What did Jesus look like?
Browse article contents
From the accounts in the New Testament, we gather that several times Jesus slipped away into the crowd and could not be found (Luke 4:30). Matthew 1:1-17 also traces the lineage of Jesus from Adam and Abraham down to his parents, Joseph and Mary. Why is this important? He looked similar to the other Jews living in Israel at the time and thus there was little to distinguish Him from the rest of the crowd. Another fact that sheds light upon what Jesus looked like was his profession. Carpenters worked long hours without the aid of modern power tools meaning that Jesus probably had a muscular build with strong rough hands.
Browse: Where was Jesus Born?
Was Jesus Beautiful?
The Old Testament prophesied in Isaiah 53 that Jesus would not have any external features or beauty that would attract or draw people to Him. Isaiah adds that Jesus would grow up like a plant out of dry ground with no form of kingly majesty. In short, Jesus looked like an average person with no distinguishing characteristics. The crowds that followed Jesus didn’t follow Him because he looked like a rock star or a model. Instead they followed Him because of His words, teachings and doctrine. Jesus’ teachings were not like the leaders of the time, rather He spoke with authority (Matthew 7:28-29).
Additionally, the Bible says in Isaiah 52 and 53 that near the time of crucifixion Jesus endured immense torture both physically and mentally. Isaiah 53:4-5 says that Jesus carried our grief and sorrows and that He was whipped, wounded and bruised for our sins. Imagine what Jesus looked like after going through all of that torture. Imagine the look on His face when the nails were placed in His hands. Imagine the look on His face when the crown of thorns was placed on His head. Imagine the look on His face when He forgave Peter. Imagine the love on Jesus' face when He sees you, over 2,000 years later, and forgives you for all you have done.
The book of Revelation describes what Jesus looks like after ascending to heaven with a glorified body. In two main places, Revelation 1 and 19, John sees Jesus in vision and writes down the following description. Jesus looks like the “Son of Man” who is clothed with a garment going down to His feet and a golden sash around His chest (Revelation 1:13). His head and hair are white like snow (Rev 1:14) and His eyes are like flames of fire (Rev 1:14; 2:18; 19:12). John sees Jesus holding seven stars in His right hand (Rev 1:16) and His feet look like highly polished brass from a furnace (Rev 1:15, 2:18). Jesus’ face also shines like the sun in its brilliance (Rev 1:16).
Revelation 19 also paints the picture of Jesus coming back to earth crowned with many crowns and sitting upon a white horse having a name written upon Him which no man knew (Rev 19:11-12). The vision continues, adding that Jesus will rule with a rod of iron having the name “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords” written on His robe and thigh (Rev 19:16). Revelation also says that the voice of Jesus is like a trumpet and the sound of many waters (Rev 1:10,15; 19:6).
Jesus in Daniel’s Visions
It is interesting to note that Daniel describes Jesus with nearly identical characteristics. Daniel 10:5-6 describes Jesus in the following way:
- Dressed in linen (Daniel 10:5)
- Pure golden sash around waist (Daniel 10:5)
- Body looked like Beryl (Daniel 10:6)
- Face like flashes of lightning (Daniel 10:6)
- Eyes like flaming torches (Daniel 10:6)
- Arms and feet like polished bronze (Daniel 10:6)
- Voice like the sound of a multitude (Daniel 10:6)