If Jesus Was God the Father, Why Did He Pray to God the Father?
Last week you answered someone’s questions regarding Jesus asking about the cup being removed, if possible. My question is if Jesus is the Father (God with us), then why did He pray to the Father while here on earth? Wouldn’t that be like He is praying to Himself?
“If” Jesus is the Father? Did I read that question right? And are you kidding me? This is basic Christianity 101. As it’s written:
Joh 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
If Christ Himself said He was the Father, then He was indeed the Father. He was God incarnate, or my faith in Him is worthless. In other words, He was God Almighty, spiritually inhabiting a flesh body. To disbelieve that would make me a non-Christian.
And for an Old Testament witness to the same fact:
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.
As you can see, the “Prince of Peace” and the “everlasting Father” are one and the same individual. The Son and the “mighty God” are One and the same person. These are all offices (so to speak) of the same individual — our heavenly Father. After all, there’s only one God.
And for another New Testament witness:
Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
The Godhead — which means the full and complete divinity of God Almighty — dwelt (and still dwells) in the body of Jesus Christ. God lived (and still lives) within Christ’s body.
Let’s take one more witness to this simple, Biblical fact:
Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Heb 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
The “brightness of His glory” dwells inside of the flesh man, Jesus Christ, meaning Christ was made the flesh receptacle for the Father’s glory. God fully dwelt in Him.
What’s more, Christ carried the “express image of His person,” meaning He was an exact copy of what God actually looks like. (After all, He was God’s Son.)
So we see, clearly, by all of these verses, that Christ was God incarnate — God in the flesh. His flesh body carried God’s DNA (so to speak)…God’s very Spirit…and God’s very resemblance — to a “T,” as we used to say. “For in Him dwelleth all of the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”
That fact should now be indisputably seared into your conscience. Christ and God are one.
The Word Was With God, and Yet It Was God
I’ll get to the praying part of your question, in just a minute. But let’s take this one step further, by going to chapter 1 of the great book of John:
Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The Word was “with God,” and yet, at the very same time, the Word “was God.” So we have two things here: God, and God’s Word. And they’re both one and the same. The Word is “with” God. Yet the Word is God.
Is that too difficult to understand? If so, think about it for a minute:
After all, your own word is always with you. Right? And simultaneously, your word can be sent forth to represent you to others. People know you by your word. People judge you by your word. People see you in terms of your word. People either respect, or fear, or completely ignore you, based largely upon your word.
So, in essence, you and your word are one, just as God and His Word are one. That shouldn’t be too hard to understand. Your word represents you to others. Likewise, God’s Word represents Him to others.
And God sent forth His Word — His very self — into this world, putting it into a tabernacle of flesh, so we could better hear and understand His message of salvation to us.
This, much as you, too, can send forth your word to others. When you holler to your neighbor across the street, you’re sending forth your word to him. Or, when you write a letter to a loved one, you’re sending forth your word to that loved one.
Or, likewise, when you pick up the telephone and talk with someone, you’re sending forth your word to them. Or, when you use technology such as internet social media, or email, you’re sending forth your word, to others, to represent you to them.
If you so choose, you can even send forth your word and your image to others, by Skype, or by other such internet-based technologies that broadcast not only audio, but video, too.
In short, thanks to technology, you can be in one place, and your image and your voice (word) can be in quite another, representing you — even somewhere on the other side of the world!
Point being, your word is always with you. Yet, you can simultaneously send it forth to others, so it’s with them, too. It’s with you. And yet, it’s with them, too, because you sent it forth to them.
The difference between you and God the Father is that He can send forth His Word and place it into a tent of flesh, to speak with us, directly.
He can, and did, manifest His Word — which the first verse of John chapter 1 tells us is His very self — in human form.
So yes, chapter 1 of the great book of John tells us that God and His Word are one. Yet it also reveals that He’s nevertheless capable of sending forth His Word wherever He wants, and manifesting it however He wants, even as He sits on the throne in heaven.
As it’s written:
Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
The Word — which the first verse of John chapter 1 tells us was “with God,” and yet simultaneously “was God” — was sent to us by God, and manifested to us in a flesh body we call Jesus Christ.
In essence, God Almighty dwelt inside of the flesh body we call Jesus Christ. Let’s take this even another step forward…
God Dwells Inside of Us, As Well…
God dwelled inside of Christ. But think about this: Ever since Christ’s resurrection, God dwells inside of Christians, as well, through what we refer to as the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. As it’s written:
I Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
God’s Holy Spirit of wisdom and understanding dwells within us. Yet we still pray to Him on His throne in heaven, even though He’s in-dwelling right here with us. Think about that.
So why do we pray to God the Father on His throne, in heaven, even though He dwells within each of us? Because His throne is precisely where He accepts prayers from. Let’s take a look at a few verses that verify this.
As it’s written:
Psa 141:2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Our earthly prayers rise to the Father on His throne, much as the beautiful scent of incense rises from the earth into the heavens when it’s being burnt. As it’s again written:
Rev 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
Our prayers are collected, and held, at God’s throne. Once again, it’s written:
Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
Rev 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
In short, the Scripture assures us that each of our earthly prayers ascend to Him in heaven — to His very throne — and are collected there, individually, in a process likened to capturing the sweet smell of rising incense (i.e., perfume) in special vials designed specifically for that purpose (Revelation 5:7-8).
Sounds a bit like a heavenly, high-tech recording device, to me. But the point is that your heavenly Father likes hearing the sound of your voice, and revels in hearing the tone of your faithful, obedient and thankful spirit. So He saves up your prayers, and mine, just as we might save a loved one’s written or recorded messages to us.
Praying to Father in Heaven Even Though He’s Here With Us
Remember, it was Christ Himself who taught us to pray, “Our Father, who art in heaven…”
Yet it still throws us, intellectually, that Father could inhabit a flesh man on earth, for our benefit, and simultaneously be seated on His throne in heaven, and accept prayers there, from that same flesh man, Jesus, as He prayed on our behalves.
And conversely, it throws us for a loop to think that the flesh man, Jesus, could pray to the Father on His throne in heaven, on our behalves, even while the Father dwelt within Him on this earth.
But why does this trip us up?
I honestly don’t see what’s so hard to understand about it.
As a Christian, God dwells in me (and you), too, through His Word and through His Holy Spirit of wisdom and understanding.
But when I pray to the Father, I don’t sit there cross-legged, looking down at my navel, and pray to my belly, knowing that God is inside me through the in-dwelling of His Holy Spirit.
Instead, I direct my prayers to Him on His throne of judgment and mercy, in heaven, which is where He accepts prayer from. All wise Christians do likewise, even though God dwells inside each one of us.
So Why Not Christ?
So why wouldn’t the flesh man, Jesus Christ, do the same? Why wouldn’t He pray to the Father in heaven, even though the Father dwelt inside of Him, spiritually?
And if Jesus was our flesh brother (which He indeed was; Hebrews 2:11-12), why should He not pray, in that flesh brotherly role, to the Father on His throne in heaven, on our behalves, as our priestly intercessor?
After all, I pray daily to the heavenly Father on His throne, on behalf of my physical brothers and sisters, as well as my spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ. You probably pray to the Father for both your physical and spiritual brothers and sisters, as well.
And Christ did the same, for us, because, as Christians, we’re His brothers and sisters. An example of this would be His great intercessory prayer to the Father, on behalf of the elect, in John chapter 17, where Christ asks the Father to make His followers one with God, as He is:
Joh 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
And how do we, as flesh followers of Jesus Christ, become one with God, as Christ is?
We do so by faithfully joining in with the work of the elect body of Jesus Christ, partaking of God’s Word (which again, represents His very self — John 1:1) on a daily basis, and striving to help bring forth God’s will, which is to save His children from sin and deception through the Gospel message.
The better you get at it, the more like Him you are, which is precisely why St. Paul continuously reminded us that we have the mind of Christ. As it’s written:
1Co 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Php 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Through Christ, and through the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit of God, we’re to be earthly reflections (so to speak) of our heavenly Father and His Word, to those lost in sin and deception.
This, just as Christ was the earthly manifestation of our heavenly Father to us, when the whole world was lost in sin and deception.
So yes, the flesh man, Jesus Christ, prayed to the Father on His throne in heaven, even though the Father in-dwelt Christ’s flesh body. This, just as we, too, pray to the Father on His throne in heaven, even though our heavenly Father in-dwells our flesh bodies.
Regards in Christ,
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