The Bible tells us that Jesus is a Jew. The genealogies in Mat. 1 and Luke 3 show Jesus’ Jewish ancestry, which is neatly summed up in the first verse of the New Testament:
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
David and Abraham were Jews, and Jesus descended from them.
So, although we don’t know exactly what Jesus looked like, we know he would have had certain Jewish features.1 A reconstruction of the face of a typical first century Galilean Jew has been made using forensic science and may give some indication of what Jesus might have looked like.
Additionally, Isaiah 53:2, which is part of a prophecy about Jesus, says the following about what he looked like:
…he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.
It appears from this that Jesus was not particularly attractive to look at; rather, he looked quite ordinary.
However, even though Jesus wasn’t beautiful to look at, he had a beautiful character, ‘full of grace and truth’ (John 1:14), and this is what is really important because God ‘does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’ (1Sam.16:7 (NIV)).
1. The Samaritan woman in John 4, even with only a short interaction with Jesus, could tell he was a Jew:
The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) [John4:9]
This was probably because of his language and accent as well as his physical features.