No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. John 1:18 KJV
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 NASB
If you were queried as to the words which recur in John’s Gospel, no doubt words such as “verily, verily, believe, life, love, and I am” would spring to mind. What you may not have recognized is that the phrase “no man” occurs twenty-five times, as often as “verily, verily.”
While not all attest to the uniqueness of Christ, many, either directly or indirectly bear witness to the singularity of His position, person, and performance. Notice just a few:
- “No man hath seen God … “. But there is one Man, a real man but not a mere man, Who has dwelt eternally in the bosom of the Father and is eminently qualified to reveal Him to humanity.
- “No man hath ascended up into heaven but He that came down” (John 3:13). He alone has come from heaven to tell us of the Father and the way to the Father.
- “No man can do these miracles” (John 3:2) was the testimony of Nicodemus to the uniqueness of Christ. He did the works that no other man could do (John 15:24). They bore testimony to all as to His person. John will tell us that this is all evidence upon which faith can rest (ch 20:30, 31)
- The helpless man of John 5 had “no man” to help Him. But there was one Man Who could fully meet His need. “Jehovah Ropheka” was walking amongst His people and could do what no man had ever done for this poor crippled man.
But who can meditate for long on the expression “no man” without remembering the incident of John 8 when “no man” was able to stand the searchlight of His presence? They went out – the oldest first, down to the youngest. While “no man” could condemn the woman, the only One Who could choose not to, forgave her, knowing He would bear her sin and its judgment on the cross.
In every situation, amongst every group of people, whatever the circumstances, He stands alone. If we are allowed to borrow from Matthew (17:8), they saw “Jesus only.”
Go through John and look at some of the other occurrences of “no man.”
Why do you think John uses this expression so often?