It is easy for the unwary to fall into the trap Bosco blunders around in, insisting that Jesus is the Father, and that the words can be used interchangeably – as though ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ are the same thing. How very odd for a literalist to think the two words are the same. That is not to say that those not paying attention to anything save their own interpretation cannot read such verses in that way:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
I and My Father are one.”
But if, as Bosco (and some Pentecostalists, and I suspect Bosco is a ‘oneness pentecostalist’ whether he knows it or not) maintain, Jesus is the Father and the two are interchangeable, precisely what does John 14:28 mean:
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.
So, Jesus is ‘greater than himself’? What can this mean? Hebrews 2:9 helps, as it tells us that Jesus ‘was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death’. As Paul told the Philippians:
Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
There were some in the early church (perhaps early Bosco-ites?) who read this as meaning that Jesus only appeared to be a man – a heresy known as Docetism. But they were as wrong as Bosco is in insisting Jesus ‘is the Father’. It was in trying to understand these statements that the early Church developed the doctrine of the Trinity.
Clearly Jesus is saying He is God, and as St John tells us, in words which condemned the docetists:
2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that[a] Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
But Jesus is also a made man, so in that sense He is lower than God; He is also not the Father, although the Father is God. Now, had Bosco taken the trouble to read, instead of mock, St Cyril of Alexandria, then he would not only not make claims which Jesus never made (He never says ‘I am the Father’), he would begin to know who Jesus is and be able to have a relationship with Him rather than whatever evil spirit has entered him.
St Cyril explained the relationship by what he called the ‘hypostatic union’, which Bosco will no doubt not try to understand, but which, unlike his own ruminations, is based upon what is in the Bible, not what someone wants to be in there. To quote a summary so good that I cannot see how it could better put:
This is the union of the two natures (Divine and human) in the person of Jesus. Jesus is God in flesh (John 1:1,14; 10:30-33; 20:28; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8). He is fully God and fully man (Col. 2:9); thus, he has two natures: God and man. He is not half God and half man. He is 100% God and 100% man. He never lost his divinity. He continued to exist as God when he became a man and added human nature to Himself (Phil. 2:5-11). Therefore, there is a “union in one person of a full human nature and a full divine nature.” Right now in heaven there is a man, Jesus, who is our Mediator between us and God the Father (1 Tim. 2:5).
This is the answer to what Jesus means when He tells us that He who has seen Him has seen the Father, and that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. It explains who Jesus is praying to, and how the Father can be greater than Him and yet Jesus is God. As the Trinitarian diagram as the top puts it: ‘The Father is God, the Son is God – the Father is not the Son, and the Son is not the Father.’
If Bosco’s spirit, whatever it is, would stop driving him to criticise everyone else, and leave him free to follow the early Christians, it might be that he could enter into a real relationship with the real Jesus; but I am fearful that the spirit that is in Bosco is, having tried it by various tests, not a good or a holy one. Because I want Bosco to come to Jesus, I can end only with the warning St Peter offers:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour