I’ve been talking to a coworker who is a Jehovah’s Witness. She wrote a bit about why she thinks the Jesus and Jehovah are not the same. She said a lot about how Jesus prayed to God, but Jehovah never did or never had to (which is kinda ridiculous because we don’t see Jehovah of the Old Testament as man like Jesus so we wouldn’t know if He prayed to the Father, especially since prayer is communication and they obviously have that). Yet I am having a hard time figuring out why Jesus did pray to the Father in John 17 and other passages that show the Father having different authority than the Son. I think I’m getting confused now about what the Trinity is in essence. I mean I understand that Trinity isn’t recorded in scripture but understanding the relationship of the three being one is difficult. I guess I’m realizing I don’t have what I thought I knew now that I’m trying to explain it. Any direction you can help me with would be great. I did review a bit of your John study on chapter 17:1-5 and 14:28.
Well, the thing in this case was that the Lord had emptied Himself, and taken upon Himself the form of a servant. As Hebrews 10:7 says of Him, “7. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’” The Lord had come to serve the Father, and so He acted that out in His life on earth. Thus His attitude of submission.
As far as prayer, that there is communication within the Godhead is not a strange thing. Even as people, there are times when we mull things over with ourselves, presenting to ourselves one thought and then another and trying to decide what we think of them. Plus, remember the prayer/prophecy principle. Why does God ever inspire prayers at all? Well, many reasons, but one is to let us know what He is indeed going to do. The Lord was the extension of the Father. As such, He needed to keep in constant communion and fellowship with His Source.
I was just listening to a pretty good message by Paul Washer, at the end of which he talked about several ways of dealing with Jehovah’s Witnesses. http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=127091239527
One thing Paul said that I think was really profound is that he points out that these Jehovah’s Witnesses will argue about a thing like this, basically, how could Jesus pray to God if He is God? They can’t understand it. So since they can’t understand it, they ignore or explain away the passages that tell them that it is true. Well, just because we can’t grasp it or it doesn’t quite make logical sense to us does not mean that it is not true, especially when we are told it is true by Scripture. I’m sorry if it doesn’t make sense to you, but if the Bible says it, it’s true. Maybe the problem is that we just are not quite capable of understanding it completely. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t true or that we shouldn’t believe it. There are plenty of things we can’t explain…like God’s omnipresence, or the fact that in Him everything consists, and in Him we live and move and have our being…but just because we don’t completely understand them does not mean they are untrue.
The idea of the God being three in one is a difficult thing, being something that is not really part of our common, everyday experience. Beyond showing them the passages that show it is true, you cannot force someone to believe. I think you probably know some of the arguments…God our Savior and Jesus Christ our Savior in Titus…Jehovah saying there is no Savior besides Him in the very passage they use to get their name, Isaiah 43:10-11, and Jesus Christ being called the Savior in the New Testament. There are plenty of other arguments that could be made.