What Did Jesus Look Like
"For He will grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground. He has no form (תֹּאַר not handsome) nor comeliness (הָדָר not good looking); and when we see Him, He has no beauty that we should desire Him." Isaiah 53:2.
Jesus is the most stunningly beautiful being anyone can ever meet; but as the incarnate Christ His beauty was not in His physical appearance.
There are many artists' renditions of Jesus, most of which are inaccurate depictions. The Scriptures tell us certain details about Christ's appearance, things we commonly overlook; and the most obvious is that Jesus was Jewish.
A Judean Jew, Jesus was from the tribe of Judah, born in Bethlehem, and raised in Nazareth of Galilee. He physically resembled the ancient Judean Jews.
Jesus was not attractive. Isaiah chapter fifty-three, verse two plainly states that Christ was not a good-looking man. Three times in that verse, Isaiah emphasizes that Jesus was not handsome in the least, purposefully.
Jesus was unattractive so that people would not desire Him for His physical beauty. The prophet Haggai states that Jesus is the desire of all nations, but it is not due to His physical appearance, rather because of His inner strength and beauty of character.
Did Jesus have long hair? No. The Word of God says it is a shame for men to have long hair (1 Corinthians 11:14), with only one exception, a Nazirite vow; and Jesus was not under a Nazirite vow.
Jesus was a Nazarene, not a Nazirite; He was from Nazareth in northern Judea. Some have confused the fact that Jesus was a Nazarene with that of the Nazirite vow; however, they are completely different.
The Nazirite vow was a voluntary decision by a man or a woman to set themselves apart to God for a certain time. During the extent of their vow, they could not cut their hair, nor come near a dead body, nor could they consume grapes, nor their byproducts, such as wine and fresh juice. Once the vow was complete, they were to cut their hair and offer it in fire with the required sacrifices (Numbers 6:1-21).
While there were a few lifelong Nazirites, such as Samson and Samuel (Judges 13:5; 1 Samuel 1:11), they are the exception and not the rule. We know Jesus was not under a Nazirite vow, because He not only came near dead bodies, He touched them (Matthew 9:18-25).
A Nazarene is a person from the town of Nazareth; and a Nazirite is a vow, which has nothing to do with locale.
Was Jesus effeminate? No. Christ was not frail and womanish. The paintings of Jesus portrayed as a delicate and soft looking man who bared resemblance to a woman are false. The Bible teaches us that effeminate men are an offense to God (Deuteronomy 22:5; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10).
Jesus grew up working as a carpenter (Matthew 13:34, 35; Mark 6:1-3). During His ministerial years He spent a lot of time outdoors, and He was homeless (Matthew 8:20; Luke 9:58). This indicates that Christ was weathered, hardy, and strong, irrespective of His skeletal-frame.
In Accord with Scripture
Jesus did not live contrary to His Word; He lived in obedience to it. He was the Word made flesh (John 1:14). Everything He did was in accordance with the Bible. Furthermore, Jesus did not come to change His Word, He came to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). Thus, the Scripture is a dependable source in understanding certain aspects of the Redeemer's human appearance.
What We Can Know
While we do not know the precise physical appearance of Jesus, based on His earthly lineage, and Biblical teaching, the above photo bears a closer resemblance to what the incarnate Savior's facial characteristics most likely were.
Jesus was an unattractive Judean Jew from the tribe of Judah who was born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth. He did not look like a woman, nor did He act like a woman. He was not delicate and soft; rather, He was hardy, strong, and rugged. He did not have long hair; and He was not handsome.
The Important Thing
It is important for us to remember that our Savior was a man of purpose, dedicated to the salvation of a lost and dying planet. His whole life is committed to saving His creation, to restoring us to Himself and to eternal life.
What Jesus looked like is unimportant to who He was. It is natural for us to want to know what our Redeemer's appearance was; but it is far more important for us to know who He is, and what He did, and continues to do for us, if we will let Him. To know who Jesus is, and to receive His gift of salvation is the single most important feature of any life.
May we be inspired to know who Jesus is, and what He will do for each one of us as we commit our life to Him and His will. May the attractiveness of Christ's character be the most interesting and absorbing aspect of our life.
Look upon the beauty of His holiness, and accept His amazing love. Honor the Lord, glory in His character, and worship Him in the beauty of His holiness (Psalms 29:2).
If you have not made a commitment to Christ, please visit our How to Become a Christian page. Contact us for help in receiving Jesus into your life, for prayer and for any questions you may have, as we are happy to be of assistance.