Blonde haired, blue eyed, middle-Eastern, Caucasian-Arabian-African Jew
A couple years ago I was in DC at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. I was there for the March for Life, but had some spare time and decide to walk along many of the side chapels. The great thing about the building is that each chapel is dedicated to different areas and countries of the world and in these side chapels you will find famous images of the Madonna and Child (that is Mary and Jesus, not the pop singer) that come from that area of the world. You walk around and get to see Mary and Jesus portrayed in every nationality there is, showing how each culture personally identifies Jesus with them and depict him as coming from their own culture and race. There’s even Japanese Mary and Jesus.
For me, this really shows the universality of the Church and how Jesus transcends cultures and nationalities. Yet when walking across the very head of the shrine is the large image of “Christ in Majesty.”(shown above) As I was nearing it, I overheard a couple of young people scrutinizes it for the fact that Jesus was portrayed with blonde hair and blue eyes. They began talking about how terrible it was that the Church “always” portrays Jesus as a white man. “How racist!”
First off, I don’t know about him always being portrayed as blonde hair, blue eyed. I’ve always been used to seeing Jesus with brown hair. But that’s besides the point. What I really must ask is why on earth does it matter? Would we be just as offended if we stepped foot inside a chapel in Japan and saw Jesus portrayed as an Asian man? Do we somehow think we can understand Him better if we somehow get an authentic picture of what his skin, hair and eye color were? How about knowing whether or not he had straight or crooked teeth? Most pictures I’ve seen he’s got perfect gum health, and 21st century dental health. Shall we take his height into consideration and argue that “No that Jesus is an inch taller than the average man of his location and time period.”
This really isn’t something to have our faith shaken over.
BTW, sorry I haven’t posted on here in awhile. I keep posting on my myspace blog, but its such informal stuff I really haven’t found it appropriate for this blog.