"...our Lord, Christ Jesus...the happy and only
Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, Who alone has immortality,
making His home in light inaccessible, Whom not one of mankind perceived
or can be perceiving, to Whom be honor and might eonian! Amen!" Who is
intended here - Christ or God? Certainty
seems almost impossible, for the first part of the statement seems
confined to Christ, but the latter part true only of God. But if we
ascribe it to God it is manifestly untrue, since our Lord has deathlessness. This difficulty does not exist if we
ascribe it to Christ, for God is a self-evident exception. The statement
must, therefore, be applied to our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Tim.6:14-16).
But how can we say of Him, "Whom not one of mankind
perceived or can be perceiving?" This is where an accurate concordant
rendering supplies the key. The statement concerns our Lord in His glory,
not in His humiliation. It is illustrated by the case of Paul himself.
When Christ appeared to him he was not able to look. The glory was too
great. It blinded him. No human being can be perceiving it. Note that
it is not the indefinite - no one can perceive. That were a fact for all
time. It is only our present, temporary condition. This is indicated by
the Greek incomplete, -ING. We shall perceive Him when we also are
glorified. If this were written of God, then it would have been in the
aorist, for He is invisible. Now Christ has such a superabundance of life
that its effulgence would blind us in our present humiliation.