March 22nd, 2023 – Early Wednesday Evening
“No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” ~1 John 4:12-16
We might wonder why John says that no one has seen God at any time as Jesus is described as “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15a); yet, Jesus Himself said that “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” It seems here that John isn’t speaking to the physical incarnation of God as Man, but to the real nature of the Lord God Almighty – the One whom Moses was unable to see (Exodus 33:20), whom Isaiah saw a vision of and was struck with self-mortification (Isaiah 6:5), and whom John himself was overwhelmed by in the Revelation. No human being has ever truly seen the Living God face to face.
Yet, John speaks to how that same awesome, terrifying, and wonderful God is revealed and known by people; “we have seen and testify,” says John, “that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” Furthermore, those who put their trust in Christ as God’s Son are brought into a living relationship with God; God abides (dwells) in them and they in God. God’s love is real and it is known and understood by those of us who have this “dwelling” kind of relationship with God. We may not have seen God with our physical eyes, but we know Him intimately.
On top of and in conjunction with all of that, God dwells in us and His love (of which we have been reflecting on so much of) is made full (perfected) in us when we as believers and children of God love one another. We do not physically see Him, but we know Him and He is clearly “seen” in our love for one another. The unseen God becomes seen because He perfectly embodies love and His love is perfectly embodied when His children display their true identity in loving each other. No one has or can physically see God, but they can know Him and understand Him through humble trust and faithful love.
How about you and I? Is it clear that we know and understand the love that God has for us? Do we know the unseen God and is His love our life? Let us endeavor all the more – by trusting Him and obediently loving each other – to abide in Christ and to be perfected in the love of the Father. May His name be glorified in all the earth as we love each other and overflow with His love. He is so good!