Mota Boy is right, but to further elaborate:
Most Europeans were illiterate after the Fall of Rome. Because books were extremely expensive, only the wealthy could afford to learn to read and own them. Churches were decorated with murals, mosaics, frescoes, and stained-glass windows depicting biblical scenes as a way to teach Christianity to the masses. Jesus was depicted as the Europeans looked: fair-skinned with dark hair. Early depictions were of a Jesus with short, dark hair and a baby-smooth face. The Byzantine Empire had the more well-known image of a bearded Jesus. As the decades passed, visual interpretations of Jesus would change with the times, and it was not uncommon for artists to place biblical events as happening in their own time.
The image of Jesus that we know best stems from the Renaissance. This was a period of new scientific growth and exploration as well as a time when people once again took interest in the stories of Rome and Greece. Jesus was outfitted with long, brown hair, a beard, and a white tunic with a red toga, harkening back to the Roman Empire. It's interesting how this image has lasted about 500 years.
When an artist reinvented Jesus for the 21st century as a clean-shaven black man, people were up in arms! Why? Because it wasn't close enough to the image people have of Jesus. Every culture that adopts Christianity will recreate Jesus in their likeness. The European Jesus is simply the best-known interpretation.
"I have tasted you Minnesota, and Minnesota you are tasty."
1997.10.11 - St Paul, MN [Roy Wilkins Auditorium]
1998.12.01 - Minneapolis, MN [First Ave.]
1999.05.30 - Somerset, WI [Float Rite Park]
2000.11.29 - St. Paul, MN [Roy Wilkins Auditorium]
2004.05.11 - Minneapolis, MN [First Ave.]
2005.07.24 - Minneapolis, MN [HHH Metrodome]
2009.06.19 - St. Paul, MN [Roy Wilkins Auditorium]
2010.07.05 - St. Paul, MN [Harriet Island]