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Was Jesus Black?

Malcom Explains: I Am Awesome Black Jesus Image - Written by Joedy Barnes

One of the most controversial images from I Am Awesome is also one of the most inspirational images. The Black Jesus teaching challenges the popular image of a long haired, fair skinned, light eyed Jesus. 

The “White Jesus” is so frequently shared and embedded in culture that his entire family is shown to be white. One of Leonardo da Vinci’s most prominent paintings, Last Supper, depicts Jesus as a flowing haired, pale skinned man. Sitting next to him are 12, similarly pale skinned, disciples. Mary, Joseph, Moses, and other religious figures also depict pale-skinned Biblical figures. 

In Northeast Africa / Western Asia, in the middle of the 90 degree heat, “with hair like wool and skin like bronze” (Revelation 1:14-15), was Jesus, his family, and all his disciples white? Most likely, “NO”. On that same note, he most likely wasn’t Black either. While American culture may reject the idea, Jesus most likely looked like the image below. 

But… does it matter? Do you know him? Have you let his love into your heart? Have you received his love so much, it reflects in every aspect of your life? Jesus could just like your twin. That alone will not get you into Heaven. But, here is the truth. It does matter to many people. It matters because it can increase your self-image and increase your self-love. So… hang your picture of Black Jesus, White Jesus, or (probably most accurate) Middle Eastern Jesus. Take a little more pride in the Lord and Savior looking like you. Then, get to know him. “Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth” (Roman 10:9). That skin color won’t save you, but knowing Jesus can! 

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