There’s a story about a Kindergarten teacher who asked a boy what he was drawing. Without pausing to look up, he said, “A picture of God.” The teacher smiled and responded, “But nobody knows what God looks like.” The boy carefully put down his crayon, looked at her squarely in the eye, and declared, “They will when I’m finished.”
Many portraits have been painted by those trying to imagine Jesus Christ for the rest of the world. They have described him through paints and brush in vivid details and painstaking hours of labor in front of canvas. Using men’s’ features of there current societal settings, they endow the image’s with concepts of their own scriptural interpretations.
If the artist decided Christ had long hair because the men of his day had long hair, then wha la! Christ was portrayed with long hair. If every man of certain age in the artist village had a beard; then, so should Christ. If Christ was being drawn by a European, Christ would look European, Black, he would be black, and so it would be with every other feature. He would have to have a staff of course, and a long flowing white robe. His demeanor would have to be one of humbleness and a look of compassion, that would have to be conveyed above all else.
What did Jesus Christ look like? No one really knows, but it’s certain he would look like those around him during his time on earth, not the artist day. No painter of any time period could do artistic justice of an image of Christ because they lack the knowledge of the complete savior. The compassionate forgiving savior will return to this earth with his cloak dripping blood of those that defy his authority as described in Revelations 19. He is described as a husband of the church, a conquering king, and many other ways.
Christ would never be painted in such ways today because it doesn’t fit our template of who we think he was. But we must begin our own portrait of Christ within our minds, and we must begin with the innocence of a kindergartner. The innocence of looking upon something for the very first time in a way we could never have imagined before, though the eyes of a child.
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