Seeing the Son of Man

When you read Matthew 24, Jesus’ prediction that the Son of Man will come, do you believe as many do, that He will be seen with human physical eyes? In this short note I show how this does not line up with the scriptures.

The most common Greek word used for ‘see’ is horao. Strongs’ lists these uses for horao:

To see with eyes,  but also to see with the mind, to perceive, to know, to become acquainted with by experience, to experience, to look to, to take heed, beware, to care for, pay heed to.

For example in any of the following cases*, the word horao can be translated by any of the above uses.

*Mat 16:28. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see [horaō] the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

*Mat 24:15. “So when you see [horaō] the abomination of desolation—spoken about by Daniel the prophet—standing in the holy place” (let the reader understand) “then those in Judea must flee . . . .

*Mat 24:30. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see [horaō] the Son of Man arriving on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

*Mat 24:33. So also you, when you see [horaō] all these things, know that he is near, right at the door.

*Mat 26:64. Jesus said to [high priest], “You have said it yourself. But I tell you, from now on you will see [horaō] the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 

 Check out Mat 24:37 and you will note that Jesus said His coming won’t be seen! Just the reverse:

Just like the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be . . .and they knew nothing until the flood came and took them all away. It will be the same at the coming of the Son of Man.

The Lord will not be seen! In Noah’s days they knew nothing,’ so the coming of the Son of Man will be’!

Not even Noah was said to have seen God.

And at Mat 24:43, Jesus says He comes like a thief—unexpectedly. The thief in the night conceals himself. 

But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.

Is the thief seen? Does the thief tell you when he is coming? Does he make a noise and wake you up?

Can you show me from the scriptures where we read of the Lord coming in judgment and visibly? We can note the many visions of Daniel and John where they are unable to stand up in his presence, who ‘dwells in unapproachable light’.[1] The appearances of the Lord in the several theophanies[2] in the Old Testament are disguised or hidden from normal sight. Moses only ‘saw’ Him after He had passed (Exod 33:20-23)[3].

When Saul of Tarsus fell down at the sound of the voice of Jesus (Acts 9:7), he and his companions heard the voice but did not see Jesus—Saul saw the tremendous, glory light only.

Then Peter heard the voice only in that vision at Joppa (Acts 10:9ff). 

In Revelation, Jesus warned some gatherings of believers that he would come to them[4] but do you imagine that the Son of Man seated at the right hand of God in clouds of glory was then going to be visibly seen?

Finally, looking at Revelation 1:7b we have the same Greek word [horaō]: Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see [horaō] him . . . 

Now, can you see it? (I mean, do you get it?)

FOOTNOTES


[1] E.g., Daniel 8:18, 10:8-9; Revelation 1:17, 22:8.

[2] These are appearances of the Lord or Christ in the OT to various people—e.g., Abraham, Jacob, Joshua.

[3] Deuteronomy 33:20 The Lord said to Moses You cannot see my face, for no man can see me and live.

[4] Revelation 2:5,16,25; 3:3,11,21

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