One of the most common questions people ask about Jesus of Nazareth is, what did he look like? People wonder about the shade of his skin, his height and weight, his hair color and hairstyle, and the kind of clothes he wore. Another question people ask is what color Jesus’ eyes are.
The four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, which are by far the best historical records about the person and life of Jesus Christ, don’t mention his eye color. In Revelation, John describes Jesus’ eyes as “flames of fire”; however, that description isn’t intended to be understood literally.
Why don’t the Gospels describe Jesus’ physical appearance? What does Isaiah prophetically say about what Jesus would look like? What does the Bible say about eyes? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.
Also see What Did Jesus Wear? to learn more.
What did Jesus look like?
The Bible doesn’t describe Jesus’ appearance in detail. Even the four Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — which are like biographies of Jesus, don’t say what he looked like. The closest the Bible gets to describing Jesus’ appearance is in two prophetic verses found in the Old Testament book of Isaiah.
|ESV||“For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.”|
|KJV||“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.”|
|NASB||“For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.”|
|NIV||“He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”|
|NLT||“My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.”|
|ESV||“As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—”|
|KJV||“As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:”|
|NASB||“Just as many were astonished at you, My people, So His appearance was marred more than any man And His form more than the sons of men.”|
|NIV||“Just as there were many who were appalled at him — his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness—”|
|NLT||“But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man.”|
Rather than describing Jesus’ height, weight, eye color, or any other specific physical feature, Isaiah’s prophecy only generally mentions that he was an average-looking person whose appearance was eventually marred when he was arrested, beaten, and crucified.
In contrast to describing Jesus’ appearance, the Bible has a clear theme of not judging people according to what they look like. In John 7:24 Jesus said, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
Similarly, 1 Samuel 16:7 reads, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.'”
Also see Did Jesus Wear A Dress? to learn more.
Revelation’s depiction of Jesus’ appearance
Revelation describes Jesus’ appearance in a scene befitting apocalyptic literature. Similar to the Transfiguration of Christ (Matt. 17:1-7), what John sees is likely not how Jesus always looks but is unique to the eschatological revelation he is about to receive.
John writes: “Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.”
He continues: “The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.” (Revelation 1:12-16)
Also see Did Jesus Have a Tattoo? to learn more.
Bible verses about eyes
- Matthew 6:22, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light”
- Psalm 101:3, “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.”
- 1 Samuel 16:7, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.'”
- 2 Kings 6:17, “Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.’ So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
- Psalm 119:18, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.”
- Matthew 5:28, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
- Proverbs 20:12, “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both.”
- Mark 8:25, “Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.”
- Matthew 5:29, “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.”
- Proverbs 21:4, “Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin.”
Also see What Blood Type Was Jesus? to learn more.
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