As I said in my first post, before I really “wrote” anything in the strictest sense, I was going to post some notes I had written on Facebook to defend different Catholic doctrines. In this case, you will be reading evidence from the Bible that Christ is not, as Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses claim, inferior to God the Father.
And yes, it’s a carbon copy of the Facebook post. *looks ashamed*.
Many religions subordinate the Son to the Father, and here I will show you several Bible passages to refute this idea.
John 5:22-23 says the following: “For neither does the Father judge any man: but has given all judgment to the Son. That all men may honour the Son, as they honour the Father. He who honours not the Son honours not the Father who has sent him.”
All through life, we’ve seen that if one thing is greater than another, the greater thing is more worthy of praise and/or admiration than the lesser. The lesser thing does not deserve the praise given to the greater. Likewise, if Jesus were inferior to His Father, He could not be given all the praise and honor belonging to His Father. But He says here that all men should honor Him as they honor the Father, and even goes on to say that if they fail to honor Him, they fail to honor the Father! Unless He were the Father’s equal, He couldn’t make such claims.
Matt 11:27 should be familiar. It says this: “All things are delivered to me by my Father. And no one knows the Son but the Father: neither does any one know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal him.”
It is universally accepted that the Father is infinite. That means the Father knows the Son infinitely. And in that SAME sentence, we are told no one knows the Father but the Son. If the Father is infinite, and the Son knows the Father in the same way that the Father knows the Son, that means the Son must be infinite as well, because if He were finite He couldn’t claim to know the Father in that way.
Hebrews 1:3-6 says: “Who being the brightness of his glory and the figure of his substance and upholding all things by the word of his power, making purgation of sins, sits on the right hand of the majesty on high: Being made so much better than the angels as he has inherited a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels has he said at any time: You are my Son, today have I begotten you? And again: I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he brings in the first begotten into the world, he says: And let all the angels of God adore him.”
“…the brightness of his glory and the figure of his substance”. The figure of His substance? What does this mean, you ask? The substance is the “stuff” that makes us what we are. It isn’t characterized by accidents or properties, it simply IS. It’s not present in the subject, it simply IS the subject. Now if Christ is described as the figure of God’s substance, that means He is an image, an imprint, of the “stuff” that makes God, well…God. If Christ has this same substance that the Father has, He can’t be inferior to the Father.
Secondly, it says “let all the angels of God ADORE Him”. Who can be adored except God??? Unless He (the Son) were God, the angels would be sinning by offering Him adoration.
Revelation 22 also is worth a look. Verses 1 and 3 of this chapter say “the throne of God and of the Lamb.” ONE throne, not two. So God and the Lamb have the same throne. If the Lamb were inferior to God, He couldn’t have the same throne as God. But He does have the same throne, and therefore the same dignity and authority.
Also, Revelation 19:13-16: “And his name is called: THE WORD OF GOD. And the armies that are in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth proceeds a sharp two-edged sword, that with it he may strike the nations. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God the Almighty. And he has on his garment and on his thigh written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Now glance back at Deuteronomy 10:17: Because the Lord your God is the God of gods, and the Lord of lords…”
So God is the Lord of lords, and Jesus, the Word, is also the Lord of lords. There can’t be two Lords of lords, and so the only possible conclusion is that Jesus and God are the same Lord.
Exodus 3:14-15 says, “God said to Moses: I AM WHO AM. He said: Thus shall you say to the children of Israel: HE WHO IS, has sent me to you. 15 And God said again to Moses: Thus shall you say to the children of Israel: The Lord God of your fathers the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob has sent me to you; this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”
In John 8:58, Christ says something pretty darn striking: ” Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was made, I AM.”
And when He said that, everyone knew just what He was implying.
Now this is just a few of these passages. I’m certain if we looked harder we could find many more, but this serves to give a simple defense of Jesus’ equality with His Father.
A lot of people like to point to John 14:28 where Our Lord says, “You have heard that I said to you: I go away, and I come unto you. If you loved me you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father: for the Father is greater than I.”
If this passage seems daunting or contradictory, fear not! We are reminded in Phillipians 2:7 that Jesus “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man.” He became man, and AS MAN He is inferior to the Father. Indeed, if in His humanity He were NOT inferior, He wouldn’t have “emptied Himself” at all. Nevertheless, the Divine Nature was unchanged in the Incarnation, so as God Jesus always has been and always will be equal to His Father.
The same people who wish to say Jesus can’t be God point to Matt 24:36, where He says, “But of that day and hour no one knows: no, not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone”. But we mustn’t lose sleep over this.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that “Christ enjoyed in his human knowledge the fullness of understanding of the eternal plans he had come to reveal. What he admitted to not knowing in this area, he elsewhere declared himself as not sent to reveal” (CCC par. 474). There is than a citation given from Acts 1:7, which says (and I added verse 6 to make it more clear), “They therefore who had come together, asked him, saying: Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel? 7 But he said to them: It is not for you to know the time or moments, which the Father has put in his own power..”
Either way, Jesus, as God, knows when the day of judgement will be, as do the Father and the Spirit, for the three Persons possess one intellect.
Thoughts, cookies, and criticism are welcome. Thanks for reading.