I have been saying for a couple of years now that we have to see Jesus in his culture and context to truly understand the Bible and the things that He said. Now Time Magazine has named “The re-judaizing of Jesus” as one of the 10 ideas that are changing the world in 2008.
Jesus was Jewish and didn’t look like the typical picture that we see of him today. As a matter of fact, no one knows for sure what Jesus looked like. We have no photograph of him and the Bible gives no concrete description of him. Most of what we see in pictures is obviously not correct. Being from the Middle East he would have been dark skinned or at least olive skinned with dark hair. Most of the pictures we have today picture Jesus with fair skin and light hair with Blue eyes, this is so far from what Jesus would have looked like.
I believe there is a purpose in this, we get the picture of who Jesus is by the things he did in the Gospel’s and I believe that is the only picture we are supposed to have.
At this point, many people are looking for Jesus to look like the pictures they have seen and not many would recognize him.
You can read the story from Time here http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/0,28757,1720049,00.html
There are many good books that you can read on the Jewishness of the Gospel and I will be glad to recommend them to you.