Well we know what he didn't look like. We know he wasn't European because he was born in the area known as the middle east, the part that's less than a hop, skip, and jump from the African border.
One of the other things we know is that Judas kissed Jesus to identify Him for those that wanted to arrest Him. From Matthew 26: 47-56
While He was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, suddenly arrived. A large mob, with swords and clubs, was with him from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 His betrayer had given them a sign: “The One I kiss, He’s the One; arrest Him!” 49 So he went right up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.
50 “Friend,” Jesus asked him, “why have you come?”[a]
Then they came up, took hold of Jesus, and arrested Him. 51 At that moment one of those with Jesus reached out his hand and drew his sword. He struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his ear.
52 Then Jesus told him, “Put your sword back in its place because all who take up a sword will perish by a sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot call on My Father, and He will provide Me at once with more than 12 legions[b] of angels? 54 How, then, would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?”
55 At that time Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs, as if I were a criminal,[c] to capture Me? Every day I used to sit, teaching in the temple complex, and you didn’t arrest Me. 56 But all this has happened so that the prophetic Scriptures[d] would be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted Him and ran away.
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+26%3A47-56%2CMark+14%3A43-50%2CJohn+18%3A3-12&version=HCSBIf Jesus had looked different than his Galilean Semite disciples, He'd have been easy to pick out. There wouldn't have been a need for Judas to kiss him, as pre-arranged, so that the cops could pick him up.
|If Jesus had a Facebook account, this could be his profile picture. |
So says Richard Neave,
a medical artist famed for reconstructing legendary faces from antiquit
If Jesus had been white and standing out from the disciples, He probably wouldn't have been able to move freely to talk to anybody, anywhere, at anytime.
The appearance of Jesus clearly isn't as important to his message. But the effort to whiten Jesus is important because it indicates a lot of white Christians haven't gotten his message and are willfully trying not to get it.
The resistance to Jesus' likely appearance is important because it's signifies an inability and/or unwillingness of white Christians to acknowledge Jesus as a middle eastern refugee while also loving Him and worshiping him. This unwillingness to acknowledge white supremacy where there is no active hate is why white racism is so prevalent in the white church and the United States today.
White members of white churches may not understand that their voting for Trump has exposed their belief in white supremacy and their disregard of patriarchal white racism to the people of color and the rest of world. But some white Christian leaders are shocked by their white followers being able to vote for Donald Trump.
Trump Won. Here's How 20 Evangelical Leaders Feel.
Black and brown people, for the most part, are not likely shocked by election of an overt racist heavily supported by white Christians. Black and brown people remember the reason that Sunday Morning used to be the most segregated hour in the U.S. It's called "white racism" not "white working class pain"
Sunday morning would still be the most segregated hour in America if the majority of people attended some sort of religious service.
President Obama being in the white house has brought white racism roaring out from under the political correctness cover with its teeth bared. White people whining about political correctness since Reagan have been telling the rest of us that they believe that anything not white and male or not white and married-to-a-white-male is to be ridiculed, humiliated, or destroyed.
The only people shocked that white people voted for patriarchal white supremacy in the form of Donald Trump are white people. But I have to admit I'm rather horrified that white Christians can take their white racism straight no-chaser. I was sure they had to have it dog-whistle style to go for white racism so hard.
|THE PERCENTAGE OF WHITE EVANGELICAL / |
WHITE BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS VOTED FOR TRUMP
But the thing that never, ever surprises me are posts like the one I saw posted by a white father a few months ago. The man said he was shocked when he showed his little boy this representation of what Jesus most likely looked like and the boy automatically assumed the man was a criminal. He said he and his fellow white Christians had to do better. But there's a 7 or 8 out of 10 chance he voted to keep on teaching his son the same old patriarchal white supremacy.
If Jesus was to come back to earth twenty years from now, looking anything like the image above, there's a 7 out 10 chance this white man's son would shoot Him if he moved his hands too fast during a traffic stop.
White people who can stand the fed-up-ness of black and brown people in the age of Trump are going to need to explain whiteness and white supremacy to white people. Black and brown people really aren't in the mood to patiently explain anything anymore.
We are especially not in any sort of mood to explain the patterns of whiteness to white people who are running around calling themselves a "Christian" in 2016 after they voted for someone who openly despises everyone who isn't white and male or white-and-married-to-a-white-male.
More important than how people of color are feeling about the somewhat expected betrayal of white Christians as a reason for tossing patience out the window is the fact that hiding our true feelings about hating the sin of white racism hasn't done white Christians any good.
Philip Yancey wrote in one of his books, possibly "What's So Amazing About Grace," that he was raised in a white church at the leading edge of segregation. And, before the actual election, he expressed his shock at how white Christians were lining up behind Trump. What he hasn't expressed so far, and neither has any other white pastor except for Jim Wallis and a couple of others, is what they plan to do about the white supremacy being fed, watered, and nurtured in white churches.
I hope they're praying on that this Christmas. I hope they're praying that the next action that they choose to take is the right one instead praying for God to take away the responsibility of freedom of choice -- because their choice to pretend their all white audiences have been constructed out of happenstance instead of the defacto segregation they love has had ugly consequences.
Seven and eight year old white boys can take a likely image of Christ and mistake Him for a criminal based on his skin color and lack of white facial features.
Read More On What Jesus Christ's Selfie Would Look Like