RELATIONSHIP WITHIN THE GODHEAD
The Almighty God brought forth from Himself His Son for the purpose of relationship. In relationship with another is self-expression of that which is otherwise self-contained and resident within, but not demonstrated in a tangible manifestation. And so, the Self-existent One determined to unveil Himself, firstly in and with His Son, and then to and through all creation.
THE INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP IN THE GODHEAD
“YHWH possessed me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I have been established from everlasting from the beginning, before there was ever an earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, When there were no fountains .... Before the mountains .... Before the hills, ... I was brought forth;
“Then I was beside Him, as one brought up with Him: And I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, rejoicing in His inhabited world, and my desire was with the sons of men” Proverbs 8:22-25; 30-31 KJV
“No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten of God, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared Him.” John 1:18 Being in the “bosom” of the Father, in such a state of existence, expresses the inherent and eternal relationship which they have together. It conveys the close intimate love they share, and the grammar in this verse denotes an active ongoing relationship which continues as such, in the present tense. He abides in that place in the Father, ever going forth and returning to that grace and love. Tenney says that it denotes “perfect understanding and love. The nature of the invisible God is thus interpreted by One who is qualified to do so through kinship and understanding.” (Zondervan Biblical Encyclopedia)
Because of his unique relationship with the Father, he is able to “declare” Him, or reveal Him. The verb “declare” means to exegete or expound – to explain, interpret or report. It comes from two Greek words which means to 'lead out' (EXEGOMAI ) and 'forth' (EGEOMAI) The word was used for expounding dreams or the interpretation of hidden mysteries, and carries the idea of going before, with words to bring out the meaning. It also means to recount or narrate, to to give an exegesis in the sense of giving spiritual direction.
The Son has led the Father out of the realm of mystery into a visible form for man to be able to understand. He has expressed the Almighty God into the language of a people who have been estranged from Him and thereby has given an exposition of divine mysteries in so doing. He has expressed Him in terms we can understand. Tenney says, “it implies that the interpretation of God by the Word is complete and final for all the needs of man.” He is the complete exegesis of the Almighty!
Vincent writes, “John's meaning is that the Word revealed or manifested and interpreted the Father to men”
Sharing the same essence and glory of the Father, He, as well as the Father, in their shared role, were both Creator and Sustainer of all, the Ever-present One to succour the needs of His created sons.
In summary, we see the Son, because He is of the same kind of Person as the Father, out of the intense relationship which they have, being able to reveal and expound Him to the perceptions of mankind. It was because of this intimacy which He had with the Father that He could represent Him to His creation.
THE SELF-EFFACING SUBJECTION OF THE SON TO THE FATHER
This 'bosom' relationship, as it was in eternity, is referred to in Proverbs 8:30-31 as being that of a Son 'brought up' by Him, in subjection to Him, pleasing Him in all that he did, so that he was a continual delight to the Father. The words translated “brought up with Him” in the KJV have a wealth of meaning in the original Hebrew. The Hebrew word is OMMAN and means a 'steady-handed' one, as that of an artist. The Interlinear translates it as 'master workman', and some give 'architect' as the appropriate meaning, but it conveys much more than that.
The Septuagint version renders “beside Him” as “suiting myself to Him”, and gives an alternative translation to that of, 'arranging all things' to Him. This further illustrates the picture of adapting everything to, and in anticipation of the Father's approval, existing in such a manner as to have his whole consideration toward the Father's desires, and living completely for Him. As the Psalmist voiced it, the Sons' heart is always,
“I delight to do Your will, O my God” Psalm 40:8
It also has the sense of giving certainty and support. The expanded meaning could be given as such: that He, as the foundation of all, having all invested in His power, implemented all His ability to bring forth to the ultimate projection, all His capacities to the fullest expression of the Father and for the Father – and the result? “I was daily His delight”
Self-giving love originated within the Godhead!
The second part of the verse, “rejoicing before Him”; speaks of the reciprocal pleasure in that relationship which resulted from the Son selflessly giving of Himself for the Father. The word “rejoicing” in Hebrew, conveys the idea of something which so burned within that it erupted and burst out of its own volition. Could it be that the Son was so consumed with the passionate desire to please the Father, that it flowed out in every way upon the Father? What a delight to His heart!
The words “before Him”, do not convey the full sense of what is intended here. It is literally 'before His face', or His person, as in respect to His personality/nature, and therefore the intent here is that the Son was rejoicing in every facet of His personality in all that he did for the Father. We could say that the Son was so consumed with the burning desire to exult in the Father, that the passion of it entered into His whole being; and this was “always”, or a continual attitude and experience that He had. The Interlinear translates 'always' as, “at every time', which carries the sense of it being at every season, at every period of time, or on every occasion. The Son always did everything to please the Father.
All the majesty and power of YHWH is founded on self-effacing love!
THE AUTHORITY ENTRUSTED TO THE SON
Because the Son's will was in complete submission to the Father, and His motivation was fully toward pleasing Him and in harmony with His purposes, the Father could invest him with all His power, and position him with the authority to use that power at his own initiative. In essence, His will was the Father's will. And so, the Father poured Himself in all His fullness into His Son, so that the Son might be the manifestation of the Father – His Word, giving expression to the infinite glory of the Father. As the scripture says in Hebrews 1:3, “Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His Person”
In Him was invested the fullness of the Godhead in His eternal state. Paul speaks of him as such, and having in Him “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3, 9). We understand here that Paul is speaking of Him in His re-instated glorified state, as He was with the Father in eternity, but with the one difference, now He has inherited a kingdom and a Name which has been proven to be exalted above all else in creation. The inherent glory of the Father which was/is manifested in the Son, is also borne out in the passage in the allegorical account of Him as “Wisdom”, in Proverbs 8 in verses 12-21.
The Son did not arise to the position of sitting at the Father's right hand after His resurrection. This was given to him before the foundation of the world when He was entrusted with being the Father's instrument in creation and it was into this state of former glory that He returned, after His ascension. In Hebrews it says, “For to which of the angels did He ever say, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You? (i.e. brought You forth) “But to the Son He says, 'Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever'” (verses 5 & 8)
This refers back to the position given Him before the foundation of the world where He brought forth the Word as His Son and positioned Him on His throne, at His own right hand, and called the angels to worship Him. The text establishes here that His position in the beginning was exalted above the angels and goes on in the next verses to talk about the incarnation, when He brought His first-born Son into the world, and again, He was above the angels (verses 6-7). This is a quotation from Psalm 45:2-8 where it speaks of the One at the right-hand of the Father. The position on the throne was allocated to Him forever. This is the former glory to which He returned after His resurrection, after He finished what the Father had given Him to do (John 17:5)
David also quotes YHWH as addressing the One he knew as his Lord (Adon), saying, “YHWH said to My Lord, sit at My right hand until I make your enemies Your footstool.” Psalm 110:1 In verse 5, it says that He is at the right hand of the Father and scripture often speaks of Him as being the 'arm' of YHWH – the One who performs His acts. Because the Father has given all power, authority and wisdom to His Word, He is equal to the Father in power, wisdom and might and acts on His behalf to perform His will.
Before the foundation of the world, in the consideration that Adam would not prove faithful to the mandate he was given, the Son subjected Himself to the Father's will by responding to go and divest Himself of all the glory which he had with Him and be born into Adam's race, as the Redeemer/Saviour of mankind (Philippians 2:5-8). In itself, that was a great abasement of His Being, to be limited to the capacities of those whom He had created. In that He acted out a human life in perfect submission to the Father in everything He spoke and did (John 5:36-37; 8:28-29 10:37-38). Then, He offered up that life as a sacrifice for those who rebelled against Him. That was the ultimate example of His loving subjection to the Father and proof of His worthiness to inherit the kingdom.
When Yeshua spoke to His disciples of them seeing His glory which the Father had given Him, He prayed, “for You loved me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24). He was acknowledging that it was because the Father loved him, and because He had that relationship with the Father, that He could request the glory. The glory was given to Him on the basis of love. Perfect love motivated all within the Godhead and upon the basis and principle of this self-less love, the power of YHWH was entrusted to Him in the beginning.
The full glorification of the Son as the name above all Names, was instituted upon the greatest test of self-effacement and self-denial given to him (Phil.2:6-11). Yeshua could say, “Glorify me” (John 17:5), because He had already determined in His heart, “Not my will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42)
In all the glory given to Him, and the greater honor attributed to Him after His resurrection, the fact remains that the Father is greater than the Son and when He brings all things into subjection to Himself, having stood as the Father's representative for mankind, He will then deliver the kingdom back to the Father so that He, the Father, will have the pre-eminence, and be all things to His creation.
“Then comes the end when He will deliver the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and all power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.” (verse 24) “Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:24, 28)
In His lifetime upon earth, Yeshua had constantly emphasized the fact that the Father was greater than He. He taught His disciples to pray to the Father and rebuked those who attempted to elevate Him above the Father. After His resurrection to glory, the scriptures still refer to Him as being subordinate to the Father.
Yeshua Himself said after His resurrection, when speaking to Mirium, “I am ascending to My Father and Your Father, and to My God and your God.” John 20:17
and the apostles re-iterate the divine order in their letters to the assemblies; “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah” (Ephesians 1:3) .......“through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father” (Ephesians 1:17)
praying that, “the God of our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and knowledge in the revelation of Him.” (Ephesians 1:17)
Yeshua came to reveal the Father and His purposes in and through His life, so that we might 'see' the Father in a form in which we could understand His nature and character and enter into a relationship with Him as His sons, by His holy Spirit which is given to us.