What does God look like? That is a very interesting question and we are so glad you asked. Let’s see what the Bible has to say.
“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24).”
God is Spirit and We Can’t See Him
Because God is spirit, He is not visible to us (1 Timothy 1:17). And because He is invisible, we don’t know what He looks like–if looking and seeing even applies to a spirit.
Because He is holy and we are sinners, we cannot see Him and live.
Moses, who knew God face to face, had the following conversation with God:
But He (God) said, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” Then the LORD said, “…I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. “Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen (Exodus 33:20-23).”
The idea behind seeing God’s back possibly means seeing His afterglow. That is, not seeing Him directly but seeing what is left, or what has changed, immediately after He passes.
In his letter to Timothy, Paul comments about not seeing God: “He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see (1 Timothy 6:15-16).
Sometimes, God has appeared to people, and they have, at least at first, mistaken Him for a man.
Abraham had the following experience:
Now the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth, and said, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in Your sight, please do not pass Your servant by (Genesis 18:1-3).”
The Apostle John described what God looked like in heaven when John had a vision:
“And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance (Revelation 4:3).”
But the best revelation of God is through Jesus, who is God in the flesh:
No One has Seen God
“No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him (John 1:18).”
“Philip (one of Jesus’ 12 disciples) said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (John 14:9).”
Jesus is the Image of God
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15).”
These Bible quotes give us indirect glimpses of what godly people saw when God appeared. This may be the best way to explain what God looks like until we are like Jesus: “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is (1 John 3:2).”
If you would like to know God, we invite you to watch the Great News For You Video on this page.