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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Why Do Certain Passages Seem to Teach That Jesus Is Lesser in Character than God the Father?

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Don Stewart

One of the issues with respect to the Trinity concerns the relationship of God the Father and God the Son. The Bible says that Christ lived in submission to God the Father while He was here on the earth. Because Christ humbled Himself by taking on the form of a human being He could make the statement.

You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I (John 14:28).

Jesus had a perfect human nature as well as a divine nature - the human nature was not divine. He took an inferior position as a human being but He was not inferior in nature.

Jesus Was Sent By The Father

The submission of the Son to the Father has seemingly been from all eternity. The Bible says that the Father "sent" the Son.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him (1 John 4:9).

He Was In Submission Before He Became Human

In some unexplained way, the Son was in submission to the Father before He became a man. Yet He was not the servant of the Father. Jesus only became a servant to the Father when He came to earth.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:8).

The Father Was Still His God After The Resurrection

After His resurrection and ascension into heaven Jesus still referred to God the Father as His God.

Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, `I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God (John 20:17).

In the Book of Revelation we read.

Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name (Revelation 3:12).

This submission has nothing to do with the Son being of inferior character. It is an inferior position not an admission of an inferior nature.

The Father Is The Head Of Christ

God the Father is said to be the "head" of Christ.

Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3).


Jesus Christ submitted to God the Father while He was here on earth. Of this there is no doubt. Yet His submission was voluntary - not because He was of inferior nature.

The following truths about the relationship of God the Father to God the Son can be derived from Scripture. The Son, for all eternity, has been, and always will be, fully God. The Son has been eternally distinct from the Father and will be for all eternity. Before He became a human being, the Son represented the Father to humanity. When the Son became a human being He entered into a different relationship with the Father In His human nature, Christ always honored the Father as His God

Christ, therefore is equal to God the Father in nature or essence but subordinate in position. This subordination has occurred from at least the time that the Son became a human being.

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