My problem is that Orthodox Christianity confesses Jesus is both fully man and fully God. Yet Jesus said in John 14:28, “My Father is greater than I.” How can the Father be greater if Jesus is equal to God?
John 14:15 - 31
ESV - 15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.
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Although the Athanasian Creed is not regularly recited in church services (due primarily to its length), I believe that it continues to be acknowledged (along with the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed) as a statement of Christian belief that transcends the denominational distinctions that arose following either the Great Schism in AD 1054 that led to the establishment of the Eastern Orthodox Church, or the Protestant Reformation in AD 1517. The Athanasian Creed (attributed to Athansius (ca. AD 296/298 - 2 May AD 373), the bishop of Alexandria) deals specifically with the nature of God as one Being in three Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). With respect to God the Son (that is, Jesus), the Athanasian Creed states, "We believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man; God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of the substance of His mother, born in the world; perfect God and perfect man, of a rational soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching His godhead; and inferior to the Father, as touching His manhood; who, although He is God and man, yet he is not two, but one Christ; one, not by conversion of the godhead into flesh but by taking of the manhood into God; one altogether; not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the rational soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ." I would say that any statement made by Jesus during His earthly life regarding the Father being greater than He would have been consistent witrh the portion of this Creed that declares (as noted above) that He was "(e)qual to the Father, as touching His godhead; and inferior to the Father, as touching His manhood." It was in that sense that Jesus (since He was truly, fully human) could accurately say that the Father was greater than He was, without compromising or denying His identity as true God in any way.
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