by Matt Slick
"You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.'" (John 14:28).
Jesus said the Father was greater than He not because Jesus is not God but because Jesus was also a man; and as a man, he was in a lower position. He was ". . . made for a little while lower than the angels . . ." (Heb. 2:9). Also in Phil. 2:5-8, it says that Jesus "emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men . . ."
Jesus has two natures: divine and human. Jesus was not denying that He was God. He was merely acknowledging the fact that He was also a man. Jesus is both God and man. As a man, he was in a lesser position than the Father because he had added to Himself human nature (Col. 2:9) and was made under the Law (Gal. 4:4). He became a man to die for people (1 Cor. 15:1-4).
A comparison of difference of position can be found in the marriage relationship. Biblically, a husband is greater in position and authority than his wife. He is her head (Eph. 5:23); but, he is no different in nature, and he is not better than she. They share the same nature, being human; and they work together by love and commitment to the Lord.
So, Jesus was not denying that He was God. He was simply acknowledging that He was also a man; and as a man, he was subject to the laws of God so that He might redeem those who were under the law, namely, sinners (Gal. 4:4-5).
- Phil. 2:5-8, "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
- Col. 2:9, "For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form."
- Gal. 4:4-5, "But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons."
- Heb. 2:9, "But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone."