Manifest, adjective: readily perceived by the senses and especially by the sense of sight.
Transitive verb: to make evident or certain by showing or displaying.
Synonyms: verb; embody, incarnate. From Latin manifestos, caught in the act, flagrant, obvious. (Webster’s)
Greek: phaneroō (fan-er-ó-o), to render apparent (literal or figurative): appear, make clear, clearly see, disclose, display, be known, (make) manifest, become (make) plain, reveal, be seen, show, spread, become visible.
From phanerós, visible, conspicuous. To make apparent… to show openly. Reflexively with heautón, oneself… to manifest oneself, show oneself openly, to appear (as in 1 Timothy 3:16)
(Hebrew - Greek Key Word Study Bible)
Before we go any further I’d like to speak on a current secular trend called manifesting, which is not to be confused with the above definitions in regard to what Jesus Christ did in the incarnation. But I felt the need to distinguish between the two because, as is often the case, the secular world loves to put a pagan spin on that which is divine. Below are just a few of the definitions/instructions given when you google the word manifest.
The word 'manifestation' means to create something or turn something from an idea into a reality. In psychology, manifestation generally means using our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs to bring something to our physical reality.
What is an example of manifesting?
This manifestation process involves creating a gratitude list. Your perspective shifts to something more positive when you appreciate what you have. That's why showing gratitude is a popular manifest journaling method. Example: I'm grateful for the support of my boss as I develop new skills at work.
How do I manifest something?
This can be done in a variety of ways—prayer, meditation, visualization, speaking your intentions out loud, a vision board and/or a “future box,” which is a container full of pictures of items you want to manifest—but you need to say exactly what you want.
What happens if you manifest something?
What does “manifest” mean? To manifest something means to think about it often and with focus until you receive it. It's the idea that if you want something, you can mentally attend to it and will it into existence.
The danger here is obvious, to believe that I can will anything into existence, whether it be a job promotion or a relationship or finances is to play God in my life. It is the ultimate act of idolatry and is in no way biblical or even wise. Only God calls into being, only God creates reality, only God saves me from the brokenness in my life. The third paragraph above states prayer as a means of manifesting into existence that which we want. What a grievous and selfish definition of prayer! I don’t pray to get what I want while also employing all kinds of other new age behaviors as if prayer is just one base to cover in an effort to get my needs met. Prayer is a beautiful dialogue within a loving relationship with my Heavenly Father.
As a believer in Jesus Christ this is something we should stay far from. Further, if you know anyone who uses this kind of language in conjunction with their faith, I would seriously consider having a prayerful conversation with them regarding this mixture of the sacred and profane. There is only one God and he does not share his throne with you or me.
So jumping back to the true definition of the word, I love that God is “caught in the act” of becoming human. That his humanity is flagrant and obvious. In the Greek definition he “showed himself openly.” What I see here is a God who wants to be known, who wants to be found. In 1 John 1: 1-4 the words seen, heard, and their derivatives are used 7 times in only 4 verses. This is our pursuant and loving Father, manifested in human form in the person of Jesus Christ and he is as real today as he was when he walked on the earth.