Meme Crushing by Request #1: Seeing the Face of God
A Twitter follower, JoeUnseen, has requested that I crush a meme on who has seen the face of God: Jacob (Gen 32:30), or No One (Jn 1:18; 1 Jn 4:12)?
There are a host of verses often set against each other in this same fashion. It’s usually a sophomoric understanding of semantics used to cause confusion.
No one has seen God in the sense of the divine glory, or the sense of God the Father (first person of the Trinity). However, people have seen Jesus, the Incarnate Son (second Person of the Trinity), or any number of theophanies.
Let’s start with the new word: a theophany is a manifestation of God, but not the full glory of God. Reading the entire passage of Genesis, we see that Jacob wrestles with a man (probably an angel, vv. 24-28). The stranger is identified as God for the first time in verse 28, then Jacob proclaims he met God face to face and survived (v. 30).
But he didn’t meet God; only a representative. And that is clear from the passage. This is a theophany; a representation of God, but not God in his full glory.
I may have to buy a new pack of Victory Gum …