What did Jesus really look like?
What did Jesus really look like? Many people would love to have a ‘photograph’ of Jesus, because these days what you look like is really important. But of course that’s not possible.
The important thing about Jesus isn’t what he looked like, but who he was – and that had nothing to do with his appearance. But as we get to know Jesus, we tend to build a picture of him in our minds.
One of the prophecies foretelling Jesus’ life says that there was nothing especially attractive about Jesus’ looks (Isaiah 53:2). Judas had to greet Jesus with a kiss in the Garden of Gethsemane to show the soldiers who he was (Matthew 26:49), so he must have looked similar to his disciples. None of the Gospel writers tell us anything about his looks.
However, we do actually have a few clues to Jesus’ physical appearance. Experts in history and anthropology (the study of people and their cultures) believe that Jesus would have been about 155cm (5 ft 1 in) tall, like most men of the time.
Like most people of Palestine, he would probably have had dark hair, dark brown eyes, and olive skin. And, unlike the modern pictures and movies portraying him, he would have had short, curly hair and a bushy beard, because that was considered appropriate for men of the time.
Jesus certainly didn’t look like most of the actors who have portrayed Jesus in the movies. He looked just like an average person of his own culture and time.
But the key thing to know about Jesus’ appearance is that it wasn’t important to his mission on this earth. The message in the mystery of Jesus’ appearance is that he loves you no matter what you look like.
He came to this earth in the flesh and blood of an average person like you and me. Even more than that, Jesus has proven that love for you through everything he did, culminating in his death and resurrection.
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