How beautiful was Christ, even before the crucifixion?

“When many modern Christians think of Jesus, the image they visualize is a handsome, majestic Jesus with a beautiful appearance. This image of Jesus can also be easily found in many famous paintings of modern artists … However, this kind of image must be criticized because the Bible never describes Jesus’ appearance as beautiful, but, on the contrary, as ugly.” – Simon Lien-yueh Wei

To artists and art lovers out there, I’d like to ask a question: how would you subvert shallow understandings of beauty, especially but not exclusively, in relation to God?

3 Comments

  1. Beauty is often “in the eyes of the beholder”… and what’s all this stuff about Jesus being “ugly”??? Perhaps he was ordinary, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the repulsive end of the spectrum.
    The Scriptural descriptions of him at the time of the crucifixion may, of course, be considered “ugly”, though…

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  2. Isaiah 53:2 “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance to attract him to us…” It however doesn’t state he was exactly “ugly”. But goes on to say that he was “despised and rejected by men” (v3), which means he wasn’t some pop celebrity by any means. I reckon texts like Luke 4 where Jesus’ humble beginnings as a youth were mentioned by his own townspeople “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they said in surprise at the gracious words that came from his lips – just before he offended them with a bit of confrontational truth-telling about their entrenched racism – indicates very short-lived popularity as well as Jesus’ family being viewed as from the lower social eschelons of Nazarethian class system operating in his town at the time.

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