I will give my answer and then some insight.
We don’t know what Jesus looked like when He was on earth. There is no scripture that gives any information about his size or weight or looks. As a matter of fact we have no idea what He looked like as far as facial features, skin color or hair or even eye color. The most influential and world changing person that has ever lived yet we have no idea as to His looks or size. We have no idea as to the length of Jesus hair, etc.
This is all a fact hidden by the Father. God chose not to have the writers of the New Testament focus on the physical Person of Jesus but they focused on the Person of Jesus.
But some of you may say “I’ve seen His photo or drawing in books and in my Bible.’ No, you only saw the drawing of what a person thinks that Jesus looks like.
The early art focusing on Jesus came out of Roman and Western influence. Jesus was made to look very much like a Western person because the people wanted Him to look like them. This was popularized in modern times by putting drawings etc. in the printed Bibles and children books.
As movies came into being the popular look of Jesus was incorporated into film.
Today it is beyond most people’s imagination to think of Jesus other than in the way He has been shown in art and movies. This Western looking Jesus with blue eyes and well-groomed long hair and trimmed beard dressed in a flowing white gown is indelibly implanted in this generation’s mind.
We must be careful to separate imagination from Bible fact. God chose to keep the looks of Jesus out of the Bible. I do not know why and do not even wonder why God did it this way. As it is people of every color and nation and tribe can identify with Jesus. The nearest we can get to any information on the appearance of Jesus is the following scripture.
“I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.’ (Isaiah 50:6 in the Holy Bible)
Most Bible scholars believe this Old Testament scripture is referring to Jesus. Thus we can know that Jesus did have a beard.
“For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no appearance or beauty; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.’ (Isaiah 53:2 in the Holy Bible)
“Just as many were astonished at you, so His appearance (view) was disfigured more than any man, and His appearance more than the sons of men; (Isaiah 52:14)
The above scriptures are speaking of Jesus and we can only stand in awe of this revelation. We see this view of Jesus and can only weep. The fact is that Jesus was real. He ate, drank and slept and He felt tired. He sweat and he bled and He was real in the Flesh!
I now want to open my heart and life for a moment and let you hear of my time with Jesus at Lake Tahoe on the Nevada-California border. It is now over forty years later but is as real as if it had happened last night.
A SUPERNATURAL WALK WITH JESUS
(An excerpt from “Turned on to Jesus’ published 1970).
I don’t expect everyone to believe this story. I experienced this with a friend who will testify to its authenticity because it goes beyond logic and rational explanation. I have never before mentioned it publicly, not in a sermon, witnessing, counseling or in fellowship with those closest to me. The agnostic will dismiss it as a hallucination. The psychiatrist as auto-suggestion. The lip service Christian will question my sanity. Even the most passionate practicing churchgoer will raise a doubting eyebrow. No matter! I put it before you with pride and humility, unashamed and without apology. These few words of prelude are merely a recognition of the fact in an age of nuclear weapons, space exploration… whatever cannot be tested in a wind tunnel or laboratory or formulated on an engineer’s drawing board is generally treated with skepticism, but the total knowledge of man doesn’t bubble up in a test tube or flow from a slide rule. There are spiritual experiences that pass human understanding… this is one of them.
I had been invited to preach a two-week revival at First Baptist Church , Lake Tahoe , on the Nevada-California border. Reverend Gordon Siler was the dear pastor, Ron Willis was leading the song service and we were all about the same age. One night during the meeting I felt a deep inner need to go to Lake Tahoe to pray. It was an awesome feeling I often feel when God wants to speak to me in a special way. I asked Pastor Siler to go with me, but he said, “It’s too cold. You might lose your voice… why don’t you pray here at the church?”
“No,” I said. “I must go there and pray.” And then I asked Ron if he would go and he agreed.
It was cold when Ron and I arrived at the Mile High Lake . Clear skies revealed the surrounding mountains and their snow-covered beauty. The night was bright and the stars sparkled in their own special way. The snow was deep on the ground with high drifts. Walking along the shore, we began to talk about Peter, one of Christ’s disciples, an early evangelist. We spoke of how the disciple saw Jesus walking on the water and Peter asked Him if he, too, could walk on the water to Jesus. The story is recorded in Matthew 14:28-31 and tells how Peter stepped out of the ship and walked on the water toward Jesus, then became fearful as he saw the boisterous wind arise and he began to sink. “Lord, save me,” he said, and Jesus reached and stretched forth His hand and caught him saying, “Oh, thou of little faith, why did you doubt?”
I have criticized Peter for becoming afraid. Tonight I was admiring him for doing something that no one but Jesus had ever done … he walked on the water!
We reached a snow bank, so we turned around and started back along the shore. Something on the water caught my eye … HIM! He was there, standing on the water! I shook my head in disbelief and turned away. Ron had his back to the lake, and then he looked out over the lake and turned to me.
“Arthur, have you looked out over the lake?”
“Yes, I saw Him too, Ron. What’s happening?”
No words can express my shock and glorious emotion. We both decided to look around at the lights and mountains. We were sure that this was no strange reflected light or a dream or a vision. I wanted to know forever beyond any doubt that what I was seeing was Jesus for real. I had to know for my own sake. I looked again. . HIM , Jesus my Lord, still there – unmistakably there standing on the water, and now He came walking toward us. His garment was bright as a fluorescent lamp, glittering, shining and sparkling, so immaculate and pure that it looked more like silver than white … glory flooded over me.
All awareness of cold, snow, and doubt were non-existent. All of life was now. My spirit leaped, then the most awful feeling of sin and guilt, uncleanliness, possessed me. Ron and I fell to our knees in the snow just at the water’s edge. My head was bowed and I could not look. Lord, how vile, filthy, vulgar and dirty I am. Oh, Jesus, have mercy, wash me, cleanse, me, free me, save me from my vile life. Tears poured, my body shook in agony. I thought my insides would burst open in grief… then peace, glory and brightness filled me. I was clean … an inner glow burst forth inside me. Joy flooded my soul and I was laughing and saying, “Thank you, Jesus, oh, my Lord, I love You. Praise You, all glory and honor and praise be unto You.”
Still on my knees, I looked up … He was coming closer, slowly walking toward us, closer and closer. I felt I would burst with joy, and peace covered me. It seemed as if I was beginning to float out to Him, then He stopped, stood and looked at us. If He had taken another step I think two bodies would have been found on the shore the next morning. Ron and I would have gone to be with Him.
At that moment I understood what death is for the follower of Jesus. It is simply going to be with Him, stepping out of the flesh into His arms, being with Him completely. This is not death; this is everlasting life, exactly as promised in the Bible. I also understood that if I remain a part of this life I would never fear death again. Jesus and the will of the Father was my value. I had been set free from the opinions of men, the secular and religious value system of success and failure. Jesus is everything. You lose interest in earthly values when you have been with Jesus. He was standing only about ten feet away. I could see Jesus clearly as He stood on the water.
In the Bible, the closest disciples of His chose not to reveal anything about His looks, even the apostle Paul saw Him and never spoke of His looks, not even the description of John in Revelation tells us about His real physical characteristics, so if the Bible remains silent, so will I. I have never spoken to anyone of this, but every time I preach, for years now, I look up toward Heaven and I can see Him in my mind. I know why I am there to preach, who is with me, and it is all unto Him. It is like He is the embodiment of all things. I could have stayed forever as He looked at me, then I heard the voice of Ron saying, “Arthur, I think it’s time to go.”
I can’t explain it, but so did I. We stood, tears of joy pouring from our eyes. I was the richest person on earth!
I continued to speak my words of love to Jesus, knowing I’d probably never see Him again until…. With all the strength I had, I turned to walk away… only a few steps; I could stand it no more. I could not just walk away, I wanted Him to bless me …I needed that. I turned toward the waters of Lake Tahoe again, Jesus was walking away. I cried out, “Lord, bless me, bless me.” Oh, I wanted to see Jesus again. He turned toward me, lifted up His hand and looked at me. Wave after wave of His power swept over me and engulfed me. He was passing to me as a gift … more faith, more love, more belief, and more courage. I was speechless. Jesus was blessing me! There is no vocabulary to describe the precious tender moments of that union with Him. Then high above, a cloud began to form. There was a glorious brightness about it … it was like a fog of glory. The cloud seemed to get lower and Jesus rose up into the cloudy fog, then it began to dissolve. not to go away, but to dissolve in the same place. Soon the sky above the lake was clear. Jesus was gone.
Now I give you some scripture about the fact that you and I will see Jesus in Heaven and it will be this same Jesus that walked the earth.
Jesus after the cross and resurrection appeared to the disciples. It was the same Jesus but even in His resurrection Body He had the marks in His Hands and Feet and Side from the cross!
Luke 24:36-40 Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.
John 20:24-27 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
Acts 1:9-11 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee , why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
I think it is clear that Jesus will look in Heaven like He did after the resurrection. The Angels said, ‘this same Jesus’. Then you will notice in the scripture in Revelation Jesus appears as the Lamb slain! I personal believe that Jesus will have the marks from the cross in His Body through all eternity. We will see and know that He gave His life on the cross for our sins and for us. None can or will ever forget what happened on the cross! Oh how Jesus loves you and me!
I John 3:1-2 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face . Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
Revelation 1:5-7 From Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him , even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
Revelation 5:6-14 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain , having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain , and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.” Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!”
Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt