Seeing the Glory of God through Faith in Jesus (An Edifying Observation from John 1 and 11)
The concept of "seeing" God and his glory stood out to me as I read John 1 for my Bible reading this morning.
John 1:18 No one has ever seen God. The one and only Son, who is himself God and is at the Father’s side—he has revealed him.
John 1:33 I didn’t know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The one you see the Spirit descending and resting on—he is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’
John 1:34 I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”
John 1:39 “Come and you’ll see,” he replied. So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon.
John 1:46 “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Nathanael asked him. “Come and see,” Philip answered.
John 1:50 Jesus responded to him, “Do you believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.”
John 1:51 Then he said, “Truly I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
I think I was especially sensitive to pick up on this theme in light of preaching John 11.1-44 at a funeral service yesterday where the theme of "seeing" seems pronounced:
Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you heard me. I know that you always hear me, but because of the crowd standing here I said this, so that they may believe you sent me.” (John 11:40–42)
Jesus tells Martha that one needs faith in order to see the glory of God. Faith comes through Jesus's words and confirming works. So, Jesus speaks and acts. We believe. In believing we see the glory of God. We see the Spirit on the Son of God. We see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man. We see God.