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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Is God the Father a Distinct Person from Jesus?

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Don Stewart

There are those who declare that God the Father and Jesus Christ, are the same person. They contend that Jesus is merely a manifestation or development or role of the Father. The Bible, however, says that the Father and Jesus are distinct from each other. They are not the same person. There are several ways in which the Bible illustrates this truth.

1. The Father Sent the Son

Another distinction we have between the Father and the Son is that the Father is the sender and Jesus, the Son, is the one sent.

Jesus said that it was God the Father who sent Him into the world.

"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work" (John 4:34).

He emphasized it again

By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me (John 5:30).

Jesus made it clear the Father had set Him apart and sent Him into the world.

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 10:36).

Jesus said that His words came from the Father.

For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it (John 12:49)

The Apostle Paul also testified that the Father sent the Son into the world:

But when the fulness of the time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law (Galatians 4:4).

2. The Father Testified To The Son

The Bible speaks of the Father testifying of the Son:

If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another who bears witness of me, and I know that the witness which he witnesses of me is true . . . And the Father himself, who sent me, has testified of me (John 5:31,32,37).

In this passage, Jesus is speaking to the religious leaders. He says that He is not the only one who is testifying concerning Himself. Jesus mentions the testimony of John the Baptist and the testimony of God the Father. Jesus contrasts His testimony from that of the Father showing that they are two distinct persons. The Father provides additional testimony to the character of Jesus.

3. Jesus Prayed to the Father

The two divine persons-God the Father and God the Son-exist eternally and distinctly in an interpersonal relationship. For example, in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus did not pray to Himself, but to the Father. In Jesus' prayer to God the Father, the clear distinction is made between the two of them. He prayed.

I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in me through their word; that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you sent me. "The glory which you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as we are one; I in them and you in me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that you sent me, and loved them, even as you have loved me (John 17:20-23).

4. There Was Mutual Knowledge and Love between the Father and the Son

Scripture speaks of the mutual knowledge and love that God the Father and God the Son have for one another. Jesus said.

All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal him (Matthew 11:27).

Jesus also said.

The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand (John 3:35).

5. Jesus Did the Father's Will

Jesus did the will of the Father not His own will.

Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father?' "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own initiative, but the Father abiding in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves (John 14:8-11).

Jesus did not say He was the Father but rather He was the one who perfectly represented the Father. However Jesus testified that God the Father was with Him in a mystical way.

6. No One Can Get to God the Father Except Through Jesus the Son

Jesus told people to believe in Him.

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me (John 14:1).

The Bible also makes it clear that one cannot know God the Father apart from Jesus

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; from now on you know him, and have seen him" (John 14:6).

Paul wrote.

For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human (1 Timothy 2:5).


It is the teaching of Scripture that God the Father is a distinct person from Jesus Christ, God the Son. This is demonstrated in a number of ways. The Father sent Jesus the Son to earth. The Father also gave a testimony to the Son. We find that Jesus, the Son, prayed to the Father There is also mutual love and knowledge between God the Father and Jesus the Son. Jesus, the Son, always did the Father's will not His own will. One cannot know God the Father without knowledge of Jesus the Son. These truths make it clear that the Father and Son are two distinct Persons.

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