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Christmas questions No. 9 and 10

By Travis Childs
Pioneer Sentinel

9. What did Jesus look like?

Manger scenes and Western Christian art portray Jesus as fair haired, blue eyed, with delicate features and hands.  None of those descriptions are accurate.  Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, first female governor of Texas, supposedly once said that “If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it ought to be good enough for the children of Texas.”  While most scholars do not think she originated the phrase or even uttered it, the idea behind it is the same as our paintings of Jesus.  We have made Jesus look like us, and while it is blasphemous when we make Jesus speak and think like us, it is arrogant and naïve to make him look like us.

Jesus was Jewish.  He spoke Aramaic and Hebrew.  He was a carpenter’s son, and likely a carpenter himself.  He had dark hair, dark eyes, dark beard, olive skin, and had the frame of a laborer.  He was an expert on Jewish scriptures, customs, laws, and society. Anyone who tries to make Jesus non-Jewish does not understand or does not want to understand who and why Jesus was.  The Bible teaches that man was made in God’s image, and we should not seek to make Jesus in our image.

10. Who made up Jesus’ family?

Luke 8:19-20 mention Jesus’ brothers and Matthew 13:55-56 and Mark 6:3 name them as James, Joseph (Joses), Simon and Judas and also state he had sisters.  Some scholars believe these were cousins rather than siblings.  The Catholic and Orthodox churches teach Mary’s perpetual virginity and explain that these siblings were Joseph’s children from a previous wife.  Most Protestants believe they were Mary and Joseph’s children, making them Jesus’ younger half-brothers and half-sisters.  However you believe they were related, it is clear that Jesus did have family beyond Mary and Joseph.

Editors Note: Travis Childs is a history instructor at Cameron University in Lawton, Okla. He is a graduate of Midway High School and lives in Bluegrove. He is currently president of the Clay County Historical Society.


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The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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