Tonight is the first session of a two night debate I'll be having. Whenever I engage in a debate it is very difficult to study about anything else except the subject matter of debate. In this case I've been entrenched in Christology for the past couple of months. I must say that I have again come to know my Almighty and His Son in a more intimate way.
One Scripture I've really been meditating on lately is John 17:3. In this chapter Yeshua prays what many theologians call the high priestly prayer; the prayer just before His betrayal and death. In this verse He speaks of eternal life, and states that eternal life is in knowing Him and His Father. What is astounding though is that He identifies His Father as the only true God and distinguishes Himself from that position in the very same verse.
"And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true [Elohim], and Yeshua [the] Christ whom you have sent." [ESV]
Notice here again that Yeshua is praying to His Father (vs. 1) and has already identified Himself as theSon of the Father (vs. 1), proving He is not the Father. He has also stated that it was the Father that gave him authority over all flesh so that He could give eternal life to those the Father gave Him (vs. 2). This proves that Yeshua is not the Almighty for He had to be given this authority. It is at this point that He expresses the knowledge people must have in order to have eternal life. To know His Father as the only true Mighty One, and to know Him (Yeshua) as being the one who was sent.
The common Trinitarian (or Deity of Christ) position is that the verse speaks of having a joint knowledge of the Father and the Son in order to have eternal life. Therefore, in their minds, if Yeshua is not God why would we have to believe in Him to have eternal life? This must mean that He somehow must be God, yet at the same time distinct from the Father He is in prayer to.
This point misses the argument I am making as well as dismisses the authority of Yahweh.
First, there is no disagreement from me that it takes a joint knowledge of the Father and Son to have eternal life, but that's not the point of identification I'm making. Our joint knowledge is in knowing (1) the only true Mighty One, and (2) the one sent by the only true Mighty One. In this verse it is obviously the Father that is the only true Mighty One, and Yeshua is the one commissioned by Him. Yeshua does not even identify Himself as the only true Mighty One.
Second, Yahweh has the authority to save His elect people by means that He chooses. If Yeshua is not the Almighty (which I am proposing) and Yahweh still chooses to save His people by His only begotten Son, commanding people to believe in the Son for eternal life that is not a problem. We must do what the Father tells us to do. If the Father begets a special Son, and commands us to believe in Him for eternal life, the He is the Father's means of salvation and we must not argue about such. Belief in the Son does not prove the Son is Yahweh Almighty, it only proves that Son is an important vehicle in the Father's ultimate salvation of His people.
When the dust settles, the passage is still emphatic that Yeshua called His Father the only true Mighty One, and distinguished Himself from that position in the very same verse. Why not believe what Yeshua believed?
Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.