HOW DOES APOSTLE JOHN PROVE THE DEITY OF CHRIST IN HIS GOSPEL ACCOUNT? (3 of 4)
By Dr. Eusebio A. Tanicala
We shall not give long explanations following the passages submitted. We are sure that you know how to expand and adjust your explanations when you study with your friend or relative on this subject.
John 1:18; 3:32; John 6:46; 7:29; 8:32; 8:38 – Christ has seen the Father. It is Christ’s deity that is referred to as having seen the spirit nature and glorious form of the Father in heaven. Not his humanity. Man’s ordinary nature and ability cannot see the glorious nature and form of God in heaven. God is spirit and God in his heavenly abode is intensely glorious, which the physical naked eye cannot peer into. Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians says that what he heard when he was transported out of his body into Paradise are things “which man may not utter.” They are extraordinarily out of this world!
John 3:32; 8:26-27; 15:15; John 8:40; 15:15; Christ has heard the Father. This act of hearing the instructions and commandments for mankind was done before Christ became flesh. So this period spoken of refers to an existence before Christ became flesh in 1 A.D..
John 8:57-58, “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” The verb tense referring to Abraham is past tense “was.” Calculation has that Abraham was born about the year 2135 before Christ became flesh in 1 A.D.. The expression “I Am” which is in the present tense, refers to a timeless existence since it has reference or comparison with the time of Abraham. It means that Christ in His spirit nature has existed before the birth of Abraham. To me, Christ is the Yahweh God who visited Abraham in Genesis 18. Two angels appearing as man appeared with Christ. So this event in Genesis 18 agrees with John 8:57-58 that Abraham has already seen Christ. “Your father Abraham rejoiced he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” Note the past tense of the verbs used: rejoiced, saw. Events that had happened! Christ became the Rock that followed the over one million in the wilderness supplying water for 40 years. Christ could have been that Angel of Yahweh who appeared as a Man that could be held concretely and wrestled with. Read Genesis 32:24-32.
John 9:38; Matt. 2:2; Matt. 4:10; Mk. 5:2:6; Lk. 24:52; Heb. 1:6 – Christ was worshipped and we should worship only the true God. If Christ did not have Deity nature, and if He were human only, it would be blasphemous to allow Himself to be worshipped while he was in this world.
John 5:19; 10:30; 10:38; 14:9-11; 17:11; 17:22 – Christ is one with the Father. When we cite 10:30, some friends point to Christ’s joint job of shepherding the spiritual flock as the basis of their oneness. Other Bible students use this verse to mean that Christ is the same person as the Father. It does not mean “one and the same person.” We do not limit the unity with the Father to shepherding. It also includes doing the same work in verses 37-38, plus his authority from the Father doing the same work. Add further the same glory which Christ had before He became flesh which was resumed when He went back to heaven.
John 16:15; 17:10 – The Father possesses what is possessed by the Son and vice versa. This possession is not limited to material possessions. It should extend to worship. And worship is the highest honor we could give the true God. So John 5:23 confirms that the possession of honor, respect and worship are possessed by the Father and the Son. The excellent attributes assigned to the Father are also assigned to the Son in their Deity. So the church fathers in Church History, in their struggle in defining the Deity of Christ, concluded through this summative statement: “What the Father is the Son is, what the Son is the Holy Spirit is, what the Holy Spirit is the Father is.” The three are co-creators, co-inhabitants of heaven, co-saviors of mankind, co-possessors of the same essence of Deity, co-glory in heaven.