If God spoke to John about Jesus at His baptism, doesn't this disprove the idea of a Trinity?

Email Received:

I'm learning about the Bible and have some issues with the Trinity. In Matthew 3:17, John the Baptist heard the voice of God from heaven say, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." If God spoke to John about Jesus at His baptism, doesn't this disprove the idea of a Trinity?

Ted's Response:

With God the Father speaking from heaven and with Jesus the Son being on earth, it sounds like you are assuming that they are two separate individuals. Therefore, you feel that Jesus could not be God.

I understand the difficulty that many have in comprehending the triune nature of God. If someone talks to us about someone else, we perceive that they are two different people with separate identities, not the same person. Likewise, in the case of Matthew 3:17, some may see God and Jesus as being two distinct and discrete individuals.

I may not be able to convince you that Jesus was God by anything that I say. That is a reality that each person must come to in his/her own mind and heart. I only can give you some of the reasons why I am absolutely convinced that Jesus was (and is) God and assure you that I never will be convinced otherwise.

God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness..." (Genesis 1:26a). We were made in His multiple image and likeness, in the sense that we have a triune nature as He does, although we are not little "gods"; He is the only true God.

We know that our own nature is composed of a spirit, a soul, and a body. All of these occupy the same location in space because our spirit and our soul are contained within our body. However, God is so much higher and more complex than we are that we cannot fully comprehend His true essence.

Our three parts—spirit, soul, body—cannot be in more than one place at the same time. However, the three facets of God—Father, Holy Spirit, Jesus—are able to dissociate from each other and occupy different places at the same time. They are not three separate "people"; they are three natures of the same multifarious Person, God.

God's essence is described by the Hebrew word echad, which indicates a compound, unified, integrated unit. He has multiple components operating as one single Entity. More about this can be found in the single and multiple section of my Who Is God? commentary.

When Jesus walked the earth, He was the physical manifestation of God. That is, He was God in human likeness (Philippians 2:5-7). He was the visible image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15a); furthermore, by Jesus all things were created and are held together (1:16,17). In essence, Jesus was the "arms" and "hands" of the Father that He used to create everything. So Jesus, the physical manifestation of God, is the Creator and Sustainer of all things.

In Christ, all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form (Colossians 2:9). God appeared in a body of flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). The Father referred to Jesus as His Son, told all the angels to worship Him, and called His Son "God" (Hebrews 1:5,6,8). The Messiah (Jesus) was referred to as "Mighty God" and even as "Everlasting Father" (Isaiah 9:6), and Jesus said that He and the Father are one (John 10:30).

God is called "the first and the last" (Isaiah 44:6). Jesus equated Himself with God when He said that He was "the Alpha and the Omega" and "the Beginning and the End" (Revelation 21:6), as well as "the First and the Last" (22:13). Jesus is a facet of God, just as the Father and the Holy Spirit are facets of God.

Speaking about Jesus, the apostle John referred to Him as "the Word" of God and noted that He was God and was with God in the beginning (John 1:1,2). John also noted that He (Jesus/God) became flesh and dwelled among us (1:14). More examples of why Jesus was God can be found in my Was Jesus God? commentary.

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