John's Gospel

The Way It Happened

John 20:17, The Christology of John

Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ”

//John’s Gospel is recognized as the gospel with the highest Christology–that is, the gospel which describes Jesus in the most divine terms. John bluntly equates Jesus with God, and though scholars have uncovered hints in the other three gospels in that direction, none is so forthright as John’s Gospel.

Oddly, at the same time, John also speaks of Jesus in quite human terms, and even distances Jesus from God! Today’s verse provides a good example. Even after the resurrection, Jesus does not claim Godship, but rather states that he is returning to God. This hardly fits with the idea that the author was intent on portraying Jesus as God.

So, while few Bible readers need help finding the verses in John that equate Jesus with God, it might be interesting here to list a few which seem to contradict that idea.

John 7:12: Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.” Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” It seems odd that the two predominant opinions about Jesus was that he was either a good man or a deceiver. If Jesus taught that he was God (as all of the signs in John seem to imply) then the two opinions should be that he is either God or a deceiver.

John 14:28: “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. Jesus’ self-depreciation hardly seems consistent with the idea that he shares Godship with the Father.

John 17:7-8: Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. Thus Jesus gets his words from the Father. Why would this be necessary if he shared in the Godhead?

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