Why is the Godhead sometimes difficult to understand?
1. There is no point of reference. Christ is the “only begotten Son.” It has never happened before and will never happen again. The Bible acknowledges the complexity of the Incarnation, but it also plainly declares that Jesus Christ was true humanity and truly the one God Almighty.
1 Timothy 3:16
16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
2. Tradition is a very powerful force and sometimes leads to erroneous ideas. It effects our worldview and our perceptions. Our assumptions of truth can hinder us from finding truth. The religious missed the coming of the Messiah because He did not arrive according to their presumptions.
Many people use the Bible like a drunk uses a light post. It was given for the purpose of illumination, but it is easy to lean on it only to support your position. We must sincerely study and seek truth.
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
3. Christ came to reveal the Father to the world, but He did not immediately reveal Himself as the Father. If He would have plainly declared and proven His deity, He would have never been crucified. It was only by submitting Himself, living as a man, and dying that He could fulfill His purpose.
1 Corinthians 2:7-10
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit.
Christ spoke of Himself primarily as a man. He made a distinction between the visible man that everyone could see, and the invisible Father that no man could see. It was only by faith, spiritual revelation, and searching the scriptures that men could gain an understanding that God was actually in Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Only those that were led by the Spirit of God and had a true heart could receive this revelation. When Peter declared that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Jesus exclaimed that this knowledge was not given by flesh and blood but by the Father. Jesus, in the flesh, didn’t tell Peter who He was. He acknowledged that Peter had received this from the Father (Spirit of God).
Christ did not cast his pearls among the swine. The multitudes with hearts far from God could not receive His doctrine. This is why He spoke in parables that the people couldn’t understand.
Matthew 13:10-11, 15
10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given...15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed…
His disciples had hearts that were willing to receive the gospel of the kingdom so Christ revealed it to them. However, they were not yet ready to receive the full identity of Christ.
12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
Jesus revealed the mysteries of the kingdom to them through parables, but He hid the mystery of the King in parables.
25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs (parables): but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.
We see Christ fulfilling this promise just before His ascension.
45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
He explained the scriptures and His purpose. He also articulated His identity.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
At the conclusion of His earthly life Christ acknowledged that He was God. He accepted their worship. To the doubters, He declared that he had all power in heaven and in earth. The disciples received the revelation and understood that He was more than a teacher, more than a prophet, and even more than just the Messiah. All the doubts were gone. If He has all power, even over death, hell, and the grave, He was and is “the only God our Savior.”
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.