Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Appearances of Jesus in Genesis?

The Bible tells us that no one has seen God (John 1:18). Moses wanted to but was told in no uncertain terms that it was not possible (Exodus 33:20). However, there are statements in Scripture about seeing God (such as the rasslin' match between Jacob and God in Genesis 32:24-30 or Isaiah's terrified exclamation in Isaiah 6:5). How do we reconcile these things?

People saw God before the Son became a man. These were most likely pre-incarnate manifestations.
The appearance of the angels to Abraham, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1728
Specifically, no human can see God the Father face-to-face and live. The reference in Isaiah and other places were visions, yet certain people experienced the divine. God has been involved with humanity from the beginning, which includes visitations from angels. Now we come to an interesting aspect.

In Genesis and other places we read about "the angel of the Lord". When you read those accounts, this angel is distinct from other angels that God sends to people. Although theologians disagree on this, most seem to believe that this was Jesus, God the Son, before he took human form as we read in the Gospels and later. Except for assorted cults and heretics, professing Christians know that Jesus is God, and therefore the Creator. Even Satan knows this fact.
When unbelievers think of Jesus, many strictly think of a man who lived about 2,000 years ago. Sadly, many Christians in the church pews adopt this same thinking. But when we do, we unwittingly devalue who Jesus really is.
. . .
The point is that Jesus Christ has been actively involved in the world from the very beginning. So the question arises, “Do we see Jesus anywhere in Genesis?” Yes! These pre-incarnate appearances of Christ are called theophanies (from two Greek words meaning “appearance [phaneia] of God [theos]”), or more specifically Christophanies. They are generally believed to be appearances of the Son of God prior to His coming “in the flesh” two thousand years ago (1 John 4:2).
You can read all of this short article by clicking on "Appearances of Christ . . . In Early Genesis?"


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