No one “saw” God except Jesus

Copied comment by Tim Cooper on a blog post by Steve Sensenick at beyondthebox that discusses our view of inerrancy of scripture. Link here


John the Baptist boldly heralds the arrival of Jesus with an earth
shattering statement. In the face of all the great scholars of his time,
In the face of the Sadducee’s and Pharisees unsurpassed knowledge of
scripture the Baptist rips apart their theology in one sentence…

John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Have we overlooked the significance of this proclamation? The Greek
word for “seen” in the above verse means; (to know by experience, to
perceive or to be acquainted with). John the Baptist just dropped an
atom bomb! He flat out told those that memorized the first five books of
the Bible that they did NOT know God!

For the first seventeen verses of Chapter One the apostle John gives
us a history lesson, a mini Bible as he sees it. Then he finishes with a
quote from John the Baptist, “No man has seen (to know by experience,
to perceive or to be acquainted with) God”. John is telling us that up
until this point in history no one really knew God. Jesus His Son had
arrived to declare and reveal the Father’s true nature to mankind. When
John the Baptist said NO ONE knew God, did he mean it? Was John
“inspired” by God when he said it? When John said NO ONE had a clear
picture of who God was, wouldn’t that include the Old Testament writers?
If this were just one isolated verse we could possibly explain it away
or symbolize it but the problem is it’s not an isolated verse, it is
repeated over and over by Jesus himself.

John 5:37
And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me.
Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

John the Baptist proclaims to the world that NO ONE knew God before
Jesus and here we see Jesus confirming John’s message. NO ONE had fully
and completely heard or seen God before Jesus Christ

John 17:25
O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known
thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26 And I have
declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love
wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

Whenever the word “name” is used in Hebrew it simply means nature or
character. So when Jesus says; I will declare your name, He is saying I
will declare (who you are). The fall had so blinded us and so twisted
our nature that it was impossible to see God clearly. Jesus is the light
that came to help us see God for who He truly is. “The world has not
known you, but I have and I will declare to them who you are!”

John 8:19
Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered; Ye
neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known
my Father also.

If you know Me, you would know the Father. Or we could flip this
around and say if you don’t know Jesus you don’t really know the Father.
Did the Old Testament writers know Jesus as well as a born again
believer? Jesus Himself said that the least in the Kingdom of God is
greater than the greatest Old Testament prophet. – Selah

Mark 12:24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?

Was Jesus actually saying that they didn’t know the scriptures? Most
scholars agree and Jesus knew that this group of people did know the
scriptures from mans point of view. But once again He was telling them
they didn’t really see, they still believed the lie and thus remained
behind a veil.

John 6:46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.

What will it take before Christians agree with Jesus and simply say
that NO ONE really knew God before He showed up? Is it possible we have
let the writers of the Old Testament actually trump what Jesus said?

John 5:39
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and
they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that
ye might have life

Have we as New Testament believers become like the Pharisees and
Sadducees? Will we remain behind a veil that Christ Himself removed?
Will we give as much weight to the Old Testament writers as we do to
Jesus Himself?

Over and over we are told no one really knew God, no one saw Gods
true nature. Jesus was here to clear that up, the express image telling
us that if we have seen Him we have seen the Father. Jesus was here to
tell us He didn’t do or say anything He didn’t see the Father do. The
Word, God in flesh was here to say; look at Me, I’m it. I am what you
have been looking for in the scriptures. I am here in bodily form to
show you exactly what I am like. All things written before, all things
seen before are just shadows; you did not see me clearly. Here, I AM.