|Topical Bible Study||March 1961|
The Son of God Series—Lesson II
Of the Father, By the Son
THE beloved Son of God is presented to us in the Scriptures as being a partner with his Father in the carrying out of all his designs. (I Cor. 8:6; John 17:10,11; 10:30) This is so wholly true that many Scripture references to them have been misunderstood by not too careful students of the Bible to mean that the Father and the Son are one in person. However, the final Scripture testimony on the point reveals that with the plan of the Creator complete, he becomes “all in all.”—I Cor. 15:27,28
Meanwhile, in the outworking of the divine plan for the redemption and recovery of the human race from sin and death, Jesus is the confidential executive of his Heavenly Father, speaking and acting for him in the most absolute sense. Jesus understood this, and taught his disciples thus to believe.—John 8:12; 14:9-11; 5:20
On the other hand, Jesus was humble, and gave the glory to his Father in connection with all that he said and did. (John 5:19) It was the quality of humility before his Father, and obedience to him, that made Jesus worthy of the high honor his Father bestowed upon him. He loved the righteous laws of Jehovah, and hated everything that was opposed to those laws.—Heb. 1:9
Jesus freely acknowledged his inability to accomplish the works of his Father by his own wisdom and strength. (John 8:28) He explained to his disciples that the words which he spoke were not his own, but those which were given to him by his Heavenly Father. (John 12:48,49) Jesus had no plans of his own. His own great desire was to do the will of his Heavenly Father.”—Ps. 40:8
In one of the prophecies of Jesus’ birth as a human, the title “Emmanuel” is ascribed to him, which means “God with us.” (Matt. 1:23; Isa. 7:14) This does not mean that the great Jehovah, the Creator of the universe, came to earth as a man, but rather that his beloved Son would represent him so completely that this title would properly apply to him.
Another title which is prophetically applied to Jesus is, “the everlasting Father.” (Isa. 9:6) A father is one who imparts life, and Jesus came to be the Life-giver.* (John 10:10; I John 5:11,12) This title in no way implies that Jesus was the Heavenly Father, the original fountain of all life. Jesus was not his own father, and he did not pray to himself.
* “The Atonement Between God and Man,” page 141.
Jesus is also referred to in a prophecy of his birth as “the mighty god.” (Isa. 9:6) This has been erroneously understood to mean that he was the Almighty God. The Hebrew word here translated “god” is applied throughout the Old Testament to any deity.* It is by no means limited to the Almighty God. Since his resurrection Jesus is indeed a “mighty god,” and the Heavenly Father has commanded that he be worshiped by angels and men. (Heb. 1:6; Rev. 5:12) While he is at the right hand of Jehovah, Jesus does not take the place of his Heavenly Father.—Heb. 12:2; Rev. 3:21
* “Strong’s Analytical Concordance.”
One of the prophecies concerning Jesus speaks of him as “THE LORD [Hebrew, ‘Jehovah’] OUR RIGHTOUSNESS.”* (Jer. 23:6) This simply means that Jesus would possess all the righteous qualities of Jehovah, and thus be fully qualified to implement the Father’s plan for the salvation of Israel and of all mankind. The Scriptures apply this same title to the church of Christ when exalted in the resurrection to live and reign with Christ.—Jer. 33:16
* “The Atonement Between God and Man,” page 42.
Read these questions, and test your knowledge of one of the basic doctrines of the Bible—the relationship of Jesus to Jehovah in the divine plan of salvation.
What has led some students erroneously to believe that Jesus and his Heavenly Father are one and the same person?
How much authority has been given to Jesus by his Father?
Why was Jesus worthy of the high honor bestowed upon him by Jehovah?
Did Jesus ever claim that his work and message were his own?
What is the meaning of the title, “Emmanuel,” and how does it apply to Jesus?
Why is it proper to think of Jesus as “the everlasting Father”?
Jesus is described in prophecy as a “mighty god.” Does this mean that he is the Almighty God?
What is meant by the title, “JEHOVAH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS,” as applied to Jesus?
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT THOUGHTS
Jesus is the Father’s representative and partner, and fully at one with him in spirit and purpose, but not in person.