Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What Does God Look Like?

People who have wondered what God looks like are in good company. That is something one of Jesus’ disciples asked. Centuries earlier, even Moses asked this question. In Moses case, the resulting display of radiant, blinding power was beyond his comprehension. Other illustrative “visions” have given more descriptive details, something we might be able to relate to. For instance, Ezekiel saw “electrum” (possibly bolts of lightning), and other “natural phenomena." Daniel was even more detailed in that he described God’s eyes, hair, and clothing. Finally, in the book of Revelation we see described an awesome beauty that would have left us speechless.

But all this is just to help us appreciate that whatever God really “looks like” as a spirit person is really beyond compare. There is nothing in our human experience that comes close; and in the finality, no human has ever truly seen God. There is however, one significant observation made by Jesus that can help anyone to appreciate something much more important than physical characteristics. Jesus told his close followers, if you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father. (See note below.)

The point being, the appearance of God really is not important. To illustrate: You get to know someone as a pen pal (or, now-a-days, an online “friend”). They refuse to send you a picture but they tell you all about themselves, listen attentively to you, and get to know and care about you. I’ve heard of marriages starting this way. For those who weren’t themselves shallow of character, eventually over time, they didn’t care what the person looked like. They grew close because of that other person’s character. The same goes with our relationship with our Creator. Although it would be wonderful to be able to see him, we have to accept that our physical design was just not made to see into that dimension. 

Note: In context, Jesus was not saying that he was/is the Father. We already read in John 1:18 that no one has ever seen God, yet humans had seen Jesus. Instead, Jesus' comment was made to help his followers appreciate that Jesus was such a thorough, complete, and totally truthful representative from God ("The Word"), that anyone paying attention to Jesus' actions and teachings could not help but have a good grasp of his Father's character.

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