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There is a kind of seeing with discernment (Mark 4: 12, quoting Isa. 6: 9), but also a merely external observation of a miracle or marvel without discernment of its significance (Mark 15: 32; John 4: 48). That is to say, there can be physical sight, merely; or there can be (John uses another Greek verb) spiritual perception too (John 14: 19 and 16: 16 ff.) which is the work of faith (John 20: 29). The request of the Greeks to ‘see Jesus' (John 12: 21) shows that they are within reach of faith and that this faith is a possibility open to all races. However, whatever degree of sight people may be given now, it will be exceeded in the Kingdom (1 Cor. 2: 9; Heb. 11: 1). It is suggested that ‘no one has ever seen God’ and he can be ‘known’ only through his Son (John 1: 18), but in general this Christian exclusivism is expressed more modestly: it is ‘the glory of God’ which can be ‘seen’ (John 11: 40), or ‘knowledge’, rather than ‘sight’, ‘face to face’ (1 Cor. 13: 12).

Subjects: Biblical Studies.


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