Did Jesus have long hair?
Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? (1 Corinthians 11:14) Would the Apostle Paul pen these words, by the inspiration of God, then Jesus look otherwise? I think not.
Confusion begins when we fail to see the difference between a Nazarene and a Nazarite. Jesus dwelt in a city called Nazareth: “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew 2:23) Although Jesus lived in Nazareth, He was not a Nazarite. Those taking the vow of a Nazarite, (signifying a time of mourning, and humiliation) separated themselves from wine and strong drink, nor eat moist or dried grapes. No razor came upon his head, and he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. (Numbers 6:1-5)
At the end of a Nazarite’s separation (usually a minimum of 30 days) he would shave his head, putting the hair in the fire under the sacrifice of the peace offering. (Numbers 6:18) Samson was a Nazarite, hence his long hair. (Judges 13:3-7, 16:17)
Among the transgressions charged against the children of Israel: ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink, and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not. (Amos 2:12)
Since Nazarites were not allowed to touch a dead body, (Numbers 6:6) Jesus would have broken the vow when He took the hand of a dead maid and she arose. (Matthew 9:25)
He also consumed wine. (Matthew 11:19)
The Bible describes Jesus as looking like any other Jewish man of His time. He hath no form nor comeliness (magnificence, beauty); and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. (Isaiah 53:3)
On many occasions He simply slipped away and blended into the crowds. When the Jews sought to kill Jesus for healing on the sabbath, And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed Himself away a multitude being in that place. (John 5:13) When those in the synagogue were filled with wrath, desired to kill Jesus by throwing Him off a cliff, But He passed through the midst of them and went His way. (Luke 4:28-30) The Jews Then took up stones to cast at Him, but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. (John 8:59) Therefore they sought again to take Him: but He escaped out of their hand. (John 10:39) Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said. Where is He? (John 7:11) When Judas, who betrayed Jesus, arrived with the soldiers carrying lanterns and torches and weapons, Jesus identified Himself twice to them by saying "I am He”. (John 18:3-9) Judas gave the great multitude “a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, the same is He:” (Matthew 26:47-49)
Solomon, King of Israel c: 973-933 BC, sings the great love between Christ, the husband, and His bride, the Church. Look how Solomon describes Christ: My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand. His head is as the most fine gold, His locks are bushy (curled) and black as a raven. (Song of Solomon 5:10,11) Remember Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it; (Ephesians 5:25)
Study the surviving statues from Jesus time. Those of famous Greeks and Caesars of Rome, the leaders of their nations, have short hair. (ie. Agustus, Pompy, King Herod, Emperor Tiberius, etc.)
Not surprisingly, those surviving statues of the pagan gods all have long hair. During the Emperor Constantine’s reign, some worshiping Jesus began to depict His likeness as one of the great pagan gods. Most popular, from the fourth century, and the one surviving to this day, was the pagan god Sarapis. Roman worshipers selected the Egyptian model of Sarapis (Zeus) to be their new Jesus, by changing the image of Zeus into Jesus. Even the halo seen in so many paintings was borrowed from Apollo, the sun god. The modern, long haired depiction of Jesus still closely resembles that of Zeus.
Knowing that we worship images, is it any wonder that God commanded that Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: ( Exodus 20:4) Notice the long hair description of evil spirits. (Revelation 9:8)
Perhaps there is a reason some did not initially recognize Jesus after His resurrection. Before He was crucified, Jesus bore the blackness of our sins upon His head. His locks are bushy, and black as a raven. (Song of Solomon 5:11) Look how the Apostle John describes Jesus after He arose: His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow: (Revelation 1:14) Our sins are gone!
Since He hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; (Revelation 1:6) Look at God’s instruction as to how priests were to appear: Neither shall they shave their heads, nor suffer their locks to grow long: They shall only poll (cut short) their heads. (Ezekiel 44:20)
Even in our appearance, let us remember to Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
Elder Don R. Watson