John 1:18


No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.

What does this verse mean, does it take away the fact that anyone who has seen God through different revelations, private and widespread, are identifying that they haven’t seen God, hope you can help me see this verse.


Jesus reveals the Father through His own person, through His words and deeds, through His very presence. And yet, via grace, He may reveal the Father even more directly and profoundly to us. He is simply the way, and any and all valid private revelations would come through Him as well.


Is the verse in gospel of John the only verse that supports your reply. But also about when one of the patriarchs saw God in his radiating brilliance.


Also the testimony of believers: saints and otherwise ordinary souls, down through the centuries. Also St Paul’s experiences.


Was that God the father, who of which could not been seen, because of his brilliance.


You can only come to know God the Father via Christ. How Christ chooses to communicate this, is up to Him. For example, He often uses the Holy Spirit.


So wait what verses support this statement that you put out, sorry, it is a little late for me, I am out of it.


Many have seen God physically, but not when he came to them in his full glory.

If God revealed himself to us in his full essence, we would die via heart attacks.


Thomas Aquinas, speaking about the resurrection, answers this even for what we see or can see in this life, and how we see:

A thing is perceptible to the senses of the body in two ways, directly and indirectly. A thing is perceptible directly if it can act directly on the bodily senses. And a thing can act directly either on sense as such or on a particular sense as such. That which acts directly in this second way on a sense is called a proper sensible, for instance color in relation to the sight, and sound in relation to the hearing. But as sense as such makes use of a bodily organ, nothing can be received therein except corporeally, since whatever is received into a thing is therein after the mode of the recipient. Hence all sensibles act on the sense as such, according to their magnitude: and consequently magnitude and all its consequences, such as movement, rest, number, and the like, are called common sensibles, and yet they are direct objects of sense.

An indirect object of sense is that which does not act on the sense, neither as sense nor as a particular sense, but is annexed to those things that act on sense directly: for instance Socrates; the son of Diares; a friend and the like which are the direct object of the intellect’s knowledge in the universal, and in the particular are the object of the cogitative power in man, and of the estimative power in other animals. The external sense is said to perceive things of this kind, although indirectly, when the apprehensive power (whose province it is to know directly this thing known), from that which is sensed directly, apprehends them at once and without any doubt or discourse (thus we see that a person is alive from the fact that he speaks): otherwise the sense is not said to perceive it even indirectly.

I say then that God can nowise be seen with the eyes of the body, or perceived by any of the senses, as that which is seen directly, neither here, nor in heaven: for if that which belongs to sense as such be removed from sense, there will be no sense, and in like manner if that which belongs to sight as sight be removed therefrom, there will be no sight. Accordingly seeing that sense as sense perceives magnitude, and sight as such a sense perceives color, it is impossible for the sight to perceive that which is neither color nor magnitude, unless we call it a sense equivocally. Since then sight and sense will be specifically the same in the glorified body, as in a non-glorified body, it will be impossible for it to see the Divine essence as an object of direct vision; yet it will see it as an object of indirect vision, because on the one hand the bodily sight will see so great a glory of God in bodies, especially in the glorified bodies and most of all in the body of Christ, and, on the other hand, the intellect will see God so clearly, that God will be perceived in things seen with the eye of the body, even as life is perceived in speech. For although our intellect will not then see God from seeing His creatures, yet it will see God in His creatures seen corporeally. This manner of seeing God corporeally is indicated by Augustine (De Civ. Dei xxii), as is clear if we take note of his words, for he says: “It is very credible that we shall so see the mundane bodies of the new heaven and the new earth, as to see most clearly God everywhere present, governing all corporeal things, not as we now see the invisible things of God as understood by those that are made, but as when we see men . . . we do not believe but see that they live.”

No one, then, through their human eyes using the lens, retina, nervous system, and brain, has ever seen God nor will see God the Father nor the Holy Spirit, nor the divine nature of the Son, even in heaven directly. But he is made known in the human nature of the Son where you know the Person, Jesus, even though you can’t see with your eyes his divinity, nor can you see his soul with your eyes, nor can you see your own soul nor my soul.


John 14:9, when you’ve seen Jesus you’ve seen the Father. Col 1:15, Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory and image of the invisible God. Hebrews 1:3, Jesus is the express image of God. Also St Paul’s experiences were wholly mystical. Not only on the Damascus Road but he also speaks of a man, presumably himself, who was drawn up to heaven and shown indescribable supernatural realities. The disciples who were in Christ’s physical presence as well as others such as St Paul who was given direct, intuitive knowledge without benefit of the physical senses were graced either way with a knowledge of God unattainable by normal human means: the incarnation, itself, was grace, more than a mere physical experience but rather a spiritual revelation as well to the extent that one was able to receive it. The knowledge of God, however dim or however bright, is always a matter of grace, reference 1Cor 13:2.

I am the way and the truthh and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6


No man can actually see God in his essence and live. I would argue that only Jesus sees and knows God in an essential way because Jesus and the Father are one.

But as fhansen has said above. We have seen the Father in the degree that is necessary for us because we have indeed seen the Son who is the Word of God.


Referring to John Martin’s post, with the advent of Christ man is now being given the opportunity to “see” God, which has always been His ultimate will for us. This is the very source of our happiness, of the happiness that we all innately desire. But that vision is only fully achieved in heaven with the Beatific Vision, where we will then see God “face to face”. Even the Old Testament instructs us to this end:

** Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually**.
– 1 Chronicles 16:11
**If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. **
– 2 Chronicles 7:14
When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. **
– Psalms 27:8
** Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore. **
– Psalms 105:4
will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. **
– Hosea 5:15

Christian mystics have been given “glimpses” of this direct, intuitive vision.


God the Father has no body. Jesus does, therefore people can fully engage Jesus through both our spiritual and physical natures.


No one can see God and live. This is clear from the Old Testament. God even had to protect Moses by sticking him in a crevice before allowing him to briefly see his back as he passed.

John’s verse tells us, in context, that in Christ, when he took on his humanity, then allowed man see God, in Christ in his human nature.


Where is that in the Bible, I cannot remember?


Exodus 33:18-21.




DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit