Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Face of Jesus

We see so many illustrations of what artists think Jesus might have looked like, and I don’t know if there is a divinely approved version out there. Rev. Jay, can you weigh in with a theologically correct answer here?

Touring museums in Italy, I saw many Madonna and child paintings. There was a common element almost as if the Church had its own graphic design standards manual. More modern thoughts on the question can be found at Web sites such as Tom Brown Ministries where he answers that Jesus looks like an artist’s version based on the Shroud of Turin. This he bases on a vision he had one day at a nursing home.

Beliefnet covers the question with “Images of Jesus Through Two Millennia.”

The reason I thought of this was that I came across a 1940s print of one such artist’s view of Jesus. Here’s the little story behind how I acquired this. I had searched for picture frames to repaint for some of my paintings and came across Jesus at a flea market one Saturday. The seller priced the frame right but wanted to know what I intended to do with Jesus when I explained why I was interested in the frame. He added, “Please don’t throw Jesus in the trash.”

And that dear gentle readers is why I still have this image. I just don’t know what to do with Jesus. Yeah, I’m superstitious. I’ll admit it. Anyone out there interested in receiving Jesus, may e-mail me and I’ll send Jesus to you.


Lorelei said...

"Please don't throw Jesus in the trash" is one of the funniest things I've heard in a long time. Maybe you could decoupage Jesus onto a coffee table and sell it at a flea market.

KJ said...

Hi Sheila!

Based on the people group Mary came from, there is evidence that Jesus had much darker skin. When Caucasians got hold of His image, they clearly began to bleach His appearance. I am prepared for a much darker Jesus. This may not sit well with some, but it's fine with me.

Also, I love your hubby's Disneyland/bomb-shelter experience. I laughed because we live a few miles from Disneyland and we always know when it is 9:30 PM because the fireworks thunder. I am sure that the display is even much bigger now than it was in the 60's, but it is loud! I can just imagine the panic his mom felt in that era! Thanks so much for this story!


Jay Croft said...

(Third attempt to post; hope this is successful.)

KJ is correct, of course. We don't know what Jesus looked like. He very probably had darker skin than the Sunday School pictures we're so used to.

However, it doesn't matter. Theologically he belongs to us all, and we belong to him. So, whatever makes us "connect" with him in some way, is valid.

Every year at this time the Washington Cathedral displays a portion of its huge collection of Nativity sets from around the world. It's fascinating to see how different cultures portray this subject.

Sheila said...

The seller was quite adamant about what I was to do with Jesus and I do try to keep my word.

Thanks for your answer. I guess I was asleep during Sunday school or too full from oatmeal cookies and Hawaiian Punch during vacation Bible school to remember anything.

Rev. Jay,
I love your answer as I suspected I would. Yes, I would imagine the Washington Cathedral displays are wonderful.

Sorry about the trouble posting. I reckon Blogger was sluggish.

floridagirl said...

I would be happy for you to send me your Jesus. I have several different versions around the house and am also superstitious- shouldn't throw away Bibles or pics of Jesus (if you ask me)
I will give you my address if you are serious about finding a new home for Jesus. :)

Sheila said...

You can click on the e-mail button on the left and I'll send Jesus to you. Put something like, Interested in Jesus so I'll know it's not someone selling Viagra.

Marion said...

I'm glad you're sending Jesus to Floridagirl. The figure of Jesus as shepherd is one that is familiar to me...I think it was the first image of Jesus I ever saw.

I would have kept it, as well...there's something wrong about throwing Jesus in the trash!

Sheila said...

I mailed the package yesterday. I hope Floridagirl is not disappointed but Jesus is a little worn and not in the best of shape.

floridagirl said...

Well, then Jesus sounds a lot like me- a little worn and not in the best of shape! He'll fit right in in my house. :)
Thanks so much for sending the package and Merry Christmas.

floridagirl said...

When I returned yesterday from visiting our daughter and her family, my envelope was waiting for me with the picture of Jesus inside--thanks so much! He will soon get a nice frame and be hung for all to see. The picture is in pretty good shape considering it's age. Thanks again!!!!