Jesus isn’t White…
He also isn’t black. He isn’t hispanic, or Asian, or any other “race”. Many times I have heard or read people talking about the image of a “white” Jesus that has become all to familiar in western Christianity. Just this morning I watched a video where a man said that this was evidence of white privilege. This is the question I would ask those that want to argue over the color of Jesus skin:
What difference does it make?
Jesus IS not white. There, I said it again. Jesus isn’t white. But, He also isn’t black. In heaven race has no meaning. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that there will not be different colors of skin. Rather my point is that the color of the skin is not something that divides us. The truth is that we know very little about what we will “look” like in heaven. However, I can tell you that the varied colors of our skin will be a celebration of God’s creativity. This is how it should be here, now.
What color WAS Jesus? Many might be willing to agree that the current color of Jesus’ skin is unknown, if not irrelevant. But, many will argue over the color of His skin when He was here on earth. The truth is the Bible doesn’t tell us. There are scriptures that give some description of Jesus. Some people will use those scriptures to “prove” their point that He was of a certain skin color, but none of these actually tell us what color Jesus’ skin was. I remember, years ago, a black woman I worked with said she knew Jesus was black because the Bible said He had olive skin and olives are black. They are also green. Some come in a rather unwholesome grey color. So, was Jesus the color of Marvin the Martian? Or, maybe of the aliens from the X-Files?
What difference does it make? Discussions of the race of Jesus have one goal, to divide. There is much that can be deduced from the tidbits of information that is given to us from the Bible. There are some things that can be assumed based on historical records and regional norms. But, the Bible never tells us what color Jesus’ skin was.
If it is really something of such importance, then why does the Bible leave it out? 1 Corinthians 14:33 says, “For God is not the author of confusion, but peace…” If God is not the author of confusion, than it stands to reason that if Jesus skin color was important, than it would be in the Bible. Because, leaving it out clearly causes confusion. But, it is left out because it does not matter. Jesus didn’t come to save black people or white people. He came to save ALL people.
My Jesus is bigger than that. To argue over the color of Jesus skin is to reduce Jesus to be as one of us. Truly He was a man. The Bible teaches that He was fully man. But, He was also fully God. To focus so much on the color of His skin is to elevate the importance of His being a man above the importance of His being God. Jesus is so much bigger than our understanding. Jesus is so much bigger than the color of my skin or of yours. Jesus is so much bigger than the color of His skin. To argue over whether Jesus looked like me or you is make Jesus no more than just another person. My Jesus is bigger than that.
So, what now? I would hope that we could agree to just set aside this issue and focus on what matters. For me, this means avoiding any man-made images of Jesus. Any depiction of Jesus could never come close to showing what Jesus IS. Any depiction of what He might have looked like would be only guess and assumption. But, the one thing I know is that no-one is ever going to come to Jesus because of the color of His skin. It is not his skin that saves us, but His blood. The only color that maters is RED, the color of His blood.
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