What does Jesus look like to you?John Brennan
Hollywood has a fascination with our Lord and Savior, (for very different reasons, that much we have in common!) and every few years they release what I’m sure they believe is the most accurate depiction of Jesus. But Jesus was born of Jewish descent in the Middle East, and no I wasn’t there, but I’m pretty sure He didn’t have dazzling white skin and just the hint (or sometimes a heavy dose!) of a British accent. So why does Hollywood need to turn the Bible on its ear? In the book of Genesis, we’re told we were made in the image and likeness of God, so why does Hollywood need to make Jesus in the image and likeness of Pierce Brosnan, a white man with a British accent? Box office, that’s why. Would you go to see a movie with an actor looking like the image that National Geographic Magazine spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and several years researching?
But would we know Jesus if we met him today? Would we welcome him, or would we judge him? Put yourself back in His time: would you be a disciple (very few were) or would you stand amid his persecutors, yelling “Crucify him!” I ask myself that same question every year, and I pray that I would have been a disciple, but I’m just not sure. The popular notion at that time was that Jesus was a false prophet, which is why the Jews wanted Pilate to execute Him. Where would you stand? Where do you stand now? Do you seek the face of God in everyone you meet? Whether rich or poor, straight or gay, successful or down-trodden, or a member of another religion, or atheist? In his Gospel (15: 9), our Patron Saint John writes the words of our Lord: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” There is no asterisk * next to Jesus’ words. No exceptions or conditions like “as long as they are Catholic!” “One another”, inclusive, it means everyone, even Seahawks fans!
This Lent try seeing Jesus in everyone, including the person across the aisle at church, the angry DMV clerk, the drug addict, the proud and boastful neighbor that seems to live their life to “one up” you, your spouse, your children, everywhere you look. Seek Jesus, and you will find Him; or should I say, He will find you!
Back to the movies, I’d pay my hard earned money to see the talented Naveen Andrews play Jesus. It’s just my opinion, but I think this is closer to what Jesus looked like back in His day, and Naveen possesses the sensitivity in his acting to pull it off. Hollywood better hurry up though! Naveen just turned 45!
In the end, Jesus looks just like that person you see in the mirror; and the kid at school that is suffering the (temporary) ravages of acne; and the co-worker who has turned to anger to deal with the death of a loved one. It is our job to seek him, in all our fellow humans. Open your mind, your eyes and your heart, and you will find him in everyone!