Is the Father Greater than Jesus?

By Rodney L. Smith


If Jesus is God, what is the significance of John 14:28, in which Jesus says (taken out of context), “My Father is greater than I?” In context, John 14 teaches that Jesus is God. Obviously the eternal, omnipresent Spirit (the undisputed Father of the humanity of Jesus) is greater, larger, more than the man Christ Jesus, whether the deity of Christ is true or false. This statement of Jesus is still true whether Jesus is God manifested in the flesh or not. In no way does this verse affect the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus Christ. So please choose another one to prove your theology!

Remember these parts of the same chapter which proceed, “For my Father is Greater than I.”

From John 14:
7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?”

15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

19 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”

23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”

28 “You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. 29 “And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.”

Now when did Jesus go away so that the world would no longer see him but his disciples who loved him would see him, they will live because he lives, and he will come to those who love him and make his home with them, along with the Father? When did this take place?

Acts 2:1-4:
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

So the Spirit that indwells and empowers the church is Jesus Christ himself. Search the rest of the New Testament more fully, and you will easily see this truth confirmed. This theme is pervasive and common throughout the New Testament, that the indwelling Holy Spirit is Jesus Christ in us. So tell me that Jesus is not God when he can indwell thousands, even millions of his disciples at one time!

In fact, the test of a real Christian (verses a fake one) is that they have Jesus Christ dwelling in them.

2 Corinthians 13:5-6:
“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.”

Are you disqualified?