I was sitting at my kid's PSR (Parish School of Religion) Orientation, listening to the Priest drone on and on, and I couldn't help but think....
Jesus was never on TV, never on the radio, and there are no portraits of Jesus from any contemporary artists. People can speculate all they want, but there is zero real evidence of what Jesus looked like or sounded like. Now you can speculate that the Shroud of Turin is the negative image of Jesus, but the only thing official about the Shroud that modern science has confirmed is that the image and the injuries are consistent with a man who has been crucified. Sadly, crucifixion was not all that uncommon during Jesus' time.
Well, a few facts are certain. No matter your religious beliefs, there was a man named Jesus, the historical Jesus is a fact. Now you could argue about whether he was the Son of God depending on your religious preferences, but Jesus existed. Jesus did not live a long life. No historian has him older than 35. So you know Jesus wasn't a feeble old man. He walked everywhere spreading the word of God, so there's a 99% chance that he was skinny. Male, young, and skinny. There's a lot of people in the history of the world who have fit that description.
In your mind you have an image of Jesus. I have an image of Jesus. But in flesh and blood, if he was sitting in the same room as us, who would he remind you of when he spoke?
I go back to the PSR orientation. Our Priest is a good man, but he is soft spoken and 60-ish. Despite his goals to follow Jesus, I can't imagine that Jesus' mannerisms in real life were anything like his. What was Jesus like? I can't help but think that Jesus was good looking. In today's world, people elevate those that are good looking, but are the great unwashed masses more or less shallow than 2,000 years ago? I think an ugly Jesus would have had trouble garnering followers no matter how profound his message.
Without being too Blasphemous, let's throw some names out there.
The picture above is an altered image from the 2014 movie The Son of God. I haven't seen that movie, but in my mind, Diogo Morgado is way too sexy to be Jesus.
Lots of people have portrayed Jesus in the history of film, Jim Caviezel, Willem DaFoe, and Max von Sydow to name a few, but all those actors were aiming at capturing a fictional depiction of Jesus. You need to look at the question in the opposite way. Who lives a normal life today that would have the charisma and fortitude that Jesus would remind you of.
Mid-thirties, let's eliminate whites and blacks and aim for someone from the middle east. Israel, Syria, Lebanon, or Egypt, for example. The first name that pops into my mind is someone like Maajid Nawaz. Articulate. Handsome. Imagine Nawaz with long hair. Except he sounds so, so, British. Of Pakistani descent, Nawaz was imprisoned in Egypt at the beginning of the millennium and has since changed his moral philosophy. Obviously not a match, let's keep on thinking...
Omri Moshe Casspi played for the Cavs a few years back. Umm, a 6'9'' Jesus? Let's try again.
Steve Jobs had a Syrian father, but when I think of Jobs, I don't think Jesus, I think more about the guy down below. More like an Apple cult leader.
A young Jamie Farr, like MASH in 1975? Uh, no.
See it's not as easy as you think.
So I searched and searched, hour after hour, and came up with....David Faitelson.
David Faitelson was born in Israel, raised in Mexico, and is currently living in the United States. He is bilingual and works for ESPN Deportes. He would be slightly too old for our comparison, but 2,000 years ago, humans in general lived a hard life. So 45 today could look like 35 then. Faitelson talks about sports with the passion and zeal that I would imagine that Jesus would project when speaking of the glories of God. Faitelson also has that presence in front of the camera that makes him seem likeable. If you close your eyes, even though you may not speak Spanish, Faitelson's voice has a masculinity and richness that is appeasing to the auditory nerves of your ear.
Again, it's not a perfect comparison. Faitelson used to be heavier, so "skinny" is relative to his former frame, but it's the nuances, the gravitas, the way he presents himself which garners my comparison.
The phrase Jesus reminds me of David Faitelson has nothing to do with the content of their speech, or the way either man has lived their lives. Strictly a mannerism comparison.
Now, what's my point? Why fret about a question that you can't answer? I was indulging in my guilty pleasure, reading the Daily Mail UK, when I saw an article called Is the world going to end on September 23? Biblical prophecy of the 'Rapture' predicts the apocalypse will occur on that exact date. Now for all you heathens out there, the Rapture is when Jesus returns for the second coming and God raises all good Christians straight up to heaven, body and soul intact. Then all the malcontents torch the earth for 7 years, then peace on earth for a thousand years. (Or something like that.) When Jesus comes again, would you recognize him? He certainly wouldn't look like the guy on the right.
Watching a guy float down from the clouds would be the first tip off that he's Jesus. But if he just started walking around among us, what do Americans usually do to those who claim to be Jesus? (Rhymes with Lental Minstitution.) Which circles us back to the David Faitelson comparison, would Jesus do interviews and have a public proclamation, or would he just swoop down, grab the chosen, and yell...