As I sat in the auditorium waiting to make my brief entrance to the stage (toward the end of the presentation) I began to recall the actors who have portrayed Christ in all these musical / drama events.
Let me quickly point out that this is in no way a criticism of the actors or those who cast them in the part — just an observation that in my experience the character of Jesus seems to be always given to someone who was thin, white, and often just a tad effeminate.
While the scripture tell us very little about Jesus’ appearance — it is fairly easy to deduce a few things.
- He was not necessarily handsome. Isaiah 53:2 ESV /For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.
- He was probably darker than Caucasian. He was a Mediterranean area Jew.
- He was physically fit. Carpentry in the first century was not a job for the wimpy. Everything was done by hand.
When Jesus cleared the temple He apparently had enough “presence” that no one tried to stop Him. I would guess that His hands were rough.
I am really not sure just what this might mean to us as disciples — but I have a feeling that we have allowed art and tradition to dictate a view of Jesus as one who is “meek and mild”. We tend to see Jesus as soft and quiet. Yet he endured some of the worst the Roman executioners could offer. We like the soft and quiet Jesus — but what about the tough and determined Jesus?
I think following Jesus requires that we have a certain “toughness” about us. Yes, we love one another and are called upon to be compassionate. But we also are to reflect the tenacity of Jesus. Love in the face rejection and lack of appreciation. Love and compassion when there is no hope of a reward.
Living life as Jesus did is not for the faint of heart.
It requires getting your hands dirty.
How tough are you in the face of adversity? Can you love in spite of all the reasons not to?