The lost sheep is black, not white. Woo-Hoo! You usually see this scene rendered with Jesus carrying a little white lamb on his shoulders. Of course, we all know that the only lost sheep/people … based on the condition of our own heart … are black sheep. I guess that would be all of us, now wouldn't it?
So there you have it, little bleating sheep. You're the black sheep … always have been. To give it a theological phrase, you always will be the black sheep without the free amazing, wonderful grace of Jesus.
Poor Jesus in this rendition is white, with perfect teeth and terrific hair. Go figure. If anything, his appearance looked liked the young men from Lebanon, Syria and Jordan that you see on the news. He was middle Eastern. He was not white, and he did not wear braces when he was a teen-ager fitted by the best orthodonist in Nazareth.
[This painting is on the 8th floor of MercyMedical Center in Sioux City, IA, where my mom is recuperating after a bad fall while up in northwestern Iowa visiting my brother.]