What Does Jesus Look Like NOW + What Did He Look Like As a Human? (Does He Look The Same?) #153
Hello everybody, and happy weekend to you! For those that are curious, yes I cleaned my office today, and thus my wife was comforted. It only took about 3 hours, so I guess you can imagine the wasteland that it was. Today we begin the book of Revelation, which has long been one of my favorites, dating back to my teens. Of course, I didn’t understand it at all, but it was so full of amazing and remarkable things that I sure liked reading it. Interestingly there is much in Revelation that is NOT about the last days/end times, and if you’re a preterist (I’m not) then almost none of it is about the last days. (More on that in a future podcast)
Shoutout to friend of the podcast JFIII:
Greetings Pastor Chase, Thank you for the short discussion on today’s podcast. I read a book about two years ago that referenced one of Dr. Heiser’s books , “THE UNSEEN WORLD,” extensively. I read this book along with other books referring to the Nephilim and the hybrid species that may have existed on the earth before the flood. These books are fascinating reads and I recognize them as speculation. I’m currently reading “JUDGEMENT OF THE NEPHILIM,” by Ryan Pitterson. Is it plausible that there will be strange, created beings appearing on earth in the last days? Only GOD knows for sure ! Thanks again for your Podcasts. I listen everyday…
John F Finch III
I’m glad you are interested in the Nephilim, John – my wife is not so much. She is a meat and potatoes Bible kind of person – she loves all of the good and deep and spiritual parts of the Bible, but the fascinating and mysterious hold no appeal to her. She could be walking home and see an alien/UFO/yeti/chupacabra/ghost/bigfoot/vampire/werewolf/fairy/tiefling or dragon and be so unmoved by it that she would probably forget to mention it for a week or two.
If you are a meat and potatoes Bible kind of person, then today’s episode should be more up your alley than an episode on archangels or nephilim, but still have enough fascinating content in Revelation to satisfy those who like mind-blowing stuff. We’ve talked about it before on this podcast, but when we think of the human appearance of Jesus, our imagination is very likely clouded or obscured by the Byzantines of the 4th century and the artists of the Italian Renaissance, who portrayed Jesus as a long-haired, mostly white skinned guy with gentle features. As a 1st century Jewish man, Jesus was likely olive-skinned (not white), and did not have long hair, because the only men in Jewish culture with long hair would have been those who had taken a Nazirite vow, and we have no evidence that Jesus did that. He likely would have been around 5 feet, 4-5 inches tall, the average height of a Jewish man of the first century. This is nothing more than an assumption, but it is likely that Jesus was of average height and appearance for a 1st century Galilean, due to the fact that Judas had to point Jesus out to those who arrested Him.
Did He have a beard? The Gospels give us very little about the appearance of Jesus, and no beard is mentioned. The book of Isaiah does mention a prophecy that ‘he gave his cheek to those who pluck the beard,’ but this doesn’t actually say Jesus had a beard. Interestingly, many of the earliest portrayals of Jesus that we have, including this picture from the 200-300s AD depict Jesus WITHOUT a beard.
Here is another depiction – not of Jesus, but of what an average first century Galilean might look like based on facial reconstruction technology:
Today, however, in Revelation 1, we see Jesus depicted in a radically different way than what might be expected. Let’s read the passage, paying close attention to John’s description.
12 Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me. When I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was one like the Son of Man, dressed in a robe and with a golden sash wrapped around his chest. 14 The hair of his head was white as wool—white as snow—and his eyes like a fiery flame. 15 His feet were like fine bronze as it is fired in a furnace, and his voice like the sound of cascading waters. 16 He had seven stars in his right hand; a sharp double-edged sword came from his mouth, and his face was shining like the sun at full strength.
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. He laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid. I am the First and the Last,18 and the Living One. I was dead, but look—I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.
To my knowledge, this is the most descriptive depiction of Jesus in the entire Bible, and it is likely, I believe, that this description is of the resurrected/heavenly Jesus in much of His glory. Perhaps a description of how Jesus appeared before the incarnation, and very likely a description of how Jesus appears now. It is also possible that the early part of Daniel 10 gives us a description of Jesus…but that description could also be of the angelic being that Daniel interacts with later in the passage – the language is ambiguous, and we aren’t sure, but the descriptive language is quite similar:
5 I looked up, and there was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of gold from Uphaz around his waist. 6 His body was like beryl, his face like the brilliance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude.
This description seems to match very well with the description of Jesus in Revelation 1, but it should be noted that apparently many Heavenly angels have a similar appearance, as noted in Matthew 28:
His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow.
Matthew 28:3 (describing an angel of the Lord)
(See also Revelation 15:6, “6 Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues, dressed in pure, bright linen, with golden sashes wrapped around their chests.“
Of more certainty is the description of Jesus in Revelation 19:
11 Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and with justice he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a fiery flame, and many crowns were on his head. He had a name written that no one knows except himself. 13 He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God. 14 The armies that were in heaven followed him on white horses, wearing pure white linen. 15 A sharp sword came from his mouth, so that he might strike the nations with it. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty. 16 And he has a name written on his robe and on his thigh: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
And finally, one other small description of the Heavenly Jesus from Revelation 2:
18 “Write to the angel of the church in Thyatira: Thus says the Son of God, the one whose eyes are like a fiery flame and whose feet are like fine bronze:
So, adding that up – what does the Heavenly Jesus look like now? Well, we know His eyes are like fiery flames, His hair is like snow-white wool, and His feet (perhaps his entire skin-tone?) appears to be like fine fire-polished bronze. His face is radiant like lightning or the sun at full strength. His appearance is utterly overwhelming and powerful, and it literally makes John faint like a dead-man with one look. All hail Jesus the magnificent Lord with fiery eyes, snow-white hair, gleaming body and lightning-faced. Hall hail the lamb who was slain and the King of Kings!