Aloha Friday Message – May 10, 2019 – One is the only number

1919AFC051019 – One is the only number

    John 10: 27-30 27My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”

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May blessing always be with you and may God bless you, Belovéd! Today we will spend a few moments looking at something one often misses. It’s one of those verses that one sees, reads, hears, … and often ignores. We will be looking at one of the root words, too, but I’ll try not to get too carried away on that one. In fact, ONE is the word for The Word today.

It’s that last statement, verse 30, that we often slide past without a second thought. The Father and I are one. But how can that be? Some folks argue that Jesus himself said there are things the Father knows but the Son, and they cite Mark 13:32 32 But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father as proof. A parallel passage with a different emphasis is in Matthew 24:36 36 But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. That phase, nor the Son, complicates things because it gives the appearance of scriptural discrepancy. How can Jesus and the Father be one if Jesus doesn’t know what the Father know?  Let’s look at the idea of “ONE” in some other passages and then come back to that question.

The first and most obvious place to see God’s oneness is in Deuteronomy 6:4. I’m going to put it here  with some “added emphasis” so you can see how it is recorded in Scripture.

 4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is one.

שְׁמַ֖ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יְהוָ֥ה ׀ אֶחָֽד ׃

Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad.

καὶ ταῦτα τὰ δικαιώματα καὶ τὰ κρίματα ὅσα ἐνετείλατο κύριος τοῗς υἱοῗς Ισραηλ ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ ἐξελθόντων αὐτῶν ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου ἄκουε Ισραηλ κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν κύριος εἷς ἐστιν

(In the Greek – from the Septuagint – shown here, the bold-italicized words are demonstrative pronouns like we recently studied.)

We often find the phrase LORD God – this is YHWH-Elohim. We have records of many names for God. Does that mean that God is actually many gods? We can say with confidence “Most certainly not!” God is ONE and our understanding of his Being is clarified by using descriptors that help us grasp the magnitude of his Majesty. This is one of the many ways God reveals himself to us. YHWH wishes to be known, to be loved, and to be integrated into our lives. That aspect of his Perfect Integrity (he alone is eternally integral) is how we know him best. Let’s look at just a smattering of how God and his prophets showed us his Oneness. There is only one God and that One God is one Entity.

Malachi 2:10 10 Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our ancestors?

Deuteronomy 4:35 35 To you it was shown so that you would acknowledge that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him.

2 Samuel 7:22 22 Therefore you are great, O Lord God; for there is no one like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

1 Chronicles 17:20 20 There is no one like you, O Lord, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

Isaiah 43:10-11 10 You are my witnesses, says the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. 11 I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior.

Thus we say that there is only One God, the LORD God, and God is One. God is intrinsically, inherently, constitutionally, and uniquely singular in his own fundamental nature. As part of his copious revelation to us, he has shown himself to be One that is knowable by his deeds and Presence. He is present to us as a SINGLE Triune God, for he says,

Genesis 1:26 26 Then God said, “Let us make [נַֽעֲשֶׂ֥ה] humankind in our image [בְּצַלְמֵ֖נוּ], according to our likeness [כִּדְמוּתֵ֑נוּ]; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. (The Hebrew words show in brackets, […] are “first-person-plural” verbs – these constructions are not artificial forms put together after the realization of the Triune Nature of God. They are actually the basis for that understanding.)

Genesis 3:22 22 Then the Lord God said, “See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”

We know that the “Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the waters” (See Genesis 1:2). God is Spirit, and we might also say God has a Spirit. It is one of those ineffable mysteries which only faith can embrace. God himself is One in Essence but Community in Being. To all earthlings this makes no sense at all. The LORD God, however, insists that we accept his own words about His Word who was and is God, was and is with God, and through whom as God all things were created. (See John 1:1-5) Here we come to the realization that what God does, is, and says does not have to be comprehensible in order to be True. In the Synoptic Gospels, many statements of Jesus are recorded which present to believers that fact that Jesus IS God.

Matthew 3:16-17  1And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

John 8:16-19 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid. 18 I testify on my own behalf, and the Father who sent me testifies on my behalf.” 19 Then they said to him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”

John 8:53-58 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets also died. Who do you claim to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, he of whom you say, ‘He is our God,’ 55 though you do not know him. But I know him; if I would say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day; he saw it and was glad.” 57 Then the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” [ has Abraham sent you?] 58 Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

John 10:35-39 35 If those to whom the word of God came were called ‘gods’—and the scripture cannot be annulled— 36 can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39 Then they tried to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands.

John 14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

John 17:18-21 18 As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.

20 “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be [one] in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

John 20:28 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

Further, Jesus emphasizes that it will be the Spirit of God – his Spirit, the same Spirit who hovered over the deep – who will be given to us: John 16:13 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. The Spirit does not “speak on his own” (and that does not mean he won’t “talk about himself” as some try to claim), but speaks what God speaks because the Spirit is God who was with and in God when all things were created (again, back to Genesis 1:2!). Jesus assertions that in the Infinite and Ineffable El Shaddai-Olam the Son is One In the Father, the Father is One in the Son, and the Spirit is One in the Father and the Son. In short:

Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad.

It is not “just unity of will,” it is not “merely different personalities,” it is God in Three Persons as ONE God because as Jesus said of his Father, You, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be [one] in us, and all will be All in One.

Colossians 3:11 11 In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!

1 Corinthians 15:28 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection under him, so that God may be all in all.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.

Just as Jesus and the Holy Spirit perform only the will of God the Father (because, of course, all are God who is One), Jesus knows only that which God says and God said he was not telling anyone what will become the end of all that is ONE.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Belovéd!

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at http://biblehub.com

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

 

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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