Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Do You Think Jesus Was Attractive?

Okay, so maybe an odd blog title. But this strange question has been bouncing around my head the last few weeks.

Growing up in church, attending Bible clubs and camps and colleges, being "Missionette of the Year", memorizing verses for cash in my dad's Sunday School class (very effective with teenagers, by the way) and doing daily devotions for decades have all combined to make me pretty "knowledgeable" about God and Jesus for my age. So sometimes, my brain goes beyond the basic, "Why did Jesus spit in the dirt and rub it in the dude's eyes? That's so unhygenic, Lord" questions.

And this is what my brain has come up with. Do you think Jesus was a physically attractive man?

Option one: he was a hottie (hopefully this is not sacrilegious to write). That would sort of make sense; most charismatic leaders with huge followings are. Good-looking = likeable. But then again, this was thousands of years ago before Botox and having an Arnold Schwartzenegger physique for the cameras mattered. Would people have flocked to Jesus if He had been ugly? I'm thinking the miracles would be enough to pique my curiosity if I was a first-century housewife in desperate need of supernatural help. Yet, He was a carpenter -- his muscles had to be pretty decent. And Jesus was.....PERFECT. In every way, right? Does that mean He had a perfect body and face, too?

Option two: He was ugly. Somehow, I don't think is it, but I'm not sure why. I just can't imagine that God would see fit to make His son a physical turn-off to the sinful children He was trying to save. Or did God care at all? Maybe Jesus was ugly to once and for all prove that "man looks at the outward appearance, but THE LORD looks at the heart." Obviously, if Jesus was ugly, it didn't really hurt His popularity.

Option three: Jesus was average-looking. This one kind of makes sense to me. Maybe his normal, in-the-middle looks made people feel a kinship with him, like they could identify with this carpenter's son because He looked like them. Maybe Jesus had to be average so people could listen to His message instead of getting distracted or infatuated with His appearance. I know a lot of dumb scholars think Jesus was gay or He had a torrid affair with Mary Magdalene, so I'm sure they'd love to think He was nothing but a pretty boy in robes, but we all know how ridiculous Ph.D.'s are when it comes to common sense stuff. (Millions of dollars in studies to prove that men are more visually stimulated than women, anyone?).

So tell me what you think. Jesus probably didn't look exactly like the painting above, but whenever I try to picture Him in His everyday life, I draw a blank, and not just because I'm terrible at art.

Was Jesus handsome, mediocre or ugly? I wanna know!