If Jesus is Divine, Is God Really an Absolute One?
A great controversy that has plagued the Christian church for 1700 years has developed because of the way that Jesus speaks about the Father in the gospel of John. In that gospel he clearly speaks as though the Father was someone other than himself - In John, Jesus uses the word father 104 times, in Matthew 54 times, in Luke 36 times, in Mark 18 times.
In John he clearly contrasts the terms father and son in such a way that one would draw the conclusion that the father was someone other than himself.
A great key to the understanding of the words of Jesus when he speaks of the Father in the gospel of John is Jesus own explanation of the mode and manner of his speech. He declares in John 16:25, 26 that he speaks of the Father in proverbs. From the text it is possible to understand what this word proverbs actually means. Jesus contrasts this word proverbs with the word plainly in vs 26.
We must reconcile Jesus divinity with Gods Profound Oneness
7742 times in the Old Testament God refers to Himself with singular personal pronouns, I, me, mine. In addition to these he is referred to with singular personal pronouns, he, his.
Isa. 41:4 Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.
Isa. 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
Isa. 43:13 Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?
Isa. 48:12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.
Isa. 52:6 Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I.
What about the plural pronouns in Gen 1:26, etc.? These pronouns used during the creation of man could never negate all of the singular pronouns that are used in every other place. The Hebrew scholars call them plurals of majesty, plurals of deliberation.
Jesus used such plurals when speaking of himself. John 3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
Paul also used such plurals when speaking of himself. 1Cor. 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
1Cor. 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1Cor. 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
What about the uniplural word, Elohim?
Elohim does not refer to a plurality of persons. It refers to a plentitude of might. For this reason even Moses was called Elohim, Exod. 4:16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.
Thirty five times the word Elohim is used in Genesis one. It is invariably used with singular verbs, and/or pronouns when it refers to the God of Israel.
45 times the God of Israel is called the Holy One
Jer. 51:5 For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the LORD of hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.
Ezek. 39:7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
Isa. 54:5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
Isa. 40:25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.
Isa. 41:14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
Isa. 41:16 Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.
Isa. 41:20 That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.
Isa. 43:3 For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.
Isa. 43:14 Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships.
Isa. 43:15 I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.
Isa. 45:11 Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.
Why did Jesus speak about the Father as though the Father was other than himself?
There are no doubt many reasons for this. Following are some compelling reasons for him to do so.
He could not commit the cardinal sin of Satan, grasping for preeminence.
He had to abide by our rules, the rules which apply to human beings in order to transfer justice from a just God to the sacrificial lamb, Jesus Christ, a human being.
He had to be crucified. Not even the wicked men of this world would have knowingly crucified a deity.