In this sermon clip, Pastor Sheffer explores a profound truth central to the Christian faith: Jesus Christ’s declaration, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This powerful assertion from John 14:6 underlines the universal nature of Christ’s message – a Gospel for all nations, transcending racial and cultural boundaries.
A striking aspect of the Bible’s portrayal of Jesus is its deliberate avoidance of physical descriptions. Unlike many historical figures whose physical attributes are meticulously recorded, the Bible remains conspicuously silent on Jesus’ physical appearance. This absence of description is not an oversight but a deliberate choice that speaks volumes.
The Bible, notably in Revelation, uses poetic language to describe Jesus, but these descriptions focus on his divine nature rather than his earthly appearance. References to his skin “as bronze in a furnace” symbolize his glorified, radiant state as the Son of God, not his skin color during his earthly ministry. This imagery points us to his divine essence rather than his human form.
This lack of physical description is particularly significant given the diverse ethnicities within the Jewish community, both in ancient times and today. From Ethiopian and Sudanese Jews to Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, the Jewish lineage is varied. Jesus himself, coming from a line of kings who married foreign wives, likely had a complex heritage that defies simple categorization.
It’s intriguing to consider that if Sheffer, or anyone else, were tasked with writing the New Testament, one of our first inclinations might be to describe Jesus physically. We often yearn for a tangible image to connect with, perhaps to create depictions or statues. However, this is precisely what the Bible and Jesus himself avoid.
By not providing a physical description, the Bible emphasizes that Jesus’ message and significance transcend human categories like race or ethnicity. It allows believers of all backgrounds to see themselves in Christ, to relate to him beyond physical characteristics. This omission is a powerful statement about the universality of Jesus’ message and his role as the Savior of all humanity, not just a specific group.
In our diverse, interconnected world, this aspect of Jesus’ portrayal in the Bible is a reminder that the Christian faith is inclusive and welcoming to all. It’s a call to focus on the spiritual and divine nature of Christ, rather than the earthly distinctions that often divide us.
May we always remember that in Christ, there is no division – we are all one in Him, regardless of our physical appearances or cultural backgrounds.