What does Jesus really look
by Tom Brown
By the grace of God I was privileged to see Jesus Christ in a
vision. This vision took place when I was visiting a nursing home
in El Paso, Texas. It occurred during the early 1980s. I had come
to preach and minister to the elderly. On this day, I was rather
As the people were singing songs, I closed my eyes and asked,
"Lord, is it worth me coming to this nursing home to visit
and preach to the people? They dont seem to be
improving." After praying this simple prayer, I opened my
eyes, and to my astonishment I saw the Lord.
I didnt see Him in his traditional garments; instead I
saw Him sitting in a wheelchair with a blanket over His legs.
There was suppose to be an elderly man sitting there, but instead
it was the Lord. As I looked across the room, all I could see was
Jesus. I saw Jesus in the place of all the people. He wore a
nurses uniform. He sat in a chair where there was a lady
supposed to have sat. I could not see anyones face. I only
saw the Lord.
As I looked in astonishment, I heard the Lord say,
"Whatever you have done for one of the least of these, you
have done unto me." The vision ended.
I knew that the Lord was telling me to continue to visit these
wonderful people, because it was like visiting the Lord.
Everywhere Ive gone I have tried to have this same
attitude. Whoever I preach to, I see Christ in them.
People have wanted to know exactly what the Lord looked like.
I really cant tell you how tall he was, since most of the
time he was sitting down, but I will never forget His face,
especially His piercing eyes. I never tried to get anyone to draw
a portrait of Him from my account.
Recently, I stumbled across a portrait of Jesus that looked
closely like the vision I saw. It was this portrait.
I was amazed when I saw it.
It was the portrait drawn by the acclaimed portrait artist Stan
Stevenson. He drew the portrait using computer-enhanced
photographs of the Shroud of Turin. He drew the portrait exactly
as the man would have looked before the beating.
I never put much stock into the Shroud of Turin,
because at first the shroud looked to me as a different man that
I remembered seeing in the vision. Of course it did; it was Jesus
after His beating.
The Bible says that He was beaten beyond
recognition. So I didnt recognize Jesus in the shroud. I
even told people that it wasnt Jesus; it did not remind me
of my vision. But when I saw the enhanced portrait of what the
man in the shroud would have looked like before the beating, I
said to myself, "Thats the man I saw. Thats
Jesus." This is my testimony to what I saw.
Email from readers who agrees
"I had a vision of Jesus two years ago. In my vision he looked very much
like the picture you have on your website. At the time I was hurting because of
a tumor inside my spinal cord. A group of Christians were praying for me at the
church during the Wednesday night service. Jesus appeared to me and was rubbing
my back while looking at me in a very kind and understanding way. His eyes
reassured me that I was going to be o.k. The pain went away for a while and a
peace came over me. The next week my surgery was successful and I was at peace
going into surgery knowing Jesus was with me." K. Stone
"I have to say that when I saw this picture of what Jesus looked like, it
threw me back, because I saw this very face in my dream." Name withheld
"I've seen this portrait time and again. Jesus was of Aramaic decent. I
happen to be Arabic, from Iraq. I am not dark at all, and my hair is a naturally
light brown, my Mum, in fact, has brothers with red hair. Arabic people are not
all dark haired and brown. Also sometimes, people tend to forget that Jesus was
a Jewish man. The portrait doesn't hold a man with blond hair and sparking baby
blues. It very well looks like an Arabic man." S. Lazar
Email from a reader who disagrees
"I truly believe that you saw what you saw, and I hate to
belittle the argument of Jesus’ race, but really, Jesus was of Aramaic descent
and there is no way that European representation should be posted as an ideal of
what our Lord and Savior looked like. I know it was not your aim to say that He
was white but all my life growing up I was presented with a white Jesus and it
wasn’t until I became an adult and researched His people, did I realize that it
is hard for many to imagine Him looking like those we sometimes fear and hate
the most, Arabics.”—Lakeisha
Response by Tom Brown
Many people through the years who have also had visions of
Christ have emailed me to confirm that the portrait of Christ is similar to
theirs. There have also been many who do not believe that Christ could look like
this because to their opinion this portrait looks more like a European man than
an Arab or Middle Easterner.
Even though I am not particularly interested in making a
big deal over the physical features of Christ, it should be noted that Jesus was
a Jew. According to anthropologists, Jews belong to the Caucasian race, which
includes all those throughout Europe, the Middle East, and north of the Sahara.
What some commonly call the Jewish, Arab, or European race is really a misnomer.
Those would be ethnic groups within the same race, thus they may share similar
features. In fact, sometimes, a person within an ethnic group may be mistaken as
being part of another ethnic group.
Can you always tell who is a German, an Englishman, an
Iranian, or a Spaniard? I have seen many light skin, light hair Iraqis and on
the contrary I’ve seen many dark skin, dark hair Romanians. To think that an
ethnic group must always resemble certain features is ludicrous.
Ask this important question: are there many modern-day Jews
that would fit the profile of this portrait? Of course!
To the artist’s credit, he made the skin darker, assuming
that Christ would have lived much of His life outdoors, and thus His skin
darkened by the hot sun. You will notice that the hair is dark, not blonde,
which corresponds to the vision I saw of Christ. In my opinion, this portrait
does not depict a light skin, blonde-hair European. Of course, people’s opinion
might differ from mine. I only showed this portrait, for I thought people would
be interested in knowing what I saw in the vision.
Let me make another point: we should not be offended or
exalted by the simple fact that Christ was born a Jew. That’s the facts of the
scriptures. This does not make one race or ethnic group more important than the
others. Christ had to come through one race, and one ethnic group, and through
one family. Race and ethnicity does not matter to God.
Finally, your faith does not stand or fall based on your
belief in my vision. We must simply believe in the gospel, not one’s visions.
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