What Do You See?

How many of you want to see God’s glory? If you look at the scenery around you, or you look at how particular God has made the human body and mind, you might think “how exquisite,” or you may be left in awe never really thinking anything besides how awesomely created the world is. I was reading through John the other day and this question jumped out at me: Who has really seen God?

Exodus 33:20 says it this way, “he said, ‘you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.’” (NIV) This is what God had told Moses after he asked to see God’s glory. However, God was still gracious enough to allow Moses to see a portion of his glory. He told him about a crack in the rock that he good stand in that God could pass by him without him seeing his face. And as he passed by God put out his hand to cover Moses to be sure he doesn’t see his face. Moses’ encounter with God lets me know something about God’s character that is quite intriguing. God wanted to show Moses his glory because of the deep relationship that they had together.

Think about it this way. Before Adam and Eve sinned they were perfect and in right standing with God. They were so close to God that they knew God’s footsteps. They were completely perfect beings who when they sinned ceased being perfect driving up a wall between them and God that needed to be corrected.

The verse that leapt out at me was John 1:18 which says, “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” This section of scripture tells of a great testimony of the Word of God. It starts out with John 1:1 echoing Genesis 1:1. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 is proclaiming God as the creator of everything in heaven and earth while John 1:1 proclaims a bold statement about whom and what the word really is. This single verse says a lot to the deity of Christ especially when you read on in the chapter. John 1:1-2 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” These verse’s say three things:

  1. The Word is from the beginning,
  2. The Word is God, and
  3. The Word is a person.

This first section goes on to mention that the Word/God made everything and him was life and light. It is in John 1:14 where the story gets really juicy—it says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Do you see where this is juicy? It was just mentioned before this verse that the true light was coming into the world. We know who the true light is—it is the Word—and he is coming to live among us. So, so far we have:

  1. The Word is from the beginning,
  2. The Word is God,
  3. The Word is a person,
  4. The Word created everything,
  5. In the Word is life and light,
  6. The Word is coming to dwell among us, and
  7. The Word is full of grace and truth.

I must also restate a point that was said in John 1:14—and we have SEEN his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. Now, this is still speaking of the word; but, what did we just learn? We learned that the Word IS God.

Let’s look at another place in John where Jesus is prophesying about his death. John 14:5-10 says:

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” This is apparently something that a lot of people wanted. Moses wanted to see God’s glory and now Philip and the other 11 wanted to see the Father. But, what does Jesus say? “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” That is a huge statement that Jesus just said. He did not say “No one has ever seen God,” but rather “whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life!” What was in the Word? Life was in the Word. Something else from John 1 comes from verse 17, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John is letting us know that we find grace and we have received that grace through Jesus Christ. So now, what do we know?

  1. The Word is from the beginning,
  2. The Word is God,
  3. The Word is a person,
  4. The Word created everything,
  5. In the Word is life and light,
  6. The Word is coming to dwell among us,
  7. The Word is full of grace and truth,
  8. Grace and truth came from Jesus Christ, and
  9. Whoever has seen Jesus has seen the Father.

Happy shouting time there! Whoever has seen Jesus has seen God because he is in the Father and the Father is in him. Jesus is God come in the flesh! To end this article I will leave you with a good song that I have recently come across sung by David Phelps called, The End of the Beginning. It talks about who Jesus is and why he came. My favorite line in the whole song is “And for the first time here on earth, we learned that God could be a friend.” We learned he could be a friend because he chose to come into this world, revealing himself to us, dying for us, all that we might live for him, in him, and through him. Have a listen:

Peace, Love, Christ, ’cause you know he died for you.

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