Jesus, Ugly or Handsome?
I was raised in a Greek Orthodox area. In the Greek Orthodox church there are many painting of apostles, angels and even Jesus. But how? And are they accurate? Well I can’t answer that question since the painters say that God showed them a vision, and while I do take that with a grain of salt, what if it’s true? And which version of Jesus are they painting?
You see in Isaiah 53:2-3 it clearly states
“ For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground. He was not well-formed or especially handsome; we saw him, but his appearance did not attract us. People despised and avoided him, a man of pains, well acquainted with illness. Like someone from whom people turn their faces, he was despised; we did not value him.”
So according to this passage, Jesus was ugly, yes?
First mistake is that you took one verse and not the whole context, which is something a lot of people do and end up being incorrect about a lot of things. You see, Isaiah 52 and 53 talk a lot about the unfair treatment the Servant of God will endure before his death upon the Cross. Meaning, torture and pain, humiliation, hate and starvation that Jesus will face during the Passion. In fact, it clearly states in a few different translations that he is well acquainted with illness.
Now you answer me this. Do you think the most handsome man in the world will still be handsome after torture, lack of water, food, pain and being sick? No! He would be hideous and many will be repulsed by him. Get it?
Look, I’m not saying Jesus was amazingly handsome, but he wasn’t ugly either. He was a simple man for one reason. So that the people could focus and follow him for his teachings, obedience to God and way of living rather than his six-pack abs and bulging arms.
Now that doesn’t mean Jesus wasn’t handsome. In fact, I believe Jesus was truly out of this world handsome. Why? Because, the Jesus we have seen and drawn is the Jesus who was man.
A man that was sent on a mission to show the grace, love and mercy of God. To face unbelievable tribulation and judgment from the world. The world wouldn’t attack someone who was perfect in every aspect. So, Jesus, being the lamb to be sacrificed didn’t need to be beautiful on Earth. But what about on Heaven? Where he was his true self?
Well Daniel 10:4-6 describes him perfectly.
"4On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, I was on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, 5 when I looked up, and there before me was a man dressed in linen wearing a belt made of fine Ufaz gold. 6 His body was like beryl, his face looked like lightning and his eyes like fiery torches; his arms and feet were the color of burnished bronze; and when he spoke, it sounded like the roar of a crowd.”
This clearly states that Jesus had a body like beryl. Beryl is a crystal-like mineral of incredible toughness and is the eighth foundation stone of New Jerusalem.
Do you seriously believe God would put an ugly stone in his kingdom? No. Only the best of the best. And beryl was of the best. It also accounts of the tightness of Jesus body. Tight muscles mostly equal a good looking body. And we know Jesus even as human was strong. He lifted a 165 pound (74 nearly 75 kg) wooden cross and carried it himself after days of torture and starvation.
Going with those facts and the description of Daniel AND Isaiah, I can safely say that Jesus, the true Jesus, Godly Jesus, was handsome, while human Jesus wasn’t. He gave up everything to come down as a man. His power, beauty and Knowledge. He was totally depended on God and God doesn’t see six packs or no packs.
Why do I insist on his being at least a simple looking man even in as a man? Because of the famous Hebraic Hyperbole. The exaggeration of a lot of things. In the Bible you will find many exaggerations simply for teaching methods or to get the point across.
But in the end, when one should think about Jesus body, I believe Daniels’ description is the best, for that is Jesus true body, true form.
For he was God long before and forever after he was man.