Yeshua, His given Hebrew name.

Luke 1:30-31…The angel spoke to her, “Do not be afraid, Miriam, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will become pregant and give birth to a son, and you shall call His name Yeshua.”

Matthew 1:20-21…But while he considered these things, behold, an angel of Adonai appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Miriam as your wife, for the Child conceived in her is from Rauch-ha-Kodesh. She will give birth to a son; and you shall call His name Yeshua, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Yeshua, or the anglicized name, Jesus, was a Jew. Yes, I know you already know that….or do you? { If you are interested in the linguistics of His name transformation, you can read a bit more here. }

Have you ever wondered why the picture of a pale, emaciated-looking, long-haired hippy dude ever came to be the accepted norm of how Yeshua looked??

Scripture references are limited that tell us what He actually looked like and since we know all scripture is Holy Spirit breathed {2 Timothy 3:16-17}, we can be assured He planned it that way.

Prophecy from Isaiah 53:2 {pre-crucifixion}says this…For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, like a root out of dry ground. He had no form or majesty that we should look at Him, nor beauty that we should desire Him.

Nope, He wasn’t a Tom Selleck or a Sam Elliott! And yes, I know I just gave my age away! 🙂

In Isaiah 52:14, NLT, the prophet Isaiah describes how Yeshua would appear after the crucifixion…
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.

Yeshua was beaten beyond recognition as He suffered the punishment for your sins and mine.

Would you agree there seems to be a Grand Canyon gap between those two descriptions of Yeshua?

From the culture of His day and Old Testament law instructing how Jewish men should groom their hair and beards, we can use some common sense deductions to determine what His physical appearance may have been. As a Jewish man, He would have been dark-skinned, dark-haired, and dark-eyed.

We know from Ezekiel 44:20 He would not have had long hair. His hair was short and most likely curly and He would have worn long sidelocks called peyots. The Jewish men of the day were an average height of 5’5″. He was a carpenter, lean, strong, and healthy. From Leviticus 19:27, 21:1-5, we know He would have had a full beard which we read in Isaiah 50:6 had patches violently ripped from His face before His crucifixion.

I can hear you asking me….”Why did you just tell us all of that?” I’m so glad you asked! I can speak only for myself by saying this…. I have believed a lot of things and accepted a lot of things just because someone in authority told me to. The example being the pictures of Jesus that hang in churches and homes all around the world but are not what He looked like at all.

I have listened to hundreds of sermons and teachings, attended more conferences than I can count, taught Bible studies and facilitated recovery support groups for years.

I have traveled alone in crappy vehicles to conferences where I knew no-one, one time having a flat tire on the Interstate that was changed by ex Hells Angels who were Believers and who I know God sent to help me. I have stayed with strangers who became dear friends and sat under the teachings of some of the “big” names in Christianity.

Out of all those years, I can pinpoint three life experiences that have radically altered the direction of my spiritual life.

The first one was in the 1980s. An elderly evangelist gave an eye-opening, at least for me, sermon declaring the truth of the Word that I was a Victor….NOT a Victim!! I was just a few years into my faith and battling a spirit of jealousy that was destroying my young marriage.

Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous. Proverbs 27:4 NLT

For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices. James 3:16 AMP

My jealousy issue was generational and a product of growing up in an alcoholic home. The Holy Spirit did His work of causing the Word to bring light, repentance, deliverance, and power. I was free and I had to choose to stay free by agreeing with the Living God that I was a Victor because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ on a Roman cross.

The number two experience was September of 2019. I traveled to Missouri to attend an Ashes to Beauty Conference with my sweet daughters. Hundreds of women from varied backgrounds and denominations, including Amish, Church of the Brethren, Mennonite, Pentecostal, Baptist, Charismatic, and everything in between …came together to praise and worship, find emotional, spiritual and physical healing, and hear the miraculous life-changing testimonies of women who weren’t Christian “superstars”. They were women who were sold out to Jesus and not ashamed to tell their stories of sin and His redeeming love. In all my years, I have never experienced anything like this conference. Sisters in Christ who I had never met, washed my feet, listened to my heart, and had been praying for me and everyone attending in the weeks leading up to the conference.

Even before I got to the airport in Colorado to fly to Missouri, my Father was preparing me for the healing He had ordained for me at this time and place in my life. I came to know in every fiber of my being that I am His daughter. My adoption {Galatians 4:4-7} was sealed with the Holy Spirit in my heart of hearts.

My father and mother abandoned me. I’m like an orphan! But you took me in and made me yours. Psalm 27:10 TPT

And last but certainly not least, I just finished a Bible study with a delightful group of friends titled Jesus & Women: In The First Century and Now by Kristi McLelland.

There wasn’t a week that went by that we didn’t look at one another in amazement after the teaching video and exclaim, “I never knew that!” Mind you, we were all women who have been in the scriptures and Bible studies for years. What made the difference? We were feasting on the Word of the Living God through Jewish eyes and culture, not our Western Greco-Roman minds.

All my life, I have been reading the scriptures and asking…..”What does this teach me about me?” which has caused me to naval gaze and make everything all about me. But when I ask, “What does this teach me about God?” I am gazing at Him and my life drifts into the background. Only as I look at Him can my life be truly changed and transformed.

This has become my prayer…

Father, open my eyes to see Yeshua in every word I read in the scriptures….

May I no longer peer through the lense of man’s organized religion and Western mindsets…

I set my heart to seek the story of Your heart that pursues and restores with honor and dignity….

Holy Spirit breathe truth into my very being….wash over me with the living cleansing Word….

Yeshua….it’s to You I bow….You are the Holy One of Israel….The Lion of Judah….The Soon Coming King….