Pictures of Jesus

By Dr. Ken Matto

Exodus 20:4 (KJV) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

Acts 17:29 (KJV) Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.

There seems to be a resurgence of a major middle ages practice among modern day Christians. That practice is that they must walk by sight and not by faith. Of course, the scriptures teach that we are to walk by faith and not by sight. It seems many Christians have forgotten that admonition from Scripture and have adopted the practice of owning “pictures of Jesus.” It is obvious that Roman Catholics have an unending supply of pictures of Jesus along with other things that cause people to walk by sight and not faith. During the middle ages, the people were very illiterate so the Roman Catholic Church supplied all kinds of pictures of Jesus and other forms of religious art. Instead of teaching the people to read, they caused them to go further into apostasy by making pictures of Jesus.

On January 6, 2016 a woman placed a picture of a sports event and a section of people had dressed in special colors for the purpose of forming a face in the crowd. They believe they had formed a picture of Jesus and if you saw Jesus in the picture, then you were to type “amen.” There were 269 likes and 180 out of 182 typed in “Amen.” These people honestly thought they were looking at the face of Jesus. So I typed in the following challenge to that nonsense and it was all but ignored except for one zealous “walk by sighter” below.

Ken) Nobody knows what Jesus looked like. That is only what some artist thinks he looked like. Acts 17:29 (KJV) Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.

Lady) cannot say no one know what he looks like. Those who walked with Him know what he looks like as did Joseph and Mary and His family he lived with in this Earthly habitation as does the host of Heaven. We who are blessed enough will know what He looks like when He comes back . This is a artist rendition and does not hurt any one

Ken) Are any of those who walked with Jesus alive today to tell us what He looked like? We will see Him when He returns and that will be in His glorified spiritual body. These so called "pictures of Jesus" keep him reduced to just a man instead of being God as He is in Heaven at the present time. That is why I posted the verse which tells us not to make any images of the Godhead which also violates the second commandment. Exodus 20:4 (KJV) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:>>>>> So No Amen Here!

One lady even posted the following comment “Love the way his face is shaped by the crowd's and the colors. Jesus is the way.... Amen” This lady was so sure she was looking at the face of Jesus that she even liked the way they shaped His face. My question is, what did she have to compare it with?  Unfortunately the picture I had linked to is no longer available however all of these pictures are fashioned after a notorious Roman Catholic nobleman named Cesare Borgia.  Click here for the story and pictures.

There is one thing that we definitely know and that Jesus did not have long hair. When we look at the majority of these pictures of Jesus, the artist always has Jesus with long hair. However, the Scriptures completely rebuff the idea that Jesus had long hair.

1 Corinthians 11:14-15 (KJV) Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? {15} But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

We see the contrast in the above verses. If a man has long hair, it is a shame unto him but if the woman has long hair, it is her glory because it is her covering.  The word “shame” in verse 14 carries with it the meaning of “disgrace or dishonor.” Did the Lord Jesus Christ ever do anything that would have been shameful or disgraceful? The answer is no and therefore He would not have had long hair which would have qualified as dishonor or disgrace. So we see here in these verses that these artist renderings of Jesus with long hair is false and actually is an accusation against Jesus as being shameful or disgraceful.

Probably one of the most famous pictures of Jesus is the association with Revelation 3:20 where Jesus stands at the door and knocks. If you look at any renderings, you will see they all have Jesus with shoulder length hair which is totally unbiblical. Let us continue to explore other reasons why these pictures of Jesus are totally unbiblical.

Jesus is subject to every artist
One of the problems with these pictures of Jesus is that every artist who paints or draws a picture makes them in the image of his imagination. No one has any idea what Jesus looked like and all they are doing is making Jesus in their own image. When we look at the first chapter in the book of Revelation, we see what the Lord Jesus Christ looks like today and it is no artists rendition.

Revelation 1:13-16 (KJV) And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. {14} His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; {15} And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. {16} And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

If you notice in the above description, we do not find anything that is even close to the type of pictures which are drawn by artists today. In fact, John describes Jesus as looking very awesome, we read his response in verse 17.

Revelation 1:17 (KJV) And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

When John saw Jesus, the first thing he did was that he fell at his feet as if he were dead. Now keep in mind that John had walked with Jesus for 3 ½ years while on the earth and never once did John fall on his face as dead while Jesus walked on earth. The sight of Jesus in Heaven was so overwhelming that John fell down dead in worship at the feet of Jesus. Do these pictures of Jesus we see today elicit that type of response? The answer is definitely no!

Jesus is viewed only as a man
Another problem with these pictures of Jesus is that they only portray Him as a man and not God. Yes, Jesus walked on earth for 3 ½ years but once He went back to Heaven, He resumed His place of authority at the right hand of God. Revelation 7:10 (KJV) And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. Revelation 7:10 tells us that in Heaven Jesus has a throne which means that He is ruling. These pictures of Jesus that we see lower his position down to a mere man as if He is still walking the dusty streets of Galilee. These pictures of Jesus are no better than the Roman catholic crucifix which still has Jesus on the cross. Reality must set in here because Jesus is no longer walking the roads nor is He still on the cross. All this graven art whether it be a dead image on a cross or an artists rendition is very unbiblical and quite evil because Jesus is alive and ruling in Heaven, soon to return. When one looks at Revelation 19, what description of Jesus do we see?

Revelation 19:11-13 (KJV) And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. {12} His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. {13} And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Like in Revelation 1, we read a description of Jesus which totally differs from all the pictures and images of Jesus that are around today. Jesus is returning to this earth as a conqueror with a glorious appearance which is represented by a white horse, as a leader of a conquering army would ride. He will also be the judge of this world as all unbelievers will stand before Him. Compare this description to the pictures of Jesus you see. Any similarities?

These pictures cause one to walk by sight and not by faith
2 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV) (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) Another unbiblical principle which these pictures of Jesus leads to is causing one to walk by sight and not by faith. This was how the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages became so powerful because they played on the illiteracy of the populace. The people could not read but they could surely see and see they did from pictures and images to relics and bones. Compare this principle to the power the visual media has over the public today, from movies to TV including the news. When people watch the news, they are engaging their faculties which includes both sight and sound, and that makes a powerful impact on any person and results in effective persuasion. Also, how do you think the false TV preachers can garner millions of dollars from the unsuspecting audiences? It is not only their words but when they combine those words with the art of crocodile tears, then those false feelings are sent through the TV and because the listener/watcher does not know they are fake, they begin to commiserate with the preacher and fall for his or her lies and then will act on that sympathy by sending in money which results in them receiving millions. These are the dangers of walking by sight and not by faith. The problem is that we see with our eyes and not through them. What I mean by that is that we do not allow our eyes to be the conduit to our minds so we can assess what we are seeing and think on those things to see if we are being conned. When we see with our eyes, our emotions will take over quickly and cause us to get into trouble. This is why so many Christians accept these false pictures of Jesus because they will not study the biblical prohibitions against them, instead they accept them because others do. No true Christian should own any picture of Jesus. It is just like having a crucifix because that has an image of Jesus on it too. If you wouldn’t have a crucifix, why would you have a picture of Jesus?

There are many different kinds of religious literature out there and one must be very discerning when assessing them. If we are not sure about something, then we must check things out in the Bible. When we took an average picture of Jesus that many of us see on a regular basis and compared it to the description of Him found in the book of Revelation, did we see any similarities? The answer is no. The book of Revelation has a glorious Jesus who is reigning from His throne and these pictures of Jesus that we see have Him as someone who continually knocks on doors or is in His humanity on the dusty roads of Israel. These pictures of Jesus must be rejected by true Christians. If you have any at home, then destroy them, do not give them away and cause someone else to be a victim of “sight Christianity.” These pictures do not build faith nor do they help you grow in your walk.