On knowing God

The divine Apostle Paul said that he knew in part the knowledge of the Word (1 Cor 13:9). But the great Evangelist John said that he saw His glory: ‘We have seen His glory, the glory as the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth’ (Jn 1:14). And why did St. Paul say that he knew in part the knowledge of the divine Word? For He is known only to a certain extent through His activities. The knowledge of Himself in His essence and personhood remains inaccessible to all angels and men alike, and He can in no way be known by anyone. But St. John, initiated as perfectly as humanly possible into the meaning of the Word’s incarnation, claims that he has seen the glory of the Word as flesh, that is, he saw the reason or the plan for which God became man, full of grace and truth. For it was not as God by essence, consubstantial to God the Father, that the Only Begotten Son gave this grace, but as having in the incarnation become man by nature, and consubstantial to us, that He bestows grace on all who have need of it. This grace we receive from His fullness always in proportion to our progress. Therefore, the one who keeps sacred the whole meaning of the Word of God become incarnate for our sake will acquire the glory full of grace and truth of the One who for our sake glorifies and consecrates Himself in us by His coming: ‘When He appears we shall be like Him’ (1Jn 3:2).