Continued from Part 5
Jesus, the man, is said to be the mediator between God and men. Paul writes, “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). Jesus is called a “man,” even after his alleged resurrection. Now, if this supposedly resurrected Jesus were himself God and acted in total accord with the other two-thirds of God, he could not be a mediator, an intermediary or conciliator, “between God and men.”
Paul says that there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all” (Ephesians 4:5-6). The “one Lord” is Jesus. The “one God” is the Father. In this passage there are two separate beings represented, not “one God” composed of Jesus and his Father. The fact is, there is no verse that says that Jesus and the Father are “one God.” There is also no mention of the so-called “Holy Spirit” of the triune deity.
Revelation 11:15 states that “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.” Some Christians allege that this verse shows the equality of Jesus and God. This claim is incorrect. Significantly, “our Lord” in this verse is not Jesus but God Himself, and Jesus is clearly distinguished from God as “His Christ.” While the term “Lord” is often used in the New Testament to refer to either God or Jesus, there is a difference between the two.
John’s Jesus says: “I and the Father are one [hen]” (John 10:30). Trinitarians allege that this shows that they are one in essence. This claim is incorrect. This statement does not suggest either a dual or triune deity. What John’s Jesus meant by the word hen (“one”) becomes clear from his prayer concerning the apostles. He says: “That they may be one [hen], just as we are one [hen]” (John 17:22). He means that they should be united in agreement with one another as he (Jesus) is always united in agreement with God, as stated: “I [Jesus] always do the things that are pleasing to Him [God]” (John 8:29). There is thus no implication that Jesus and God, or the twelve apostles are to be considered as of one essence. The lesser authority aligns his thoughts with the greater authority.
The author of the Gospel of John claims that on hearing Jesus say: “I and the Father are one,” the Jews accused him of making himself out to be a god: “For good works we do not stone you but for blasphemy, and because you, being a man, made yourself a god” (John 10:33). According to John, the Jews understood Jesus’ words as an assertion, on his part, that he was a supernatural power (’elohim, i.e., a god). In answering the Jews, John’s Jesus does not explain directly how he and the Father are one but explains rather that the concept of his being “a god” is not a farfetched idea. John has Jesus reply: “Has it not been written in Your Law, ‘I said you are gods’?” (John 10:34). This is taken from Psalms 82:6, which reads: “I said: You are godlike beings [’elohim], and all of you sons of the Most High.” By this explanation, John’s Jesus wishes to show that there is nothing wrong in his claiming to be “a son of God” (John 10:36), for God declares this to be true of all the children of Israel. However, John’s Jesus thinks himself to be in a closer relationship with God than any of the other “sons of the Most High.” An important distinction needs to be made here. While Jesus is called the “Son of God” more than fifty times in the New Testament he is never called “God the Son.”
John’s Jesus explains that he is a messenger of God sent to do His bidding. He endeavors to convince the Jews that they misunderstand him, “whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world” (John 10:36). It is only because he is God’s consecrated messenger, doing the works of his Father, that he believes himself to be “one” with God, strictly obedient to His every command (John 10:37-38). John’s Jesus is so exact in his obedience to God’s every desire that he claims “the Father is in me and I am in the Father” (John 10:38). At no time does he claim to be one in essence with God. Although he presents himself to be as one with God in will and purpose, John’s Jesus never claims a unity of person or equality in substance with the Almighty. In the final analysis, if Jesus were truly God Himself, there would be no need for him to be “sent” by anyone or anything.