by Elena Tafone
It’s often said that “seeing is believing.” It’s a phrase that brings to mind the apostle Thomas—also known as Doubting Thomas. After Jesus’ return, Thomas refused to accept that he had risen from the dead. It was only after Thomas saw Jesus in the flesh and touched his wounds that he believed. But most of us never get a chance like that. That is what faith is—believing in what we cannot see. We are told that God exists, that he is all around us, but few get to see him for themselves. God’s visibility is a concept that has puzzled philosophers and religious thinkers for centuries. But that hasn’t stopped people from trying to answer the question: Is God invisible?
“He isn’t! At least, not all the time. Many people throughout history testify to epiphanies. Jesus’ visitation is the clearest of these. Nevertheless, east of Eden, God is usually invisible. This is the common experience for believer and unbeliever alike. Why is it like this? I believe God to be deliberately hiding His countenance to prevent humans coming to Him as mere spectators interested in prodding and examining Him. Instead, God provides the clues—including occasional unexpected visits—that lead to the proper path for humble ‘spiritual’ worshipers.”
“We were created for the purpose of giving God’s invisible character a glimpse of visibility.”
“The Bible doesn’t tell us what God looks like—because he is invisible. And the reason we can’t see him is because he is a spiritual being—that is, he has no body or face or other physical form. That doesn’t mean he isn’t real, because he is. But he is far greater than anything we can imagine.”
“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
“It depends on what a person means by ‘invisible.’ Can we physically see God? Of course not. God is a spirit. But, contrary to what skeptics claim, that invisibility has no necessary bearing on whether or not God exists. We can be confident that God exists based on evidence—things like the origin and fine-tuning of the universe, the origin and complexity of life, our innate moral knowledge, and the incarnation of Jesus.”
“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.”
“Yes and no. Yes, God is a spirit, one not normally detectable by our senses. Perhaps something like ‘dark matter,’ the main substance of the universe, which surrounds us though we can't see it, but God may sometimes choose to take on a visible form, as with Moses and the burning bush. More, God took on a human form in the person of Jesus, and now wants us, Jesus' followers, to ‘make God visible’ by our love and service.”
“Every visible and invisible creature is…a divine appearance.”
“It’s not easy to trust in a God you can’t see. That's why so many want God to prove himself so we can trust him. In reality, God wants us to trust him so he can prove himself.”
“God dwells in His creation and is everywhere indivisibly present in all His works. He is transcendent above all His works even while He is immanent within them.”
“We see God in a way that is real to us. God is invisible, but we can still see and believe that he is real. There were prophets in the bible that heard the voice of God, and that can happen today though I haven’t personally experienced it. It can be a really strong sensation, or feeling. How God does that, I don’t know. But people have reported hearing from God that way. Inexplicable events that are so powerful they have to be from God. God is in the business of connecting with his children ongoing, all the time. That’s part of the relationship we’re seeking. We are drawn to experience a connection with this God we can’t see. There are things we do to invite God to step into our universe and reveal himself. Giving, praying and fasting. These things help us step into God’s view.”
“The most important things in life can’t be seen with the eyes. Ideas can’t be seen. Love can’t be seen. Honor can’t be seen. This isn’t a new concept. Judaism and Christianity and Islam and Buddhism and Taoism have all taught for thousands of years that the highest forms of reality are invisible. God is invisible, and he created the universe. Our souls are invisible, and they give life to our bodies.”
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