Last night we continued our study in what it means for us that God is a Trinity. We looked specifically at how Jesus revealed himself to be the Son of God the Father, and the implications of this self-revelation of God.
Last week, we saw how God revealed himself as the only true God in the Old Testament, and left all kinds of hints that there was some unsaid details about who He is; and that Jesus came in the NT and demonstrated that there is plurality in God…Jesus is now included in our understanding of God.
1. What we see (in the life of Christ): Jesus is the Son of the Father.
Matthew 3:16-17 Right from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry we see that there’s something new and special going on, with a voice (clearly God) speaking from heaven, someone distinct from the voice, the Holy Spirit, descending onto Jesus, and Jesus being recognized as a the unique, totally pleasing Son of God by God’s own voice from heaven.
John 3:16-17 Jesus spoke like this right from the beginning of His ministry, as here, in this famous passage, He mentions His Father as distinct from Himself, and yet includes HImself uniquely in the purposes of the Father. This leads us to this important principle: How God saves us shows who He is. Or you could say it this way: God chose that the way He would save us would show us who He is. Specifically, Jesus shows us that in God is more than one person. Specifically, there is Son and Father. He lets us in on the relations in God, on his relationship to the Father, and their conversation.
See John 5:16-30
The Son: does only what He see the father do (19); responds to the Father (20); is sent by the Father (23); Gets life “in Himself” from the Father (26); gets authority from the Father (27); seeks the Fathers will (30).
…yet: knows everything the Father Does (20); like the Father—Gives life to whoever He wants (21); Judges all (22); receives the same honor as the Father (23); His word gives everlasting life (24); raises the dead (29)
The Father: Doing things that the son does (19); loves the Son (20); commits judgment to the Son (22); Has life in Himself, and grants to the son to have life in himself (26); gives son authority to execute judgment (27). Also John 3:15-17 … gives His Son out of love for the world, to save us.
2. What this means (about God Himself): God was always Father and Son.
John 17:4-5, 17:24 This relationship of Father and Son has always been who God is.
Key: John 1:18, 14:9 – Jesus is not just showing us things about his time on earth, but about God
3. What this means to us:
1. God is happy, and fully alive (relationally), in Himself. Before the universe, there was life and love.– There was Father and Son and Spirit with each other. (and conversation, planning, glory)
2. Jesus shows us God (John 1:18)
a. God the Son, sent, doing the Father’s will, sacrificing Himself humbly
b. God the Father (seen in Him), loving the world and sending His own Son, to heal us:
So what Jesus shows us about how He relates to God is true of the way it’s always been. Jesus shows us, first, that relationship, love, exists in God, and also some of how the relationships work. Jesus is God the Son, being sent by, obeying, loving, and displaying God the Father. Or, as one commentator put it: “The Father is the divine fountainhead in which the being of the Son has its source; the Father is God sending and commanding, the Son is God sent and obedient.” (CK Barrett)
Ending Discussion Questions:
- Does God need us to be happy? To have company?
- Is it more God-like to command or to obey? Is it more Godlike to send or be sent?
- What kind of new view of God emerges when you begin to see these things?