The Trinity (IIIc)

The NT Witness: The Self-Understanding of Jesus (Gospel of John)

After discovering that the data of the Synoptics supported the view that Jesus understood Himself (and claimed to others) to be God, we now turn to the Fourth Gospel--the Gospel of John. Here we will look again at the words of Jesus as to His possible claims to/consciousness of being God.

Passages in John, in which Jesus is the speaker, relating to His deity:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Summary: The claims of Jesus in the Gospel of John:

  1. To be a permanent dweller in heaven
  2. To have come to earth from heaven
  3. To have a unique relationship with the Father (in many ways)
  4. To be appropriate as on object of religious faith
  5. To be a 'giver' of the Holy Spirit
  6. To be the promised Messiah
  7. To be the Son of God (considered blasphemous)
  8. To be equal with God (considered blasphemous)
  9. To know everything the Father does
  10. To give 'life'
  11. To have been entrusted with ALL JUDGMENT from the Father(!)
  12. To be worthy of honor LIKE THE FATHER
  13. To have been sent from the Father
  14. To be the ONLY one who has seen the invisible Father
  15. To know the Father uniquely
  16. To always please the Father with His life
  17. To give 'freedom'
  18. To be blameless in regards to sin
  19. To be the object of glorification by the Father
  20. To be able to use the divine Name YHWH as a personal identification(considered blasphemous)
  21. To be an appropriate object of worship
  22. To be able to raise Himself from the dead(!)
  23. To be one with the Father (considered blasphemous)
  24. To be an appropriate object of the word "GOD"
  25. To be so different from created reality that the sentence 'the Father is greater than I' was not ludicrous!
  26. To be able to exert power throughout the world simultaneously
  27. To be absolutely necessary to the success of his human followers
  28. To be so 'one' with the Father that ANY response to one of them, was "AUTOMATICALLY" a response to the other as well
  29. To be equal partners with the Father and the Spirit, and to 'send' the Spirit
  30. To have authority over EVERYONE
  31. To have had glory in the presence of the Father before the world began
  32. To "co-own" the universe with the Father(!)
  33. To have a unique Sonship with the Father

    Conclusion: The Gospel of John, like the synoptic gospels, shows us that Jesus understood Himself to be divine, to have an exclusive relationship with the Father, to have been the promised Messiah, to have all authority in heaven and earth, to be related in parity-status with the Spirit and Father, and to be the central issue in the personal destinies of people.

    But the words of Jesus in John also develop some themes a bit further. Jesus (in John) draws considerably more attention to His glorious and unique pre-creation state in heaven, with the Father. The complex relationships between the Father and Son (and Spirit) are focused on. And the mutuality of their work in the drama of redemption is recorded faithfully.

    If it is fair to say that the Synoptics teach the deity of the Son, then it is probably equally accurate to say that the Gospel of John emphasizes the divine unity of the Father and Son.

    The Christian ThinkTank...[] (Reference Abbreviations)