When I was a little girl growing up in Africa, all of the Sunday school papers that arrived from the U.S. depicted Jesus as white, Caucasian. That seemed quite normal to me till one day my white friend’s mom handed me a stack of black-and-white Bible story photos to color for her children’s class. The flesh-colored crayon just didn’t seem right for Jesus’ face, and so I chose brown.
How do you perceive Jesus? What does He look like to you? We know He was Jewish and probably had dark skin and dark eyes (darker than I am, lighter than the Nigerians). Do Africans see Him as black? Do Asians picture Him as having their skin tone? In our prejudices and comfort, do we view Him as being culturally the same as we are? Would I identify with or be drawn to a black Jesus? An Asian Jesus? Would a Hispanic view Him as a God of love if He were Caucasian?
Does it matter how I picture Him? In heaven will we all see Him as He really is? Or will we each see Him differently through our own eyes? Personally, I think we’ll all see Him the same—because we will know the truth. Race will no longer be an issue. And we’ll all share a heavenly culture.
Visual: On earth, it looks like each culture is separated into different rooms or cubicles. We can visit each others’ rooms if we like. We can even marry or be adopted into different rooms. But the groups continue to remain segregated for the most part by race or culture.
But in heaven? There will be no partitions, no walls, rooms or cubicles. Just unity. Why? Our focus will no longer be on each other. Our focus will all be on Him. Why not start practicing that now?