“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?’“ – John 14:7-9
Only one person of the Triune God is visible to your eyes. You serve such a God, who is three persons in one, but you will only be able to see Him through His Son, upon whom you will one day look face-to-face.
We read in the Scriptures that no one has ever seen God, and in the child’s catechism we learn that “God is a spirit and does not have a body like man,” implying you cannot see the Father with your eyes. Should you be like some of the disciples, including Philip, and ask Jesus to show you the Father? Read again Jesus’ answer to such a question. But just as the Holy Spirit, you do not have the capacity to see God the Father. Two of the persons of the Trinity are fully invisible to your eyes. But Jesus is and always has been the visible image of the Godhead. The Apostle John said, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. and the Word was God,” and this same Word is and has always been the visible image of God.
In the first chapter of Job we are told that Satan presented himself before the Lord. Did Satan see God in this encounter? This is the spiritual world made up of persons not visible, except for when they make themselves visible, just as God and two of His angels did when visiting Abraham near Sodom and Gomorrah. Do you know if “the Lord” in this revelation in Genesis is God the Father or the pre-incarnate Son? But because the Scriptures tell us in John 1:18 that no one has ever seen God, then the theophanies of the Old Testament are always the second person of the Trinity.
He appeared to Joshua as the Captain of the Lord’s Hosts. He wrestled with Jacob. He was in the burning bush and spoke to Moses. He was in the pillar of fire and towering cloud which led Israel out of Egypt. These are “theophanies”, visible manifestations of God to man, and it is Jesus before His birth, as the Second Person of the Godhead, and after who expresses the Triune God to all His creatures.
So what is God, the Father, like? According to His Son’s revelation He is just like Jesus. The same in His nature. The same in His character. The same in every trait as Jesus except human flesh. Jesus told you He always did the Father’s works, He spoke the Father’s words, He has the Father’s heart. “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” This is something difficult for you and me to fully grasp, but such is received and accepted by faith.
Your faith receives as true the truth that flows from Jesus, for He is the way, the truth, and the life. We may not comprehend it all, for God is infinitely beyond us, but He reveals Himself to us in His Son. It is not possible for you to fully comprehend the Almighty God, for you would be seeking what Eve sought when she believed the serpent, who told her in eating the fruit she would be as God. Utter foolishness! There is and will always be only one God, who has been from all eternity, and will be forever. All else is created and must be sustained by God.
If you truly desire to see God, look intently at Jesus Christ. Be intimate with His Word, for He is the Living Word. Imitate Him in all His ways. Place Him in the forefront of your mind and heart. Look always to Jesus as the founder and perfecter of your faith. Love Him with all your heart, strength, and mind. You will never know God apart from knowing and loving Jesus. “No one comes to the Father except through Him.”
“Immortal, invisible, God only wise, in light inaccessible hid from our eyes, most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days, almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.”
(1st verse of Walter Chalmers Smith’s hymn, “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise, “ 1867)
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