In John 14:28, what did Jesus mean when he said “my Father is greater than I?”

28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. KJV, ©1769

ΚΘʹ ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐγὼ εἶπον ὑμῖν Ὑπάγω καὶ ἔρχομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς εἰ ἠγαπᾶτέ με ἐχάρητε ἄν ὅτι εἶπον πορεύομαι πρὸς τὸν πατέρα ὅτι ὁ πατὴρ μού μείζων μού ἐστιν TR, 1550

What are the implications of this verse on Christian theology?

10 Answers 10


This is a great question. It's great because it's quasi-paradoxical for more than just one or two so-called 'high Christology' theologies. This is because the Gospel of John is so clearly intended to be, for lack of a better word, a Gospel in which the Apostle puts to rest any 'adoptionist' or other such 'low Christology' ideas—not the least of which ideas is that He is not θεος, is not "God" in the 'in the beginning,' 'creation' sense and context in which He uses the word.

There need not be any playing around with softened words to substitute "greater"—μειζων in Greek is directly euivalent to English's word. That's not the issue, and never was an issue: 'great in what sense' is the only relevant question, and not a single theology is exempt from ascertaining the sense in which Jesus is "lesser." Asserting 'its obvious what' is no resolution whatsover.

I think the words of St. Augustine's are very apt:

In reference to the one [nature] He says, "The Father is greater than I;" but because of the other, "I and my Father are one."1

St. John presents to us a Jesus who "made himself [out out be] equal to God" (John 5:18), who was present "before" His birth in Bethlehem (John 8:58; Micah 5:2)—and even creation itself (John 1:1). Who claims His being the Son of God makes it 'obvious' that He is to be recognized as God, in what he represents as an 'obviously' higher sense than the metaphor used in the Psalms with reference to judges (John 10:33-36; Cf. 16:28-30)—a metaphor being the full sense of the thing, and not a simile by definition, hence its rhetorical utility.

Yet also one who dies. That is to say, is a real man: "God ... made flesh" (John 1:14; Cf. Matthew 1:23).

This is not dissimilar to the Book of Revelation, in which we read that "the First and the Last" quote, "was dead, and .. came back to life" (Revelation 1:17-19; 2:8).

Two origins or natures properly so called are presented, in other words. One which predates the existence of Bethlehem, since it is incorporated into the "all things" which "were made δια [through, by, by means, or by the agency of] the Word" (John 1:1-3) of which we are here speaking; and one after Bethelehem, which gave rise to the other. An uncreate nature, "θεος," then, and a created nature, "flesh:" but never two persons, never a created Word, or an uncreated mere human, but "the Word," "God," who is truly "Immanuel," truly "made flesh." One Son of the Father.

This is perhaps seen most clearly in the first words of the Gospel:

John 1:1, 14 (DRB) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ... 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

God cannot convert or change His eternal nature—nor can "the Lord of Glory," "the First and the Last," be "killed," but He can act and do things, and as such assume a nature to call His own, which nature can be "killed," (1 Corinthians 2:8) as is proper to said nature, flesh, and to which He can especially unite; and Scripture tells us He indeed did this. Indeed, and with almost excruciating irony, the incarnation of God rather necessitates that "God is not a man" (Numbers 23:19).

So we can say true things of Christ's humanity which are false of His divinity because they are both proper to one Christ. That He can die is one extremely good example. That His soul can be "sorrowful unto death" (Matthew 26:38). Or, that He "thirst"s (John 19:28).

Having established this, it's evident why the same person, the Son or Word of God, can say both 'I' am inferior to my Father, to whom I go, and 'I and the Father are one.' These are both true in the Christology—theology—which recognizes the Personal Union (or Grecanized, the Hypostatic Union), or that two natures are proper to not two cloned or twin persons, but one and the same divine Word who can say things both God and man cane say, because He is both.

1 St. Augustine, Tractate 78, 1. (Note in brackets mine.)


What did Jesus mean when he said “my Father is greater than I” at John 14:28?

Jesus meant ,that his Father's is superior to him in knowledge , position and authority,

During his earthly ministry Jesus acknowledged the fact of his Father's greatness on many occasions , some of the numerous verses from the scriptures.

Matthew 4:9-10 (NRSV)

9 "And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, "Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him."

Matthew 20:23 (NRSV)

23 "He said to them, “You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

Luke 22:41-42 (NRSV)

41 "Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.”

John 5:19 (NRSV)

The Authority of the Son

19 "Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father[a] does, the Son does likewise."

John 8:42 (NRSV)

42 "Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he sent me."

John 13:16 (NRSV)

16 "Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them."

What do the scriptures say after Jesus accented to heaven.

Some say that the above were so only during His human nature, but this ignores the scriptures,even after Jesus ascension, the apostles inspired by God's spirit wrote that the Father is separate and superior to Jesus.

They also ignore the fact that even after Jesus ascension to heaven, his followers continued to teach that the Father is greater than Jesus, Paul wrote:

Glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus.

Romans 15:6 (NRSV)

6 "So that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God is the head of Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:3 (NASB)

3" But I want you to understand that [a]Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ."

Jesus hands kingdom to God his Father.

1 Corinthians 15:24 , 28 (NRSV)

24 "Then comes the end,[a] when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power."

Jesus in subjection to the Father.

28 "When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection under him, so that God may be all in all."

1 John 2:1 (NASB)

Christ Is Our Advocate

2 "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;"

Honor the Father who send him.

John 5:23 (NRSV)

23 "So that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him."

Angel directs John to worship God and not Jesus.

Revelation 19:10 (NRSV) Also read Rev. 7:11, 14:7, 15:4

10 "Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant[a] with you and your comrades[b] who hold the testimony of Jesus.[c] Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus[d] is the spirit of prophecy.”


1) Equality

Paul tells us :

... who, in form of God subsisting, thought it not robbery to be equal God

(Philipians 2:6 literal translation of Stephens 1550 text from EGNT interlinear.)

With regard to Divine nature and Divine attribute there is an equality of Divinity.

2) Fulness

Paul further tells us :

... in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians 2:9 - KJV)

If fulness be an attribute of Deity, and if Deity be in equality, then there must be a perfect unity, a sharing of fulness in perfection . . .

3) Unity

. . . thus, Jesus says :

I and my Father are one. (John 10:30 - KJV)

4) Relationship

Of the relationship within Deity, Jesus says (as we are considering) :

... my Father is greater than I (John 14:28 - KJV)

The relationship of Person within Deity is expressed as Father and Son (in One Spirit).


This relationship has been demonstrated within creation. This is why we are sons, and daughters; this is why we are fathers and mothers; and why we have sons and daughters. The relationship which exists within Deity has been expressed in God's creation - that we may understand.

In this context, Jesus sought the understanding of the disciples regarding his going to the Father. Had they loved him, they would have rejoiced. Because he was going to the Father.

For, he says, the Father is greater than I.

That is why they should rejoice. Because of the implications for him (and for them) in his going to the One who is greater.

Greater not in Divine attribute, nor in respect of Divine nature - but greater in respect of the relationship of Divine Life.

Thus, as to the original question, the implications relate to relationships within Deity and to the very Life of deity - that the Father begat the Son with an everlasting begetting.

He is :

the only begotten of the Father (John 1:14 - KJV)

And his is :

'that eternal life which was with the Father' (I John 1:2 - KJV)

The implications are considerable.


Updated 11/21/2018

The "KJV Lexicon" says that the most common way this comparative is used is to indicate a greater age. IE: Jesus would be saying "My Father is older than I".

μειζων adjective - nominative singular masculine - comparative or contracted meizon mide'-zone: larger (literally or figuratively, specially, in age) -- elder, greater(-est), more.

That is both true and interesting but for another time and place. But age is not being discussed in this context.

The "Outline of Biblical Usage" provides this summary of MEGAS ("greater") and I would understand that God would be greater to Jesus in all these ways:

Outline of Biblical Usage - MEGAS

However, in the passage in question I believe that what Jesus is saying is more like this:

"If you are concerned about me and want the best for me - or even if you are just worried about your own welfare because I'm going away - you should be glad that I'm going because my Father has "deeper pockets" than I have".

Not exactly "deeper pockets" but "greater resources".

Jesus is consoling the disciples who were sad because Jesus was going away. He challenges them to have faith in God and faith in him and gives them various consolations including that they will be reunited and that Christ would ask the Father (God Almighty) to send them another "Comforter/Helper/Asset/Handler":

[Jhn 14:12-13, 16-18 KJV] 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. ... 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

That Jesus had to go away to ask the Father to send the spirit indicates that the Father has the authority to give to the disciples what they will need: the "Helper". So they should be glad that Jesus is going to the Father so that they can be empowered.

  • It stricks me that you do not except the trinity. So what is your view of Jesus in God's purpose
    – user26950
    Nov 20, 2018 at 17:13
  • 2
    I don't accept the Trinity but this isn't the place to discuss stuff unrelated to the question. I recommend you just read my posts/answers as they reflect my understanding (which of course is always growing).
    – Ruminator
    Nov 20, 2018 at 17:20
  • Good thoughts....
    – user26950
    Nov 20, 2018 at 17:24

I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I

Jesus said this not because He denies being Deity. It's also explict in the Gospel of John that He was divine ("God" > Θεός John 1:1,18).

The reason why Jesus said this is because according to the context, He will go to the Father ("I go unto the Father").

The Lord Jesus Christ is spatially located on earth while God the Father is in heaven.

"Our Father which art in heaven"... (Matthew 6:9 KJV)

I am trying to point out Christ's resurrection and ascension because He has a glorified body by this time.

The Son is truly great but the Father is greater than Him. It is all about the degree of greatness.

The Father has more of the following: "might, sovereignty and great size" (Gk. μείζων) when compared to His Son who is on earth.

In terms of might, the Son was very vulnerable when He was on earth. He even faced death on a cross (Philippians 2:8).

In terms of sovereignty, the Son emptied himself of the form of God by taking the form of a servant (Philippians 2:6-7).

In terms of great size, the Son was found in the very form of a man (Philippians 2:8).

However, after his perfect obedience on earth, God bestowed upon Christ the name Lord (Gk. κύριος) and that everyone should worship Him as such.

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11 KJV).

We see that after the resurrection, Christ with a glorified body has become functionally equal to God. That is, He became like God in every way because of His Lordship.

20 which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18 KJV)

Let us also consider that Christ, due to the Incarnation, became a little lower than the angels. However, Christ has become greater than the angels (Hebrews 1) after the resurrection because He became their Lord.


When Christ said that His Father was greater than Him, He was not yet glorified. Therefore, it is only natural to affirm what is currently a fact. He did proclaim a good message, though. He said that He will go to the Father. That is, He will go to Heaven where the Father is and with the purpose of being seated at the right hand of power. Scripture saith that Christ was "made higher than the heavens" (Hebrews 7:26 KJV). This also highly implies that the glorified Christ is truly equal to God.

"Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens (Psalm 57:11 KJV).


If all Jesus was referring to was the fact that, at that moment, he was a human being while his Father was God in heaven, that would have been a pointless statement to make, because it was true of all other human beings, not just Jesus. And if, as so many believe, Jesus existed from eternity with God, and actually created all things, and was the God of the Old Testament, the only God known to the ancient Israelites, then we certainly must ask the question, in what way was the Father greater than Jesus? Is it possible that God the Father, the "only true God" as Jesus called Him, alone existed from eternity, alone created all things, and Himself was the "God of our fathers" who raised Jesus, as several passages in Acts states?



Any father, by right as a father, is due deference1 from his son, which deference includes honor (τιμή).2 Moses commanded children, “Honor your mother and father.”3 Hence, the Lord Jesus Christ said, “I honor my Father.”4 One means by which a son pays deference is by addressing his father as “sir.”5 It is this phenomenon that prompted the Lord Jesus Christ to ask the scribes,6

35 While he taught in the Temple, Jesus answered and said, “How do the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36 For David himself in the Holy Spirit said, ‘Yahveh said to my lord, “Sit at My right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.”’ 37 Therefore, David himself calls him ‘lord.’ How can it be that he is his son?” The large crowd heard him gladly.

The basis of the question posed by the Lord Jesus Christ to the scribes is the deference that David’s son (i.e., descendant), the Messiah, is supposed to pay David, since David is his his father (i.e., ancestor). And yet, David calls his descendant, “my lord” (i.e., my sir). This narrative demonstrates the deference required to be paid by any son to his father. (Why David pays deference to his son, rather than his son to him, would be answered in a different question.)

Deference does not preclude equality of nature

When Jesus says that “my father is greater than me” (ὁ πατὴρ μού μείζων μού ἐστιν), it is no different than what any other son would say concerning his own father. Nevertheless, the son and father still share the same nature.

For example, in the case of Adam and Seth, both share the same nature: ἄνθρωπος. That is, both possess ἀνθρωπότης (“humanity”), the quality of being human. Yet, Seth would naturally say of Adam, “My father is greater than I.” In the same manner, Jesus says his father (God the Father) is greater than him, yet both the Lord Jesus Christ (the Son) and God the Father share the same nature: θεός. That is, both possess θεότης (“deity”), the quality of being [true] god.7

Indeed, when Jesus refers to God as “my father” or “my own father,” the Jews understood it as a claim of equality with the Father. They were prepared to stone him—not because they misunderstood him, but because they rejected his claim.8

17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father works until now, and I also work.” 18 For this reason, then, the Jews were seeking to kill him more [than before], since, not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he also said God was his own father, making himself equal to God.

Eternal Filial Subordination

In traditional Trinitarian orthodoxy, it is said that the Son is “less than the Father according to his humanity.”9

Equal to the Father according to [his] divinity; less than10 the Father according to [his] humanity.

Aequalis Patri secundum divinitatem: minor Patre secundum humanitatem.

However, this belief that the Son is only less than (i.e., subordinate to) the Father according to his humanity, i.e., upon the incarnation, is unbiblical.

First, it is written that God the Father sent His Son into the world.11 On this Fr. Steven Scherrer, a Roman Catholic priest, writes,12

The Son was sent by the Father into the world. But if he was sent by the Father into the world, this means that this took place before the incarnation, and so we see that the relationship of the Father to the Son in eternity before the incarnation was one of a father with authority over an obedient son, who accepts his mission from the Father and becomes incarnate in the world. This relationship of sending and being sent is an authority-submission, paternal-filial relationship in which the Son, while one in essence with the Father and thus equal with him in divinity, is nonetheless sent by the Father and is obedient to him.


Bruce Ware (Ware, 76–83) points out clearly that we are here dealing with an eternal Father-Son relationship, an eternally subordinate relationship of the Son to his Father, although in divinity the two are equal. The Son’s subordination is not in his essence or nature, in which he is the same as his Father, but in his relation to his Father as Son. His relation to the Father is that of an obedient, subordinate, submissive, adoring Son. And this was eternally the case, not just while Jesus was a man on earth.

In addition,14

We see this throughout St. John’s gospel, where Jesus is said to be sent by the Father, for example: [John 3:16–17]. If the Son was sent into the world by the Father, then this happened before the incarnation, and therefore the paternal/obedient filial relationship of father to son also existed before the incarnation. We see this in many passages, such as the following: [John 10:36], or [John 6:38]. These quotations could be multiplied many times over, but they are sufficient to show that this relationship of an obedient, submissive, subordinate son to his father extends back from all eternity, long before the incarnation of the Son. It is not just something concerning Jesus as a man in his humanity being submissive to his Father. He has always related in this way to his Father, who even before his incarnation sent him into the world.

If it were true that the Son is only subordinate in his humiliation and incarnation (i.e., according to his humanity), we would suppose the Son to no longer be less than or subordinate to the Father after the Son’s exaltation, when he was glorified with the glory that he had with the Father before the existence of the world,15 and then ascended to Heaven.16

Yet, after his exaltation and ascension, the Son is still described as subordinate to the Father. The Son sits at the right hand of the Father.17 It is frequently recited that there is one God, the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.18 The Father is described as the God of the Lord Jesus Christ.19 In the end,20 the Son submits his kingdom to the Father, and even then, the apostle Paul wrote,21

28 But when everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself shall also be subjected to Him who subjected everything to him, so that God is all in all.

Note that the apostle Paul speaks of a time in the distant future, long after the Son had been exalted, and yet, he still speaks of the Son as being subject to (i.e., subordinate to) God the Father. This plainly indicates that the Son is subordinate to the Father regardless of the incarnation. As such, when the Son says the Father is greater than him, he must be referring to filial subordination, not simply a subordination that existed on account of the incarnation.


When the Lord Jesus Christ said, “My (not “our”) father is greater than me,” he emphasizes his filial subordination (ὑπόταξις) all the while acknowledging his ontological equality with God the Father. Recall earlier in the fourth gospel that it was those same words (“my Father”) that the Jews understood of the Lord Jesus Christ as making a claim of equality with God the Father.22


1 Oxford English Dicitonary: deference (n.): 3. Courteous regard such as is rendered to a superior, or to one to whom respect is due; the manifestation of a disposition to yield to the claims or wishes of another. Const. to, for.
2 Greek τιμή
3 Exo. 20:12 LXX: «τίμα τὸν πατέρα σου καὶ τὴν μητέρα».
4 John 8:42: «τιμῶ τὸν πατέρα μου»
5 “Sir,” being an English word, has its equivalents in Latin: dominus (Lewis & Scott, p. 609, dominus, B., 5.; Hebrew: אָדוֹן (adon) (Alcalay, p. 24, אָדוֹן) or the Aramaic loanword מָר (mar): (Jastrow, p. 834, מָר); Greek: κύριος (LSJ, p. 1013, κύριος, B., b.)
6 Mark 12:35–37
7 cf. Col. 2:9
8 John 5:17–18
9 Athanasian Creed
10 minor Patre is an ablative of comparison.
11 John 3:16
12 Scherrer, p. 12
13 ibid, p. 1213
14 ibid, p. 13
15 John 17:5
16 cf. Acts 2:33, 3:13
17 Acts 2:33
18 1 Cor. 8:6
19 2 Cor. 11:31
20 1 Cor. 15:24: «εἶτα τὸ τέλος»—“then the end”
21 1 Cor. 15:28
22 On other such statements of equality with the Father by Lord Jesus Christ which the Jews understood yet rejected, cf. John 8:58–89, 10:30–31.


Dahms, John V. “The Subordination of the Son.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS). 37/3 (September 1994): 351–364.

Scherrer, Steven. The Vicarious, Sacrificial, Atoning Death of Jesus Christ: How We Benefit from the Death of Jesus Christ. New York: iUniverse, 2010.

Ware, Bruce. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2005.

NOTE: All English translations of foreign-language texts are my own unless otherwise noted.

  • 1
    Would it be safe to say that Jesus had to ask the Father to command the spirit because Jesus had no authority over the spirit but the Father did? In fact, doesn't Jesus obey the Father in every way, never doing anything without authorization from God? How then are they equal? How can you say that Jesus is equal to God when God is his Father and his God? You say it is mere theater? Saying that God is greater because it is polite for a son to boost dad's ego?
    – Ruminator
    Nov 21, 2018 at 1:15
  • @Ruminator—You know this isn’t a debate forum. Nov 21, 2018 at 1:16
  • 1
    You wrote "...In other words, although Jesus recognized his equality in nature with the Father—by saying “my Father” (ὁ πατὴρ μού), he still acknowledged his relational subordination as the Son—by saying the Father was greater than him." - this is patronizing. His Father is superior because he is his God! Paul said that God is Jesus' "head".
    – Ruminator
    Nov 21, 2018 at 1:18

The implication for Christianity is the classically accepted view that Christ is the only mediator between God and man. Our redemption through Christ is from the sin that separates us from his father. He is not separated from him, we in sin are. His appearance was and is for our sake.In Christ we are restored to what God first intended for us when he created us through Christ, by Christ and for Christ.In saying it was the father's good pleasure to give us the kingdom, he then proceeds to die for us as his father wished him to do for us that we might be brought by our king back into fellowship with his father, fellowship that Christ can never lose, he being irreducibly one with the father by his very nature. He is the king that can offer a kingdom to God, that is why we, Christ's subjects can rejoice in love for Christ as he says in the passage. We love Christ for restoring us to God our father.

  • I understand about the redemptives work of Christ etc. etc. good to hear, but the does not answer the question. In short why is The Father "Greater" than Jesus, his own words?
    – user26950
    Nov 20, 2018 at 16:50

The Athanasian Creed (not to mention the Ecumenical Councils and early Church fathers) teaches us that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three distinct Persons, each of which is God. It also teaches us that the Son (who is only one Person) has two natures, a human nature and a divine nature.

(Athanasian Creed) . . . Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation; that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess; that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God, of the Substance [Essence] of the Father; begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the Substance [Essence] of his Mother, born in the world. Perfect God; and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood. Who although he is God and Man; yet he is not two, but one Christ. One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh; but by assumption of the Manhood into God. One altogether; not by confusion of Substance [Essence]; but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man; so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell; rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from whence he will come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies; And shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. This is the catholic faith; which except a man believe truly and firmly, he cannot be saved.

The Creed professes the Son as "Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood." Thus, in John 14:28, it seems that the Son is referring to His human nature, which is inferior to the Father's divine nature. Moreover, the context of John 14:28 supports the idea that Christ's frail humanity is being referred to when Christ says "the Father is greater than I," because in the very same verse He alludes to His death, saying "be glad that I am going to the Father." (John 14:28) And the next day, He suffered and died on the cross.

  • I am not convinced that the Athanasian Creed is regarded as reliable: it was written in Latin by somebody who probably was not Athanasius of Alexandria, and contains a filioque suggesting it would not have been accepted by the Eastern Churches. Nor am I sure that "One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh; but by assumption of the Manhood into God" is now seen as a helpful description of the Incarnation.
    – Henry
    Nov 21, 2018 at 14:49
  • @Henry It depends what you mean by "reliable." I never claimed that Athanasius actually wrote it, although I'm certain that he would approve of the doctrine thereof. Nov 21, 2018 at 21:45
  • εἶπεν δὲ Ισραηλ μέγα μοί ἐστιν εἰ ἔτι Ιωσηφ ὁ υἱός μου ζῇ πορευθεὶς ὄψομαι αὐτὸν πρὸ τοῦ ἀποθανεῗν με Gen 45:28

    And Israel said, Great art thou to me; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die." (Genesis 45:28 LXX)

    In function of the bigger mission.

  • Similarly the mission of Father in John 14:10-28

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