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WWJW: What Would Jesus Wear?

March 6, 2012

You want to know what I’m sick of? Always seeing Jesus in a white robe.

     Jesus was a carpenter. He was a member of the Judean working class. You might say that he was a good ol’ boy of the first century. He was used to manual labor and hung out with shepherds, fishermen and the occasional tax auditor. If he was wearing a robe, it wouldn’t be white. It would probably be brownish.

     Yet everytime I see a picture of Jesus with the disciples, Jesus is marked by the fact that he is wearing a white robe, usually a completely stainless white robe, as if he is some sort of otherworldly figure whose clothes magically never get dirty. Why doesn’t he dress like everyone else? Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us that Jesus always wore a white robe, but no one else did.The Old Testamen said about Christ, “He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.” (Isaiah 53:2b, NKJV) I have a feeling that if we could go back to the time of Christ and see him walking around with his disciples, one of the first questions that we would ask would be “Which one is Jesus?”

Effeminate Aryan Jesus--This just makes me want to vomit.

   

  Jesus was the son of God, but he was also fully man. Despite this fact, the church’s artists have continued to portray him as a sort of otherworldly dreamer who speaks in a soft, soothing voice. He always wears white, never raises his voice or shows strong emotions, and has long, silky hair, a smooth beard, a fair complexion and a well-proportioned face, in contrast to the disciples, who are a racous, scroungy, dirty bunch. Gentlemen: This is not Jesus; this is Buddha.

     The picture of Jesus portrayed above has more in common with the medieval saints or James Taylor, for that matter, than the God-man presented in the Gospel. When Jesus is portrayed as an otherworldly, white-clad, long-haired proto-hippy, this makes us relate not to him, but to the disciples. In these sort of depictions, the disciples look like real men. They usually are broad shouldered with big arms. They have beards and short hair. They don’t speak in a soft voice–they talk like normal people. The humanity is taken away from Jesus and given to the disciples, which is a gross error.

According to our borderline blasphemous artists, not only does Jesus not look like the disciples, he's also terrible at giving directions. One more reason to stick to the classics.

   

  For some reason we like to envision Jesus as somehow otherworldly or more than human, when in fact he was 100% fully human. Because of our cultural construct of what Jesus would look like, it’s hard for us to envision what Jesus might actually look like. What if Jesus’ nose was somewhat off-center, or if instead of being the perfect 5’9″ average man he was short and stocky? What if Jesus had short hair? I think that our artistic representations of Jesus need to represent Him not as a Gnostic savior here to save mankind from the world, but a God-man here to save the world for mankind.

This is more like it

   

  There is one situation where it is appropriate to depict Jesus in a white robe–when it is Jesus in Heaven after the ascencion.

     Greetings from Texarkana 

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 6, 2012 2:45 am

    Very good. He was probably a pretty rough guy – he was a carpenter and sailors weren’t ashamed to be seen with him. He was also a party animal. He was a Jew, and not a pretty one.

    To your comment about not knowing who was who in his group: amen. Remember that Judas had to explicitly show the guards which man to arrest. He could get lost in a crowd of dirty poor Jews.

    I agree: we concentrate on the fact that he was fully God to the exclusion of the fact that he was fully man.

  2. March 6, 2012 6:17 pm

    And this fine post is a good reminder that we who are His servants are not called upon to wear any special uniforms or costumes. The world is to know that we are Christians by our love, conduct, and faith.
    Glad to have you posting from the home base in warm, spring-like Texarkana.

    Big Daddy

  3. March 6, 2012 11:52 pm

    I didn’t even think of that point when I was writing this, but it’s a good one. Thanks,

    The Prodigal Son.

  4. Nico permalink
    March 19, 2012 11:30 pm

    Why do I love this so much?
    Also, I cannot see your second picture. Sad day.

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