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The Word  “WITH” in John 17  

In Jn.17 Jesus asks the Father to “Glorify me together with Yourself, with the glory I had before the world began.” Jesus is about to complete his mission on earth and is emphatically stating and remembering something of his past… two personal pronouns are used, showing one person speaking to another person. The word “with” couples two subjects, it express more than one, I and you. It is the Son asking about sharing the same glory with the true God from eternity past. Glorify me together with yourself. Here is a person presently speaking to another person. Recalling the past “I had in your presence before the world was.” He is referring to something he shared before time began. So if the Son is not consciously and really there in the past, then what is he talking about? He would be lying asking for something that was not ever his. And if he was not there how can we understand the Father was there. After all, according to Oneness these both are roles of the one God.

  Gen.1 tells us the first thing created was the heavens and the earth. If Jesus had glory with the Father before the world was, then He pre-existed as God- for only God existed at that time. Therefore it is impossible for him to be a creature. He became a creature through the virgin birth by taking on human flesh to house his Spirit that was God.. Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting (Ps 90:2; 103:17)

 The relationship of the Son to the Father transcends time, it did not have its beginning in Bethlehem. Notice:  God the Father is saying the one from eternity will come forth to him- whose going forth from eternity showing the concept of the Eternity of God the Son. Again showing there are two. As Barnes puts it “Eternity belongs to God, not God to eternity.” “It declares the eternal “going-forth,” or Generation of the Son.” “The Generation of the Son from the Father is an Eternal Generation, before all time, and now, though not in time, yet in eternity still.” The plain antithesis of this clause, “come forth out of thee” (from Bethlehem), shows that the eternal generation of the Son is meant  (from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)

  The Ruler (king) of Israel, has His goings forth reaching back into eternity, now is to find himself among man beginning at Bethlehem.  In the fulness of time he would be born of a woman. Certainly to take the position that this eternal one is only a manifestation destroys the whole concept of the incarnation, God with man.

 So when the Father said to the Son  “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever” (Ps 45:6) It is understood as his possession forever. It is an eternal statement.

 A.T. Robertson is probably the greatest Greek scholar America has ever produced renders this verse in John 17 “by the side of thyself” as the literal rendering of the language.

Jesus in Jn.17 is asking for restoration of the glory he shared before he was incarnate, what he commonly shared before anything was created. This is a statement of his deity as well. Robertson says this is actual conscious existence at the Fathers side.

And we see the Father does give him all that he had before after his body is raised from the dead.  Mt.28:18-19 all authority  in heaven and earth is given to him as was written of him in Ps 2:7-9 “I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; you shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.’”  This is what is declared of the Son after the resurrection in Acts 13:32-34 “And we declare to you glad tidings-- that promise which was made to the fathers. “God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You.' “And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: 'I will give you the sure mercies of David.'

 The begotten proves it does not mean a birth but something much different. As Heb. 1:5-6 “For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son”? But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” This shows the Son is worshipped in the same way the Father is by his creatures. That he has a unique relationship with God unlike any other. Again for this to occur it takes more than one, for a relationship is between two of different identities who are conscious: Father and Son. But this relationship as we have already read did not begin on earth but continued on earth, for it existed before He came to the earth.

 According to the Scriptures Christ did not become the Son in time, not by his birth, his baptism or resurrection. He was eternally the Son. The “today I have begotten you” is a timeless declaration of Jesus being the Son from all eternity.

  Jesus DID NOT BECOME THE SON from the resurrection. This would contradict the whole revelation of the New Testament concerning Christ's relation to the Father. As Paul writes “And declared the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of the dead” (Rom.1:4).  Christ did not become God's Son for the first time by the resurrection as He was already declared the Son. Its meaning becomes clear, it is a coming forth just as Micah explains. The risen Son was then restored in His relation to the Father, which now includes a human body. He is the “only Son” that lives eternally by the resurrection as the “first begotten from the dead” in time. The only one at this time raised in a body unto eternal life.

Humanly speaking: One is not a Father until there is an offspring--a relationship. However we find God is called Father in the Old Testament (and also a Son). Certainly man being created in God’s image is expressive of a relationship that God the Father had toward God the Son before the world was made. This declaration of Father and Son are terms describing a relationship by nature not by origination.  W.E. Vine states: “The word “begotten” does not imply a beginning of his sonship. It suggests relationship indeed, but must be distinguished from generation as applied to man.”

John the Apostle begins his Gospel by stating the relationship of the Son to the Father was before creation and explains the uniqueness of Jesus. Jn.1:18: “No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared him.” “In the bosom of the Father” is a statement explaining relationship, intimate relationship. John writes “Not that any man has seen the Father, save He which is of God, he has seen the Father.” Which means Jesus is not just a man, since He has seen the Father, which no man can! He is more than man, though he is indeed man. When did He see the Father? Prior to His coming to earth as man he knew the Father in heaven. Just as he stated in John 17.  


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