"Jesus saith, . . . he that hath seen me hath seen the Father . . ."
This verse is quoted by trinitarians as a clear declaration that Jesus Christ was God Almighty incarnate.
1.Jesus did not mean by these words that when men saw him, they were literally beholding his Father. Consider the following: a.Physically, Jesus was not the image of his Father. Isaiah wrote: "he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him". (Isa. 53:2). It is unthinkable that the Father would be less comely than His creation.
b.Jesus told the Jews that they had "neither heard his (the Father's) voice at any time, nor seen his shape." (John 5:37). This would have been untrue if Jesus were himself the Father.
c.The Father dwells "in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see." (1 Tim. 6:16; cf. 1 John 4:12). Those who saw Jesus, did not, therefore literally see the Father.
2.John said, "no man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." (John 1:18). The Son "declared" the Father by the words which he spoke and the works which he performed. Jesus told Philip: "the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." (John 14:10). It was in this sense that Jesus meant, "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father."
3.Jesus employed the language of "God manifestation" characteristic of the Old Testament. Accredited representatives exercising divine power and authority bore the divine name. (See Exod. 23:20, 21 - "I send an Angel . . . my name is in him.") Jesus was the supreme manifestation - "God was manifest in the flesh." (1 Tim. 3:16). Although not "Very God" he was justified in saying "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father" since the Father had delegated this authority and power to him. (See John 5:19, 22, 23, 30).
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