While there are differing opinions on this subject, one thing is certain. We won’t know the answer to this question, until we go to Glory. No one knows. Not you, not me, not your preacher, not your grandma. Scripture is very clear on this…
Many well meaning preachers and teachers of the Scripture, these days, who love God and are seeking to keep their young men clean, are misapplying verses about short hair on men, to Jesus. No one is implying that men, today, should have long hair, nor, am I giving license. We should go by the dictates of the Apostle Paul, who said…
“Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?” I Corinthians 11:14 (KJV)
For a man to have long hair, it is a “shame.” According to Paul, long hair is for a woman, because she is under authority.
“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” (I Corinthians 11:3. Please read the whole chapter.)
If it’s a shame for a man to have long hair, why write an article on it? Here is my answer: There are many wonderful truths, hidden in Scripture that, if we take the time to study, will help us grow spiritually perceptive lives. Every subject, in Scripture, is important. Therefore, we will take the necessary time it takes, to study this out.
“Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.” II Corinthians 5:16 (KJV)
Though the Jews were required not to round the corners of their heads nor mar the corners of their beards (Leviticus 19:27), that is not the reason for my allegation.
Instead of asking the initial question, “Did Jesus have long hair?” With your permission, I would like to modify that question, a bit, with a new question…Is it possible that Jesus had long hair? There, that’s an better question to ask. And, to that question, I respond with a resounding “YES!” There are three main reasons that I believe He did.
1. His nature…
Here are some of the reasons:
First of all, being both God and man, Jesus didn’t exactly have to go by the same rules we do. Now, don’t laugh this off, too quickly. Remember, the Scripture does say that He was “in the form of God” (Philippians 2:6). And, being in the form of God, doesn’t it stand to reason that He was also in the form of man? Yes, it does. He was in the form of God, and He was also in the “likeness” of man.
”But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men….” Philippians 2:7
Since Jesus was both God and man, who should dictate the length His of hair? …A Baptist preacher?!
Let’s go further. Don’t we believe that Jesus appeared as the Angel of the Lord, in the Old Testament, and the fourth man in the fire? (Genesis sixteen and Daniel three) What did He look like, back then? And, while we are pondering that, what will He look like, in the future, with legs of brass and a head of “…hairs…white like wool, as white as snow; and…eyes…as a flame of fire…”, at His Second Coming? (Revelation 1:14)
Will the length of His hair, be a “sin,” then? Will someone quote I Corinthians eleven to Jesus, at His (Second) Coming, by telling Him that “…was dead…” and is “…alive for evermore…”, who has “…the keys of hell and of death….” (Revelation 1:18), that He went against Scripture?
2. To fulfill a type…
The type I am referring to, here, was Samson. Please, read Judges, chapters thirteen to sixteen. Samson was a type of Christ.
- He ate honey out of the dead carcass of a Lion. Judges fourteen (Revelation 5:5, Psalm 119:103)
- He told riddles. Judges fourteen (Like Jesus told parables—Ezekiel 17:2, Matthew thirteen)
He had a Nazarite vow…
“For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name: But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.” Judges 13:5-7
Like Samson, as far as we know, Jesus never drank wine or grape juice. (Scripture does not say.) He was accused of drinking it (Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:34), and gave it to his Disciples. (Matthew 26:27-29) But, at the last supper, he—who turned water into wine …John 2:1-11—would “not drink” it himself.
[By the way, Jesus never came near a dead body that He didn’t raise. (See Numbers 6:9)]
Since the only way someone knew that a man had a Nazarite vow was the length of their hair, the only difference between Samson and Jesus, at this point, concerning a vow, is that the Scripture never says anything about Jesus’ hair.
3. To fulfill prophecy…
Although Psalm 44 has a direct reference to Israel, verse 15 refers to an individual…“My confusion is continually before me, and the shame of my face hath covered me….”
Psalm 69 is the great prophetical chapter on the coming of Christ. Please take time to read it. You will be glad you did. Here are two verses that deal with this subject.
“Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.” (Verse 7)
“Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.” (Verse 19)
Here, read Isaiah 50:6 and Isaiah 53.
What shame and reproach did Jesus bear? Was it only on Calvary? Wasn’t that reproach prophesied before he died—calling him “lowly” (Zechariah 9:9), and “meek” (Matthew 21:5) and of “no reputation”? (Philippians 2:7)
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)
How did Jesus humble himself? Wasn’t it from and through the incarnation? Wasn’t He humble all His life—learning obedience through the things He suffered? (Hebrews 5:8) The question comes in, here, when did He start bearing shame? Didn’t He constantly please the Father, by always submitting to the dictates of Scripture? Didn’t He say, “I do always those things that please him…”? (John 8:29)
Why was it necessary for Jesus to have long hair? So, He could fulfill the types and prophecies about it. How was that accomplished? By fulfilling the law of God (found in Numbers six), concerning a Nazarite vow.
You might have an objection, here, saying that “It doesn’t say anywhere in Scripture that Jesus had a vow. If He had a Nazarite vow, like the Apostle Paul took one, in Acts 21, we would know it. So, that seals it, for me.” You may be right, but Scripture doesn’t always say something just because we want to know. A lot of things that we don’t understand today, we will realize later in Glory. (I Corinthians 13:12)
Someone suggested, that if Jesus had a vow, when Judas turned him in to the authorities, instead of saying “…Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he…” , Judas would have said “the man you are looking for is the man with the long hair.”
That may be true, but it was not uncommon, back then, for Jews to take a Nazarite vow (remember Paul). And, don’t forget, it was after supper had ended, early in April. (Matthew 26:30) Maybe He slipped on his poncho because it was cool in the evening, in the Mount of Olives, and decided to cover His head.
Though Jesus was a rugged carpenter, Scripture never indicates that His hair was ever untidy or unkempt.
Last, and most important, let’s say, for argument sake, that Jesus, like Sampson, had a Nazarite vow on him, from the womb. When would that vow have ended? According to Numbers chapter six, the priest offered “…a sin-offering, and…a burnt offering to make an atonement for him…” (verse 12), after the vow was done. Should the spotless Lamb of God have a lamb offered for Him, for a “trespass-offering”? May I remind you that Jesus was not a sinner; He was the Saviour. “All the days of His Separation, he is holy unto the Lord.” Jesus was holy all His life, and never was defiled. Therefore, he never needed to cut His hair. That is why I conclude that His vow would have lasted His entire life; until He made the atonement for our sin(s). Truly, it’s a shame for a man to have long hair.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
When did that shame begin? At His Birth (Judges 13:7, Luke 1:31—please compare these two verses)? Or, at His crucifixion?