Introduction and Overview to Deity of Christ
The deity of Jesus Christ is an essential issue in Christianity. Salvation is having Jesus on the throne of your life. Satan wishes to “dethrone” Jesus from this holy place as God and King of your life, and therefore part of the attack of Satan is to make people believe that Jesus is somehow less than full and complete God.
There can only be one of two options for the nature of Jesus. He is either Creator or he is a creature. Nowhere in logic or in Scriptures do we find a creature with the powers to create. In many of the arguments we will examine in this issue, the logic will fall on the attribute given to Jesus more than a clear “Jesus is x thing”. The reason for this is that we are talking of the most special person that ever has existed, God.
The personal results for not fully believing in the deity of Jesus is that the person who rejects Jesus as God is condemned to perish in everlasting death (John 3:18). If we worship Jesus Christ when he is not God, divinity, then we have committed idolatry, and again we enter into the condemnation of God.
“And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life” (John 5:40). It was not lack of evidence but perversity of will which kept these Jews from coming to Christ. And it is so still. The Lord Jesus stands ready to receive all who come to Him; but by nature men are unwilling, unwilling to come to Him that they “might have life.” But why is this? It is because they fail to realize their awful peril: did they but know that they are standing on the brink of the Pit, they would flee from the wrath to come. Why is it? It is because they have no sense of their deep and desperate need: did they but apprehend their awful condition their wickedness, their blindness, their hardheartedness, their depravity—they would hasten to the great Physician to be healed by Him. Why is it? It is because the carnal mind is enmity against God, and Christ is God.
“I receive not honor from men” (John 5:41). Here again the Lord maintains His dignity and insists upon His Divine self-sufficiency. I “receive not” signifies, as in verses 34 and 44, “I seek not” honor from men. “When I state My claims, and complain that you disregard them, it is not because I wish to ingratiate Myself with you; not because I covet your approbation or that of any man, or set of men. He did not need their sanction: He could receive no honor from their applause. His object was to secure the approbation of His Divine Father, by faithfully executing the commission with which He was entrusted; and so far as they were concerned, His desire was not that He should be applauded by them, but that they should be saved by Him. If He regretted, and He did most deeply regret their obstinate unbelief and impenitence, it was for their own sakes, and not for His own. Such was the unearthly, unambitious spirit of our Lord, and such should be the spirit of all His ministers” (Dr. John Brown).
“But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you” (John 5:42). How this makes manifest the omniscience of Christ! He who searcheth the heart knew the state of these Jews. They posed as worshippers of the true and living God. They appeared to be very jealous of His honor. They claimed to be most punctilious in the observance of His Sabbath. But Christ was not deceived. He knew they had not the love of God in them, and this was why they refused to come to Him for life, It is so now. The reason why men despise the claims of Christ is not because of any want of evidence on the side of those claims, but because of a sinful indisposition on their part to attend to those claims. They have not the love of God in them; if they had, they would receive and worship His Son.
“I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” (John 5:43). Unspeakably solemn is this. Israel’s rejection of Christ has only prepared the way for them to accept the Antichrist, for it is to him our Lord referred in the second part of this verse. Just as Eve’s rejection of the truth of God laid her open to accept the Devil’s lie, so Israel’s rejection of the true Messiah has thoroughly prepared them, morally, to receive the false Messiah; who will come in his own name, doing his own pleasure, and seeking glory from men. Thus will he thoroughly expose the corrupt heart of the natural man. How this exhibits what is in the fallen creature and demonstrates his depravity!
“How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only” (John 5:44). “Honor” signifies approbation or praise. While these Jews were making it their chief aim to win the good opinion of each other, and remained more or less indifferent to the approval and approbation of God, they would not come to Christ for life. To come to Christ they must humble themselves in the dust, by taking the place of lost sinners before Him. And to receive Him as their Lord and Savior, to live henceforth for the glory of that One who was despised and rejected of men, would at once separate them from the world, and would bring down upon them contempt and persecution. But there is no middle ground: “the friendship of the world is enmity with God.” If we are determined to be honored and smiled upon by our fellowmen, we shall remain alienated from God.
“Men are deceived today by the thought of building up man, the improvement of the race, the forming of character, holding on to themselves as though all that man needed was change of direction. Man is himself evil, a sinner by nature, utterly alienated from the life of God. He needs life, a new one. For what else did Christ come but that He might give it? He is not to be received with honors such as men pay to high officials, for they are like the men who pay the honor, but He is from above and above all, and has eternal life to give. He needs emptiness for His fulness, sinfulness for His holiness, sinners for His salvation, death for His life; and he who can make out his case of being lost and helpless gets all. It is not that men should do their best by leaving off vices and reforming, and pay devout respect to the name of Jesus and to religious rites, adding this to their goodness for God’s acceptance. It is that they should be as the poor man in the beginning of this chapter, indebted to Christ for everything: they must be receivers instead of givers. Receiving honor from one another vitiates the whole idea in regard to God and His Christ. We honor Him only when we are saved by Him; then, as saved, worshipping and rejoicing in Christ Jesus the Lord” (Mal. Taylor). Arthur Pink - Exposition of the Gospel of John, Chapter 19.
“While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? Whose son is he?…” Matt. 22:41-42.
The question that our Lord Jesus puts here to the Pharisees is the most fundamental question concerning Christian thought and faith that can be put to anybody in any age. Jesus Christ Himself is the center of Christianity, so the most fundamental questions of faith are those that concern the Person of Christ. If a man really holds to right views concerning the Person of Jesus Christ, he will sooner or later get right views on every other question. If he holds a wrong view concerning the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, he is pretty sure to go wrong on everything else sooner or later. “What think ye of Christ?” That is the great central question; that is the vital question.
And the most fundamental question concerning the Person of Christ is — is Jesus Christ really God? Not merely, is He Divine, but, is He actually God? When I was a boy, to say you believed in the Divinity of Christ meant that you believed in the real Deity of Christ, that you believed that Jesus was actually a Divine Person, that He was God. It no longer means that. The Devil is wise, shrewd, and subtle, and he knows that the most effectual way to instill error into the minds of the inexpert and unwary is to use old and precious words and put a new meaning into them. So when his messengers masquerading as “ministers of righteousness” seek to lead, if possible, the elect astray, they use the old precious words, but with an entirely new and entirely different and entirely false meaning. They talk about the Divinity of Christ, but they do not mean at all what intelligent Christians in former days meant by it. Likewise, they talk of the atonement, but they do not mean at all the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ in our place by which eternal life is secured for us. And oftentimes when they talk about Christ, they do not mean at all our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the actual historic Jesus of the four gospels; they mean an ideal Christ, or a Christ principle.
So our subject is not the Divinity of Christ, but the Deity of Christ; and our question is not, is Jesus Christ Divine, but rather, is Jesus Christ God? Was that Person Who was born in Bethlehem nineteen hundred and twenty-one years ago, and Who lived thirty-three or thirty-four years here upon earth as recorded in the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, Who was crucified on Calvary’s cross, Who rose from the dead the third day, and was exalted from earth to heaven to the right hand of the Father — was He God manifest in the flesh, was He God embodied in a human being? Was He, and is He, a Being worthy of our absolute faith and supreme love and our unhesitating obedience and our wholehearted worship, just as God the Father is worthy of our absolute faith and supreme love and unhesitating obedience and our wholehearted worship? Should all men honour Jesus Christ even as they honour God the Father (John 5:23). Not merely is He an example that we can wisely follow, or a Master whom we can wisely serve, but is He a God Whom we can rightly worship? I presume that most of us do believe that He was God manifest in the flesh and that He is God today at the right hand of the Father, but why do you believe so? Are you so intelligent in your faith, and therefore, so well-grounded in your faith that no glib talker or reasoner, no Unitarian or Russellite (JW) or Christian Scientist or Theosophist, or other errorist can confuse you and upset you and lead you astray?
It is important that we be thoroughly sound in our faith at this point and thoroughly well-informed, wherever else we may be in ignorance or error, for we are distinctly told in John 20:31 that “these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” It is evident from these words of the inspired apostle John that this question is not merely a matter of theoretical opinion, but that it is a matter that concerns our salvation. It is to confirm and instruct you in your blessed faith, your saving faith in Jesus Christ as a Divine Person.
When I studied the subject of the Divinity of Christ in the theological seminary, I got the impression that there were a few texts in the Bible that conclusively proved that He was Divine. Years later I found that there were not merely a few proof texts that proved this, but that the Bible in many ways and in countless passages clearly taught that Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh. Indeed, I found that the Doctrine of the Deity of Jesus Christ formed the very warp and woof of the Bible.The Deity of Jesus Christ by R. A. Torrey
The Difference between “Deity” and “Divinity”
In reality there is no difference between the terms “Deity” and “Divinity”. “Deity” is a noun which means God, and “Divinity” is also a noun taken from the adjective “divine”, or that which is of God. In theory there should be no difference between these two, but in reality, many people seek to make Jesus less than God in some way, and some would suggest that God the Father is “Deity” (fully God), and Jesus is only “Divine” (pertaining without specific reference to God). In other words, Peter, Paul, and John were also divine (pertaining to God) in some way but only God the Father is deity. On the discovery of this subtle usage of these terms by some writers, I will only use the term “deity” on this page.
The Essence of Jesus Christ
The Westminster Confession of Faith declares
There is but one only living and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, working all thing according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will, for his own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek him; and withal most just and terrible in his judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty. God hath all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of himself; and is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which he hath made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting his own glory in, by, unto, and upon them: he is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things; and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, and upon them, whatsoever himself pleaseth. In his sight all things are open and manifest; his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to him contingent or uncertain. He is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands. To him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience, he is pleased to require of them.
Jesus is a man, not a Celestial Angel
John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
If Jesus was just a celestial angel sent on a special mission to save mankind, then how can we understand his claim to being equal to God? Would a heavenly angel assert themselves being equal to God? Isn’t that exactly what Satan did when he decided to follow his own will instead of the divine will? Any angel asserts their equality to the very God must be an evil angel, i.e. a demon.
As regards the angels, the Scripture insists that the Lord’s Sonship distinguishes Him from them. “For unto which of the angels said He at any time, “Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee” (Hebrews 1: 5). Never has God called an angel His Son. Yet the angels are called sons of God in the book of Job. We suggest that this is because they had no progenitors and are all directly created by God to reflect His glory. In like manner the only man to be directly created by God, and not humanly generated, was Adam, and as he had no progenitor, he is called the son of God (Luke 3: 38). Dronsfield, W.R. - Eternal Son of the Father,Chapter 2
Jesus is either a man, or God, or both
John 1:1 ”the word was with God” – Here the word “with” is “pros” in the Greek which means to stand before, face to face, on an equal level and footing. If Jesus is a created being, he cannot be on an equal footing or basis with God. Creator is not equal with creature. Rom 1:25 ”who… worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator”. It is impossible that Creator and creature be equal. God is not creation, God is not a creature. That is pantheism, making God to be the universe. God’s presence is everywhere, and God observes and controls every place that exists Psa 139:7-10, but every place and thing is not God.
Jesus’ Equality with God the Father
This passage appears to be the first time that Jesus publicly stated that God was His father. The reaction by the Jews present is as important as the statement of Jesus. This statement of Jesus has been twisted by many to simply mean that Jesus was submissive to God, just as any obedient Christian is submissive to God. But by twisting the real teaching of this passage to make it mean Christ is pledging his submission to God, it robs the passage of its true teaching as well as confusing the reality of Jesus Deity. The Jews standing in the Christ’s audience well understood what Christ was teaching. He was teaching that HE (JESUS) IS EQUAL TO GOD. The point needs to be well taken that the phrase that Jesus used, “the Son of God”, does not mean a submission to God as a good Christian would submit himself to God, but as Christ used it and as people of his day understood this phrase, the meaning is that Jesus was saying he was equal in essence and being to God the Father. In Hebrew and Jewish thinking, to make a claim of father and son relationship is to make a claim to the authority, position, being, and essence of the father.
Why did the Jews see this? Because in the Hebrew thinking, and in the Scriptures, a father is presented as being of the same nature as the one he begets. Here are a few examples:
There is the common term, “sons of Belial”. Belial means “worthless”, so the term “son of Belial” simply means a worthless person.
Joses was surnamed Barnabas by the apostles (Acts 4: 36), meaning “son of consolation”, because he was by nature one who consoled for he was a good man who exhorted the brethren that with purpose of heart they would cleave to the Lord (Acts 11: 23-24).
The Lord surnamed John and James the sons of thunder.
Judas is called the son of perdition because he was by nature one that would perish. Perdition means perishing.
He called the Pharisees a generation of vipers because they had the nature of vipers. See also “children of light”, “children of wrath”, “child of the Devil”, etc.
Every being begets after his own kind (Genesis 1). Therefore the Jews saw that if God has a Son, that Son has the nature of Deity. There is only One True Son of the same eternal essence as the Father — the Only Begotten Son.
But the objection will at once be raised, “If God has begotten a Son, there must have been a time when the Son was begotten, and therefore He has a beginning”. This is quite wrong reasoning, for the right implication is exactly the opposite. If an eternal Father, without beginning nor end, begets a Son, that Son also must have neither beginning nor end; else He is not a True Son according to the Father’s essence. God’s nature is infinite, therefore His Son’s nature is infinite.
We must abandon all reasoning from the finite. Every finite creature begets a finite creature with a beginning, but the Infinite begets the Infinite with no beginning. The word “Only Begotten” does not imply carnal or low thoughts of begetting, but implies equal nature. This is what the ancient orthodox teachers called “The Eternal Generation of the Son”. The begetting is not an event of the past, however distant. Dronsfield, W.R. - Eternal Son of the Father, Chapter 2
John 5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
John 5:15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
John 5:16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
John 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
John 5:20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
John 5:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
John 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
John 5:23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
John 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
John 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
John 5:27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
John 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
John 5:31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
John 5:32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.
What is important to understand about this passage is that Jesus plainly taught an equality of essence and power between himself as the Son of God, and God the Father. This teaching was understood by the Jews, and in John 5:18, it says that the Jews sought the more to kill him, because “he made himself equal to God.”Whatever you may understand by this passage is one thing, but the Jews actually hearing Jesus speak these words and having the opportunity to know the context and question him “live” if there was any doubt, they clearly understood Jesus to be making himself equal to God. The Jews understood the claim of Jesus in being “the Son of God” as Jesus claiming to be equal with the very God of Christianity and Judaism, Jehovah.
If Jesus claimed that he was equal to God in every way, i.e. that he was God, then this presents some immediate thoughts and conclusions. Some would say that he is wrong in his assertion (for example, those denying the deity of Christ such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses). First of all, we consider if he was only an angel. Being an angel, one would presume he is a good angel, sent from God. If that be the case, then if he misrepresented the truth here, then he must be excluded from being a good angel, and must be a demon. Nobody accepts that. So his position of being a simple angel is impossible. Next we see the possibility that he is a normal (non-divine man). If we consider this, then he must be delusional and off base because he makes himself to be God, and no true prophet of God would do that. So he cannot be just a normal man. Lastly we consider that he is God incarnate. That being the case, his claims would be true if he is what he says he is.
Jesus affirms his equality with the Father as having equal authority to work (do miracles of healing on the Sabbath for example) because in and of himself, he is God, and being God he has the authority to decide to do this.
“Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:18). There was no mistaking the force of Christ’s declaration. By saying “My Father… and I” He had done what, without the greatest impropriety, was impossible to any mere creature. He had done what Abraham, Moses, David, Daniel, never dreamed of doing. He had placed Himself on the same level with the Father. His traducers were quick to recognize that He had “made himself equal with God,” and they were right. No other inference could fairly be drawn from His words. And mark it attentively, the Lord Jesus did not charge them with wresting His language and misrepresenting His meaning. He did not protest against their construction of His words. Instead of that He continued to press upon them His Divine claims, stating the truth with regard to His unique personality and presenting the evidence on which His claim rested. And thus did He vindicate Himself not only from the charge of Sabbath-violation in having healed by His Divine word a poor helpless sufferer on that day, but also of blasphemy, in making an assertion in which by obvious implication, was a claim to equality with God.
Christ’s claim to absolute equality with God only fanned the horrid flame of the enmity in those Jewish zealots—they “sought the more to kill him.” A similar scene is presented to us at the close of John 8. Immediately after being told that the Lord Jesus said “Before Abraham was I am” (another formal avowal of His absolute Deity) we read, “Then took they up stones to cast at him” (verses 58, 59). So again in the tenth chapter we find that as soon as He had declared “I and Father are one” Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him” (verses 30, 31). Thus did the carnal mind of man continue to display its inveterate enmity against God.
“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, Verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (John 5:19). This is a verse which has been a sore puzzle to many of the commentators, and one used frequently by the enemies of Christ who deny His Deity. Even some of those who have been regarded as the champions of orthodoxy have faltered badly. To them the words “The Son can do nothing of himself” seem to point to a blemish in His person. They affirm a limitation, and when misunderstood appear to call for a half apology. The only solution which seems to have occurred to these men who thus dishonor both the written and the incarnate Word, is that this statement must have reference to the humanity of Christ. But a moment’s reflection should show that such a conclusion is wide of the mark. The second half of this nineteenth verse must be studied and interpreted in the light of the first half.
It is to be noted that the verse opens by saying “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, Verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do.” What was it that He was replying to? Who was it that He was here “answering”? The previous verse quickly decides. He was replying to those who sought to kill Him; He was answering His enemies who were enraged because He had “made himself equal with God.” In what follows, then, we have the Lord’s response to their implied charge of blasphemy. In verse 19 we have the second part of the vindication of His claim that He and the Father were one. Thus it will be seen that the words “The Son can do nothing of himself” respect His Deity and not His humanity, separately considered. Or, more accurately speaking, they concern the Divine glory of the Son of God incarnate.
“The Son can do nothing of himself but what he seeth the Father do.” Does this mean that His ability was limited? or that His power was restricted? Do His words signify that when He “made himself of no reputation (R. V. emptied himself) and took upon him the form of a servant” (Phil. 2:7) that He was reduced to all the limitations of human nature? To all these questions we return an emphatic and dogmatic No. Instead of pointing to an imperfection, either in His person or power, they, rightly understood, only serve to bring out His peerless excellency. But here as everywhere else, Scripture must be interpreted by Scripture, and once we heed this rule, difficulties disappear like the mists before the sun.
It will be seen that in verse 30 we have a strictly parallel statement, and by noting what is added there the one in verse 19 is more easily understood. “The Son can do nothing of himself” of verse 19 is repeated in the “I can do nothing of myself” in verse 30, and then in the closing words of verse 30 we find that the Lord explains His meaning by giving as a reason—”Because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”The limitation is not because of any defect in His person (brought about by the incarnation) nor because of any limitation in His power (voluntary or imposed); it was solely a matter of will. “The Son can do nothing of himself,” literally, “nothing out of himself,” that is, “nothing” as proceeding from or originating with Himself. In other words, the force of what He said was this: ‘I cannot act independently of the Father.’ But was that a limitation which amounted to a defect? Indeed no; the very reverse. Do the words “God that cannot lie” (Titus 1:2) and “God cannot be tempted with evil” (James 1:13) point to a blemish in the Divine nature or character? Nay, verily, they affirm Divine perfections. It was so here in the words of Christ.
But may it not be that Christ is here speaking in view of His mediatorial position, as the servant of the Father? We do not think so, and that for three reasons. In the first place, John’s Gospel is not the one which emphasizes His servant-character; that is unfolded in Mark’s. In this Gospel it is His Deity, His Divine glory, which is prominent throughout. Therefore, some explanation for this verse must be found consonant with that fact. In the second place, our Lord was not here defending His mediatorship, His Divinely-appointed works; instead, He was replying to those who deemed Him guilty of blasphemy, because He had made Himself equal with God. Our third reason will be developed below.
“The Son can do nothing of himself.” This we have attempted to show means, “the Son cannot act independently of the Father.” And why could He not? Because in will He was absolutely one with the Father. If He were God the Son then His will must be in perfect unison with that of God the Father, otherwise, there would be two absolute but conflicting wills, which means that there would be two Gods, the one opposing the other; which in plainer language still, would be affirming that there were two Supreme Beings which is, of course, a flat contradiction of terms. It was just because the Lord Jesus was the Son of God, that His will was in fullest harmony with the will of the Father. Man can will independently of God, alienated from Him as he is. Even the angels which kept not their first estate, yea, one above them in rank, the “anointed cherub” himself could, and did say, “I will” (see Isaiah 14:13 and 14, five times repeated). But the Son of God could not, for He was not only very Man of very man but also very God of very God….
“The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” Here is an assertion which none but a Divine person (in the most absolute sense of the term) could truthfully make. Because the Son can do nothing but what the Father does, so, on the other hand, “What things soever the Father doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” Note well this word “likewise.” Not only does He do what the Father does, but He does it as He does it, that is, in a manner comporting with the absolute perfections of their common Divine nature. But what is ever more striking is the all-inclusive “whatsoever.” Not only does He perform His works with the same Divine power and excellency as the Father does His, but the Son also does all “whatsoever he (the Father) doeth.” This is proof positive that He is speaking here not in His mediatorial capacity, as the servant, but in His essential character as one absolutely equal with God.
We cannot refrain from quoting here part of the most excellent comments of the late Dr. John Brown on this verse:—”All is of the Father—all is by the Son. Did the Father create the universe? So did the Son. Does the Father uphold the universe? So does the Son. Does the Father govern the universe? So does the Son. Is the Father the Savior of the world? So is the Son. Surely the Jews did not err when they concluded that our Lord made Himself ‘equal with God.’ Surely He who is so intimately connected with God that He does what God does, does all God does, does all in the same manner in which God does it; surely such a person cannot but be equal with God.” To this we would add but one word: Scripture also reveals that in the future, too, the will of the Father and of the Son will act in perfect unison, for, in the last chapter of the Bible we read that the throne of Deity on the new earth will be “the throne of God and of the lamb” (Rev. 22:1)…. Arthur Pink - Exposition of the Gospel of John, Chapter 18.
John 10:30 I and my Father are one.
John 10:31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
What the Jews understood in Jesus’ words was that Jesus was claiming equality with God the Father, Jehovah, God the Almighty, however you want to designate the only True God. They understood this as being blasphemy, and their reaction was to stone Jesus.
John 10:32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
John 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
His Relation to God. This surprising discovery of the content of our Lord’s moral consciousness leads us to dare to ask a most crucial question: Did the consciousness of Jesus, in carrying out his mission of redemption, affirm any peculiar relation to God? If so, what was that relation?
13. Jesus regards himself as alone able to understand God the Father and to reveal him.
“All things have been delivered unto me of my Father: and no one knoweth the Son, save the Father; neither doth any know the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son willeth to reveal him ” (Saint Matt. 11.27).
14. Jesus regards himself as the one and only way unto God the Father. ”Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one cometh unto the Father, but by me’ (Saint John 14.6).
15. Jesus regards himself as so essentially one with the Father (*ego kai ho pater hen esmen*) that having seen Jesus one hath seen the Father. ”Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and dost thou not know me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; how sayest thou, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth his works” (Saint John 14.9, 10; 10.25-33). The Ritschlian view that Christ was conscious of merely an ethical union with God, an agreement with God in moral purpose, seems to me to be superficial even as isolated exegesis. But we cannot rest in any isolated exegesis, the passage must be treated in harmony with all the other claims of Jesus. So treated, it is evident that Jesus held in consciousness such a fundamental relation to God the Father as to be able to be, in the redemptive work, a complete equivalent of the Father’s authority and nature. Jesus does not regard himself as a mere delegate from God, but as the actual presence of God to accomplish their salvation.
16. In Christ’s estimate the Holy Spirit is peculiarly related both to our Lord’s redemptive ministry and to our Lord himself. Not only does the Holy Spirit wait for the end of that ministry, but he is to be sent by Jesus himself. ”Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I go, I will send him unto you. And he, when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (Saint John 16:7; read the entire chapter). Godet’s comment here is so penetrating that I will quote it: “His departure was the condition of his restoration to his divine state, and this would enable him to send the Holy Spirit. It is the same idea which we meet with in John 7:39: ‘The Spirit was not yet; because Jesus was not yet glorified.’ That Jesus might send the Spirit, he must possess him as his own personal life, and that as man, since it is to men that he is to impart him.”
This, though, is deeper than we now need to go. What I wish to emphasize is that Jesus Christ, while on the earth, working out his redemptive plan, was conscious of being the condition of the redemptional activity of the Holy Spirit and also of being the personal authority to start that activity. Olin Alfred Curtis (1850-1918) - The Christian Faith chapter 16 (1905)
Jesus’ Submission to God the Father
Jesus’ submission to God the Father is not evidence of his inferiority to the Father. As God functions as “perfection”, being three people who perfectly work together, then this submission and working together is logically a proof of Jesus’ part of the deity, not against it.
Offsite Works on the Deity of Christ