Does God Have A Body? What Does God Look Like?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Does God have a body? If so, what is it like or is He spirit and invisible?

Truth and Spirit

When one of the disciples asked to see the Father, “Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’” (John 14:9)? What Jesus was saying is that Jesus is the Prefect representation of God; what He is like; Who He is; and what His attributes are like. If you’ve seen Jesus, you’ve seen the Father, but what about us who’ve never seen Jesus? If we’ve not seen Jesus, how can we know the Father, and how can we know what He looks like? Jesus said that God is spirit, and if we’re going to worship Him, we must worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), but spirit is not composed of physical matter; therefore God does not have a physical body because He is spirit. We know that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, so we must undergo a second birth…being born again (John 3:4-7). Only then can our spirit bodies enter the kingdom when Jesus comes or after we die in the faith, but from Jesus’ example, I believe the saints will have both a physical body and a spirit body. Jesus Himself will serve the saints at the marriage feast of the Lamb of God, and a feast means food (Rev 19:6-9)! Jesus Himself partook of food and drink after His resurrection, but He could still pass through locked doors (more on that later). When we too receive our new bodies, bodies of glory, we can finally enter the kingdom, but “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

The Word became Flesh

Jesus became flesh or was born into the flesh through the Holy Spirit Who conceived in Mary the Son of God, but Jesus had existed before that. In fact, there was never a time when He did not exist and there will never be a time when He doesn’t exist. He is both God and Man. In His humanity, He makes the perfect High Priest; as God, He is the Perfect King; and as God and Man, the only one Who could pay the ultimate sacrifice in redeeming those who would trust in Him. So how could Jesus be both God and Man? I know it’s a bad example, but I am from Kansas. I am 100% born and bred in Kansas, but I’m also an American; 100% American, so I am both fully a Kansan and fully an American. I can be both 100% Kansan and American at the same time! The Apostle John was an eyewitness to Jesus’ divinity and His humanity, and wrote, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). By John saying “we,” he means the other disciples and countless other saints who saw the risen Christ and declared as Thomas did, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Thomas had to see it to believe it, but Jesus says, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29b). He is not half Man and half God! No! He is fully God while still being fully Man.

No Doubt About It

Shortly after Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection, the disciples saw the risen Christ and were filled with wonder. Only Thomas, who was not there when Christ first appeared, could not believe that Jesus had been raised to life, so after Jesus finally revealed Himself to Thomas, He said, “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Luke 24:39). Thomas, who had doubted Jesus’ resurrection for over a week, was told by Christ, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe” (John 20:27). Don’t be too hard on Thomas. Many sincere Christians go through periods of doubt, doubting the goodness of God, the sovereignty of God, and the love of God, so instead of thinking, “How could Thomas doubt Jesus,” ask yourself as I have, “Would I have doubted too if I had not yet seen the risen Christ after seeing Him die on the cross?” And, all the disciples doubted for a time. This, even though the disciples had heard Jesus talk about His death and resurrection. Maybe they heard Him say that, but they really didn’t listen. Now they get it! Jesus is God, but still Man. He has flesh and blood, but only in Jesus does God have a physical body, but He is still spirit as Christ had no difficulty walking through walls or locked doors (John 20:19-23).

Anthropomorphic Language

The Bible uses language about God that we can understand, but since we cannot ever fully know God as He is infinite, He speaks to us through the Bible but He does so using anthropomorphic language, or language we can understand. Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits, emotions, and intentions to non-human entities; in this case, God. For example, it says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you” (1 Pet 5:6), but God is Spirit, as Jesus said, and does not really have hands since He is not composed of physical matter (John 4:24). God says this to communicate His compassionate care for us, like where Isaiah writes, “But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me” (Isaiah 39:14-16). Of course, God cannot engrave us on hands that don’t exist, but we know that God is saying He will not forget His chosen people because of His promise to Abraham about his the descendants. There would never be a time when Israel will not exist, and so God ensures Israel of that. That is called anthropomorphic language.

Conclusion

God does have a body if we’re talking about Jesus Christ, but make no mistake about it; His is a glorified body. Peter, James, and John caught a glimpse of it on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt 17:1-3), but even here, His full glory was cloaked in His humanity. And we too will have glorified bodies, although nothing compared to the beautiful, majestic, and awesome glory of Jesus Christ. All heaven adores Him, we all worship Him; and He is the fullest expression of Father God that we will ever see or know. You can know more about God in His Word. There, in the Word of God, we see Jesus, and since we see Jesus, we do know the Father. By seeing and reading what Jesus is like, we see and read what the Father is like, so how do we “see Jesus” since He’s not here? You will find Him in the Word of God as He is the Word, and the Word was God and is God (John 1:1-4). And the Father is like the Son is, but what He looks like is less important that Who He is and What He is like.

Here is some related reading for you: Why did Jesus Rise from the Dead? A Bible Study

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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