The Lord’s voice declared that God cannot be likened to anything physical (Exodus 20:4). No physical human being could see God and remain alive. Moses requested to see God but was told that this was impossible. God had to use a figurative language, confirming that God existed in Spiritual form. God was not sustained by what commonly sustains physical humanity.
Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back, but my face must not be seen” (Exodus 33:18-23 NIV).
Jesus declared being God (John 14:8-9). This sounded commonly as not in sync with humanity in physical condition. But from the point of view of being created in God’s image, humans have a right to declare being God. That is what God’s image implies. However, having lost their identity, it is inappropriate for humans to declare being God.
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work” (John 14:8-10 NIV).
Of significance, here, is that Jesus was not talking to ordinary humanity. He was talking to those who would know the Father, not known by those of this world. No one could see God and live, according to Exodus 33:18-23.
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:15-19 NIV).
The disciples were a special group who would see God without having to die. They had been with Jesus, the fountain of life. Jesus granted them the opportunity to see God, without having gone through the process of death. They had left everything to follow Jesus, who had treated them differently from their contemporaries.
The instruction to keep the commandments of Jesus was directed at the disciples, although applicable to all believers, as well. What makes ordinary humanity fail to understand is that God cannot be identified, physically. Jesus stated “Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19 NIV).
What the world could not see, which was seen by His disciples, was not of this world. Jesus used figurative terms, to describe heavenly phenomena. Right at this Scripture, the confusion enveloping those of this world is projected. It is from this misunderstanding that the Trinitarian idea was formulated.