Εκπομπή Αθέατα Περάσματα του π.Ανδρέα Κονάνου
Tuesday, 5 August 2014
The vision of God is presented in the Holy Scriptures in two different forms which appear to be mutually exclusive. Some passages characterize the vision of God as an impossibility. In the book of Exodus, for example, God tells Moses: “You cannot see My face; for no man can see My face and live,” while the psalmist notes that God “made darkness His hiding place.” In the New Testament, the Apostle and Evangelist John writes: “No one has ever seen God”, And the Apostle Paul adds that God is He “whom no one has ever seen or can see”.
At the same time, however, the Holy Scriptures also detail numerous theophanies. For instance, Jacob says: “For I saw God face to face, and my soul was saved”. And of Moses, it is recorded: “Thus the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend”. Finally, Job, addressing the Lord, says: “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You”. In the New Testament, Christ calls “the pure in heart” blessed because they will see God. And the Apostle John writes: “Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is”.
Commenting on these passages, Saint Gregory Palamas notes that theology deems the vision of God impossible, yet simultaneously promotes it. It is considered impossible because God is inconceivable according to His essence. Yet it is advocated because God approaches the world and makes Himself approachable through His energies. Thus, these two things are not contradictory, but rather work in harmony.