Focal passage: Mark 1:1-3, 7, 9-13, 21-28
A child, frightened by a storm, ran to get in bed with his mother.
“Don’t worry,” she assured him, “God is with you.”
“I know,” he said, “but right now I need somebody with skin on.”
Have you ever longed to know how Jesus looked?
We are familiar with other characteristics of Him — His uniqueness, His power to save, heal, and forgive, along with His claimed authority in heaven and on earth. Let’s consider a rarely discussed characteristic — His physical appearance.
Jesus lived before photography was invented. Even had there been portrait painters in His day, wouldn’t they have painted royalty rather than some itinerate preacher from Galilee?
Gratefully, we have a pen picture of Jesus from which all artists have worked.
It first appeared in the writings of Saint Anselm of Canterbury in the eleventh century. Tiberius Caesar in Rome requested Publius Lentullus, then president of Judea, to seek Jesus and report back to him what Jesus was like.
Lentullus replied, “There appeared in these days a man of great virtue, named Jesus Christ, who still lives among us. Gentiles accept Him as a prophet of truth, but His disciples call Him the Son of God. He raises the dead and cures all manner of diseases. He is a man of stature, somewhat tall and comely, with very reverend countenance, such as His beholders may love and fear.
“His hair is the colour of a chestnut full ripe, plain to His ears, whence downward it is more orient and curling about His shoulders. In the midst of His head is a partition in His hair, after the manner of the Nazarites.
“His forehead is plain and very delicate; His face is without spot or wrinkle, beautified with a lovely red. His nose and mouth are so formed as nothing can be reprehended. His beard is thickish, in colour like His hair, not very long, but forked.
“His look is innocent and mature; His eyes are grey, clear, and quick. In reproving, He is terrible; in admonishing, courteous and fair-spoken, pleasant in conversation mixed with gravity. It cannot be remembered that any have seen Him laugh, but many have seen Him weep. In proportion of body He is excellent; His hands and arms are most delicate to behold. His speech is temperate, modest, and wise. A man for His singular beauty, He surpasses all children of men.”
I agree. Do you?