Part 11 Answering objections: Mark 13:32 and John 14:28

I am going examine some of the Biblical passages Jehovah’s Witnesses use when they knock at your door.  They feel these scriptures are strong evidence for not believing in the doctrine of the Trinity.  Understanding how to answer these passages will strengthen your beliefs and enable you to refute their challenges.

As I studied the verses I knew I couldn’t remember each solution so I wrote the answers in the margins of my Bible. When a Jehovah’s Witness came to my door I would ask him if I could get my Bible.  Each time he asked me to turn to one of his favorite passages, as he read it I would review my notes at the top of the page. I was then able to give a solid answer.  Writing notes in the margin is similar to study Bibles that have notes at the bottom of the page to help explain the meaning of the verses.  Over time I learned how to answer without looking at the notes in the margins.

When studying these passages remember the Bible teaches Jesus is fully God and fully man.  At times Jesus is referred to in his humanity and other times in his divinity.  In his humanness we see weaknesses that are not present in His divinity.  The human Jesus got hungry, the divine Jesus did not; the human Jesus got tired, the divine Jesus did not.  Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus was only human while on earth and the weaknesses demonstrate he was not God. I will show the Bible teaches otherwise.

The following passages can be difficult; this is why they use them.  They want you to doubt the doctrine of the Trinity.  Later I will present scriptures that strongly support the Trinity.

  • Mark 13:32 Jesus gave a prophecy about the end of this system of things. “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

 PROBLEM:  Jehovah’s Witnesses say because Jesus lacks knowledge of the end times he cannot be God.

SOLUTION:  Jesus is one person with 2 natures, fully human and fully divine.  In this passage we see Jesus operating from the vantage point of his humanity.  The human Jesus did not possess all knowledge.   And yet at other times we see scripture affirm he is all knowing.  In John 21:17 Peter says to Jesus, “Lord you know all things.”  Other passages that demonstrate Jesus has all knowledge include John 2:25 and John 16:30. Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, as God possessed all knowledge; Jesus as a man limited his knowledge.

  • John 14:28 Jesus said: “The Father is greater than I.”

PROBLEM:   Jehovah’s Witnesses say this shows that Jesus is a lesser god and therefore, cannot be Almighty God.

SOLUTION:  John uses the word greater instead of better.  The word better would have implied that the Father had a superior or different nature than Jesus.  The divine Jesus humbled himself by taking on a human nature and living on earth (Phil. 2:6-8; Heb.2:9).  He pointed to the Fathers’ greater position in heaven.  Pharaoh in Egypt had the same human nature as Joseph but said his position was greater (Gen. 41:40).  When I talk with Jehovah’s Witnesses I use the example of the President of the United States.  He is greater than me in position but equal to me in human nature.  The Father is greater than Jesus in position but equal in nature.  The Apostle Paul writes, Philip. 2:6-8 (NASB)  “…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.”  These verses teach that even though Jesus was fully God [existed in the form of God] as a human he didn’t desire equal position to the Father as something to be grasped or held onto.  Therefore, in his humanness he can say the Father is greater than I.   

Go to part 12 here

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