TBU: The Bible Unpacked: In-Depth Edition

II. Jesus Christ and God

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Chapter 3  Part II

Jesus Christ and God

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The claim that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is one of the most central teachings in the NT. In addition to this, the NT says much that associates Jesus Christ with God. This teaching forms the basis of a large portion of what distinguishes Christianity from other religions.

Jesus Christ Is the Son of God (I): General

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Jesus Christ is the Son of God . . .

Mark 1:1  The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.o ▤ 

o Some manuscripts omit the Son of God

2Cor 1:19  For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. ▤ 

Heb 4:14  Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. ▤ 

1Jn 1:3  … that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. ▤ 

2Jn 1:3  Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love. ▤ 

Heb 1:6  And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” ▤ 

The description of Jesus Christ as God’s “firstborn” points not only to his sonship but also to his preeminence as “the firstborn of all creation” (Col 1:15), with his exalted status and exclusive privileges.

. . . Jesus Christ is God’s only Son

John 1:14  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. ▤ 

John 3:16, 18  For God so loved the world,p that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. ▤ 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. ▤ 

p Or For this is how God loved the world

Heb 1:5  For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? ▤ 

The rhetorical questions point to Jesus Christ being uniquely the Son of God. Note that here the writer is quoting OT verses that referred to Davidic kings. He asserts that they are ultimately referring to Jesus Christ, in line with the many messianic prophecies that are consummately fulfilled in him (cf. Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus). A further OT reference to God calling a Davidic king his son occurs in Psalms 89:27 – “I will also appoint him my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth.” These OT verses are key to the Messiah being understood to be the Son of God (cf. Note: The Christ is understood to be the Son of God). Jesus Christ’s claim to be the Son of God was effectively a claim to be the Messiah.

1Jn 4:9  In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. ▤ 

1Jn 5:18  We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. ▤ 

The phrase “he who was born of God” quite probably refers to Jesus Christ (cf. CEV, GNT, NASB, NCV, NLT, NRSV), although some understand John to still have in view anyone born of God (cf. NKJV). In referring to “he” who was born of God suggests that “he” is the only one born of God in this sense – and so God’s only Son. Alternatively it may be speaking of him being the first to be born of God.

  • A further possible OT reference to God having a son:

Prov 30:4  Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know! ▤ 

Whether or not the reference to his son is implying that God has a son depends upon whether the rhetorical questions are primarily implying that God is the one that does all these things, or simply that no one else does; there is only a subtle difference between the two. If the former alternative is correct then it would appear that this is implying that God has a son, however the latter is more likely the case (cf. CEV, NLT).

God is Jesus Christ’s Father

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Regarding the term “God the Father”, the NT often uses it or the similar terms “God our Father” and our/the “God and Father” – over 40 times in total. Almost always Jesus Christ is mentioned in the same verse, even the same clause. The NT does not refer to “God the Son” (although on occasions Jesus Christ is referred to as “God” – cf. Jesus Christ is called “God” . . .). As such the NT would seem to use “God the Father” in a different sense to what we do when we use the term in reference to “God the Son” (and “God the Spirit”). As per the theme of this subsection, the NT would appear to use “Father” as a title of God, primarily to show or reflect God’s relationship to Jesus Christ, his Son.

Matt 16:17  And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. ▤ 

Mark 14:36  And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” ▤ 

The term “Abba” was one of intimacy, used of one’s own father.

Rom 15:6  … that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. ▤ 

Col 1:3  We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, … ▤ 

Rev 1:5-6  … and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. ▤ 

Rev 3:5, 21  The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. ▤ 21The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. ▤ 

Jesus Christ is the image of God

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The assertion that Jesus Christ is the image of God – having the nature and fullness of God (as per the following subsection) – reflects and supports the assertion that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

In speaking of Jesus Christ being the image of God, the following verses are probably speaking of Jesus Christ in his exalted state, with his being reflecting God’s. If alternatively Jesus Christ’s incarnation is in view, the verses would be referring to Jesus Christ’s words and actions reflecting the character of God.

2Cor 4:4-6  In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servantsr for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. ▤ 

r Greek bondservants

Verse 6 points to Jesus Christ being the image of God (v. 4), speaking of the glory of God being seen in Christ (cf. Heb 1:3 ) – the “glory of God [as it is manifest in the Person and is revealed] in the face of Jesus Christ” (AMP).

Col 1:15  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. ▤ 

Heb 1:3  He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, … ▤ 

Jesus Christ has the form and fullness of God – equality in nature

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Jesus Christ’s divinity (or “God nature”) is one of the distinctive, central teachings of Christianity. It is largely based on the teachings in this chapter section and the sections cross-referenced immediately above. In addition, it is also shown by: the divine attributes of his being and character that he has in common with God (which are discussed in the first half of this chapter); his supreme power and rule over the world (cf. Jesus Christ as Lord of All); and, likewise, his deeds during his mission (cf. Jesus Christ’s Authority from God; Jesus Christ’s Power from God; and Jesus Christ’s Miracles).

Phil 2:5-7  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,s 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant,t being born in the likeness of men. ▤ 

s Or which was also in Christ Jesus

t Greek bondservant

Here “equality with God” (v. 6b) appears to refer primarily at least to being “in the form of God” (v. 6a). As such the verse would appear to be referring to Jesus Christ having equality in nature with God.

Col 1:19  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, … ▤ 

The phrase “all the fullness of God” refers to: the fullness of God’s nature (cf. GNT, NIrV) – “the sum total of the divine perfection, powers, and attributes” (AMP); and/or “all of himself” (NCV™; cf. CEV, NLT), meaning that God himself in all his fullness dwells in Jesus Christ. Similar comment can be made regarding “the whole fullness of deity” in 2:9 below.

Col 2:9  For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, … ▤ 

John 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ▤ 

One implication of the last clause is that Jesus Christ has the nature of God. It may even be the main thrust of it (cf. REB; NET text note).

John 5:16-18  And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” 18This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. ▤ 

Verse 18 appears to be indicating that in calling God his Father (v. 17) – and as reflected in his claim to like God be persistently working (v. 17) – Jesus in effect asserts that he is equal to God in nature (cf. NEL) and arguably even in status.

  • A reference quite possibly to equality in status:

John 5:23  … that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. ▤ 

The sense may be “as much as they honor” God (CEV, NCV).

Note: The Father loves his Son

Matt 12:17-18  This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: 18“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. ▤ 

Matt 17:5  He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son,q with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” ▤ 

q Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved

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

This and some of the following verses show some ways that God the Father has expressed his love for his Son, Jesus Christ. The Father has: placed everything in his hands; shown him all he does (cf. John 5:20 ); and given him great glory (cf. John 17:24 ).

John 5:20  For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. ▤ 

John 10:17  For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. ▤ 

The Father loves Jesus because of his obedience (cf. John 15:10 ) – ultimately expressed in Jesus laying down his life.

John 15:9-10  As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. ▤ 

John 17:24, 26  Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. ▤ 26I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them. ▤ 

Col 1:13  He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, … ▤ 

1Pet 2:4  As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, … ▤ 

Being chosen by God and in particular being precious to God, reflect the fact that Jesus Christ is loved by God.

  • Jesus Christ loves his Father:

John 14:31a  … but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. ▤ 

Jesus expressed his love for the Father by his obedience – and the Father loved Jesus because of his obedience (cf. John 10:17 ; John 15:10 ).

Pray for persecuted Christians

Jesus Christ Is the Son of God (II): Testimony

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God testifies to Jesus Christ being his Son

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Matt 3:16-17  And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him,u and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,v with whom I am well pleased.” ▤ 

u Some manuscripts omit to him

v Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved

Matt 16:16-17  Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. ▤ 

Matt 17:5  He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son,w with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” ▤ 

w Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved

This occurred during Jesus’ transfiguration (cf. vv. 1-9; 2Pet 1:17 ), reflecting God’s testimony at Jesus’ baptism (cf. Matt 3:16-17 ).

2Pet 1:17  For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son,x with whom I am well pleased,” … ▤ 

x Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved

Heb 1:5  For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”? ▤ 

As noted earlier, the writer asserts that these OT verses that referred to Davidic kings are ultimately referring to Jesus Christ, in line with the many messianic prophecies that are consummately fulfilled in him. The rhetorical questions indicate that God has said these things of Christ, and only of him. As such they show that God testifies to Jesus Christ being his Son.

1Jn 5:9-11  If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. 10Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 11And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. ▤ 

This speaks of God giving testimony about his Son, Jesus Christ, as opposed to testimony that Jesus Christ is his Son. However the terms in which it is expressed imply or point to the latter. For further comment see . . . God himself testified to Jesus and his claims.

The Holy Spirit testifies to Jesus Christ being the Son of God

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1Jn 5:5-8  Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 6This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7For there are three that testify: 8the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. ▤ 

The “water” and “blood” are usually taken as references to Jesus’ baptism and death (NLT, CEV text note, NCV text note). John uses them here in asserting that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was the truly human person who was baptized and who died. (John was refuting a heresy that the divine Christ came upon the man Jesus at his baptism, but left him before his death.) In accordance with these two events (v. 8), the Holy Spirit testifies that this Jesus was in fact the Son of God. This testimony of the Holy Spirit is generally understood to be primarily referring to the ongoing inner witness of the Holy Spirit to believers, although some think it could also refer to the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus at his baptism.

Rom 1:4  … and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, … ▤ 

Jesus Christ’s resurrection emphatically showed him to be the Son of God, largely because it vindicated Jesus and his claims. It firstly vindicated Jesus’ claim that he would rise from the dead, and accordingly gave credence to his others claims – notably his claim to be the Son of God. This verse speaks of the Holy Spirit playing a key role in this declaration of Jesus Christ’s sonship in his resurrection. More specifically, possibly it is primarily speaking of the Holy Spirit’s role in the revelation of the implications of Jesus Christ’s resurrection; alternatively it may be speaking of the Holy Spirit actually bringing about Christ’s resurrection (cf. NLT).

1Tim 3:16  Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: Hey was manifested in the flesh, vindicatedz by the Spirit,a seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. ▤ 

y Greek Who; some manuscripts God; others Which

z Or justified

a Or vindicated in spirit

Here “Spirit” could alternatively be translated “spirit” (ESV text note, NCV, NRSV) referring to Jesus’ own human spirit. If “Spirit” is to be preferred, the phrase “vindicated by the Spirit” would be referring to the Holy Spirit empowering Jesus to perform miracles and in particular to the Holy Spirit having a role in his resurrection. By such things the Holy Spirit vindicated Jesus and his claims, including his claim to be the Son of God.

  • The Holy Spirit coming on Jesus at his baptism supported the declaration that Jesus was God’s Son:

Matt 3:16-17  And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him,b and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,c with whom I am well pleased.” ▤ 

b Some manuscripts omit to him

c Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved

God’s verbal testimony to Jesus Christ being his Son (v. 17) is supported by God anointing Jesus Christ with his Spirit, in a manner that was apparently visible (v. 16).

Jesus Christ himself testified to being the Son of God – which is why he was crucified

Matt 26:63-68  But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” 67Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, 68saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?” ▤ 

Luke 22:70  So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” ▤ 

Jesus’ response appears to have the sense: “You rightly say that I am.” (NKJV; cf. AMP, NASB, NIV, NLT).

John 5:17-18  But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” 18This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. ▤ 

By calling God his own Father, Jesus asserted that he was the Son of God.

John 10:36  … do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? ▤ 

Comment on this verse is given later in this chapter (cf. Jesus Christ’s deeds are evidence that he is the Son of God; and Further evidence of Jesus Christ’s identification with God).

Rev 2:18  And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. ▤ 

Jesus Christ is the speaker here.

Matt 27:37-43  And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42“He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” ▤ 

John 19:7  The Jewsd answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” ▤ 

d Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time; also verses 12, 14, 31, 38

Matt 27:27-29  Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters,e and they gathered the whole battalionf before him. 28And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” ▤ 

e Greek the praetorium

f Greek cohort; a tenth of a Roman legion, usually about 600 men

This shows that the soldiers understood that Jesus was to be crucified for claiming to be the Christ, the King of the Jews.

Others also testified to Jesus Christ being the Son of God

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Luke 1:31-32, 35  [Gabriel:] And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, ▤ 35And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be borng will be called holy—the Son of God. ▤ 

g Some manuscripts add of you

The speaker is the angel Gabriel, effectively testifying to Jesus being the Son of God.

Mark 8:29  And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” ▤ 

John 1:32-34  And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” ▤ 

John 11:27  She [Martha] said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” ▤ 

Acts 9:20  And immediately he [Saul] proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” ▤ 

Matt 27:54  When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Sonh of God!” ▤ 

h Or a son

Mark 3:11  And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” ▤ 

Mark 5:7  And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” ▤ 

These words were from an evil spirit, speaking through the man he possessed.

Jesus Christ’s deeds are evidence that he is the Son of God

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Matt 14:25, 28-29, 32-33  And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. ▤ 28And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. ▤ 32And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” ▤ 

The disciples’ conclusion that Jesus was the Son of God (v. 33) appears to be in response to: Jesus walking on the water (v. 25); Jesus enabling Peter to walk on the water (v. 29); and the quieting of the strong, threatening wind (v. 32).

John 10:36-38  … do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father. ▤ 

In vv. 37-38 Jesus implies that the fact that he does what God his Father does – showing that God is in him and he in God – indicates that he is God’s Son (v. 36b).

John 20:30-31  Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. ▤ 

The phrase “these are written” (v. 31) refers to the miraculous signs performed by Jesus that John did record as testimony to Jesus being the Son of God, his miraculous deeds giving credence to his miraculous claim.

John 1:47-49  Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” 48Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” ▤ 

Along with his actions, Jesus’ words pointed to him being the Son of God. Here Jesus’ words reveal his supernatural knowledge, evidencing that he was the Son of God.

Other events of Jesus Christ’s incarnation are evidence that he is the Son of God

Luke 1:31, 34-35  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. ▤ 34And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”i 35And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be bornj will be called holy—the Son of God. ▤ 

i Greek since I do not know a man

j Some manuscripts add of you

The fact that in his advent Jesus was conceived through God’s Holy Spirit and power (v. 35a) is evidence that he is God’s Son (v. 35b). For further comment see Jesus was born, of Mary – after being conceived through the Holy Spirit . . ..

Matt 17:1-3, 5-6  And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. ▤ 5He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son,k with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” 6When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. ▤ 

k Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved

Just as the Holy Spirit coming on Jesus at his baptism supported the declaration that Jesus was God’s Son (cf. Matt 3:16-17), God’s verbal testimony to Jesus Christ being his Son (v. 5) is supported by Jesus’ transfiguration (v. 2) and the appearance of Moses and Elijah, talking with him (v. 3). Moses and Elijah’s presence point to the significance of what Jesus would accomplish, bringing God’s people ultimate redemption and turn them to God. They were in a number of ways forerunners of Jesus.

Matt 27:50-54  And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. 51And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Sonl of God!” ▤ 

l Or a son

Rom 1:1-4  Paul, a servantm of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3concerning his Son, who was descended from Davidn according to the flesh 4and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, … ▤ 

m Or slave; Greek bondservant

n Or who came from the offspring of David

As spoken of earlier, Jesus Christ’s resurrection is a powerful testimony to him being the Son of God.

Pray for persecuted Christians

Jesus Christ Is Identified with God

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Jesus Christ and the Father are one – each is in the other

John 10:30, 36-38  I and the Father are one.” ▤ 36do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father. ▤ 

Both here and in 14:10-11 below Jesus claims that what he does shows that he and the Father are one, for in doing his miracles he does what the Father does.

John 17:11, 21-23  And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. ▤ 21that they may all be one, just 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 have sent me. 22The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. ▤ 

That believers can be one as the Father and Jesus Christ are one (vv. 11b, 21-22) and that Jesus can be in them seemingly in a similar sense to the Father being in him (v. 23; cf. John 10:38b ; John 14:10, 20 ), suggests that this being “one” points to such things as a spiritual union and a unity of purpose.

John 14:10-11, 20  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 authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. ▤ 20In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. ▤ 

The words Jesus spoke (v. 10b) as well as his miracles (v. 11b) were ultimately due to the Father dwelling in Jesus Christ doing his work.

  • Prophecy that the Messiah would be close to God:

Zec 13:7a  “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who stands next to me,” declares the Lord of hosts. ▤ 

The clause “the man who stands next to me” (“my partner” – NLT, cf. NASB, NRSV) appears to point to the closeness or even the oneness of Jesus Christ – God’s shepherd – with God. As the Hebrew is used elsewhere to indicate a close relative, some also see it as implying that Jesus Christ shares God’s nature. Jeremiah 30:21 similarly speaks of the Messiah being close to God, quoting God as saying: “Their prince shall be one of themselves; their ruler shall come out from their midst; I will make him draw near, and he shall approach me, for who would dare of himself to approach me? declares the Lord.”

To know or see Jesus Christ is to know or see the Father

See also:

John 8:19  They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” ▤ 

John 12:45  And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. ▤ 

This and 14:7-9 below are unlikely meaning that those who saw Jesus saw the Father’s physical appearance. The verses are probably speaking of Jesus: representing the Father, carrying out the will of the Father who sent him (cf. 12:45); and reflecting or embodying what the Father was like (cf. John 14:7-9 ).

John 14:7-9  If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.o From now on you do know him and have seen him.” 8Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? ▤ 

o Or If you know me, you will know my Father also, or If you have known me, you will know my Father also

Jesus Christ is called “God” . . .

See also:

Isa 9:6  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be uponp his shoulder, and his name shall be calledq Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ▤ 

p Or is upon

q Or is called

Matt 1:21-23  She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). ▤ 

John 1:1, 18  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ▤ 18No one has ever seen God; the only God,r who is at the Father’s side,s he has made him known. ▤ 

r Or the only One, who is God; some manuscripts the only Son

s Greek in the bosom of the Father

Jesus Christ is understood to be “the Word” – with the man Jesus being the manifestation of “the Word” (cf. v. 14). Note that the phrases in view here (i.e. in italics) may have a qualitive sense (cf. REB; NET text note).

John 20:28  Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” ▤ 

Rom 9:5  To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. ▤ 

Note that this verse can be translated differently with “God” not being used of Jesus Christ (cf. CEV, GNT; text notes in NCV, NIV, NLT, NRSV).

1Tim 3:16  Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: Het was manifested in the flesh, vindicatedu by the Spirit,v seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. ▤ 

t Greek Who; some manuscripts God; others Which

u Or justified

v Or vindicated in spirit

Here it is the rendering in the first text note that identifies Jesus as “God”.

Titus 2:13  … waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, … ▤ 

Heb 1:8  But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. ▤ 

The quotation is from Psalms 45:6, where “God” appears to be applied in some sense to a Davidic king. As indicated here in Hebrews 1:8, this application is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

2Pet 1:1  Simeonw Peter, a servantx and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: … ▤ 

w Some manuscripts Simon

x Or slave; Greek bondservant

1Jn 5:20  And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. ▤ 

“He is the true God” could refer to Jesus Christ, as he is mentioned immediately beforehand and typically is more often and directly associated with “eternal life” – as per earlier in the chapter (vv. 11-13) and in the prologue (1:1-3). But it could also refer to God, as he is the subject of the latter part of the previous statement and “true” is used of him twice earlier in the verse.

. . . and Jesus’ usage of “I am” quite possibly alludes to God’s name

See also:

In the following selections from John chapters 8, 13 and 18, Jesus uses the phrase “I am” in a manner that may well be a reference to the name God gave for himself to Moses – “I am who I am” and its shortened form “I am” – in Exodus 3:14. This is supported by the GNT and NLT translations and text notes in the CEV and NASB (as noted in a couple of the comments below).

John 8:24, 28  I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins. ▤ 28So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. ▤ 

The Greek translated as “I am he” (vv. 24, 28) may simply be a reference to Jesus being the promised Messiah, and is used in such an ordinary sense in 9:9 by a man Jesus healed. However, the Greek phrase simply means “I am”. Consequently, some other translations support an allusion to Exodus 3:14 – “I am who I am” (GNT) and “I am” (NLT); cf. text notes in CEV, NASB.

John 8:57-59  So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”y 58Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. ▤ 

y Some manuscripts has Abraham seen you?

This is probably the most pointed of all the possible references to God’s name, with most modern translations using “I am” for the phrase in question. This is affirmed by the Jews’ response, stoning being the penalty for blasphemy. However, even if this is the case, given that Jesus is speaking about existing before Abraham and with God’s use of “I AM” in Exodus apparently referring in part at least to his eternal existence, arguably Jesus may be alluding to sharing God’s nature – in particular God’s eternity, pointing to his (Jesus’) preexistence (cf. NLT footnote) – rather than meaning he is one and the same being as God. The Jews would have also considered such a claim to be blasphemy. Note that if the Jews did think that Jesus was claiming to be God, presumably they did not continue to do so. For there is no mention of such a claim in the accounts of Jesus’ trial – in contrast to Jesus’ claims to be the messianic King of Israel, the Son of God (cf. Jesus Christ himself testified to being the Son of God – which is why he was crucified).

John 13:19  I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. ▤ 

John 18:4-8  Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.”z Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6When Jesusa said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” ▤ 

z Greek I am; also verses 6, 8

a Greek he

Again the Greek reads “I am” in vv. 5, 6, 8 (cf. text notes in CEV, NLT). Note that Ezekiel falls on his face in response to manifestations of God (cf. Ezek 1:28; 44:4) and in seeing Jesus Christ in a vision, John “fell at his feet as though dead” (Rev 1:17). Such responses to divine revelation and the lack of an alternative explanation, suggest that the reason why those who came to arrest Jesus drew back and fell to the ground was that they had some sense of a divine revelation in Jesus’ use of “I am”.

  • Jesus’ use of “I am” in descriptions of himself:

John 6:35  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. ▤ 

In John, Jesus makes 7 metaphorical statements about himself that begin with “I am”. “I am the bread of life” (6:35, 48; cf. v. 51); “I am the light of the world” (8:12; 9:5); “I am the door” (10:7, 9); “I am the good shepherd” (10:11, 14); “I am the resurrection and the life” (11:25); “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (14:6); and “I am the true vine” (15:1). Some evangelical scholars understand Jesus’ use of “I am” in these statements to also be alluding to God’s name.

Titles of God are applied to Jesus Christ . . .

Acts 3:14  But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, … ▤ 

The title “the Holy One” is applied to God numerous times, particularly in Isaiah. God is referred to as the “Righteous One” in Proverbs 21:12 and Isaiah 24:16.

Luke 2:11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ▤ 

The Greek word used for “Lord” in the NT, “kurios”, is the same Greek word used for God’s name – “Lord” (or “Yahweh”) – in the Septuagint (the Greek version of the OT). However, note that “kurios” is also used in the Septuagint to translate “Adon” (and derivative terms) which means “lord”, “ruler” or “master”.

1Cor 2:8  None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. ▤ 

The title “the Lord of glory” may allude to the titles or descriptions of God as “the King of glory” (Ps 24:7-10) and “the God of glory” (Ps 29:3).

Rev 1:17b-18  I am the first and the last, 18and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. ▤ 

The designation “the living One” – here referring to Jesus Christ – possibly alludes to the references to God as “the living God”.

Rev 17:14  They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful. ▤ 

Similarly 19:16 ascribes to Jesus Christ the title: “King of kings and Lord of lords”. These titles echo the following titles given to God: “God of gods and Lord of lords” (Deut 10:17); “Lord of lords” (Psalm 136:3); “God of gods and Lord of kings” (Dan 2:47); and “the King of kings and Lord of lords” (1Tim 6:15).

Rev 22:13  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. ▤ 

This alludes to God’s descriptions of himself as: “the first and … the last” (Isa 4:6; cf. 48:12); “the Alpha and the Omega” (Rev 1:8); and “the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” (Rev 21:6). Note that Jesus Christ also refers to himself as “the first and the last” in Revelation 1:17.

Jer 23:5-6  Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’ ▤ 

The reference is obviously to the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The inclusion of the divine name, “The Lord”, in this ascription is striking. It is perhaps speaking of God’s righteousness being manifested amongst his people through the Messiah. Probably it was intended as a contrast with the then ungodly king Zedekiah, whose name meant “The Lord Is My Righteousness”.

. . . Other OT references to God are applied to Jesus Christ

Matt 3:3  For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepareb the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’” ▤ 

b Or crying: Prepare in the wilderness

John the Baptist was to prepare the way for Jesus Christ, referred to as “the Lord” in this quotation from Isaiah 40:3 which spoke of preparing the way for “the Lord” – i.e. God.

Matt 21:15-16  But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” ▤ 

Psalms 8:2 speaks of praise given to God. Here Jesus applies the verse to praise given to himself.

John 12:37-41  Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, 40“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” 41Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. ▤ 

In v. 40 John quotes Isaiah 6:10. Earlier in the same passage in Isaiah 6, Isaiah speaks of seeing God’s glory (cf. vv. 3-5). Thus a number of commentators understand John in v. 41 to be correlating Isaiah seeing Jesus’ glory with him seeing God’s glory. By this John would appear to be identifying Jesus with God, hence the inclusion of these verses here. However in light of the preceding quotation in v. 38 from Isaiah 53:1, John may instead have in view other parts of Isaiah 52-53. He could thus be speaking of Isaiah foreseeing the messianic servant who would not only be disbelieved and rejected, but subsequently glorified (cf. Isa 52:13-15; 53:10-12). (cf. NBC)

Rom 9:33  … as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” ▤ 

The quotation is a combination of Isaiah 8:14 and 28:16, in which God speaks of himself as being to his unfaithful people “a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling” (8:14); and for those who would believe in him, “a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation” (28:16). Here these segments of these verses are applied to Jesus Christ.

Rom 10:9, 12-13  … because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. ▤ 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” ▤ 

The reference in v. 9 to Jesus as “Lord” suggests that he is also the one being referred to as “Lord” in vv. 12-13. As such Jesus Christ is correlated with “the Lord” referred to in the quotation from Joel 2:32, which in its original context refers to God.

1Cor 2:16  “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. ▤ 

This parallels the mind of God (cf. Isa 40:13) with the mind of Christ.

Eph 4:7-8  But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” ▤ 

The quotation is from Psalm 68:18, where it speaks of God.

Phil 2:9-11  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ▤ 

This alludes to Isaiah 45:23b, where God speaks of himself: “To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.”

Heb 1:6, 10-12  And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” ▤ 10And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; 11they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, 12like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed.c But you are the same, and your years will have no end.” ▤ 

c Some manuscripts omit like a garment

The quotations are from Deut. 32:43 (cf. Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint) and Psalm 102:25-27, which speak of God.

1Pet 2:3  … if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. ▤ 

“Lord” is here most likely referring to Jesus Christ (cf. v. 4). The verse alludes to Psalm 34:8a – “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!”

Rev 2:23  … and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. ▤ 

This alludes to a number of OT verses that speak of God in similar terms to the descriptions here of Jesus Christ as “he who searches hearts and minds” and who “will repay each of you according to your deeds”. Quite possibly Jeremiah 17:10 is primarily in view, inclusive of both descriptions – “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”

Some actions are attributed to both God and Jesus Christ

See also:

The verses in this subsection and the following one are examples of actions and things being attributed to both God and Jesus Christ at the same time, i.e. in the same verse or passage. In addition, there are other instances of where something is attributed to God in one or more verses and is also attributed to Jesus Christ elsewhere. A listing of actions that are in fact attributed to all three of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are given in Mutual Divine Roles. (Likewise there are common attributes listed in Mutual Divine Attributes.) There are also other examples in this book in chapters 16-20.

Mark 2:5-7  And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7“Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” ▤ 

Although the teachers of the law were mistaken in thinking that Jesus could not forgive sins, they were correct in asserting that the authority and capacity to forgive sins belongs to God.

Luke 8:38-39  The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39“Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him. ▤ 

John 14:23  Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. ▤ 

This speaks of both the Father and Jesus Christ being present with and having fellowship with believers.

1Cor 1:3  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ▤ 

Gal 1:1  Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— ▤ 

Eph 6:23  Peace be to the brothers,d and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ▤ 

d Or brothers and sisters

1Thes 3:11  Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, … ▤ 

2Thes 2:16-17  Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. ▤ 

Rev 22:6, 16  And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.” ▤ 16“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” ▤ 

Here “Lord” (v. 6) appears to refer to God, which would mean that both God (v. 6) and Jesus (v. 16) are accredited with sending the angel.

  • Both God and Jesus Christ are acknowledged as “our Savior”:

Titus 1:3-4  … and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; 4To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. ▤ 

Note that in Revelation 7:10 in the following subsection, salvation is similarly said to belong to both God and Jesus Christ.

Some things are said to be both God’s and Jesus Christ’s

See also:

Matt 28:19  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them ine the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, … ▤ 

e Or into

By this use of “name”, this verse also correlates the Father’s authority and power with Jesus Christ’s (and the Holy Spirit’s).

John 17:9-10  [Jesus:] I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. ▤ 

Believers belong to both the Father and Jesus Christ (cf. Rev 20:6 ).

Eph 5:5  For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. ▤ 

Rev 7:10  … and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” ▤ 

Rev 20:6  Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years. ▤ 

Rev 22:3  No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servantsf will worship him. ▤ 

f Greek bondservants; also verse 6

Rom 15:16, 19  … to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. ▤ 19by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; … ▤ 

Note, however, that while “the gospel of God” is speaking of the gospel as belonging to God, here “the gospel of Christ” quite possibly means “the gospel about Christ” rather than “the gospel belonging to Christ”. Thus this is not necessarily an example of something being both God’s and Jesus Christ’s.

  • All that the Father has is Jesus Christ’s:

John 16:13-15  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. ▤ 

The segment “he will take what is mine and declare it to you” (v. 14b, repeated verbatim in v. 15b) appears to mean that the Holy Spirit would make known to the disciples Jesus’ teaching (cf. CEV, GNT, NCV) and quite possibly also other matters pertaining to his person and work. In view of this segment then, “All that the Father has” (v. 15a) may allude to “all the truth” (v. 13a), possibly referring in particular to matters pertaining to his person and work, which are shared by Christ.

Further evidence of Jesus Christ’s identification with God

Mal 3:1  Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. ▤ 

God speaks of the messenger preparing the way before him (“me”) – implying that he himself will come – and then proceeds to speak of the “Lord” coming. With the latter more than likely referring to Jesus Christ – “the messenger of the covenant” – the verse correlates the coming of Jesus Christ with God himself coming, thus identifying Jesus Christ with God.

Mark 10:17-18  And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. ▤ 

In his reply, commentators generally understand Jesus to be associating himself with God – rather than denying being good.

Luke 7:14-16  Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesusg gave him to his mother. 16Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” ▤ 

g Greek he

In the last statement, the people may be speaking of God working through Jesus – a “great prophet” – rather than necessarily identifying Jesus with God.

John 10:28-36  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me,h is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.” 31The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” 34Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— 36do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? ▤ 

h Some manuscripts What my Father has given to me

In v. 33 the Jews indicate that they understood Jesus’ earlier statement in v. 30 to be a claim to be God. In verses 34-36 Jesus replies that if Scripture refers to men as “gods” in some sense, then it is even more appropriate for “him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world” to be identified with God, or spoken of as “God’s Son” (v. 36b). Note that verses 28-29 also allude to Jesus Christ’s identification with the Father, paralleling the ability of both – to keep hold of their people – with matching terminology.

1Jn 5:20  And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. ▤ 

That being in God also involves being in Jesus Christ (cf. John 17:21 ; 1Thes 1:1 ), correlates Jesus Christ with God.

John 17:21  … that they may all be one, just 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 have sent me. ▤ 

In praying that his followers would be “in us” (cf. 1Thes 1:1 ), Jesus is to some extent at least identifying himself with the Father.

1Thes 1:1  Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. ▤ 

Acts 16:31, 34  And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” ▤ 34Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God. ▤ 

Rev 21:22-23  And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. ▤ 

Note: There is one God, the Father – and one Lord, Jesus Christ

See also:

Verses that refer to the Father alone as being God, may be using “God” to refer to the position of sovereign over all (cf. 1Tim 6:15 ) – i.e. they may be using “God” to refer to an exclusivity of position rather than exclusivity of divine nature. (This may also be the case with other verses that speak of there being only one “God”.) Such a meaning is: consistent with the words translated as “God”/“god” in the OT originally speaking primarily of strength; consistent with the references to the Father being Jesus Christ’s God (cf. God is both Jesus Christ’s God and his Father); and not contrary to Jesus Christ being fully divine. However, such an interpretation is not standard Christian theology.

1Cor 8:4-6  Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” 5For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— 6yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. ▤ 

Eph 4:4-6  There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. ▤ 

Rom 1:7  To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ▤ 

The phrase “God our Father” occurs 11 times in the ESV. Other similar phrases are: “God the Father” (cf. Eph 6:23 ; 1Thes 1:1 ) which occurs 15 times; “God, the Father” (1Cor 8:4-6 ; Col 1:3 ; James 1:27 ); and “God and Father” (cf. Eph 4:6 ; 1Thes 1:3 ) which occurs 12 times – mostly as in “the God and Father” and “our God and Father”. (See also the introductory comment to God is Jesus Christ’s Father , regarding how the NT would seem to use the phrase “God the Father” in a different way to what we do.)

1Cor 12:5-6  … and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. ▤ 

Eph 6:23  Peace be to the brothers,i and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ▤ 

i Or brothers and sisters

1Tim 6:13-16  I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony beforej Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. ▤ 

j Or in the time of

As is almost always the case in the NT, here “God” refers to the Father, as made clear in v. 13 by the reference to the presence “of God… and of Christ Jesus”. Verse 15 speaks of him as being the “only Sovereign” – the “only almighty God” (NLT).

1Thes 1:1-3, 9-10  Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. 2We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantlyk mentioning you in our prayers, 3remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. ▤ 9For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. ▤ 

k Or without ceasing

Jude 1:25  … to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. ▤ 

There are also a good number of other NT passages that clearly refer to both the Father as God and Jesus Christ as Lord. The following verses speak of either the Father as God or Jesus Christ as Lord (as opposed to both). There are also many other NT passages that do likewise.

John 5:44-45  How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. ▤ 

Here Jesus refers to God both as “the only God” (v. 44) and “the Father” (v. 45).

John 17:1-3  When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. ▤ 

Col 1:3  We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, … ▤ 

1Tim 2:5  For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the manl Christ Jesus, … ▤ 

l men and man render the same Greek word that is translated people in verses 1 and 4

Similar to John 17:3 above, the reference to Jesus Christ in the latter part of the verse further implies that the phrase “there is one God” is referring to the Father in particular.

James 1:27  Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. ▤ 

John 13:13-14  You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. ▤ 

1Cor 1:2  To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: … ▤ 

  • The Father was who the Jews called God:

John 8:54  Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’m ▤ 

m Some manuscripts your God

Pray for persecuted Christians

Jesus Christ Is Treated like God Is

The fact that Christians relate to (or treat) Jesus Christ in ways in which they relate to God, further reflects Jesus Christ’s identification with God and that he is God’s Son. Thus the teaching in this section supplements the teaching in the previous sections.

Jesus Christ is worshiped

Verses below speak of Jesus being worshiped as the Christ (cf. Matt 2:1-4, 11 ), the Son of God (cf. Matt 14:33 ; John 9:35-38 ) – which is in accordance with God’s will (cf. Heb 1:6 ).

Matt 2:1-4, 11  Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise menn from the east came to Jerusalem, 2saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it roseo and have come to worship him.” 3When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. ▤ 11And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. ▤ 

n Greek magi; also verses 7, 16

o Or in the east; also verse 9

The wise men came to worship Jesus as the messianic king of the Jews – “the Christ” (v. 4).

Matt 14:33  And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” ▤ 

Matt 28:8-9, 16-17  So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. ▤ 16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. ▤ 

Luke 24:51-52  While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, … ▤ 

John 9:35-38  Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, Do you believe in the Son of Man?”p 36He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. ▤ 

p Some manuscripts the Son of God

Acts 13:2  While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” ▤ 

Here “Lord” may refer to Jesus Christ, but could instead be speaking of God.

Phil 2:9-11  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ▤ 

Heb 1:6  And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” ▤ 

Note that the reference may be to Jesus Christ’s second coming, when God “again brings the firstborn into the world” (NASB, NKJV; cf. AMP).

Rev 5:8, 14  And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. ▤ 14And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped. ▤ 

In v. 14 the worship is directed to both “him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb” (v. 13).

Jesus Christ is honored and glorified

See also:

John 5:22-23  The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. ▤ 

John 17:10  [Jesus:] All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. ▤ 

In saying that he was “glorified in them” – or perhaps that his glory was “shown through them” (GNT, NCV) – Jesus was probably referring to such things as their testimony to whom he was and their lives (cf. 2Thes 1:12 ) that reflected his grace and power.

2Thes 1:12  … so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. ▤ 

2Tim 4:18  The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. ▤ 

Note that here and in the verses below, while the writers are glorifying Jesus Christ, in particular they are ascribing glory to him.

Heb 13:20-21  Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in usq that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. ▤ 

q Some manuscripts you

The phrase “to whom” (v. 21) probably refers to Jesus Christ (cf. CEV, GNT), but God (v. 20) could be in view instead.

2Pet 3:18  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. ▤ 

Rev 1:5b-6  To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. ▤ 

Jesus Christ is offered praise and blessing

Ps 45:17  I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore nations will praise you forever and ever. ▤ 

This psalm is considered to be messianic, with God’s words here understood to be ultimately speaking of the Messiah.

Matt 21:9, 15-16  And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” ▤ 15But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” ▤ 

Rom 9:5  To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. ▤ 

The phrase “blessed forever” may well be speaking of Christ being blessed by people or praised (cf. CEV, GNT, NCV, NIV, NLT).

Rev 5:9-13  And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” 11Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” 13And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” ▤ 

Rev 7:9-10  After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” ▤ 

  • Paul gave thanks to Jesus Christ:

1Tim 1:12  I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, … ▤ 

People pray to Jesus Christ

John 14:14  [Jesus:] If you ask mer anything in my name, I will do it. ▤ 

r Some manuscripts omit me

Acts 7:59-60  And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. ▤ 

Acts 14:23  And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed. ▤ 

With the reference to belief, “the Lord in whom they had believed” seemingly refers to Jesus Christ. As such, presumably Christ is the one to whom they prayed, being the one to whom Paul and Barnabas committed the elders.

1Cor 16:22b  Our Lord, come!s ▤ 

s Greek Maranatha (a transliteration of Aramaic)

John repeats this prayer or call in Revelation 22:20 – “Come, Lord Jesus!”

2Cor 12:8-9  Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ▤ 

2Tim 2:22  So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. ▤ 

To “call” on Jesus Christ quite possibly has primarily in view calling out to him for help (cf. GNT) – effectively prayer. It is also indicative of trust in him (cf. NCV). Additionally, it can be construed to speak more generally of worship (cf. CEV).

Gal 6:18  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen. ▤ 

This benediction or blessing is in a sense a prayer to Jesus Christ.

People obey, follow and serve Jesus Christ

See also:

Matt 28:19-20a  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them int the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. ▤ 

t Or into

John 15:10  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. ▤ 

Matt 16:24  Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. ▤ 

John 12:26  If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. ▤ 

James 1:1a  James, a servantu of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ … ▤ 

u Or slave; Greek bondservant

Dan 7:14  And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. ▤ 

Ps 72:11  May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him! ▤ 

Psalm 72 concerns a king in the line of David. It is generally understood to be messianic.

People believe and have faith in Jesus Christ

See also:

Acts 16:31  And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” ▤ 

1Jn 3:23  And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. ▤ 

John 12:36  While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. ▤ 

Here “light” refers to Jesus (cf. v. 46) – partly as an allusion to his teaching.

John 14:1  Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God;v believe also in me. ▤ 

v Or You believe in God

Gal 2:20b  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. ▤ 

Col 1:4  … since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, … ▤ 

People put their hope in Jesus Christ

Eph 1:12  … so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. ▤ 

Matt 12:21  … and in his name the Gentiles will hope. ▤ 

Rom 15:12  And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.” ▤ 

1Cor 15:19  If in Christ we have hopew in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. ▤ 

w Or we have hoped

1Thes 1:3  … remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. ▤ 

1Tim 1:1  Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, … ▤ 

The expression “Christ Jesus our hope” is indicative of Jesus Christ being the one in whom we have put our hope.

Pray for persecuted Christians

Jesus Christ Is Under God’s Authority

See also:

This section looks at the concept of Jesus Christ being subordinate to God in regard to authority – which involves “functional subordination” – as opposed to subordination or inferiority in regard to essence or being.

The concept of Jesus Christ being eternally subordinate to God (rather than only during his incarnation) is a historical doctrine that is still debated by Christian scholars. As such, some would disagree with or wish to qualify propositions put forward in this section.

God is both Jesus Christ’s God and his Father

See also:

Mark 15:34  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ▤ 

This cry from Jesus is also recorded in Matthew 27:46.

John 20:17  Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” ▤ 

Here Jesus appears to indicate that the Father is his God as the Father is our God.

Rom 15:6  … that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. ▤ 

2Cor 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, … ▤ 

2Cor 11:31  The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. ▤ 

Eph 1:3, 17  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, ▤ 17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, … ▤ 

Heb 1:9  You [the Son] have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions. ▤ 

Heb 10:5-7  Consequently, when Christz came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; 6in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. 7Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’” ▤ 

z Greek he

The use of the phrase “O God”, particularly in the context, suggests that Jesus is addressing God the Father as his God – “my God” (CEV).

1Pet 1:3a  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! ▤ 

Rev 1:5b-6  To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. ▤ 

Rev 3:2  Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. ▤ 

Rev 3:12  The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. ▤ 

Here Jesus Christ refers to God as “my God” no less than four times.

Ps 89:26-27  He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’ 27And I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. ▤ 

Many commentators interpret this as a reference to the Messiah, or at least a promise that would be ultimately fulfilled by the Messiah. As such it speaks of God as the Messiah’s God. Isaiah 49:5 and Micah 5:4 below are both clearly messianic and likewise speak of God as the Messiah’s God.

Isa 49:5  And now the Lord says, he who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him; and that Israel might be gathered to him— for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength— ▤ 

The messianic servant is speaking.

Mic 5:4  And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. ▤ 

Jesus Christ is portrayed as being subordinate to God’s authority . . .

See also:

1Cor 3:23  … and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. ▤ 

Belonging to another strongly implies subordination to the other’s authority. Additionally, the assertion that Jesus Christ is under God’s authority is further reflected here and in 1 Corinthians 11:3 below by the paralleling of our subordinate status in our relationship to him with his subordinate status in his relationship to God.

1Cor 11:3  But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wifex is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. ▤ 

x Greek gunē. This term may refer to a woman or a wife, depending on the context

1Cor 15:24-28  Then comes the end, when he [Jesus Christ] delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27For “Gody has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. ▤ 

y Greek he

Matt 20:23  He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” ▤ 

This is illustrative of Jesus Christ being subject to the Father’s authority – or at least not challenging the Father’s will.

John 14:28b  If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. ▤ 

Commentators generally interpret the final clause as being applicable only to Jesus’ incarnation. However the preceding clause does speak of Jesus’ return to the Father – and as such Jesus makes the remark in association with or in the context of his return to the Father. The timing also suggests that Jesus has in view beyond just his time on earth, with Jesus saying this only hours before his crucifixion. If an eternal sense is intended, exactly what Jesus meant is debatable, but it would at least include subordination to his Father. Note that in John 10:29 Jesus somewhat similarly says, “My Father… is greater than all”.

Acts 3:19-21, 26  Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, 20that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. ▤ 26God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness. ▤ 

Jesus Christ’s subordination to God is shown or implied here by: God appointing him (v. 20b) and raising him up (v. 26a) i.e. choosing him (cf. CEV, GNT); Jesus Christ being described as God’s “servant” (v. 26a); God having sent him into the world (v. 26); and the fact that God will again send him (v. 20b).

. . . Jesus Christ’s authority was even granted to him by his Father

See also:

Authority is given to a person by a greater authority.

Matt 11:27a  All things have been handed over to me by my Father … ▤ 

Jesus is saying that the Father had given him “authority over everything.” (NLT; cf. Matt 28:18 )

Matt 28:18  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. ▤ 

Luke 22:29  … and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, … ▤ 

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

John 5:27  And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. ▤ 

Here Jesus is speaking of the authority the Father has given him as “the Son of Man”. This title – particularly in this context – is most likely a reference to the “one like a son of man” in Daniel 7:13-14, below.

John 10:17-18  For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father. ▤ 

This indicates that Jesus had authority over death. The final statement may allude to the Father granting him this authority. For further comment see Jesus obeyed God.

John 13:3  Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, … ▤ 

John 17:2  … since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. ▤ 

Acts 2:36  Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified. ▤ 

Acts 5:31  God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. ▤ 

Phil 2:9-11  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ▤ 

Eph 1:22  And he [God] put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, … ▤ 

Rev 2:26-27  The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. ▤ 

This indicates that the Father has given Jesus Christ authority over the nations.

Dan 7:13-14  I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. 14And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. ▤ 

Jesus Christ was God’s to give – as a sacrifice for sin

See also:

John 3:16  For God so loved the world,a that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. ▤ 

a Or For this is how God loved the world

Rom 8:32  He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? ▤ 

Note that the latter part of the verse is speaking of God giving us all things along with having given us Jesus Christ (cf. GNT, NLT).

2Cor 9:15  Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! ▤ 

Isa 53:10  Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief;b when his soul makesc an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. ▤ 

b Or he has made him sick

c Or when you make his soul

Rom 3:25a  … whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. ▤ 

Jesus’ blood “propitiated” or turned away God’s wrath by satisfying God’s justice, making a way for people to be forgiven without compromising God’s justice and holiness.

Rom 8:3  For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,d he condemned sin in the flesh, … ▤ 

d Or and as a sin offering

The alternative rendering in the text note explicitly speaks of God sending Jesus Christ “as a sin offering”. Note that this and 1 John 4:10 below speak of God sending Christ (as per the theme of the following subsection) rather than of God giving Christ. They have been included in this subsection because of their references to God sending Christ as a sacrifice for sin, akin to the theme of this subsection.

1Jn 4:10  In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. ▤ 

  • Jesus Christ gave himself as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God:

Eph 5:2  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. ▤ 

Hebrews 9:14 makes a similar point: “… Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God …” Arguably these verses reflect Jesus Christ’s subordination to God.

Jesus Christ was chosen, anointed and sent by God

See also:

There are nine passages in this subsection.  The first three attest to Jesus Christ being chosen by God; the second three attest to him being anointed by God; and the last three attest to him being sent into the world by God. For further passages on these topics, see the cross-references above.

Luke 9:35  And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One;e listen to him!” ▤ 

e Some manuscripts my Beloved

1Pet 1:20  He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you … ▤ 

Likely Jesus Christ was “foreknown” by God in the sense that he was “chosen and foreordained” (AMP; cf. CEV, GNT, NCV, NIV, NLT).

1Pet 2:4, 6  As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, ▤ 6For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” ▤ 

This portrays Jesus as God’s chosen “stone” (v. 4), the prophesied chosen “cornerstone” on which God’s people would depend (v. 6).

Luke 2:10-11  And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ▤ 

“Christ” and “Messiah” (the Hebrew equivalent) both mean “the Anointed One”. Thus the numerous ascriptions of Jesus as “Christ” mean that he is “the Anointed One”, anointed by God.

Acts 4:26-27  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’f27for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, … ▤ 

f Or Christ

In v. 26 the believers are quoting from Psalm 2, applying “his Anointed One” to Jesus Christ – as affirmed in v. 27.

Acts 10:38  … how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. ▤ 

John 8:42  Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. ▤ 

John 10:36  … do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? ▤ 

Note that in addition to speaking of the Father sending Jesus, this also refers to the Father consecrating him – i.e. setting him apart. This reflects the fact that the Father chose him (as spoken of earlier in this subsection).

1Jn 4:9, 14  In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. ▤ 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. ▤ 

Jesus Christ is God’s servant, largely spoken of in reference to his mission

See also:

Matt 12:17-18  This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: 18“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. ▤ 

This is the start of a quotation from Isaiah 42:1-4, which is the beginning of the first of four passages in Isaiah known as the “servant songs”. This first song appears to extend to v. 7 (in Isaiah 42). The other three songs are contained within: 49:1-13; 50:4-11; 52:13-53:12. (Segments of these are included below.) The servant of God of whom the songs speak, is generally understood to be the Messiah and is linked to Jesus Christ in various NT passages, such as this one from Matthew 12.

Acts 3:26  God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness. ▤ 

Acts 4:27  … for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, … ▤ 

Phil 2:6-8  … who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant,g being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. ▤ 

g Greek bondservant

Isa 49:1-6  Listen to me, O coastlands, and give attention, you peoples from afar. The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name. 2He made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow; in his quiver he hid me away. 3And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”h 4But I said, “I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my right is with the Lord, and my recompense with my God.” 5And now the Lord says, he who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him; and that Israel might be gathered to him— for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength— 6he says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” ▤ 

h Or I will display my beauty

Verses 1-2 speak of God’s call and preparation of the Messiah for his work. In v. 3 “Israel” is usually understood to be a reference to the Messiah. This probably alludes to the fact that the Messiah would come from Israel and that in him would be the culmination of all that God would achieve through Israel. Note that as with the following references from Isaiah in this subsection, this is from one of Isaiah’s “servant songs” (cf. vv. 4-11).

Isa 50:10a  Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant? ▤ 

Isa 52:13  Behold, my servant shall act wisely;i he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. ▤ 

i Or shall prosper

Isa 53:11  Out of the anguish of his soul he shall seej and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. ▤ 

j Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll he shall see light

Hag 2:23  On that day, declares the Lord of hosts, I will take you, O Zerubbabel my servant, the son of Shealtiel, declares the Lord, and make you like ak signet ring, for I have chosen you, declares the Lord of hosts.” ▤ 

k Hebrew the

Many understand Zerubbabel – an ancestor of Christ (cf. Matt 1:12-13) – to be spoken of here as foreshadowing the Messiah. This is reflected in him being “chosen” by God and being described as God’s “servant” and “signet ring” – the latter term implying that he was representative of God’s authority, to implement his will.

Zec 3:8  Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch. ▤ 

The “Branch” is a messianic title.

Jesus Christ is also spoken of as being God’s servant following his ascension

Acts 3:12-13  And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? 13The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servantl Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. ▤ 

l Or child; also verse 26

Acts 4:29-30  And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servantsm to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus. ▤ 

m Greek bondservants

Heb 2:17  Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. ▤ 

Jesus Christ’s role as “high priest in the service of God” continues in the present (cf. Heb 8:1-2 ). However, his service to God (in this role) in his mission may primarily be in view here, with the latter part of the verse referring to his sacrifice of himself – an aspect of his role as High Priest which he completed during his mission.

Heb 8:1-2, 6  Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2a minister in the holy places, in the true tentn that the Lord set up, not man. ▤ 6But as it is, Christo has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. ▤ 

n Or tabernacle; also verse 5

o Greek he

The term “a minister” (v. 2) speaks of Jesus Christ’s serving (cf. CEV, GNT, NCV, NIV), primarily in service of God (cf. ZBC). In v. 6, his “ministry” is the “priestly work” (GNT, NCV) that God has given him to do – his “work to do for God” (NIrV®).

Rom 6:10  For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. ▤ 

Quite possibly the final clause is speaking of Jesus Christ living for God (cf. CEV), “for the glory of God” (NLT) – and so would be pertinent to this subsection. But it has also been interpreted as speaking of him living with God (cf. NCV), in fellowship with God (cf. AMP, GNT). Possibly both concepts are involved.

Ezek 37:24-25  My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. 25They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever. ▤ 

This indicates or at least implies that the Messiah will reign forever as God’s servant.

  • Jesus Christ will come in God’s name:

Matt 23:39  For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” ▤ 

God continues to be glorified in and through Jesus Christ and his work

See also:

God is glorified in and through Jesus Christ by such things as: Jesus Christ bringing God’s wonderful, astounding plans and promises for the whole world to fruition; and Jesus Christ reflecting God’s sublime and awesome attributes. As such, through Jesus Christ the greatness and gloriousness of God is shown, bringing God glory.

The fact that Jesus Christ “brings” God glory by what he does – as do God’s people – arguably points to Jesus Christ’s service to God and his subordination to God. God also glorifies Jesus Christ, but in contrast he appears to grant glory to Jesus Christ (cf. John 17:5, 24 ) – as he does for his people – arguably pointing to the God’s superior status in blessing Jesus Christ (cf. Heb 7:7).

Eph 3:20-21  Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. ▤ 

Phil 2:9-11  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ▤ 

The status of Jesus Christ and the ultimate submission of all beings to him will bring glory to God as the one whom exalted Jesus Christ to such a position, giving him “the name that is above every name” (v. 9).

Rom 16:27  … to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen. ▤ 

Jude 1:25  … to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. ▤ 

For comment on this verse, see the comment on Jude 1:25 – under God works in all eras through Jesus Christ, impacting all things everywhere.

John 14:13  Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. ▤ 

With the time after his ascension seemingly in view, here Jesus speaks of himself bringing glory to the Father, reflecting the fact that the Father continues to be glorified in and through him.

  • The Father grants glory to Jesus Christ:

John 17:5, 24  And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. ▤ 24Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. ▤ 

This implies that the Father grants or bestows glory on Jesus Christ. The same could be said regarding Acts 3:13, where after healing a crippled beggar in Jesus’ name (cf. vv. 3:6-7), Peter declares that by this: “… the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus …”

God the Father’s seniority is reflected by things he has done for Jesus Christ

See also:

The things mentioned in the following verses that God the Father has done for Jesus Christ, including what he has given Jesus Christ, point to the Father’s seniority.

John 5:19-20  So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Fatherp does, that the Son does likewise. 20For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. ▤ 

p Greek he

In the light of v. 19, v. 20a appears to mean that the Father enables Jesus to do what he (the Father) does.

John 5:26  For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. ▤ 

John 13:3  Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, … ▤ 

John 17:7  Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. ▤ 

This may be indicating that everything Jesus has comes from the Father (cf. CEV, NLT).

John 17:11-12a  And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. ▤ 

For comment on this passage, see the comment on John 17:11-12a – under Note: God has given Jesus Christ a name that is superior to all others.

Acts 5:31  God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. ▤ 

Acts 13:34  And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, “‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’ ▤ 

The quotation refers to God’s promises to David (cf. 2Sam 7) that ultimately God would bestow upon David’s messianic descendant.

Col 1:19  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, … ▤ 

This likely means that God was pleased to have all of his “fullness” dwell in Jesus Christ. This implies that God chose for this to be the case (cf. GNT) and even that he brought this about.

Heb 1:2  … but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. ▤ 

Heb 2:10  For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. ▤ 

For comment on Christ being made “perfect through suffering”, see the comment on Heb 5:8-10 – under Jesus Christ is a high priest who is perfect – but can still identify with his people’s humanity.

1Pet 1:21  … who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. ▤ 

2Pet 1:17  For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son,q with whom I am well pleased,” ▤ 

q Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved

Rev 1:1a  The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servantsr the things that must soon take place. ▤ 

r Greek bondservants

Note: God’s will is the prominent will in Scripture – sovereign in all the world, throughout the ages

See also:

Rev 4:11  “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” ▤ 

Acts 17:26  And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, … ▤ 

Matt 10:29  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?s And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. ▤ 

s Greek assarion, Roman copper coin (Latin quadrans) worth about 1/16 of a denarius (which was a day’s wage for a laborer)

The Father’s will in everyday life is evident here (cf. NIV, NKJV) and in Romans 13:1 immediately below.

Rom 13:1  Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. ▤ 

Rom 8:28  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,t for those who are called according to his purpose. ▤ 

t Some manuscripts God works all things together for good, or God works in all things for the good

God works all things for the good of his people, in accordance with his purpose or will in calling them.

Eph 1:7-12  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9making knownu to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. ▤ 

u Or he lavished upon us in all wisdom and insight, making known . . .

Eph 3:8-11  To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages inv God who created all things, 10so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, … ▤ 

v Or by

2Tim 1:9  … [God] who saved us and called us tow a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,x … ▤ 

w Or with

x Greek before times eternal

John 6:39-40  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. ▤ 

Acts 1:6-7  So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. ▤ 

The disciples’ question implies that God the Father would restore Israel’s kingdom through Jesus Christ. Jesus’ reply indicates that the Father had set a time for this – no doubt following his return – and times for other events of the end.

Acts 3:19-21  Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, 20that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. ▤ 

Acts 17:31  … because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. ▤ 

Rom 8:20  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope … ▤ 

God’s will is in view here (as in the other passages in this subsection).

Heb 12:26  At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” ▤ 

The reference is to God removing the old creation at the end of the age, to make way for the new earth and heavens.

Rev 17:17  … for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. ▤ 

Pray for persecuted Christians