When I was a kid I had a couple super-annoying skin conditions. Maybe you’ve experienced that too. First I had eczema. Second, an allergic reaction to nickel in metal alloys (I still can’t wear watches with metal backs, or I break out). Then I developed plantar warts on my fingers and the soles of my feet. Disgusting, right? I remember being a freshman in high school, new to the school because I had only gone to a small private school prior to that, embarrassed of my wart-ridden fingertips, so I would ball my hands into fists, covering the warts. Of course, acne is an ever-present reality for many teens. Thankfully, I grew out of my skin conditions. But if you watch Dr. Pimple Popper online, people of all ages, shapes and sizes can have skin conditions of astounding varieties.
Do you think Jesus dealt with any of those skin conditions? Or did God give him perfect skin? We contemporary humans can spend a lot of time, money and energy striving for so-called perfect skin, with our cremes and treatments and jade rollers. If you’re reading this wondering what jade rollers are, all I know is that my daughter’s friends got her one for her birthday last year. It looks like a mini-rolling pin that use on your face, and it is supposed to help you have better skin. Can you imagine Jesus using a jade roller on his face? I don’t think they had jade rollers, cremes or facials in the ancient near east (except for the wealthy), so it was highly likely that Jesus broke out like any teen and had acne. He probably popped his pimples, though I suspect most Jewish peasants did not have mirrors. Maybe they had a polished metal plate. Maybe they didn’t care about their appearance as much as we do.
If you’re wondering why I’m speculating about Jesus having skin conditions, it’s because the first week in our blog series studying the Gospel of John talks about that very topic. John doesn’t start with the birth of Jesus, and in fact, he begins before that. Way before that. Before there was a man named Jesus. But in short order, John fast-forwards to Jesus’ humanity, though he never mentions Jesus’ birth. Instead, strangely enough, John talks about Jesus’ skin. What we’ll learn about Jesus’ skin is surprisingly important to each of us.
Join us next week on the blog as we talk about it.