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Author Topic: God the Son praying to God the Father  (Read 359 times) Average Rating: 0
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Eastern Mind
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« on: February 19, 2012, 10:07:58 AM »

I've heard this question from people for a long time. "In the garden, was God praying to Himself?"

To which I reply, "No, God the Son was praying to God the Father."

Even so, it's still tricky to understand. How do the Father and the Son relate to each other? I know the Son is not the Father and the Father is not the Son, but that they are both God and they are both of the same essence; Could I maybe explain it better than I usually do? I don't want to unknowingly say something close to heresy, so can someone help me?

I hope that made sense; if not, I'll try to explain better.
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 12:10:31 PM »

At Gethsemane we see our Lord Jesus Christ praying to God the Father.  They are one God, but two Persons who love and communicate with each other.  I don't understand it either, but then it is a mystery.   Smiley

This recording of Fr. Behr explaining the Holy Trinity can help:

http://www.myocn.net/index.php/20080612873/Special-Moments-in-Orthodoxy/Special-Moments-in-Orthodoxy-Trinitarian-Theology.html
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 12:15:50 PM »

Most people who ask the question seem to hold a kind of quasi-modalism or they believe that Christ is the Father incarnate rather than the Son incarnate. It's important to explain the distinction of the Persons of the Trinity when replying.
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2012, 01:24:01 PM »

Jesus is the WORD of God, incarnate - the COMMITMENT ("I give you my word.") and the EXPRESSION (the announcement of thought) of God.

When I give some one my word, I've given that person myself as an oath.  When I give someone my expression through verbal or otherwise communication, I give that person an understanding - even in part - of who I am.  My communication is my ambassador to myself.

They do not have the whole of me. . .they have an image of me in both my word as a commitment and my word as my expression.  But my word and my commitment is very much ME.

Jesus is truly ONE with the Father - and the Father is IN Him. . .so when He prays to the Father, the prayer itself is the acknowledgment that He is the Word OF the Father, the Image OF the Father.  The prayer itself is not separate from the Father, but a glorification from Word to and of the Father.  

Does this make any sense?  Please, any one, if I am in error, please feel free to correct me, I welcome it.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 01:24:32 PM by quietmorning » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2012, 12:17:23 AM »

I was just reading, on the recommendation of my priest, the Rainbow Series by Fr. Thomas Hopko.  In (I believe) Vol. I, I - for the first time in my life, that I can recall - really understood (within the confines of a human mind) the Trinity.

Divinity is the essence of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  As such, when you look at any one of them, you can ask "What is that?" and the answer is "That is God."  But, if you ask "WHO is that?" then the answer is not "God" unless you mean the Father.  The answer is either "It is the Father" or "It is the Son" or "It is the Holy Spirit."  They are truly each separate persons.  Fr. Hopko, in fact, said it is much like the following analogy (which I am going to add words to to belabor the point, and tie it in more directly with the idea of Christ praying):

If you look at a person on the street and ask what that is, the answer is obviously that it is a human being.  That is the what; that is the essence.  You would not assume that his being a human being means he is the same person as you, who are also a human being.  If you see that same man talking on the phone, after you note that the what he is, is a human being, you would not assume that he is talking to himself merely because you know the person on the other end is also a human being.  Rather, you would then ask yourself WHO the man on the street is and WHO the person on the other end of the phone is.

So, to wrap up my disorganized post, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all God because they all share equally in the same divinity, the divinity which is their essence; the divinity which defines what it means to be God.  However, that is only the what and not the who.  Who Christ is, who the Father is, and who the Holy Spirit is, is not divinity.  Christ is not divinity.  Rather, He is the Son of the Father. 

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