marcus

    5230 SW Custer St.
    Portland, Oregon 97219

    (503) 788-9967
    Rmarcus8@comcast.net

Trackbacks

  1. […] In 10 Misconceptions about Jesus: #1: We discovered that Jesus was not a model. He’d probably never heard of ‘Magnum’ or ‘Blue Steel.’ […]

  2. […] 10 Misconceptions about Jesus #1: Jesus’ appearance 10 Misconceptions about Jesus #2: Jesus is the same as He was 10 Misconceptions about Jesus #3: Jesus would never judge anyone 10 Misconceptions about Jesus #4: Jesus was a carpenter […]

  3. […] 10 Misconceptions about Jesus #1: Jesus’ appearance 10 Misconceptions about Jesus #2: Jesus is the same as He was 10 Misconceptions about Jesus #3: Jesus would never judge anyone […]

  4. […] 10 Misconceptions about Jesus #1: Jesus’ appearance 10 Misconceptions about Jesus #2: Jesus is the same as He was 10 Misconceptions about Jesus #3: Jesus would never judge anyone 10 Misconceptions about Jesus #4: Jesus was a carpenter […]

  5. […] 10 Misconceptions about Jesus #1: Jesus’ appearance 10 Misconceptions about Jesus #2: Jesus is the same as He was 10 Misconceptions about Jesus #3: Jesus would never judge anyone 10 Misconceptions about Jesus #4: Jesus was a carpenter 10 Misconceptions about Jesus #5: Jesus was pierced though His hands […]

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