What Did Jesus Really Look Like? A Look at the Bible Facts


Have you ever wondered if Jesus looks like what most pictures of Him reveal? Are the popular depictions of Him which we see everywhere today truly his image? Did He actually have long hair and wear a white robe as the pictures and movies of today portray Him? What of his physical looks? Did He look different from the rest of the Jews or was He no different from those of His day?

If you have wondered how his images could be so assuredly represented today seeing there were no cameras in those days, you are not alone. And even if you factor in the traditional Catholic church's story of Veronica 'wiping' His face during His passion to make a picture of his face on a cloth, it still doesn't make enough sense to explain the very clear features of him we see all around us today.

So, let us seek the truth from the Book of Truth, the Holy Bible. Now, what does the Bible say about how Jesus looked while He was on earth, and how He looks now?

Did Jesus Have Long Hair?

I believe that we will be shocked on the day that we see Jesus Christ. Hopefully you will see Him on the day of His return as your Savior and not as your Judge, but we’ll discuss that later. Right now we are asking if Jesus had long hair. The Bible is silent on the length of His hair but there is no reason to believe that He had the long, flowing locks of hair that the movies portray Him as having or the thousands of pictures that display Him with long hair.

Jews of his day never wore their hair long. In fact Brother Paul knew that it was customarily a shame for a man to have long hair. In 1 Cor 11:14, Paul states: Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?

From this glaring fact, and also knowing that Jesus was a carpenter, having long hair would have gotten in the way of His work. (You may also see Did Jesus have long hair? - this link take you to a different website, GotQuestions?org).

What Did Jesus Really Look Like? A Look at the Bible Facts
We will be shocked on the day that we see Jesus Christ

Jesus: A Man’s Man

Jesus was not the effeminate looking man that most images reveal Him as. He was a carpenter and carpenters in those days not only worked with wood, they worked with stones. They had no power tools of course so the wood had to be cut by using hand tools and great physical labor which must have took long, tedious hours to work with.

The wood was not like what we see today; two by fours or four by sixes. They worked with large timbers of roughhewn wood. These timbers had to be cut down by hand and they had to be sawed down into workable sections. They had to be debarked and sanded. And carpenters in those days worked with stone more than they did wooden beams. And these stones were just not simple stepping stones or mortar bricks but more like boulders and these boulders had to be chiseled and cut down to size.

Every bit of the carpenters work was extremely labor intensive and so we should realize that Jesus had to have been a big, strong man with great physical strength, yet He kept this strength under control in what is a good description of meekness: Strength under control.

So we see that Jesus was a man’s man and may have had the body of a heavy construction worker. He must have been an imposing physical specimen.

Did He Look Different from Fellow Jews?

Time and time again, the New Testament records that Jesus slipped away into the crowds and that the religious officials, when looking for Him, frequently couldn’t find Him? Why was this so? Because Jesus must have looked much like any other rabbi of the day with a robe yes, but not with the long hair that we think He wore. There are dozens of accounts where Jesus simply slipped away and blended into the crowds:
John 5:13 -- “But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place.”

Luke 4:30 (CEV) -- “But Jesus slipped through the crowd and got away.”

John 7:11 -- “Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, “Where is He?”

John 11:56 -- “Then they sought Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, “What do you think—that He will not come to the feast?”

If Jesus had a long, white flowing robe and if He had long hair, He would have been easy to spot, since historical accounts show that the Jews in Jesus’ day had short hair. He likely had a beard but so did many of the Jewish men in that day. There is every indication that Jesus was hard to pick out of a crowd; but when He wanted to be seen, He was able to make Himself visible. (You may also see What Did Jesus Look Like - this link takes you to another website, The Gospel Coalition)

Not Much to Look At

Isaiah described Jesus as looking like an ordinary man and that there nothing special in His appearance that would make Him stand out. Isaiah described Him in 53:2b (NIV) -- “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”

Jesus would not have fit in well with the prosperity preachers on TV. He would not make a popular itinerant preacher today. He would not be getting millions of hits on YouTube. This is because Jesus was not especially handsome and there was “nothing special in His appearance that would make Him stand out” which matches with the many New Testament references of Him easily slipping through the crowds. He was not desirous to look upon nor had no beauty (in the Jewish vernacular this means that He wasn’t handsome).

Jesus’ humanity made Him out to be no different looking than any other man of the day. Otherwise, we really don’t know what Jesus looked like other than He was an ordinary looking man, that He was strong and extremely physically fit and that He was able to blend in with the crowds very easily.

The Bible is silent on exactly what He looked like and if the Bible is silent on His exact appearance, then God apparently doesn’t think it’s important for us to know.


We do know exactly what Jesus looks like...at least today. Here is the only appearance of Jesus that anyone needs to know for sure and since it’s revealed in the Bible, God did think this was important enough for us to know. John describes Jesus and when he saw Him, he fell down on his face as a dead man as we read in Revelation 1:13-18:
“and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”

That is what Jesus looks like today. If you have failed to repent, there is still time but if you don’t repent, He will appear to you as described above; but then, He will be your Judge and it will not go well with your soul (Rev 20:11-15) but if He is your Savior today, your future is so amazing that I can’t even describe it. If you are yet to have a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, please see Steps to salvation and peace with God. It does not matter what you past has been like, Jesus will make you future sure. Just make up with God through Him.

Everyone will see Jesus someday and will know exactly what He looks like. It doesn’t matter what He looked like on earth but it will matter for all eternity what He looks like now. Today, it is either He is your Judge or He is your Savior. It’s your choice on which side of the courtroom you want to be.

A good book to check out: 7 Biblical Signs of the End Times

About the author
This article has been completely rewritten and reorganized from an original by Jack Wellman, a Senior Writer at What Christians Want to Know. You can follow him on Google Plus .

The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” (Revelation 1:14-18; NIV)