The UK Bible Students Website
Question: Explain the words of Jesus in John 17: 5 (NIV-UK):
Answer: This verse occurs in the opening portion of what is generally known as Jesus’ high-priestly prayer (vs. 1-26), in which He gives thanks to the Father and commits the disciples to His Father’s care. It follows Jesus’ discourse to His disciples after they had eaten the Last Supper and left the upper room.
Firstly, Jesus confirms His pre-existence – that He had lived in the Father’s presence long ages before He was born into human nature (John 1: 1, 2).
However, after His resurrection, God ‘exalted him to the highest place’ (the Divine nature), greater than the position He had before (Philippians 2: 9-11).
This second element is consistent with the unitarian view of God: that He is one and above all, and is therefore distinctly separate from Jesus, His Son. This is why John 17: 5 reads like a conversation of a son with a father.
Were Jesus the ‘second
Person’ of a Trinity, and therefore ‘co-equal’ with God the Father, He could
not have been exalted any higher.
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