What Color Is Jesus?
Sometimes while you are out evangelizing, individuals will try to stump you with challenging questions. One that I’ve heard primarily from African-Americans is “What color is Jesus?” I remember witnessing to one bitter black man who labeled Christianity “a white-man’s religion” that would never work for him. In response, I testified about two African-Americans I had ministered to a few days before who got saved and then immediately healed of bodily injuries! This man was still resistant to the gospel.
One preacher who is part Native American jokingly claims Jesus is an Indian because the Bible says He is “chief cornerstone.” But seriously, Scripture doesn’t give a clear answer as to the color of the Savior’s skin. People tend to picture the Lord based on their own culture. For centuries, Westerners have depicted the Son of God as a Caucasian. However in recent years there’s been increasing amounts of artwork of a black Jesus (the one pictured here is from the old TV sitcom “Good Times”). Since Jesus lived most of His earthly life in Palestine, one could speculate He had a tan complexion like that of a Middle Eastern person.
Perhaps God didn’t allow the writers of the Bible to reveal Jesus’ skin color because He doesn’t want His appearance to be idolized. Exodus 20:4 says, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” We are to worship the Lord “…in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24)
Regardless of Jesus’ race, He certainly wasn’t pleasant to look at when He was crucified. Isaiah 53:2-3 says this of the suffering Messiah...
“...He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”
But in Revelation chapter 1, the Apostle John wrote this description of the glorified resurrected Christ…
14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;
15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;
16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
Who cares if Jesus is white, black, brown, red, or yellow? Jesus came to save all of mankind from spending eternity in hell. So how should you answer someone who asks, “What color is Jesus?” Here’s an analogy the Lord recently gave me; “If you were trapped in a burning house and a fireman came to rescue you, would the race of that fireman matter?”
“It's news I'm most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God's powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with Jews and then right on to everyone else!”
- Romans 1:16 (The Message)