At the garage sale last Saturday, I saw all ages of people using colored pencils filling in coloring book designs. Coloring books seems to awaken the hidden artist in each one of us as we choose colors to complete a picture.
Several weeks ago a newscaster on a major news outlet said, “Jesus was white.” I did not hear the news story or the context of the story but the old issue is back again. What is the color of Jesus’ skin? A black woman poet responded with outrage over such a narrow interpretation of Jesus. The story quickly dropped out of the news.
I can never figure out why the color of Jesus’ skin is of paramount importance.
I went to Sunday school where pictures of Jesus on walls showed him as bearded and European white. My Dad told me there were no known photographs of Jesus. There are no records of his features or the color of his skin. The best answer I can give about Jesus’ color is to think Mediterranean. If Jesus was born in Palestine what would be the predominant racial color of those cultures?
The Jesus of art is often portrayed in the image of the artist’s nationality. A black artist colors Jesus Afro American. A Native American artists colors Jesus tan or brown. An Asian artist colors Jesus skin with color of their race.
Does the color of Jesus’s skin really matter? I believe it’s far more important to see the face of the poor, the violent, the rich, those imprisoned in systems, the sick, the suffering, and the faces of refugees. He is there. All one has to do is to look for him.
Is our faith in Jesus Christ determined by the color of his skin or his message of love, forgiveness, justice and peace?
“He (Jesus) said “Follow me.” Luke 5:27