Does the fact that Jesus called the Father the "only true God" mean that He Himself is not God (John 17:3)?


John 17:1 - 26

ESV - 1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you. 2 Since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.

Clarify Share Report Asked February 20 2021 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
There are multiple occasions in the gospels (such as the verse cited in the question; Jesus' cry from the cross of "My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?"; or His statement to Mary Magdalene after His resurrection that He was going to be ascending "to My Father and your Father, to my God and your God") where Jesus appears to be referring to God or addressing Him, as a Being separate from, or superior to, Himself.

In each of those cases, He was illustrating the fact that, in addition to being truly God Himself, He was also truly, fully human, born of a woman, just as all humans are. In that particular respect, as the Athanasian Creed describes Him, He was "equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father, as touching his manhood." 

This dual nature means that He is truly able to empathize and identify with the daily temptations and opportunities for sin that His followers have faced ever since, while not compromising His identity as God through yielding to those temptations and committing sin. As Hebrews 4:15 puts it, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet he did not sin."

February 21 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
No, I don’t believe Jesus was denying His divinity here (note my capitol “H” in “His.”) That would contradict many passages in the Bible. Jesus is God: He is all-powerful, that is, He is as powerful as God is (this fact is abundantly clear from John 1:3 and His raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44).

February 21 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Grant Abbott Child of Father, Follower of Son, Student of Spirit
There are many declarations in scripture that Jesus is God and equal with his Father in Heaven. Here are a few to think about.

John 10:24-30
"The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[a]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

John 17:1-5
"After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began."

Colossians 1:15-20
"The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."

February 26 2021 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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