Jesus and God

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
"I am going to the Father; for my Father is greater than I."
John ch 14 v 28

i have read this passage sooooo many times, as its in the third hour gospel of the agpia, and for the first time i noticed this verse.
Jesus is saying that His Father (God) is greater than Himself. i paused after i read this and said to my self "self, how does this coincide with the Concept of the Trinity?"
the answer is im not sure, i was thinking, it had something to do with Christ being Limited in His human state, cause as we all know on the mount of transfiration his disciples saw him shining like the sun, they saw His glory, so the human body may have limited him. is that a possible answer?

and another question i asked myself was why does Jesus say, and i cant remember the referance so ill paraphrase, that only the father knows when the second coming will be, why woodnt Christ himself know, when He Himself is coming back, for the secong coming?

then i asked myself again why does Christ say: "let it be according to Your will and not to mine" in the Garden on the night of the trial, didnt they have the same will?

then finally i asked myself if Christ had the authority to forgive sins, why did he say on the cross "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." couldnt Jesus he forgive them?

so after i asked myself all these questions, i realized i wasnt goin anywhere.
so now,
im asking you.


  • i think that answer is that you are taking it to liturally....i believe Christ was the one that was supposed to be the perfect role model for humans...that was why he was limited, because we are limited....he is what we all strive to be....he shows us that we should see the Father as he saw him...GREAT, AlMIGHTY, POWERFUL, etc.....we are supposed to turn to the Father as Christ did for him and advice....we are supposed to see Christ as all- knowing....EVen tho the Holy Trinity means the Father and the Son are one....the Son is the one i believe we relate to the most...seeing how he came in a human form and lived on our earth...ate the food that grew from the land we stand on today....drank from the water that enters our mouths today....Christ also wanted to show us that if he could forgive the most dreadful and evil act that we did to him...crucifying...we as humans could forgive one another...we could turn the other cheek...i hope that makes ;D ;D
  • thats a really gr8 way of puttin it Mer thanx sooo much, but i really need more facts for my heart to be at rest. but thank u so much u have no idea how much u helpped.
  • well i agree w/ arubaiscrazy.. but can i add sumthing?
    well ya i can sense nobody is gonna answer this question right now.. lol.. neways i thisnk that Jesus did that to assure us that God is there.. and to make them believe in him.. u kno wut i mean? i can't really explain it but i've heard that be4 from an abouna.. yup!! :-*
  •'s an excellent question and I'll try to add something to what's been said already.

    First, I think the Lord Christ said "Father forgive them" for a couple of reasons. While on the cross with all these Jews and non-believers who were crucifying Him standing around, Jesus would not say to them directly "I forgive you" because I don't think they would believe Him (i.e. they didn't believe He was God; if He said I forgive you, they wouldn't believe that He was actually asking for forgiveness for them). By saying "Father," Christ was talking to the heavenly Father that they believed in, even if the Jews didn't see God the Father as Christ's Father. By doing so, Jesus once again showed His ultimate love for mankind (i.e. even the Jews and nonbelievers could understand that Christ was asking for their forgiveness even if they didn't believe that His request for their forgiveness would be accepted since some of them thought of Him as a blasphemer not to mention the fact that unfortunately, most of them didn't see what they were doing as sin). Also. asking the Father to forgive set an example for all of us in appealing to God. Also remember that Christ directly forgave the sins of many who did believe in Him, like all those who were sick and came to Him in faith. He didn't say at those moments that the "Father forgives you" but simply said "Your sins are forgiven you." So definitely, Christ has the power to forgive sins.

    Second, for the statement in the Garden of Gethsemane, again, I think "let it be according to Your Will and not Mine" has something to do with teaching us and setting an example for us to rely on God's will. Just as in teaching us the Lord's Prayer, Jesus taught, "Thy Will be Done". In terms of Christ's nature, we believe that Christ was both human and divine at the same time and that "His divinity parted not from His humanity for a single moment nor a twinkling of an eye" as mentioned in our liturgy.

    As for the other two instances mentioned, I'll have to mull over those for some time longer.
    If you want to read a little bit about the Trinity though, you can try this:

    It's a pdf file so it may take a bit of time to download but it's really good in making things easier to understand.
  • my friend u just put into words wat i was thinking in my head but couldnt express, thanx alot!!
    but wat i feared bout wat u said and wat i thought bout the father forgive the on the cross part is that i dont think Jesus wanted them to feel guilty u know, he accepted death fully and i dont think it wood stop him him even if they thought he was blaspheming, know wat i mean? but i totally understand wat u mean, totally.
    and the part about the garden-beautiful, thats how i interpreted it, thanx again.
    ps i tried to download the PDF file but it woodnt work for some reason...?
  • bout that file on the trinity it doesnt seem to be working for me would anybody be able to email it to me if i gave u my address.
  • well..any decent answers yet? I too would like to know the answer to this matter..
  • GJI

    Your questions are too easy my man, btw dont expect your Muslim friend to understand - mr ali a.k.a hustler has no brains according to past experience.

    First of all, lets deal with John 14:28. Christ clearly says "The Father is greater than I", but how about John 10:30 where Christ says "I and the Father are One".

    How do we reconcile this? Well before I paste you two lengthy articles I wrote on these 2 verses, let me give you the clear and short answer which the context demonstrates. Jesus is ONE with the Father IN ESSENCE, NATURE and POWER - Why? Because the Father and Son are One God along with the Holy Spirit. They are thus of the same divine essence, and the same being, and thus they possess one power. The Father is only greater than Jesus in terms of the incarnation - at the incarnation Jesus humbled Himself when he took upon Himself the form of a servant, as a result He laid aside his glory. Let me give you the details: I will post two commentaries - one on John 10:30, and the second on John 14:28 - take the time to read them:
  • [center]UNDERSTANDING JOHN 10:30 IN CONTEXT:[/center]

    “The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.� Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life (1), and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand (2). My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand (3). "I and the Father are one." (4) (John 10:24-30)

    (1) Christ claims the power to give eternal life.

    (2)Christ claims the power to preserve His own sheep so that no one can snatch them out of his hand, thus equating His power to that of the Father, who also preserves the sheep so that no one is able to snatch them out of His hand in (3).

    (4)Christ summarises His divine claims into a succinct statement, declaring oneness with the Father. One in what? It can only be one in power, intent, will, and hence essence, for He makes this claim after claiming the very attributes of God:

    What does God in the Old Testament have to say about the very attributes Christ just claimed for Himself?

    "See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me (1). I put to death and bring to life (2), I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver them out of my hand (3)." Deuteronomy 32:39

    (1) God declares His exclusiveness. He then follows His declaration of being the exclusive God by mentioning some of those things which define His exclusiveness: (2) The ability to give life (3) The ability to preserve so none is able to snatch out of His hands.

    Therefore we have further explicit confirmation that Christ was claiming the very exclusive attributes of God Himself, and hence the only logical and contextual explanation of His claim to oneness with the Father in John 10:30.

    “But Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?", "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God." (John 10:31-33)

    The Jews in response to these specific claims to divinity made by Christ, accuse him of blasphemy for declaring that He possesses the divine prerogatives of the Father, the very prerogatives God in Deuteronomy 32:39 used to qualify His very exclusiveness from all other reality.

    The Law concerning blasphemy is found in Leviticus 24:15-16: “Anyone who curses God shall bear the sin. One who blasphemes the name of the Lord shall be put to death.� In commenting on the Jewish law concerning blasphemy, scripture scholar Dr Ben Witherington III (Ph.D., University of Durham, England), professor of New Testament interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary, states that in reference to Christ's statement in John 10:30, that it was considered blasphemy “... due to his [claim to] spiritual union and unity in character and in purpose and power with the Father, [He] is acting and speaking as the Father Himself would speak and have Him do..�

    It is important to note at this stage, that whenever Jesus was falsely accused, he always directly defended himself. e.g. Matthew 11:16-19, In Mark 3:21-3:24, John 8:47-48.

    “Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, `I have said you are gods'? If he called them `gods,' to whom the word of God came - and the Scripture cannot be broken then what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, `I am God's Son'?�� (John 10:34-36)

    Dr Ben Witherington III then goes on to prove, that Christ's appeal to Psalm 82, is a defence against the claim that He was “making himself� a God. His implicit argument against the Jews is thus that the divinity He claimed for Himself, is something He possesses by nature as the Wisdom – Son of God, and not something He arbitrarily attributes to Himself at some point in time:

    “The Jews are right that there is an implicit or even explicit divine claim in Jesus' words, but they are wrong that he is a mere human being, acting like Adam and so trying to make himself into a god. The hearer of the story of the fourth Gospel will know that the Word/Wisdom was God before the foundation of the universe; divinity was not something that The Word had to attain at some point...verses 34-36 are intriguing. The reference here is to Ps. 82:6 (LXX), and stresses that those to whom God's word had come could in some sense be said to be gods on the earth, presumably because they have some knowledge of divine things revealed to them through God's Word. Jesus says then, a fortiori, if even ordinary Jews could be said to be in some sense gods, how much more the one whom God sanctified and sent into the world, the one who is God's Son. The term “sanctified� here surely has its normal biblical sense of being set apart or dedicated to God, and thus the whole sentence indicates that the Son was set apart and sent on a divine mission as God's divine agent on earth...What is said here of Jesus, and throughout this chapter, has echoes in Wisdom of Solomon chapters 7-9, where WISDOM is given a similar characterization: (1) Wisdom is sent forth from the holy heavens (9:10) and is holy or set apart in herself (7:22) (2) she understands and gives understanding of parabolic speech (8:8); (3) she rescues humanity, saving them (9:18); (4) she sits by the throne of God (9:4) (5) she is an associate in all God's works (8:4); (6) she has the qualities and character traits of God (7:23ff)..�

    Jesus clearly acknowledged that he did say that he was God's Son. This was not a statement fabricated by his enemies, Jesus clearly said it and asked why it was blasphemous for him to claim this title. The judges in Psalm 82 do not "make themselves" gods, but rather the divine title is given to them by God, on the basis of their commission ("to whom the Word of God came."). In affirming that He is the Messiah, Jesus uses this general principle to declare that His divine title ("the Son of God") was not of His own proclamation, but comes as the result of the Father's commission ("sanctified and sent into the World")

    "Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. 38 But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.�

    If Jesus' appeal to Psalm 82 is meant as nothing more than an answer to the charge of blasphemy, as the heteredox allege, then He has completely undermined His defense with new claims of unity and equality with His Father in verse 39. It would seem untenable, given that He knew the hearts of his accusers that Jesus would provoke the Jews with such a statement, unless it was a logical extension of what He has just said.
  • [center]UNDERSTANDING JOHN 14:28 IN CONTEXT:[/center]

    The apparent problem regarding this verse, is a common one for those rejecting Christ’s deity. Such people try to draw and stress a relationship between Christ’s submission to the Father, and the fact that this somehow entails that Christ is therefore inferior to the Father, in terms of essence.

    Philippians chapter 2 verse 5, reveals some very essential issues regarding the incarnation of Christ, harmonizing those verses that portray a submission motif in the relationship of Christ with the Father, with those that show strong parity between them. Some simple things to note from this: Christ in his pre-incarnate state (before he was born into the world) was in the form of God, and he didn’t consider it robbery to claim equality with God since he indeed was God. It also says that he took it upon himself to be made in the likeness of men, so that He who was originally in the form of God voluntarily took on the form of a servant, becoming obedient in all aspects of life, even unto death on the cross. Thus he revealed Himself as one desiring to serve others. He did not boast His eternal glory and right to be ministered to, but instead evinced His humility and desire to minister as supported by Matthew 20:28 - ''The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many''

    The Lord said, “My Father is greater than I.� But the truth shows that after the same sense, the Son is less also than Himself; for how was He not made less also than Himself, who “emptied Himself, and took upon Himself the form of a servant�? For He did not so take the form of a servant as that He should lose the form of God, in which He was equal to the Father, since God in the first place is immutable, thus his divinity never parted from humanity. Further biblical evidence, confirming Christ’s “emptying� of the glory that is due to Him, is seen when the Son is praying to the Father and says: “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.� (John 17:5) - So this verse gives further confirmation of, and stresses the following: That Christ was eternally pre-existent in the form of God, sharing glory in equality to God the Father before the creation. He asks the Father to regain this glory after the victory of the crucifixion, because at this present time the Son has laid aside His glory when he “emptied himself� at the incarnation. The Father at this time, in contrast, is in heaven full of glory and it is in this sense also the Father is greater than the Son.

    Its also interesting to note, that God in the Old Testament specifically said he would not share his glory with another: “I am Jehovah. That is my name; and to no one else shall I give my own glory� (Isaiah 42:8) And: “For my own sake, for my own sake I shall act, for how could one let oneself be profaned? And to no one else shall I give my own glory.� (Isaiah 48:11-12)

    Christ associated with His contemporaries and did not hold Himself aloof, and that’s why He manifested to all that He was a real Man. However, although he laid aside his divine rule on earth, he always possessed that divine title, and that’s why in Isaiah 9:6, Isaiah prophesy's that the child to be born was to bear the divine title “Mighty God�.

    St Basil The Great:

    “‘Greater’ is predicated in bulk, in time, in dignity, in power, or as cause. The Father cannot be called greater than the Son in bulk, for He is incorporeal: nor yet in time, for the Son is Creator of times: nor yet in dignity, for He was not made what he had once not been: nor yet in power, for ‘what things soever the Father doeth, these also doeth the son likewise’ (John 5:19): nor as cause, since (the Father) would be similarly greater than He and than we, if He is cause of Him and of us. The words express rather the honor given by the Son to the Father than any depreciation by the speaker; moreover what is greater is not necessarily of a different essence. Man is called greater than man, and horse than horse. If the Father is called greater, it does not immediately follow that He is of another substances. “A man is not properly said to be greater than a brute, than an inanimate thing, but man than man, and brute than brute. The Father is therefore of one substance with the Son, even though He be called greater.�

    Matthew Henry:

    “Therefore he sent this message after his resurrection (ch. 20:17), 'I ascend to my Father and your Father', as most comfortable. The reason of this is, because the Father is greater than he, which, if it be a proper proof of that for which it is alleged (as no doubt it is), must be understood thus, that his state with his Father would be much more excellent and glorious than his present state (cf. John 17:5); his returning to his Father would be the advancing of him to a much higher condition than that which he was now in. Or thus, His going to the Father himself, and bringing all his followers to him there, was the ultimate end of his undertaking, and therefore greater than the means. Thus Christ raises the thoughts and expectations of his disciples to something greater than that in which now they thought all their happiness bound up. The kingdom of the Father, wherein he shall be all in all, will be greater than the mediatorial kingdom.�
  • iqbal u gun, nice work.

    ps bout that file on the trinity it doesnt seem to be working for me would anybody be able to email it to me if i gave u my address.
  • Iqbal no need to post things that no-one would read...i want your words not someone elses..Thanks in advance
  • Iqbal sometimes i ask my-self, why do i even bother to attack such a tampered book..
  • no matter what religion you are, you will still be loved by christians. iqbal is just answering questions, not intending to insult you.

    +God bless you+ May the HOLY TRINITY always Prevail!!!!!!!!!
  • My sister,
    If Iqbal really does know the bible, he would hesistantly tell you the bible is tampered you know what tampered means first of offence taken sister..Iqbal is just manipulating the context of the verses to blend in with the various other messages throughout the bible...don't worry, i would slowly post how he did it, unless tasbeha bans before i do.
  • firstly u dont bother to attack our bible, u copy/paste from sites, and u shood try reading wat he rites or dont u have enough character to read something that u know will prove u wrong?
  • Thanks for your subjective comments, but in all fair-ness thats all i can say about you..I have read Iqbal's responses which he strongly twisted the context to meet his conclusions...for all you see him as your messiah, that idea wont last too long.

  • The idea of Christ will last long-up to eternity. Iqbal doesn't change the bible. Just because you feel like saying that our bible is changed, it doesn't mean that it is. The bible is God's words, no faults, flaws, or alterations. if we assume that it is"tampered with"
    why would anyone take for example scholars , who i assume are more intelligent that you and me, who studied it, why would they continue to follow it? would they not try to find the right religion?

    seriously, would you stay in a religion if yu knew it was wrong? any intelligent being won't. whether you're christian, muslim, or jewish, or whatever, you have the right to choose your faith, but not the right to enforce your beliefs on others

    +God Bless you+
  • Just wait..time will be the answer for all the questions you have...
  • Time will only be the confirmation that our religion is correct. Time will be the strengthening of our relationship with God, and hopefully, we will be able to build ourselves a very thick wall, to try and keep the devil's temptations away from us. But tell me hustler, why do you not believe in Christianity? I'm curious...
  • In all honestly, i believe its a wrong religion..if anyone knows me i'm more a Christian then a Muslim and i don't like what that has made me..Why arn't you a muslim?
  • I'm not a muslim because I'm a Christian, and Christianity being the right religion, I see no reason to partake in any other. What do you mean by, "i don't like what that has made me." and "if anyone knows me i'm more a Christian then a Muslim." ? You don't like what what has made you? And in what ways are you more a Christian than a Muslim?
  • Why do you need time to confirm your really is correct? Arn't you 100% sure yet?
  • Of course I'm a 100% sure, make it 200%, I didn't say I needed time to confirm my religion is correct. I was referring to you, because I know that you'll realize it sooner or later, I have faith in you.
  • thanks for that..
  • Anytime. So what's your opinion about Jesus? You know, it's interesting to see what people think about the things you believe in.
  • I have nothing against Jesus.
  • But where does He stand in what you believe? You said you're more Christian than Muslim.
  • o wow this is getting interesting.. he's not against christianity but not w/ it.. then again he says he's more christian than a muslim wut does that mean?? ???
    and if he's more a christian than a muslim then why is he trying to prove us wrong??

    Rina ;)
  • Good job Iqbal. I certainly appreciate your posts.

    Ali -- it's time to realize the truth that Christianity is the one true religion and the only real way you will ever know God. This truth may be hard for you to take -- but that doesn't mean it's not the truth.

    And by the way, out of curiosity, how on earth do you justify the violence waged by Islam and proclaimed in the Quran? Do you really think God wants death for people? If you do, then I have to say -- you really have no clue about God at all. It's time to get real buddy.
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