Many Christians consider it blasphemy to imply that Jesus was only a man. But the word Trinity is not in the Bible. Furthermore, numerous Bible scriptures even in John’s gospel indicate that Jesus was only a human being rather than being God.
Fellow Christians, please read the article before accusing this writer of heresy.
Unity and the Trinity
The issue of the Trinity is one of the biggest obstacles to accepting Christianity for many in other major monotheistic religions, such as Islam and Judaism. Even some Christian denominations do not accept the doctrine of the Trinity. This article is written in the hope of helping unite Christians and making us more effective in witnessing to nonbelievers.
It is sad that disputes continue over whether or not Jesus was God. Fortunately, the more time Christians devote to loving and caring for others, the less time is wasted in divisive debates.
Let’s make the world a better place by helping others. Let’s follow Paul’s advice in II Timothy 2:14 to “. . . strive not about words to no profit. . .” (King James Version [KJV]). Maybe this article can help resolve some of the controversy over words.
To help individuals appreciate how even many Christians can reject the divinity of Jesus, the article focuses on several quotes from the book of John. Many consider John to be the greatest book in the Bible.
Analyzing Some Quotes from the Book of John
This writer does not believe God needs to pray. If God did pray, whom would God pray to? But Jesus prayed regularly. Thus, rather than being God, Jesus was God’s son who prayed to God frequently. John 17 cites one of Jesus’ many prayers. John 17:3 states “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (KJV) Thus Jesus was “sent” by God rather than being God.
Also, instead of calling himself God, Jesus referred to himself as “son of man.” He did this numerous times. But, this does not mean he is not the “son of God,” since the two terms are not mutually exclusive. In fact, God is the creator of us all, and in a sense the Father of us all. As John 1:12 states, all believers receive “. . . power to become the sons of God. . .” (KJV) Thus we Christians are all sons of God. But there is a major difference between being the “son of God,” and being God. This is one area where misconceptions arise.
Fellow Christians, please consider what John states on the issue rather than being too dogmatic in support of the doctrine of the Trinity. The book of John provides much evidence to oppose the idea of Jesus being God.
John details many miracles Jesus performed: raising the dead, healing the sick, feeding multitudes with very limited food, etc. But, Jesus did not claim to do these on his own, instead crediting God his Father. Jesus stated clearly that he could do nothing were it not for God his Father, stating in John 5:19 “. . .The Son can do nothing of himself. . .” (KJV)
Jesus makes it even clearer that he is a man and not God in John 8:40 which states “But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God. . .” (KJV) Jesus is only a man telling the truth about God — though in this writer’s opinion the most influential man who ever lived.
After Jesus is crucified and resurrected, in John 20:17 Jesus told Mary to “. . . go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (KJV) Thus, he is not calling himself God, stating instead that he is going home to God.
However, even though Jesus was not God, as a righteous man seeking to obey God, Jesus could pray to God his Father and receive guidance through the Holy Spirit. Thus Jesus relayed the words of God his Father. In this sense, Jesus spoke for God on many occasions. Therefore, Jesus says in John 14:9 “. . . he that hath seen me hath seen the Father . . .” (KJV) So though Jesus was not God, in a sense those who saw and heard Jesus were hearing God, as the Holy Spirit directed Jesus’ thoughts, words, and actions.
As Jesus states in John 12:49: “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.”
It is important to point out as this discussion about John ends that it is always dangerous to quote scripture, because it is very easy to take verses out of context to mislead people. And, of course, for unbelievers the Bible is not a credible source, so what the Bible says may be irrelevant to them. But, the quotes used from John demonstrate that the concept of Jesus being only a man rather than being God is well supported in scripture.
Persons who seek to use John or other gospels to prove Jesus’ divinity seem in this writer’s opinion to be only citing a few select scriptures out of context in contrast to the numerous scriptures that refer to Jesus’ humanity. Perhaps 70 or 80 or more times Jesus calls himself “son of Man,” in addition to other references to himself as “son” or “son of God.” Does Jesus even once call himself God?
The author hopes this piece has helped persons who accept the Trinity to rethink their beliefs or at least appreciate how other Christians can believe differently. Maybe the article can also help Christians interact more effectively with Muslims, Jews, and others who accept monotheism, but cannot comprehend the Trinity.
Even more important, if we Christians focus on various areas of ministry to others such as feeding the poor, caring for the disabled, helping widows and orphans, and doing other good deeds, persons will respect us and have a positive view about our faith. This then presents opportunities to share the gospel. But, we must be sure to do so in a loving way that unites the faith on its common beliefs, rather than teaching a divisive doctrine to potential new believers that may lead them to either reject the faith or to unfairly condemn those of other denominations and faiths.
Please, let’s demonstrate love for all as Jesus taught. By living a life of compassionate love we can attain joy and success that will lead others to ask what the source of our fulfillment is. Then we can witness in love about the gospel. But, as we do so, let’s avoid needless controversies over the doctrine of the Trinity. Use God’s word to build up others!
When we do, we will enjoy God’s blessings!
SOURCE: All Bible quotations are taken from the King James Version (KJV) of 1611, which is in the public domain.