Understanding the physical characteristics of God proves challenging as He transcends mankind’s understanding. The idea of spirit without physical matter leaves us grasping to gain insight into God as we think in a narrowed mindset and yet still carve the closeness with God we gain from the physical world.
Due to our limited nature and God’s infinite nature, we cannot fully grasp this concept on this side of paradise. However, even if we do not fully grasp the concept, it’s still crucial to know that God has no physical form. Here are a few of the many reasons it’s crucial for us to understand God’s form and character.
What is the size and weight of God?
The God of the Bible is beyond the constraints of space, time, and matter. Therefore, He is not God if The laws of physics constrain him. Because God exists above space, He does not have a weight, as gravity does not apply. Additionally, as God does not consist of matter but spirit, He does not have a size. He is in all places at once.
Paul says in Romans 8:11, “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” We are mortal, but God is not, as He is not subject to death; only matter has a size and weight.
What does God Look Like?
Genesis 1:27 says we are made in God’s image, which is often misunderstood to mean we physically resemble God. However, we are made in His image, as in we have a consciousness and spirit, but they are trapped inside of our physical matter constraints. The fact that God is spirit means that humans are not “in the image of God” in the most literal sense when trying to describe God’s appearance. Because God is a spirit, there must be a spiritual dimension. However, we understand this concept, the fact that God the Father is spirit does have implications for what it means to be God’s image-bearers.
Due to the fact that He is spirit, God cannot be depicted in human terms (John 4:24). In Exodus 33:20, we learn no one can look upon God’s face and survive because He is more than physical matter. His physical form is too lovely for a sinful man to safely contemplate.
On several occasions, God Himself makes an appearance to humans, as recorded in the Bible. These are not descriptions of God’s physical form but rather examples of God making Himself known to us in ways we can grasp. Our human limitations prevent us from imagining or describing God’s appearance. God reveals aspects of His appearance to us not so much that we may form a mental image of Him but so that we can learn more about who He is and what He is like.
Here are some examples of God’s physical manifestations to humans:
Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man. Then I noticed from the appearance of His waist and upward something like gleaming metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw something like fire; and there was a radiance around Him. Like the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking.
His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze when it has been heated to a glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.
The Bible does not mention how tall Jesus was, as height is not something the Bible routinely discusses. However, in Isaiah 53:2, we learn a little about his physical appearance, “For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we would look at Him,
nor an appearance that we would take pleasure in Him.” Jesus was, at best, an average-looking guy, which probably meant He was of average height.
With that in mind, the fairest speculation as to how tall Jesus was would be the average height of a first-century male Jew residing in the land of Israel. Most anthropologists agree that the average height of a male Jew in Israel from that time period was around 5 feet 1 inch. Some people have tried to deduce Jesus’ height from the Shroud of Turin, which would be around 6 feet 1 inch tall. However, neither option offers more than a guess and not fact.
God is transcendent
Transcendence means to go beyond to be more and perfectly explains God.
Everything in the cosmos and on Earth exists because of Him, who made all things. Due to his transcendence, God is both the unknown and the unknowable. Nonetheless, God persistently attempts to reveal Himself to His creation.
God, as the infinitely transcendent Creator who exists outside of both space and time, defies human comprehension because He is unfathomable (Romans 11:33–36). Therefore, we can not learn about God or have a real relationship with Him by using our willpower or our intellect (Isaiah 55:8-9). Furthermore, God’s holiness and righteousness are additional aspects of His transcendent essence that set Him apart from His creation.
Sin and evil inclinations are so ingrained in the human heart that it makes it impossible for us to enter God’s presence. Experiencing God’s complete majesty would be more than any human can handle, shattering their frail, earthly bodies. For this reason, the whole revelation of God is set aside until a time when all things will be viewed as they truly are and when men are in a fit state to receive the true nature of the Creator.
God is Invisible
God is not visible to the human eye as He lacks matter which makes someone seeable. John 4:24 proclaims, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” And in 1 Timothy 1:17, we learn,” the King eternal, immortal, invisible,” which suggests that God has no essential physical form, despite the fact that He can assume many different appearances, including human form.
Jesus was the physical matter form of God sent to Earth to bridge the gap between our sinful nature and God’s holy nature (Colossians 1:15-19). Both God and the Holy Spirit are immaterial and not discernible by sight. However, God made His divine nature knowable to us through His creations (Psalm 19:1, Romans 1:20). Therefore, the complexity and harmony of nature are evidence that there is a force greater than ourselves at work here.
The omnipresence of God
God is everywhere at once, making it clear that God exists in the realm of spirit, or else the concept of his omnipresence collapses (Proverbs 15:3, Psalm 139:7-10). Psalm 113:4-6 says God is “enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth.” God cannot have a simple physical form because of His omnipresence.
God is omnipresent because He is present in every possible location and time. God is present everywhere at once, nor can He be confined to any particular era or region. In this sense, God is present in every moment. There is not a single molecule or atom too small for God to be totally present to, nor a galaxy too large for God to completely encircle (Isaiah 40:12). However, even if we were to eliminate creation, God would still be aware of it, as He is aware of all possibilities, regardless of their reality.
How does the Bible use anthropomorphism to talk about God?
Anthropomorphism refers to when the Bible gives God human characteristics or traits. More often than not, it involves imbuing God with human qualities such as language, touch, sight, smell, taste, and sound. Furthermore, man often ascribes human emotions, actions, and appearance to God.
Anthropomorphisms can be useful because it allow us to gain some understanding of the inexplicable, knowledge of the unknown, and understanding of the incomprehensible. However, we are human, and God is God; therefore, no human words can adequately describe God. However, our Creator gave us human language, emotion, appearance, and knowledge to comprehend the world He created.
Anthropomorphisms can be dangerous if we use them to limit God’s power, compassion, and mercy. It is important for Christians to read the Bible with the understanding that God is only able to reveal a fraction of His glory through the limited channels. In Isaiah 55:8-9, God tells us, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Why did God make me short or tall?
Our height comes from our genetics. While God can control our DNA, He allows our genetics to follow our family path. Over the thousands of years, man has been alive, the perfect DNA housed inside Adam and Eve because diluted and mixed creating less perfect DNA. This leads to health problems and a mixture of appearance and physical features.
God is no more to blame for our stature than He is for one of us having brown or baldness. That is to say, we cannot point fingers at God for any difficulties we have with our bodies. He created the perfect people to live in the Garden of Eden, but we became subject to frail, dying bodies with imperfections when they left. Some of us are tall, and others short, but we are all made in the image of God.
The Bible and sound philosophy agree that God does not exist on this physical plane. Instead, God manifests in a spiritual form, making Him omnipresent and invisible. However, He found ways to show us His divine nature through His creations. We can follow God’s spirit and see the world through a spiritual lens ready to help us connect to our Creator.
Everything made object has bounds and limits that cannot be transcended. However, since God is uncreated, He must be infinite in scope. While God can do all things, He laid out a plan to create humans to have free will, and with that option, we are bound by our human genetics. Someday we will cast off our human forms and take on spirit forms allowing our height, weight, and appearance to be like Gods.