In John 20:20, we read :

And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. [John 20:20 KJV]

Did the disciples see Jesus in the same way as Job saw God in Job 42:5 :

I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee, [Job 42:5 KJV]

Thus, not in the physical but in the spiritual sense of the word? Yes, Jesus was there in front of them, and He was not recognized, but were their eyes suddenly spiritually opened?

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5 Answers 5


Jesus said 'No man hath seen God at any time':

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared ... [John 1:18 KJV]

It is not possible for mortal man to see Deity. 'God is Spirit', said Jesus, John 4:24. And many words in the book of Job confirm Job's inability to perceive Deity :

Lo, he goeth by me, and I see him not: he passeth on also, but I perceive him not. [Job 9:11 KJV]

But 'the only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared' - and what he has declared, in word, is the revelation of the Father.

But :

... no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. [John 14:6 KJV]

And also :

No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: [John 6:44 KJV]

With man, this is all impossible, Matthew 19:26, but with God, all things are possible.

Jesus said,

... he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; [John 14:9 KJV]

But this 'seeing' is quite clearly a spiritual apprehension of whom Jesus truly is. Merely seeing his human characteristics, is not to perceive the Son of God.

And only by perceiving the Son, the only begotten of the Father, is there any perception of the Father, who begat.

Thus, Yes, indeed, the disciples are 'seeing' (perceiving) Him whom they (unusually) call 'Lord' in this verse. And such a perception is the way in which Job, after long affliction and many a trial, and only after the word of the Lord comes, first, via Elihu, and second, in the whirlwind - only then does Job perceive the Lord God in a new way :

I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes [Job 42 : 5.6]

Only after an experience far deeper than anything he had yet felt, did Job truly perceive the Lord God Almighty :

For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. [Job 3:25 KJV]

Only then does he enter full self-realisation, real penitence and strong faith.

Just 'hearing' of God and just seeing the human characteristics of Jesus of Nazareth is clearly not the same as being drawn by the Father to the Son, and through the knowledge of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, being brought, by means of a baptism of repentance and by means of justifying faith - to God and the Father.


We have the Bible teaching that:

  1. No one has seen God the Father
  • John 1:18 - No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
  • John 5:37 - You have never heard His voice nor seen His form
  • John 6:46 - No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. (See also Matt 18:10.)
  • 1 John 4:12 - No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is perfected in us.
  • 1 Tim 1:17 - Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God …
  • 1 Tim 6:16 - He alone is immortal and dwells in unapproachable light. No one has ever seen Him, nor can anyone see Him.
  • Col 1:15 - … the invisible God …
  • Isa 45:15 - Truly You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, the Savior.
  1. People have seen God
  • Isa 64:4 - From ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.
  • Job 42:5 - My ears had heard of You [= the LORD, V1], but now my eyes have seen You.
  • Gen 18:1, 10 - Then the LORD appeared to Abraham by the Oaks of Mamre in the heat of the day, while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent. ... Then the LORD said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year, and your wife Sarah will have a son!”
  • Gen 32:30 - So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
  • Ex 3:5, 6 - “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then He said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
  • Josh 5:13 - 6:2 - And the LORD said to Joshua, “Behold, I have delivered Jericho into your hand, along with its king and its mighty men of valour.” (V2)
  • Judges 6:14 - The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel from the hand of Midian. Am I not sending you?” [See also V16]
  • See also instances of the “Angel of the LORD” clearly being the LORD - Gen 16:7-13, 22:11-17, 32:24-30, 48:16, Ex 3:2-6, 32:34, Num 22:22-35, Josh 5:13-15, Judg 2:1-4, 6:11-23, 13:3-23, Isa 63:9, Dan 3:25, 28, Hos 12:4, 5, Zech 3:1-7, Mal 3:1

The very fact that the NT so confidently asserts that no human has seen God the Father, but many people have seen God/YHWH in the OT means the inescapable conclusion is such epiphanies were of the pre-incarnate Jesus as per John 8:58 – “Truly, truly, I tell you,” Jesus declared, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

We see this many times in the NT that it takes OT passages that apply to YHWH and applies them to Jesus:

  • Deut 32:43 (LXX) is quoted by Heb 1:6
  • Ps 45:6, 7 is quoted by Heb 1:8, 9
  • Ps 102:25 - 27 is quoted by Heb 1:10 - 12.
  • Isa 45:23 is quoted by Phil 2:10, 11, Rom 14:11
  • Isa 40:3 is quoted by Matt 3:3 (cf v11)
  • Joel 2:32 is quoted by Rom 10:13
  • Ps 31:5 (Eccl 12:7) is quoted by Acts 7:59
  • Isa 52:6 is quoted by John 4:26

Therefore, I am sure that Abraham (in Gen 18) saw YHWH just as clearly as did the disciples in John 20. The same would apply to Job 42, etc.

  • @AlexBalilo - please let people have a different point of view. Who did Abraham speak to in Gen 18 when the text clearly describes the person as YHWH?
    – Dottard
    Jan 22, 2023 at 20:22
  • @AlexBalilo please don't chase users in the comments just because you disagree with their theology. Comments are for constructive feedback on content, not theological arguments.
    – Steve can help
    Jan 22, 2023 at 21:27
  • @Dottard please do flag any comments that are not constructive.
    – Steve can help
    Jan 22, 2023 at 21:27

Did the disciples see Jesus (John 20:20) in the way Job saw God in Job 42:5?

How could the disciples see Jesus (John 20:20) in the way Job saw God in Job 42:5 when just 3 verses earlier, in John 20:17 we find Jesus saying "Don’t hold me, for I haven’t yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ Did God ascend to God?

How can they see/perceive Jesus in the way Job saw God in Job 42:5 considering all of what the bible says about "seeing" God?

God is a spirit, John 4:24 and is invisible, 1 Timothy 1:17, John 1:18. When Jesus appeared to the disciples in John 20:20, he showed them his hands and his side. Examining John 20:20, there is no evidence that the disciples saw Jesus in the way Job saw God in Job 42:5  because;

Job 42:5 does not show God as having corporeal hands and side like Jesus has as John 20:20 shows nor does Job 42:5 show that God's name is Jesus.

The view that the disciples "saw Jesus in the same way as Job saw God in Job 42:5 because Jesus was called "Lord" is misleading because the title"Lord" in John 20:20 does not mean God or YHWH. In addition, it was Jesus' God who made him lord as Acts 2:33-36 show, but, nobody Makes God Lord.

Was God being untruthful when he said no man will see Him and live? Exodus 33:20?

Reading Exodus 33:21-23 show us that Moses had to be divinely protected so he could see God's back (His passing glory). So Moses did not really see God face to face. Acts 7:38 shows us that Moses actually spoke with an angel representing God.

Exodus 33:20 - 23 ASV

And he said, Thou canst not see my face; for man shall not see me and live. and Jehovah said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon the rock: and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand until I have passed by: and I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my back; but my face shall not be seen.

Acts 7:38 WEB

This is he who was in the assembly in the wilderness with the angel that spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, who received living revelations to give to us,

Genesis 18 cannot be used to deduce that Abraham saw God because of Paul's allusion to it in Hebrews 13:2 where it shows that Abraham saw angels, not Jehovah.

Hebrews 13:2 WEB

Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for in doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing it.

When Job's understanding was clarified after God's questioning, Job 42:5 is better understood figuratively. Consider Genesis 33:10 in addition to the aforementioned reasons.

Genesis 33:10 ASV

And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found favor in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand; forasmuch as I have seen thy face, as one seeth the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me.

Acts 2:32 confirms that the disciples saw the resurrected Jesus, not God.

Acts 2:32 ASV

This Jesus did God raise up, whereof we all are witnesses.

Careful consideration of Job 40:8 is needed before contradicting what God and His Christ has stated, thereby making them untrue.

God said "no man shall see Me and live.... " Genesis 33:20. Jesus said " No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him"" But some say "People have seen God". If both God and Jesus' statements that "no man has seen God" is true, how can a contradictory statement like "People have seen God". be also true? Will we put God in the wrong, so we may be in the right? Job 40:8.


The spiritual timing that the disciple 'see' Jesus as God, that comparable to the timing that Job 'saw' God, was at Pentecost (Acts 2), when the Holy Spirit came upon them.

Jesus told His disciples when the Holy Spirit come

John 16:13 - But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

In Job 42:5, Job didn't physically see God, his spiritual mind did. In John 20:20, the disciples did see Jesus physically resurrected, but spiritual mind not yet ready to see Him as God, not until the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost.


Not really, their eyes were already 'opened' to know who Jesus was. They called him Lord, so they knew he was the holy son of God. Jesus already affirmed that they had been enabled to 'see' and he was already revealed to them as the one he said he was.

And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life John 6:68

When they saw him after his resurrection, their faith was strengthened by seeing him again, he had told them many times this was going to happen, and now it had.

Comparing this to Job seeing with his eyes is quite a stretch as God is invisible and therefore cannot be seen literally with the eyes, but with the eyes of his mind and heart, yes this is a reality as Paul expressed.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know... Ephesians 1:18

For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Cor 4:6

Of course Jesus also expressed a seeing too, not with the eyes, but with their minds.

If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:7

Interestingly, another answer tries to explain by altering the bible words.

"No one has seen God the Father". There are no verse for this. Either God is invisible as we are told or he isn't. If he is invisible then he cannot be seen with the eyes. Whatever people saw when God interacts with people is not God, but a representation of Gods presence and power - the burning bush, cloud, voice, angel, etc. These spiritual manifestations are the presence of God who is invisible and spirit when he wants to come tangibly closer to people. Obviously, when it says they saw the Lord, they saw a representation of the Lord who spoke and did according to Gods authority as if they were God.

"were their eyes suddenly spiritually opened?"

This is a process that takes place until Jesus returns. We will never have proper spiritual sight until we are changed to new life as Jesus was but we will increase in seeing the Lord more perfectly as the disciples did as they became apostles and died in the faith. John 20:20 does not speak in the manner suggested. They visibly saw him again after he was resurrected and they were glad!

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    No man hath seen God at any time. You are implying that Job 'seeing' God was a matter of his physical eyes. That is the point of the OP's question. Did the disciples 'see' the Lord (Jesus) in the same way that Job 'saw' God ? Your answer is 'No' but your answer contradicts 'No man hath seen God at any time'.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 22, 2023 at 7:40
  • @Finster. Good catch. Jan 25, 2023 at 10:01

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