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Is Jesus His Own Father?

By: Richard Jordan

True Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship with the living God through Jesus Christ. You can take Buddha out of Buddhism or Mohammed out of Islam or any other founder of any religion out of that religious system and little would change. However, take Christ out of Christianity and there would be nothing left! It is therefore imperative that we have a clear, accurate understanding of just who Jesus Christ really is.

'The Bible is the story of one unique person Who pre-existed as God and who in time became incarnate as a man. Theologians have coined the word Theanthropic to describe the person of Jesus Christ. This is another way of calling Him the God-Man. Scripture indicates that He possessed a perfect and complete human nature as well as a perfect and complete divine nature.' (Dispensation Theology, Charles F. Baker, Pages 292, 296)

There never has been and never will be another person like Jesus Christ! He is the Unique Person of all time, the genuine Celebrity of the Universe. In His unique Person two natures are inseparable united forever-- undiminished deity and true humanity.

Getting the Big Picture

The coming of Jesus Christ into human history was not an event that suddenly burst upon an unsuspecting world. It was the culmination of a long line of prophecies that started at the very beginning of human history. One outstanding fact that completely isolates Jesus Christ as the Unique Person of the Universe is this: Only one man in all of history has had explicit details given beforehand of His birth, life, death, and resurrection.

These details are in documents given to the public centuries before He appeared, and no one challenges-- or can challenge-- that these documents were widely circulated before His birth. In fact, anyone and everyone can compare the actual records of His life with those former documents and find that they match one another in exact detail.

Who can draw a picture of a man not yet born? Surely God and God alone. Nobody knew 500 years ago that Abraham Lincoln was going to be born; or 250 years ago that Bill Clinton was to be president. Yet in the Bible we have the most striking and detailed portrait of a man set forth, not by one, but by twenty or twenty-five artists-- none of whom had ever seen the man they were painting!

In challenging the false gods of Isaiah's time, the true God said:

Isaiah 41:21-23

Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. [22] Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. [23] Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.

It is the peculiar glory of the all-knowing God who is 'the Lord, the Creator' (40:28) to declare new things 'before they spring forth' (42:8-9). He alone foreknows and foretells the future-- and He has chosen to confine His foretelling to the pages of Scripture. (Note: That God alone can give and fulfill prophecy and that it is to be found in Scripture is found in many places in the Bible: 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:19-21, Deuteronomy 18:21-22, Isaiah 41:21-23, 42:9, 46:9-10, Jeremiah 28:9, John 13:19, 14:29, etc.)

Let's briefly gather information as in a great museum at least a few outstanding points of prediction and fulfillment:

He was to come at a specific time (Genesis 49:10, Daniel 9:24-25 with Luke 2:1), be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14 with Matthew 1:18-23), at Bethlehem of Judea (Micah 5:2 with Matthew 2:1-11). Great persons were to visit and adore Him (psalm 72:10 with Matthew 2:9-11). Through the rage of a jealous king, innocent children were to be slaughtered (Jeremiah 31:15 with Matthew 2:16-18).

He was to be proceeded by a forerunner before entering His public ministry (Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 3:1 with Luke 1:17, Matthew 3:1-3). He was to be a prophet like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:18 with Acts 3:20-22); have a special anointing of the Holy Spirit (Psalm 45:7, Isaiah 11:2, 61:1-2 with Matthew 3:16, Luke 4:15-21, 43). He was to be a priest after the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4 with Hebrews 5:5-6). As the 'servant of the Lord' He was to be a faithful and patient redeemer (Isaiah 42:1-4 with Matthew 12:18-21).

His zeal for the Lord is spoken of (Psalm 69:9 with John 2:17). His manner of teaching was to be by parables (Psalm 78:2 with Matthew 13:34-35); and His ministry was to be characterized by miracles (Isaiah 35:5-6 with Matthew 11:4-6, John 11:47). He was to be rejected by His brethren (Psalm 69:8, Isaiah 53:3 with John 1:11, 7:5) and become a 'stone of stumbling and rock of offense' to Israel (Isaiah 8:14 with Romans 9:32).

He was to be hated without a cause (Psalm 69:4, Isaiah 49:7 with John 7:48; 15:26), rejected by the rulers (Psalm 118:22 with Matthew 21:42, John 7:48), betrayed by a friend (Psalm 41:9; 55:12-14 with John 13:18.21), forsaken by His disciples (Zechariah 13:7 with Matthew 26:3-56), sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12 with Matthew 26:15) and His price given for the potter's field (Zechariah 11:13 with Matthew 27:7), smitten on the cheek (Micah 5:1 with Matthew 27:30), spat on (Isaiah 50:6 with Matthew 27:30), mocked (Psalm 22:7-8 with Matthew 27:31, 39-44) and beaten (Psalm 50:6 with Matthew 26:67; 27:26, 30).

His death by crucifixion is given in detail in Psalm 22. His hands and feet were to be pierced (Psalm 22:16, Zechariah 12:10 with John 19:18, 37; 20:25); yet not a bone of Him was to be broken (Exodus 12:46, Psalm 34:20 with John 19:33-36). He was to suffer thirst (Psalm 22:15 with John 19:28) and be given vinegar to drink (Psalm 69:21 with Matthew 27:34); and He was to be numbered with the transgressors (Isaiah 53:12 with Matthew 27:38).

His body was to be buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9 with Matthew 27:57-60), but was not to see corruption (Psalm 16:10 with Acts 2:31). He was to be raised from the dead (Psalm 2:7, 16:10 with Acts 13:33), ascend to the right hand of God (Psalm 68:18, 110:1 with Luke 24:51, Acts 1:9; 2:34-36, Hebrews 1:3).

This bare sketch of Messianic prophecy and fulfillment is far from complete; it is merely suggestive of the main points. There are actually over 300 specific predictions concerning the first coming of Christ, each one pointing not only to the Divine origin of the Scriptures but to the identity of Jesus Christ as the Unique Person of all time.

There are few doctrines that are more awe inspiring than the doctrine of the Person of Jesus Christ. Consider Paul's declaration:

Colossians 2:9

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

The Godhead in its fullness took up permanent residency in humanity in Jesus Christ. Deity was incarnate on Jesus Christ. He is man who is God and God who is man: the God-man. The prologue to the book of John is instructive about this grand scheme:

'In the beginning was the Word'--When time began, the Word was already in existence and thus is outside time-- eternal. Colossians 1:17 says He was 'before all things.'

'The Word was with God'--The Word had a face-to-face fellowship with God. This makes Him separate and distinct from the Father. Jesus Christ is a different person from the Father; the Father is not the same as the Son nor is the Son the same as the Father. They are separate and distinct persons.

'The Word was God'--This makes Him co-equal and co-substantial with God the Father. They are the same essence and being-- equally God. This is why Hebrews 1:8 records God the Father addressing the Son as God. They are the same essence and being: Deity.

'All things were made by Him'--He is the Creator God, existing before creation and thus outside of time. This, of course, reiterates the fact that He is eternal-- a clear attribute of absolute deity.

'And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us'--Jesus Christ is God but He is something other than God in that He is humanity. He is totally human, but He is more than human in that He is deity. This is what theologians call the Hypostatic Union-- another word coined to describe the mystery of Who He really is.

A Puzzling Question

While the term 'Trinity' does not appear in Scripture, it is valid heading for the categories of doctrine concerning the three members of the Godhead. We may wonder how one God can exist in three Persons, yet we know that He so exists because Scripture declares it so. It is not our present purpose to expound the Scriptures on the teaching of the Trinity, but we point out the fact that only the Trinitarian understanding of God can affirm both that Jesus is God and that He is personally distinct from the Father. (Note: God is declared in many passages to be 'one God' (Exodus 20:3, Deuteronomy 6:4, 1 Timothy 2:5-6), but the Bible no less clearly reveals that there are three to whom all the attributes or essence of deity are ascribed: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There are many direct statements of the Trinity in the O.T. (e.g., Genesis 1:26-27; 3:22; 11:5-7, Numbers 6:24-27, Isaiah 48:16-17; 11:2; 42:1; 61:1; 63:7-10, Zechariah 12:10-11) as well as the N.T. (e.g., Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19, John 14:16, Ephesians 2:18; 4:4-6, 2 Corinthians 13:14, Hebrews 9:14, 1 John 5:7).)

This brings us to the question used as the title of the article: Is Jesus His Own Father? This question arises from the great Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 9:6 where the 'Son' is called 'the everlasting Father.'

Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Had the Apostles believed that Jesus was personally identical with the Father, they certainly would have clearly taught this. Their message that He is 'the Son of God' comes through loud and clear; not a trace of ambiguity is involved on this point. Yet nowhere does the New Testament even imply the 'Fatherhood' of Jesus Christ. To what, then, does Isaiah 9:6 refer? Let's see:

'Unto us a child is born'--This is humanity, as the Word became flesh.

'Unto us a son is given'--This is His deity.

'His name shall be called'-- Notice that it is 'His name,' singular, not plural. These five titles in fact constitute one name. They are not five names but rather a five-fold name, five titles denoting the coming Messiah's character-- the five-fold manifestation of His qualities and attributes as the One who will fulfill the Davidic Covenant (v. 7). Thus it is as the fulfiller of the Davidic Covenant that He is said to be:

'The everlasting Father'-- Rather than referring to his co-equality with the first Person of the Godhead, this is a reference to His status as the provider of all things necessary for Israel to enjoy her kingdom forever.

Looking to that future restoration of the nation Israel, Jeremiah writes:

Jeremiah 3:17

At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem

And what is that name? 'Thou shalt call me, My Father, and shall not turn away from me' (v. 19). To cry 'My Father,' is a token of love and adherence. Later, through Jeremiah the Messiah says of 'the remnant of Israel,' that:

Jeremiah 31:9

They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

In that future kingdom Messiah again shows Himself to Israel as a Father-- one who cares for and provides their every need (Exodus 4:22, Deuteronomy 32:6, Isaiah 63:16, 64:8).

Remember that the term 'Father' is used in a great variety of senses-- as an immediate progenitor, a more remote ancestor, a creator, a guardian, a ruler, an instructor, etc. one who bears this title must educate and rule 'as a father doth his children' (1 Thessalonians 2:11). 'A father pitieth his children' (Psalm 103:13) and 'knoweth what things his children have need of, before they ask' (Matthew 6:8). Is it not a father's joy 'to lay up for the children and not the children for the father' (2 Corinthians 12:14)?

With this in mind we can understand how Messiah is to fulfill the role of 'everlasting Father'-- One whose reign will be of such paternal love and care-- as a loving father over His children-- as to justify it being eternal. He is the Father of conditions that shall never change! He is Israel's (and the world's) rightful king-- the loving and faithful king portrayed in Psalm 72. For example, there David says,

Psalm 72:17

His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.

Thus, rather than teaching that Jesus is somehow His own Father, Isaiah 9:6 presents a dispensational picture of the character and worth of Israel's Messiah that will sustain that believing remnant through the time of Jacob's trouble and give them the victory described in the surrounding verses of Isaiah 9. Surely in that day they will love Him beyond measure as they contemplate who He is.

In like manner, there is no way to fully appreciate the Lord Jesus Christ in the current dispensation of grace without a grasp of 'the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery' (Romans 16:25). It is this special revelation that caused Paul to declare:

Colossians 2:9-10

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. [10] And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Such fullness can be ours because the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in Jesus Christ. Thus it is that He became the 'one mediator between God and man'-- the special focus of the message committed to Paul (1 Timothy 2:5-7).



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