Historians, anthropologists and theologians, whether secular or believer, tell us that the flesh and blood Jesus Christ, looked nothing like the image most of us have of him. Unlike the familiar European depictions, Jesus’ hair was not long (Galilean Jewish men wore short hair; it was mandated) and he was not blonde.

So it is logical to  presume that Jesus was dark skinned and dark eyed if he looked anything liked the men of his culture and time–and, according to the Bible, he did. The Bible tells us that he blended in so much that his betrayer, Judas, had to point him out to the soldiers that came to arrest him because he was with his disciples. In other words he looked like they did.

And who were they? Predominately fishermen and laborers.

Jesus Christ was not handsome. The Bible tells us “…he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.” Isaiah 53

He was a carpenter and a wanderer. He walked many, many miles in a harsh, barren environment.

Jesus was poor. The Bible tells us that he was often homeless.

He was a rugged man. A strong man. He carried his own cross after being beaten so savagely that the flesh of his back–what was left of it–hung in grotesque, bloody shreds. It was called scourging, and it was so brutal that many people died during it. Jesus carried his cross until he collapsed. Then an African man was forced to carry it the to the top of the hill Golgotha where Jesus was executed.

Jesus said this regarding the stranger, the immigrant, the alien; those who, like he was, are poor and hungry, who are often sick and imprisoned, who are mistreated and discarded; those who, ironically, look like he did:



“Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,you did it to me.” Matthew 25