Written: Oct.08.2004

Images of Jesus, What does He really look like?

4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Exodus 20:4

I was reading this webpage the other day and it was really eye-opening. It was a commentary on the Mel Gibson movie, "Passion of Christ". It was basically a fundamentalist Christian criticising the movie and it's director. But the part I wanted to comment about is the references the writer makes to the 2nd commandment(of ten). Quoted above and bolded. So you see it instructs not to create idols/images of in the form of anything in heaven above. The writer goes further to say we should not make images of Jesus or God etc. Basically he backs this up with an example. Millions of people (including Christians), after watching the movie, will pray to Jesus and picture the actors face in their mind. In a sense, they will be praying to the actor Jesus and not the _true_ Jesus. This can be compared to catholism and praying to statues of Jesus or Mary.

You say, but their are so many paintings and sculptures of Jesus! An interesting note is that the early church did not condone this type of art. But as the images were seen by others, it was impossible for them to stop the spread of it. Why stop it? Simple. These images do not accurately portray Jesus. No one knows what he looks like. Is he not some tall handsome white guy with long hair and a beard? Or an arab with a scruffy beard? Who knows? ... but whatever he physically looked like on earth, even a painting would not suffice as He is God. To paint a picture of the man is to separate Jesus(the man) from Jesus(God). No man made image will ever be good enough.

Updated: Nov.09.2005
So I found this article on my computer and wondered why I had not finished/posted it until now. Upon rereading it 1 year later, I can't help but feel the commandment may be taken out of context. 2nd line:You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God.... Is he referring to pagan idols? Or is God jealous of inaccurate images of himself? Or is He just jealous because you are worshipping an object that represents God and not God himself? My mind keeps picturing catholic statues of Jesus. This is the hard part of bible reading. Interpretation. Everyone interprets it their own way. But only the author knows the true meaning and intent. I guess we just try our best. Mull it over! :)

~Go back to "Headaches"~