I’m sorry if I just offended you, or burst your bubble, but it’s true. Jesus was a Jew, and while it is possible for Aryan Jews from Europe to have blue eyes and white skin, we know that Jesus wasn’t from Europe. He was from The Middle East, Bethlehem born and Nazareth raised.
I once had a vision of Jesus… His eyes specifically. They were the richest brown, and in them they held the fullness of all emotions. They were joyful yet sympathetic and sorrowful and loving and peaceful and caring, more than any human eyes have the capacity to express. I didn’t have to ask, “Whose eyes are these?” His presence was felt and their Owner was evident – Brown eyes that embraced me like no one before or since, that saw past my fears and needs to the very heart of me and spoke intimately to my soul – my Jesus.
I was talking to a guy recently that said he didn’t realize Jesus wasn’t white until he was 18. Wow. Granted growing up overseas and being a minority around tan skinned people in Asia, might have been my saving grace, but still. 18. And what was it that clued him in? Being there, in Iraq and seeing places he had heard about all his life in Bible stories… Pictures he had grown up with of white boys fighting white giants and white Jesus hanging on a cross. It blew his mind. Jesus was dark skinned!
Just last week I was writing a devotion about the woman that anointed Jesus feet. I was reading that intimate moment and putting myself in her place, when the thought entered my mind, “you know his feet weren’t white right?” Okay, honestly that was a ridiculous thought. Of course I knew that, and if it weren’t the feet of my Lord and Saviour I wouldn’t have even wanted to take her place! I don’t do feet as a rule… But His feet are a different story.
I’m in love with Jesus. Have been since I listened to His voice through red letters and glimpsed His grace suffered at the cross. Who doesn’t fall in love with a man that takes all your sin, calls you His, and exchanges the rags and filth of life and sin for His glorious goodness?! Well, obviously there are some. But I’m admittedly smitten. I’m also aware that “there was nothing about Him that would attract man to Him.” He might have had a wide nose, almond eyes, and a unibrow. We don’t know for sure… But I know that he wasn’t depicted as Hollywood Jesus. It wouldn’t matter to me… It’s what He did and Who He is that I’m in love with… His colour and features are of no consequence.
Many might be surprised at that. Many who use derogatory terms like “sand niggers” and “towel heads” might be surprised to know that He could be pointed at and named the same if anonymously walking down the streets. I think it’s good for us to soberly look at that reality. Not in judgement but in widening our narrow thinking and broadening our acceptance of others. Would you point at Jesus and call Him a name? Why would you point out His creation, His people, His beloved and say the same?
My mom woke me up to the reality of what we say about others reflects back to God. When I was in Junior High I had a foul mouth. Seriously. So glad God redeemed me from that! But for whatever reason I got a real thrill from throwing up my middle finger… I didn’t say anything… But the name I was thinking was implied. My mom very seriously said to me, “Leslie, do you know that when you flip off another human being you are doing the same to God?” I was appalled. Not that I thought flipping people off was okay, but that I would ever do it to God was unheard of! I argued with her. She told me, “Where does you finger point?” Ummm. Yeah. She had me. “You don’t point your finger at the person, do you? You point it up God, and the implication is against His creation which is unacceptable for His child!” I was shocked. You can think that was stupid, but it penetrated my heart. I might have done it again 3 more times in my life and even then with such disgust in myself, I didn’t enjoy it.
Racism, hatred, prejudice and judgement has NO place in the hearts of God’s own. We can’t love with our words and roll our eyes. We can’t praise Jesus on Sunday and bad mouth our coworkers on Monday. We can’t despise others without first acknowledging that they too were created in the image of God. You can’t worship a blue-eyed Jesus when He was a dark skinned Jew.