The Faces of Jesus

The Faces of Jesus

Kindness, pure love, and mercy, mixed with an accurate judgment and wholesome justice, are features that can all be found in Jesus Christ. How would His face have appeared like?
The personality of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and founder of Christianity, has always aroused people's imagination. And, of course, believers always tried to find out how exactly He looked like. And naturally, there are plenty of people who claimed to have seen His face in various places.
For instance, in Belvedere, somewhere near London, there was a man called Martin Gregory. In 2006, he discovered a very strange fern of asparagus. According to its owner, the asparagus was about ten years old. He was thinking that the plant was dying, and so he thought of putting it in another pot. That is how he discovered the 'miracle': "I thought, good gracious! It's the face of Jesus!"
Another such example is said to have been noticed still somewhere in Britain. The picture was taken by a Chinese photographer who was riding his bike home one snowy day. He said he was troubled, because he saw most of his friends turning to Christianity, and he was actually looking for answers. So, on that day, while he was going home, he said in his mind: "Lord, if I could only see your face, I would believe." Then all of a sudden he could hear a voice saying, "Take a picture. Take a picture." That is how he discovered a strange, unexpected image on the roadway. He took a picture of the black earth and melting snow. When he went home and developed the picture, in that image actually appeared to him the face of Christ. And since then he became a Christian.
In the same way, lots of people claimed to have seen the face of Jesus in cloud patterns. As it commonly happens, such images actually appeared when people who took pictures of clouds developed the pictures. Many such figures and bearded faces have been seen in other natural phenomena like thunderstorms, hurricanes, or even in the Cone Nebula clouds. The so-called Cone Nebula, aka NGC 2264, stands for a region found in the Monoceros constellation. This zone was discovered in 1785 by William Herschel and it is located about 2,601 light years from our planet.
At any rate, since all these claimed appearances hardly resemble each other, it's rather a tricky, debatable issue. Yet, to those really wanting to see the face of Jesus, I would like to retell the story of an Italian monk, called Epiphanius. One day, this monk realized he was endowed with a wonderful gift: that of painting beautiful pictures. His greatest desire was to create a masterpiece, representing the true face of Jesus. But he found himself at a loss when it came to finding the right model. He needed someone who expressed all the suffering, the love, death and resurrection, the human and divine of Jesus. And such a face was very hard to imagine, and therefore paint. So the monk got really anxious and decided to travel all around Europe, in order to find his inspiration. He would look at the faces of everybody he came across, but he simply couldn't find the right model for his creation.
One night, the monk had an unusual dream. He dreamed that an angel was taking him back to all the faces he had encountered during his journey. The angel showed him every detail that made the true face of Jesus: the joyful face of a newly-wedded wife, the innocence of a child, the strength of a peasant, the sufferance of a sick person, the kindness and tenderness of a mother towards her children, the fear of an orphan, the severity of a judge, the mercy of a forgiver, and the bandaged face of leper. So he got back to his monastery and started to paint.
A year later, the painting was ready, and he decided to show it to his fellow monks. They were so deeply moved that they fell to their knees. The face of Jesus was so wonderful, like he was looking inside each one of them, calling them to Himself. But when being asked, Epiphanius couldn't really tell who his model was. The monk had actually realized that it was impossible to find the face of Jesus in just one man. He could see Jesus in every person.
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