In my series “Who Is Jesus?” I’ve addressed the arguments posed by those, even some who say that they are Christians, who do not believe that Jesus is God. I point out that Jesus, Himself, claimed that He is God;
John 10:25-30 (HCSB)25 “I did tell you and you don’t believe,” Jesus answered them. “The works that I do in My Father’s name testify about Me.26 But you don’t believe because you are not My sheep.27 My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand.29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.30 The Father and I are one.” (Bold mine)
I also point out that Jesus did things that only God can do (see “Jesus Is God”), that Jesus has attributes that only God has (see “Jesus Is God He Has Attributes That Only God Has”), and in my last post I show how He can be at the right hand of God and still be God (see “How Can Jesus Be God And Be At The Right Hand of God?”). This is the last post in this series and in it I deal with what is perhaps the biggest reason that skeptics say that Jesus isn’t and can’t be God.
They say that the Bible says that no man can see God and live or they use the statement that Jesus made that “No one has ever seen God”.
Exodus 33:20 (HCSB) But He answered, “You cannot see My face, for no one can see Me and live.”
John 1:18 (HCSB) No one has ever seen God. The One and Only Son— the One who is at the Father’s side— He has revealed Him.
There are places where the Bible says that men have seen God
There are places where the Bible says that men have not seen God.
The Bible never says that you can’t see God and live, what it says is that you can’t see His face or His full glory and live. In addition to the earlier scriptures that I quoted earlier, there are others where men have said they saw God. But in these instances they saw a man or an angel but I recounting their experience they did not say I saw a man or angel but God.
Jacob saw God appearing as a man.
Genesis 32:24-30 (HCSB)24 Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.25 When the man saw that He could not defeat him, He struck Jacob’s hip socket as they wrestled and dislocated his hip.26 Then He said to Jacob, “Let Me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me.”27 “What is your name?” the man asked. “Jacob,” he replied.28 “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” He said. “It will be Israel because you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.”29 Then Jacob asked Him, “Please tell me Your name.” But He answered, “Why do you ask My name?” And He blessed him there.30 Jacob then named the place Peniel, “For I have seen God face to face,” ⌊he said,⌋ “and I have been delivered.”
Samson’s parents saw God.
Judges 13:22 (HCSB)22 “We’re going to die,” he said to his wife, “because we have seen God!”
Jesus was God in the flesh and people saw Him.
Philippians 2:5-8 (HCSB)5 Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus,6 who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage.7 Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form,8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross.
Jesus said that He has revealed God.
John 1:14-18 (HCSB)14 The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 (John testified concerning Him and exclaimed, “This was the One of whom I said, ‘The One coming after me has surpassed me, because He existed before me.’”)16 Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from His fullness,17 for the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.18 No one has ever seen God. The One and Only Son— the One who is at the Father’s side— He has revealed Him.
Yes people have seen God and lived, however they have not and cannot see God revealed in all His glory. Man, in our mortal, human condition would be consumed and destroyed if God were to reveal Himself to us in all His glory. Mankind lost its ability to see God because of sin.
1 John 1:5 (HCSB)5 Now this is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him.
Hebrews 12:14 (HCSB)14 Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness—without it no one will see the Lord.
Psalm 5:4-6 (HCSB)4 For You are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil cannot dwell with You.5 The boastful cannot stand in Your presence; You hate all evildoers.6 You destroy those who tell lies; the LORD abhors a man of bloodshed and treachery.
Therefore in our sinful state mankind cannot survive in the presence or God’s full glory. He does allow us to get glimpses of Him through His Son Jesus. .
There will come a time when we shall see Him in all His glory
1 John 3:1-3 (HCSB)1 Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children. And we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know Him.2 Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is.3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.
Paul may have had a glimpse but he wasn’t allowed to tell us about it and even then I don’t believe that he saw God in His full glory because if he had he would not have been able to write about it.
2 Corinthians 12:2-4 (HCSB)2 I know a man in Christ who was caught up into the third heaven 14 years ago. Whether he was in the body or out of the body, I don’t know, God knows.3 I know that this man—whether in the body or out of the body I don’t know, God knows--4 was caught up into paradise. He heard inexpressible words, which a man is not allowed to speak.
We all look to that day when we will clearly see the God in all His glory.
1 Corinthians 15:50-57 (HCSB)50 Brothers, I tell you this: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and corruption cannot inherit incorruption.51 Listen! I am telling you a mystery: We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed,52 in a moment, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.53 For this corruptible must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal must be clothed with immortality.54 When this corruptible is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place: Death has been swallowed up in victory.5 Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?56 Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
This is what made Jesus emptying Himself so great.
Philippians 2:7 (HCSB) Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form,
Although no man has ever seen God at any time Christ revealed or declared Him. Christ lived with us and we did see His glory.
John 1:14 (HCSB)14 The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (HCSB)12 For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known.
The Bible says that if you seek God you will find Him.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (HCSB)11 For I know the plans I have for you”—⌊this is⌋ the LORD’s declaration—“plans for ⌊your⌋ welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.12 You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
Jesus said those you can’t see him but believe in Him are blessed.
John 20:29 (HCSB) Jesus said, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed.”
Are you ready so seek God with your whole heart even though you cannot see Him now? If you are you have to do it on God’s terms and His terms require that you believe on His Son Jesus.
Acts 4:8-12 (HCSB)8 Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders:9 If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a disabled man—by what means he was healed--10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead—by Him this man is standing here before you healthy.11 This ⌊Jesus⌋ is the stone rejected by you builders, which has become the cornerstone.12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it.”
Romans 10:9-10 (NKJV)9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
If you’re ready pray this prayer in all sincerity (only you and God know if you’re really sincere);
“Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I now invite Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Savior.”
If you have just prayed this prayer, in all sincerity, call, text, email, Tweet, change your Facebook status and tell somebody. Leave me a comment here or send me an email with this Link. Then find a bible believing church and start to fellowship with other believers.
This blog is for you! If you have any questions or topics you would like me to address please use the comments section or email me at email@example.com
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.