Most pictures of Jesus depict Him as a white man. Recent events have revealed that some black churches declare Him to be a black man. It appears that many Christians want to make Jesus into their own image, believing they can better relate to Him and that He can better relate to them if He had the same skin color or was of the same race. To determine what color Jesus had we must first ask, why people in different geographic regions have different colored skin? We must ask, Is the skin color determined by the climate where people live or did God plan them to look that way?
There is one source that answers these questions which have puzzled mankind. It is the Book of Enoch. In it Enoch describes how God took him to heaven just as the Bible describes in Genesis 5:24. Enoch lived in the sixth generation from Adam and he describes how he was shown the historical events that would take place on earth. He was given three major visions and in the third vision we are told how the races came into being and how they settled on the earth according to God’s plan for them.
In this third vision Enoch describes the great flood and how Noah and his family were the only survivors on earth. In chapter 106 of the Book of Enoch he describes Noah as being born white as snow and red as a rose. He does not mention Noah’s wife but we can assume that she was black. We can assume this because Enoch describes Noah’s sons as, one white like Noah, another red as blood and the third black. Noah’s sons were named Shem, Japheth and Ham. The commentary in the New American Bible, as well as the Macmillan Bible Atlas, tell us that Shem settled in the middle-east region, which would include modern day Israel and the Arab countries. Japheth settled north toward the Caspian and Black seas and toward Spain,Turkey and Europe. Ham settled in Egypt and Africa.
These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood. (Genesis 10:32, KJV)
We can see that the races, who settled in geographic locations given to them by God, all came from these three sons. The color of their skins came from three basic colors as follows:
Red (And skin pigments of red) – This was Shem. From Shem came Abraham and the Hebrew nation as well as Jesus and all the middle-east and eastern nations.
Black (and dark skin pigments) – This was Ham. From Ham came the Egyptians and the African people.
White and (light skin pigments) – This was Japheth. From Japheth came the European nations.
When we see pictures of Jesus they usually show an attractive looking white man–but Jesus was neither! The Bible tells us this about Jesus majesty skin:
He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face. He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. (Isaiah 53:2-3, NASB)
So, now that we know the color of Jesus’ skin, does it make a difference? Now that we know that He was not attractive in appearance, can we still love Him? The beauty of Jesus was not in His physical appearance but in the Spirit that indwelled Him. He was made like this so that we would not worship Him as a man and so that we would make no graven image that would become an idol resembling ourselves. Jesus came to earth as a man to show us His Father; not what His Father looked like but who His Father was.
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