First I have to tell you all that…Jesus wasn’t “white”. I know some of you are wondering where I could possibly go with this post since “Jesus” is universally depicted as a white Caucasian in virtually every artist rendition.
I can’t really say when my mental “vision” of Him changed; I think it was during my late 20s/early 30s, when I exposed myself to many religious thoughts and ideas. During that time of my life, He stopped floating on the ground wherever He went and started walking dusty roads in old-OLD-school Birkenstocks. And even though I was farther away from God than I had even been, oddly Jesus became more…real. That’s when I started to visualize human Jesus, who was nothing like Sunday School Jesus.
Growing up in Sunday School I was taught about the kind and somewhat passive ‘zen-ish’ Jesus with the long skinny nose, soft brown hair and perfectly pressed linen robe that smelled Downy-Fresh. The image was so impressed into me that when the Sunday School teacher displayed the pictures on the felt-board of Jesus getting mad enough in the temple area to overturn tables (Matthew 21:12) I was shocked. I didn’t know ‘that’ Jesus, and I think those teachers enjoyed our strong reactions because we were supposed to imagine the Jesus that carried around lambs and had little children sit at His feet for story time. This is the Jesus children love and want to pray to. He is approachable and nonthreatening. And I must say, I have no issue with this softer and sweet image; anything that is inviting and good for children in developing a relationship with Jesus is okay in my book. But sometimes I wonder if today’s kids wouldn’t prefer “Super-Hero” Jesus more (just a crazy thought, nevermind).
But again, Paul really said it best in 1 Corinthians 13:11 – When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
When I “grew-up” I put away my childhood Jesus and discovered my Jesus. Yeshua; the name I personally use – something about using this name in quiet conversation/prayer, tears and joy is very sacred and special for me. He has very dark skin, hair that is something like short dreadlocks, pretty rugged, is not much taller than me, His feet are street dirty and his kurta is wrinkled (and does not smell like fabric softener).
It’s interesting that so much thought has gone into what Jesus must have looked like. People have study a shroud that He might have been wrapped in, and done amazing graphics and 3D images in an attempt to prove “the face of God”. And it really goes to show that we have a great need to “see” and have proof of who this man, Jesus, was. It really goes to show that “blind faith” is a very hard thing to sit still with. If you Google “What did Jesus look like?” you will be presented 30,900,000results. Amazing. Astonishing. (by-the-way the following were results for like inquiries of the images of other religious figures: buddah = 1,570,000 results, allah = 8,370,000 results —-> Jesus won by a long shot, clearly there is something special about Him)
The simple undeniable fact is that a young Israelite woman gave birth to a baby boy, who would grow up to look like other Israelite boys from the same tribe. And that’s the facts. He came looking just like everyone else. There was nothing about him that glowed, nor was He the most handsome man in the Bible like Absalom (King David’s naughty son). He was humbly human; pimples, body odor and all. A human form. Can you imagine that? Being all powerful and willing to get into the skin of a human. That is REALLY humbling! But there was a special distinction that made Him different from everyone else. I think it was Jesus’ soul that contained God; was God. And maybe if you believe that a soul projects an aura, then He probably did glow (the halo of light so often depicted in religious art…even though real auras don’t look anything like halos) .
Anyways, I think that’s enough of me describing my mental views of Jesus. So as with many posts, let me end this with some music that if Jesus picked on a guitar, sang and made music videos, this could very well be Him…and the words He left us with on that last day. I hope you enjoy this great song by Michael Franti – “Say Hey (I Love You)”.
This one goes out to you and yours worldwide
I say – Hey I be gone today – but I be back around the way.
Seems like everywhere I go, the more I see the less I know.
But I know one thing: That I love you
I love you, I love you, I love you!
If you liked that song… you might really dig this other heart moving song “Hey World (Don’t Give Up)” by Michael Franti too 😀