|Readers Question / Comment - Does Jesus have a God?|
I notice you answer questions on your website.
I find you have provided a lot of great information and great
articles on your website. I have a question I hope you could perhaps
answer. It seems confusing and I have asked several people that have
not been able to give me a good solid Biblical answer. I have gotten
several "off the top of the head", nervous, boy, that is
interesting, I am not totally sure kind of answers. I have also
gotten "the Look", the look that says, you should feel guilty even
saying what you just said. I think we should be able to ask any
genuine sincere question regarding the Bible, even if it makes some
people uncomfortable. So, here is my question;
thanks for the email and glad you have enjoyed the website. I'm not surprised you've had a few surprised looks and half answers given with your questions. You've obviously looked a few verses up and it's not the easiest question I've had to be fair! : ) Also I'm glad you said you weren't a JW, Mormon etc... I was beginning to wonder if you were a Mormon part of the way down! But it's certainly an interesting question and I'll do my best.
I think a large
part of the confusion has arisen because of the assumption that 'Elohim'
is used exclusively for Almighty God (Yahweh). The majority of the
times it is... but not always. Have a look at the following details
from 'The complete word study' on Elohim (Strongs H430):
So you can see that there are instances were Elohim is used of false gods, angels as well as human rulers who have been placed in the position of judges or magistrates. Have a look at Exo 22:8-9 "If the thief is not caught, then the owner of the house shall appear before the judges (Elohim), to determine whether he laid his hands on his neighbor's property. (9) "For every breach of trust, whether it is for ox, for donkey, for sheep, for clothing, or for any lost thing about which one says, 'This is it,' the case of both parties shall come before the judges (Elohim); he whom the judges (Elohim) condemn shall pay double to his neighbor.
Psa 82:1-8 A Psalm of Asaph. God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods. (2) How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah (3) Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. (4) Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked. (5) They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable. (6) I said, "You are gods,  And all of you are children of the Most High. (7) But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes." (8) Arise, O God, judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations.
Even though it uses Elohim in the bold verses above, from the context we see that they 'judge unjustly', 'show partiality to the wicked' and shall 'die like men'. It is clear that it is not speaking about actual 'gods' or persons equal with Yahweh. The Believers Bible Commentary makes a good comment on this Psalm with particular reference to Jesus' use of it:
Our Lord quoted verse six in one of His confrontations with His foes (Joh_10:32-36). They had just accused Him of blaspheming because He claimed equality with God.
Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, "You are gods"'? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?"
To the western mind, the argument might not seem clear or convincing, but it obviously had compelling power on His hearers. They understood that Jesus was arguing from the lesser to the greater. The force of the argument is as follows:
In Psalm 82, rulers and judges are addressed by God as gods. Actually they are not divine, but because of their position as God's ministers, they are dignified with the name of gods. Their greatest distinction is that the word of God came to them, that is, they were officially ordained by God as higher powers concerned with government and justice (Rom_13:1).
If the name gods could thus be loosely applied to men like them, how much more fully and accurately can the name God be applied to the Lord Jesus. He had been sanctified and sent into the world by God the Father. This implies that He had lived with God the Father in heaven from all eternity. Then the Father had set Him apart to a mission on earth and had sent Him to be born in Bethlehem. The Jews understood perfectly that He was claiming equality with God, and they sought to apprehend Him but He eluded them (Joh_10:39).
Psalm 45 (especially verse 6-7) is a reference to Jesus being the anointed one and called God by the Father. Hebrews 1 tells us this. But the eternal mystery is that God became a man and had to live as a man. He was anointed by God above 'his fellows' which just means his earthly companions and/or associates. It is not trying to say that there are multiple Gods like Jesus. It is talking about the anointing that Jesus received when he came to this earth to live as a man, and amongst his fellow men.
In terms of the verses cited where Jesus calls the Father 'my God' etc, or 1 Cor. 15:24-28 where Jesus submits himself unto the Father, I haven't ever had a problem with that. We saw from Psalm45 and Hebs 1 that the Father calls Jesus God just as Jesus calls the Father God. But concerning this submission spoken of in 1 Cor 15:24-28, there has always been is a willing submission within the trinity. The Son comes to do only the will of the Father. The Holy Spirit comes not to draw attention to Himself but to glorify the Son. None of that means that they are any less 'God' than the other. It is simply different roles that they have. An earthly example is husbands and wives. The Bible says:
Eph 5:22-25 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (23) For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. (24) But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. (25) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her'
Each has a role to play and each is different but man is not 'greater' than a woman or vice-versa. Neither is one 'more human' than the other. So it is with the trinity. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are all said to be three members of the one God. There is a willing submission within the trinity and different roles that they play. But each are equal in terms of their nature as God.
In terms of 1Co 8:6 which states 'yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him'... we should not think that this is saying that the Lord Jesus is not God or is a lessor God. Paul is again simply differentiating their roles (and standing them in contrast to the many so-called 'gods' that the Corinthians had worshiped) and in fact the word 'Lord' that is used here is 'Kuros' is the Greek which is the New Testament Greek equivalent to the Old Testament Hebrew YHWH.
Biblical library Greek-English dictionary says the following about
The Old Testament witness to God as YHWH is remarkably applied to Jesus consistently in the New Testament. Here the New Testament is uniquely underscoring the reality that Jesus is Lord in the divine sense (e.g., Psalm 102:26f./ Hebrews 1:10-12 passim the New Testament; Isaiah 40:3; Joel 2:32/Romans 10:13; Malachi 3:1/Mark 1:2-4;). Almost 20 New Testament allusions and citations to Psalm 110 are applied to Jesus (e.g., Matthew 22:44; 26:64; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42; Acts 2:35; Romans 8:34; passim the New Testament writings).'
I have written
elsewhere about how the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming
Messiah showed that He would be God. You may have seen it but if not:
Also many others have written about some of the other reasons we know that Jesus is God, equal is essence and nature with the Father... such as:
So I hope this helps. Sorry it is a bit long but your question was quite detailed as you've obviously been thinking about these things quite deeply : )
All the best