If Jesus Is God That’s Really Quite Odd, Since God the Father He Would Call “My God”

If Jesus Is God That’s Really Quite Odd, Since God the Father He Would Call “My God” August 8, 2013

Most Christians believe Jesus is God because that is what the institutional church has taught. And it has asserted that if anyone does not believe Jesus is God, that person is not a genuine Christian. But the Bible never supports this assertion.

For example, the Bible states repeatedly that Jesus had a God, he prayed to his God, and he worshiped his God. Since the Bible constantly proclaims there is numerically only one God, which Jesus affirms, Jesus having a God is prime proof he wasn’t God.

The New Testament (NT) evidence that Jesus had a God is in the Gospel of John, the Apostle Paul’s letters, and the book of Revelation. And, in most of this sacred writ, it is Jesus himself who is quoted as saying he has a God whom he called “the/my Father.”

The first NT evidence that Jesus had a God, and that he worshipped his God, appears in the narrative about Jesus encountering the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well (John 4.7-26). Now, the Samaritans were half Jew and half Gentile, and they worshiped the God of the Bible. But they disputed with Jews about the proper place on earth to worship God. They claimed it was their Mount Gerizim, and Jews insisted it was their Temple Mount at Jerusalem. When Jesus revealed to the woman that he was a prophet, she posed this question about the proper place of worship. Jesus replied by saying of the Samaritans, “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (vv. 22-24).* When Jesus said, “we worship what we know,” he included himself among the true worshipers of God. And notice that he called God “the Father.”

Jesus also said on the first Easter, only minutes after his resurrection, that he had a God. It was when Mary Magdalene—one of Jesus’ disciples from whom he exorcised seven demons—came with other women early that morning to Jesus’ tomb and discovered it empty (John 20.1-18). She ran and told two of Jesus’ disciples, one being the Apostle Peter and the other probably being the Apostle John. They then ran to the tomb, discovered it empty, and departed. Mary returned to the tomb and apparently became the first disciple who literally saw and conversed with the risen Jesus. We read, “Jesus said to her, ‘Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, “I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God”’” (v. 17). So, the risen Jesus clearly called the Father “My God.” And when Mary Magdalene then ran and told the others of this additional news, she became “the apostle to the apostles.”

Five times the Apostle Paul writes unequivocally of the Father being the God of the Lord Jesus Christ. These texts are as follow:

  •  “glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15.6).
  • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 1.3).
  • “The God and Father of the Lord Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11.31).
  • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1.3).
  • “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory” (Ephesians 1.17).

Six times the book of Revelation describes Jesus Christ as having a God, who is God the Father. Notice that five of them quote Jesus referring to the Father as “My God.” These passages are as follows:

  • Jesus “has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father” (Revelation 1.6).
  • Jesus said, “I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God” (3.2).
  • Jesus said, “I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God (3.12).
  • Jesus added, “and I will write on him the name of My God” (3.12).
  • Jesus added, “and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem” (3.12).
  • Jesus added, “which comes down out of heaven from My God” (3.12).

Four times the Old Testament (OT) says the Davidic Messiah has a God. First, while Jesus hung on the cross he quoted David’s Psalm 22.1 and applied it to himself by crying out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27.46; Mark 15.34). Second, Isaiah foretold much about a righteous Servant of Yahweh (Isaiah 42—53), whom the Apostle Peter implied was Jesus (Acts 3.13; 4.27, 30). Isaiah represented this Servant as saying, “the justice due to Me is with the LORD [=Yahweh], and My reward with My God…. For I am honored in the sight of the LORD, and My God is My strength” (Isaiah 49.4-5). Third, Micah prophesied that the Messiah would be born in “Bethlehem” and become “ruler in Israel” in “the name of the LORD His God” (Micah 5.2, 4).

So, fifteen times the Bible declares unequivocally that Messiah Jesus had a God, whom he said was “the/My Father.” Yet, the Bible never conversely says the Father has a God, much less that he is Jesus. One would expect this if the institutional church has been right about its doctrine of the Trinity, that God is one essence existing as three separate and distinct, co-equal and co-eternal Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, the Johannine Jesus said, “the Father is greater than I” (John 14.28; cf. 10.29), so that they cannot be co-equal; he identified the Father as “the one and only God” (5.44); and he prayed to the Father, calling him “the only true God” (17.3). This last saying of Jesus is probably the strongest biblical evidence that only the Father is God so that Jesus is not God.

With such overwhelming evidence that God the Father is the God of Jesus Christ, it is biblically incorrect and quite incoherent to identify Jesus as God. Moreover, it is morally irresponsible for the church to reject people as genuine Christians only because they don’t believe Jesus is God. Paul clearly states, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10.9). So, if anyone truly believes in the resurrected Jesus as their Lord and Savior, that person is a born-again Christian regardless of whether s/he believes that Jesus is God.

(This post is a condensation of portions of my book, The Restitution of Jesus Christ.)

*All scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible.


To see a list of titles of 130+ posts (2-3 pages) that are about Jesus not being God in the Bible, with a few about God not being a Trinity, at Kermit Zarley Blog click “Chistology” in the header bar. Most are condensations of my book, The Restitution of Jesus Christ. See my website servetustheevangelical.com, which is all about this book,  with reviews, etc. Learn about my books and purchase them at kermitzarley.com. I was a Trinitarian for 22 years before reading myself out of it in the Bible.

"I agree that people should welcome modifications of the physical human condition, to the extent ..."

Many Christians Will Oppose Transhumanism
"Many Christians will also embrace Transhumanism. The Mormon Transhumanist Association was founded in 2006. And ..."

Many Christians Will Oppose Transhumanism
"RE eschatology--I think bro Wright does expect a future coming of Christ, with resurrection of ..."

Tom Wright Calls for Theologians and ..."
"Tom Wright says Jesus did not know he was God. Quite omniscient of Jesus I ..."

Tom Wright Calls for Theologians and ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Caleb Heaven

    which version of the Bible are u using?
    Are you saying that Jesus Christ our Saviour reference to His Father as “God” does not make He Himself God.
    Read Hebrews 1 my dear friend

    • Andrew A

      Dear Mr Heaven,I do not respond to you in the place of Kermit,since he has his own opinions.But I respond to you about my opinion of Heb.1.
      And I think it a very good question that you bring up in this chapter for truly Lord Jesus in this chapter,Heb1:8 is called God-Elohim,Ps45:7-that is plural of the great God El from which even Jehovah came forth.
      Thus in Heb 1:8 Jesus is Elohim-a member of El, in the council of Gods,even the Elohim-the us that created man is his own image,Gen1:26.

      Yet in Heb 1:9 we find that this God has a God.Thus this God called Jesus Christ, who is the exact representation of the Fathers being and sustains all by his powerful word1:3 is both the Son of God and a God himself.

      • Caleb Heaven

        I agree with u Mr Andrews.
        sorry about how I replied u earlier

  • Agatha Robinson

    Does Jesus cast out demons in the name of God? No. He has the authority to cast out demons in his OWN name (Mark 1:24-25). John 1:1 says, “In the beginning, Th Word was with God, and THE WORD WAS GOD.” The Word, was in fact Jesus. In verse 14 John states that “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” Jesus himself refers to himself as “I AM,” (John 8:58) and the pharisees pick up stones to stone him for blasphemy. In chapter 10 of John verse 30, Jesus says “I and the father are one.”
    John 4:25-26 says, “The woman said to him, ‘I know that the Messiah is coming (He who is called the Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am HE.’ ” Is that not clear enough?

  • kzarley

    The NT never says Jesus cast out demons by uttering his name. That wasn’t necessary because of his very presence. It’s only for his people to do. On Jn 8.58, see my article on that at ServetusTheEvangelical.com. On Jn 10.30, see my reply to John Hickey at the October 23, 2013 post or, better yet, read my post on it by finding it in Categories. Regarding Jn 4, the issue mentioned is Jesus’ messiahship, not if he is God. That is, “I who speak to you am he,” meaning he is the Messiah.

  • Agatha Robinson

    1 John 5:7-8 – “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”

    Jesus never does cast out a demon in his own name, or in any one’s name. But he merely says to the demon, “Silence! Come out of him!” Who but God has this authority?
    1 Timothy 2:5 – “For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”

    “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” — Philipians :5-8

    In this passage in Philipians, we see that He “existed in the form of God” and emptied himself, becoming obedient even to the point of death, and humbled himself, so of course The Father is greater than He.
    Romans 10:9, how can Jesus be Lord and Savior, yet not be God. Yes, if you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, you shall be saved. But there is more. John 8:24 says it.
    John 8:24 –“I said therefore, that you will die in your sins; FOR UNLESS YOU BELIEVE THAT I AM HE, YOU WILL DIE IN YOUR SINS.”
    Note: In the Greek, “He” is not there.
    I’m not trying to be a dooms-day prophet, but I must be honest. Saying that Jesus isn’t God is blasphemy.
    In relationship to the “messiah” question in Jn 4, Jesus says that he is the Messiah. Isaiah 9:6 says that The Messiah will come, “and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, ALMIGHTY GOD, EVERLASTING FATHER, and Prince of Peace.” I know that this is a very popular, and well known Christmas Carol, but please, focus on the words of the familiar tune. “Wonderful, Couselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.” If Jesus wasn’t (actually isn’t is the more correct term, being as He is alive:-)) God, then who was he, and when will the Messiah come? The Old Testament says that he would come, and that He would be God. So, if Jesus isn’t God, then the Messiah didn’t come. Isaiah would be a liar, and moreover, God would be a liar since He put the words in the mouth and pen of Isaiah and all of the Old Testament prophets.
    Please, please do the research, and honestly, I could go on and on about this matter, because i believe it with my whole heart, that Jesus Christ is Lord. And, one more point; the word “Lord” in the Romans 9:10 passage, is actually translated from the Greek word kurios, meaning ‘master,’ and is translated from Hebrew name for God, Yahweh, Adonai. Just a little trivia 🙂 Please look into it, and I will be praying for you!

    • kzarley

      Lady, you’re telling me to “do the research”? I think you’ve got it backwards. Read my book entitled The Restitution of Jesus Christ. It’s 600 pages and cites over 400 scholars.

      • Agatha Robinson

        I apologize for sounding like I know more than you, I didn’t mean for it to sound like that. I know you have studied, and so I am not trying to be-little you.

  • Agatha Robinson

    1 Colossians 2:2, 2:9
    🙂 Jesus’s diety

    • kzarley

      It’s not 1 Colossians but Colossians. And Col 2.2 is irrelevant to the subject. Most scholars cite Col 1.19 and 2.9 as relevant to this subject of whether of Jesus is deity. In my book, The Restitution of Jesus Christ, I address Col 1.19 and 2.9. I’ve written on this in one or more short articles you can read online, but I can’t recall exactly which. My servetustheevangelical.com website has fifty articles which are condensations of my RJC book, and you can read all of them there by clicking on “Articles.” One that comes close to your question is “Does Paul Call Jesus ‘God’?”

  • Agatha Robinson

    Would you consider Jesus to be an “honest Man?” If you do,then you contradict yourself. If Jesus was an honest man, and only an honest man being used as a tool for God, than he would have not let his disciples worship him. Even the Angel in the book of Revelations did not let John worship him, but Jesus did. Jesus didn’t rebuke any man or woman who fell at His feet in worship. If Jesus was an honest man, He would not have allowed this to occur; He would have stopped, because he knew that God is the only One to be worshiped.

    • kzarley

      Look in Archives and see my post on 9/11/13, “Was Jesus God Because He Was Worshipped?” The question centers on how the word proskuneo in the Greek New Testament was used, thus what it means.

      • Agatha Robinson

        You cannot possibly be an honest man, and still accept worship. The bible clearly says that Jesus had not sin in him (1 Peter 2:21–22) , therefore implying that he had to have been honest.

        • Agatha Robinson

          Thomas called Jesus God outright, and Jesus affirmed it.

          Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” -Jn 20:27-29
          Here we can inject some C.S. Lewis, one of my favorite authors. He says that “Jesus was either Liar, Lunatic, or Lord.” Well, we know that he was not a liar, because the bible clearly says that he was born sinless, was blameless, never committed a crime, so he wasn’t a liar. Lunatic… well his family said about him “he has lost his mind,” and he opposed this. The pharisees said that he had a demon, but he turned on them as well. insane people don’t talk the way that Jesus did,let alone live out what he taught. I’ve had to deal with several insane people. Jesus wasn’t insane.
          This leaves us with the last option, he must be Lord. And this definition of Lord is God.

  • Agatha Robinson

    What about in Isaiah where he says, “His name shall be called, Wonderful Counselor, ALMIGHTY GOD, EVERLASTING FATHER, and Prince of peace?” Isaiah was clearly talking about Jesus, because he said “for unto us a child is born, unto us a child is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders.”

    What about Micah 5:2? “But you, Bethlehem Ephratha, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you, one shall come forth for me to be Ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, even from the days of Eternity.” How is someone who is not God to come from long ago, ‘even from the days of eternity?’

    Isaiah 7:14, “Behold! A virgin will be with child, and shall bear a son and she shall call his name Imanuel.” Imanuel meaning “God is with us.” i believe it means literally that God is with us in the flesh, mortal, and yet immortal.

    Why else would Jesus need to be born of a virgin? He was born of a virgin so that he would not have the seed of man (and so of sin) in his flesh. If he was born of Joseph, the people would be able to say that he was a liar, and a lunatic and they would be correct. Mind, they said this anyways. But, he called God “His Father,” because he was not of man’s seed. We cannot deny a physical connection between Jesus and Mary his mother, for if he were not born of a woman, he wouldn’t have been fully human as we clearly see that he was. his human body was what he got from his mother, the vessel in God’s hands. He was as much of his father as of his mother. we know that. He calls God his Father because God impregnated Mary with the seed of the Holy Spirit.

    John 10:30, Jesus says ” I and the Father are one.” several times in the book of John does Jesus refer to him and god being one. John 17:11 is one of those verses; “11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one.”

  • kzarley

    I address this in my RJC book. El gibbor in Isa 9.6 should be translated “mighty warrior” or words to that effect, as Martin Luther translated them, rather than “mighty God.” It also fits the context about the Messiah in Isa 9.5 and 11.4. See my 2-page article on it at my Servetus website by using this URL: http://servetustheevangelical.com/doc/Is_Jesus_the_Mighty_God_in_Isaiah_9.6.pdf
    Olam in Mic 5.2 does not mean eternity (see B. Waltke, Micah, pp. 276-77) refers to the origin of the Messiah being from long ago compared to when he comes forth to be the ruler of Israel by overthrowing “the Assyrian(s)” (Mic 5.5; the Antichrist will be an Assyrian; Isa 19.12; 14.25; 31.8). Since that refers to the second coming, it will be more than 2,000 year between Jesus birth and when he will rule Israel, thus “long ago.”
    Same for Isa 7.14. see my 2-page article among the 50 “Articles” at my servetustheevangelical.com website. “God with us” means God was with Jesus. Jesus did not possess immortality until his resurrection. Only God, who is the Father, innately possesses immortality (1 Tim 1.7; 6.16), and he gives it to whomever he chooses. So far he has given it only to Jesus (Jn 5.26) at his resurrection.
    You’re mixed up about Jesus calling God his Father and that that proves he is God. We Christians call God our Father because Jesus taught us to, and that doesn’t indicate we were conceived/born from other than human seed.
    In Jn 10.30 Jesus means he and the Father are unified in purpose, as v. 29 indicates. Then Jesus explains in v. 38 what he means in v. 30 by teaching them the Mutual Indwellling–“the Father is in me, and I am in the Father,” as he further says in Jn 14.9-11 when he says, “if you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” He doesn’t mean he is the Father, but the Father is in him” and therefore he is like the Father. To say that Jesus means in v. 30 that he is one in essence with the Father, thus Jesus is God, as many traditionalists have claimed, then he had to mean in 17.10 that we also are one essence with the Father and thus gods.