When you close your eyes and think of Jesus what image do you see? (Some may say it is wrong to try and picture Jesus, but personally I don't understand why He would have taken on flesh if it was sinful to try and imagine what he might have looked like.) I ask this question because Jesus is the God-Man, the epitome of deity made flesh. Isn't it right to assume we can look to the person of Jesus to find the truth about manhood and masculinity. Odds are that your image of Jesus doesn't come across as very masculine. Jesus is so misrepresented, it is unlikely many men want to look to the person of Jesus Christ on their journey into manhood.
I did a Google image search for "Jesus", and got some very interesting results. Here are a few that I found - I feel overall they represent much of what is perceived of Jesus. Below each image, I am adding captions of the characteristics I see about Jesus physical appearance in the paintings.
|feminine, flowing locks, rosy cheeks, blue eyes, clean, bored?|
|blonde hair, pale skin, short beard, blue eyes, European, peaceful, pensive|
|longing eyes, same weird beard and mustache, long flowing hair, intense, tired|
|less feminine, long hair and beard, European, bold, intense, caring, proud|
|angry, unapproachable, intense, still Caucasian|
No painting has/can capture our Jesus, but images can certainly lead us astray on what we perceive Him to be. I was able to find (fairly easily) some videos I remember watching in college about the misperceptions of Jesus. It is actually several clips from various movies about Jesus but placed together in one longer video. The second one begins at 3:18, and an interesting part begins at 5:40. These are meant to be comical, but really convey some grave misconceptions about the man Jesus.
Many people view Jesus as a Caucasian and feminine man, who floated around speaking softly, and rarely showing emotion. He would just reach out ever so calmly and heal someone, or peacefully confront the lack of faith in others... I am sure you could add so many misperceptions to this list.
So who is Jesus? I think this question is so vital to your soul and mine. I do not think we can grow into the men God created us to be without answering that question. I am understanding that the answer to that question is part of this journey I am on now.
I was pointed to a book by Philip Yancey entitled, The Jesus I Never Knew. I started reading it a few days ago, and I think it is really amazing. I hope to chronicle a few things I learn from the book as I progress through it.
We can craft and shape Jesus into the image we want Him to be, or we can look to His Word, primarily the Gospels to see more of Him. Let us not bypass this part of the journey, but take the effort to see what the inspired Word claims about this Jesus.