Wednesday, February 10, 2010

100 word wednesday: what does jesus look like...

A wildly famous pastor recently said, I couldn't worship a God who I could beat up. I wonder if this pastor thinks Jesus opened up beer cans with his teeth and drove a V8 truck with exposed chest hair. Why? Because he's the epitome of manliness and expects Jesus to have been the same way.

This got me thinking. If we created an image of God who is like us, this is totemic theology and a slippery slope.

So, what does Jesus look like to you? How do you envision Jesus to have been?

A vegetarian with soft hands who loved children?
A liberal who served up wine when the party got dull?
A beefy leader who overthrew tables to lay the smack down on haters?

What does Jesus look like to you and why?

19 comments:

Lindsey said...

I actually heard that sermon you are talking about and it made me think about how we often have "feminized" God. I had to agree with him as to the hyperfeminizationof Christianity. That is not a bad thing in and of itself...I mean I am a woman and I believe that since I am made in the image and likeness of Christ, He has feminine qualities. I think the problem is that in solely conceptualizing the triune God as a nice, kind, "Jesus is my best friend," lover of kittens and puppies way that we have, we lose some of the reverence for the awe-fulness of God. As a triune God, the same God who is a gentle comforter and who weeps over our brokeness, smote people dead in the Old Testament and is a jealous, warrior God. I believe that God is all encompassing. He is the fulfillment of all that is masculine and feminine and yet outside of those often socially constructed labels. to me, the way to truly magnify the Lord is to possess both the fear and deep reverence that the Bible says we should have for God and also embrace the gentleness and intimacy we can have with Him as well.

Kayla said...

I'm so tired of people bashing him for that comment. I think it's valid, honestly, because I'm truly sick of people who think that Jesus was a pushover and therefore all Christians should be as well. I don't want a God who would cater to everyone's whims- especially mine.

Dana said...

To be honest, Jesus looks like love to me. I don't put Him into this box of what I or other people think of Him. I read about the acts that He performed, the sermons that He preached - and I see love. I see a man who LOVED - no matter His race, machoism (or lack thereof), party attendance, etc. He was, is, and will always be love... to me. If only we saw with our hearts ... nothing superficial would really matter.

Faith, Food and Fitness For Real said...

Thanks to my grandma, growing up Jesus always resembled those cheap statues that her sisters used to bring back from mexico. With his heart bleeding and a look of despair on his face.

The Jesus I know and have grown to love doesn’t look like that at all. I am not sure what he looks like maybe that is why I long to see him. Its funny, my friend will tell me about someone whom I have never met. I immediately form my own visual of that person to look like. When I meet them they are NOTHING like what I imagine. My opinion was formed based only on what I know and hear about them.

My Jesus is gentle yet mighty and powerful that even the waves bow to him! I cant begin to imagine what my Lord must look like. When we come face to face, I bet I will be in awe and think, you are more than what I pictured him to be!

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

I've never had a clear picture of Him in my mind, but I suppose based on flannel graph teaching that he was handsome and had a beard...which is funny because my dad had a beard when I was little and I HATED it. Ha! PS - some may find that photo irreverent, but I flippin LOVE it. : )

Matthew T. said...

Jesus shall be respected and I think it's basically an opinion that everyone has at some point. I think he is there to help everyone. I feel like this image of Jesus and the discussions are going to start arguments that will never end, but in a good way because we can hypothesize on how he really is.

That photo looks cool by the way.

Kati said...

That picture is so fabulous :) I'll just stop trying to think of what Jesus looks like to me, and replace my own mental image with THAT guy. Winking, thumbs up Jesus! What what!

Krystle said...

I totally think that if Jesus were to look at me he'd give me a wink. That somehow he'd let me know how much of a special bond we'd have.

So while some people might find that photo off coloured I think it's totally real.

Anyone have a take on how God is portrayed in The Shack? Love it? Hate it? Insights on it?

Katy G said...

Funny picture...I heard a pastor once say he probably wouldn't have been as fair as he is depicted because he was middle eastern. I think it doesn't really matter what he looked like because of what he did for us on the cross..that's all that matters to me!

Bianca said...

Just to clarify, I really, really, like the pastor I mentioned. I studied his stuff for the last five years and will continue to do so. His comment (and discussion about it), caused my mind to start thinking about the theological implications.

I agree with him. However, he has a biblical understanding that most people don't.

If we're not careful to siphen through popculture, we'll end up with Jesus' we created to meet our conceptions.

Jesus based in scripture: Fun guy who liked social gatherings, talked to the forgotten, loved the lost, chilled with social outcast, stood for clear biblical instruction, defended the weak, loved the poor, sacrificial leader, advocate for spiritual rectitude, enforcer of the "smack down" for shiesty swindlers in the temple, bible scholar, miracle worker, friend, and son.

Kayla said...

HAHA. "enforcer of the "smack down" for shiesty swindlers in the temple" should be copyrighted.

Emilio Espinosa said...

He probably looks like a man. He probably looks like an Israeli, cause that's where he was born and the people he was born to. He grew up around a carpenter father and probably helped him, so he was probably fairly strong. He was physically fit from living a simple life of labor, and this is backed up by how he endured the cross. His manner is plainly described as being gentle when necessary and intense when necessary. He was never mean or rude just for the sake of being so, but he could dish it out as readily as he could take it. isaiah said he wasn't particularly handsome, nor that he had any characteristics that made him stand out; Judas had to go up to him and kiss him so that the Roman soldiers could differentiate him from the disciples. He was wise - he surprised even scholars with his understanding of life and scriptures - and he was kind - he called little Zaccheus out of a tree to have dinner with him and scolded the disciples when they wouldn't let the children come to him. He liked to live life - he and the disciples went to the wedding at Cana because they were invited. He held up the traditions of his people - he quoted and taught from the scriptures and from Rabbinical tradition - and he knew how to have fun when appropriate - he turned the water into wine, not milk. He was lovable - people invited him to join them, prostitutes and tax collectors enjoyed his company, children couldn't stay away, the disciples were fiercely loyal to him (to a fault even).

What he looked like and what he was like as a person are pretty clearly presented in the scripture. What he symbolizes to each of us is a matter of each person's heart. Too many people confuse these two ideas.

Tammy@If Meadows Speak... said...

I picture HIM with arms big enough to hug a whole world, Love deeper than any ocean, intense beauty only seen in the heart, and a King, Father, Bridegroom rolled into one. I look at Him from the heart, not the eyes. So I can't help ya with visuals. ;-)

Kayla said...

Emilio Espinosa - I LOVE what you shared. Thank you!

Love you B.

Anonymous said...

I am in the book of John so the picture I am getting of my Jesus is that He is meek but not a push over. He is Someone who came declaring the Truth but was highly rejected. Reading John and some study notes are showing me HE IS VERY WISE and I do find Him humorous in some instances!! I love Jesus!! Jesus loves YOU!!

The Montgomerys said...

Your Jesus based on scripture breakdown was AWESOME, I love it.

I often thing about how Jesus isn't likely to have looked like the images we have come to know. I don't really know what I think Jesus looked liked. I just think he was aproacheable to people...I see Him as loving and kind...someone that you can trust, how that would translate to physical attributes I don't know. This is something to ponder.
Thanks,
Mon

Natasha said...

To me, he now looks like the Jesus in the 'Passion of the Christ' - Jim Caviezel...Jim just did such a great job portraying such an amazingly unique character...intense, compassionate and masculine, but loving. I really couldn't see Jim when I watched the movie...I still don't. I see Jesus. And I know that apparently the actor/man playing Barabbas when he was walking down the stairs released from prison, looking at Jim had a life-changing experience when Jim was staring intensely at him. It truly changed that actor's life....not because he saw Jim either...but because he saw Jesus.

Jennie Finch said...

Bi, I loved your description based on scripture! Loved it!

When thinking of Jesus and what He looked like, I immediately picture His hands, big, strong, yet wrinkled, worn, full of compassion, opened wide and always reaching out.
It reminds me of grandfather's hands, full of strength, knowledge, filled with experience and always helping others! I saw Jesus in him!

Thanks for making me think Bi and be reminded of precious memories!

Gregory said...

He looks like you, he looks like me, He is Love. What does Love look like? The people He died for.

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