How can Jesus be subject to God if He is God?


By BibleAsk Team

The relationship between Jesus Christ and God the Father is a central theological question that has been debated and discussed throughout Christian history. The passage in question, 1 Corinthians 15:27-28 in the NKJV translation of the Bible, presents a profound statement about the relationship between Jesus and God. To comprehensively address this topic, we will delve into the biblical text, examine theological perspectives, and explore implications for understanding the nature of the Trinity and the deity of Christ.

Exploring 1 Corinthians 15:27-28:

The passage reads as follows:

“For ‘He has put all things under His feet.’ But when He says ‘all things are put under Him,’ it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.”

Theological Perspectives:

  1. Trinitarian Understanding:
    • Distinct Persons, One Essence: Trinitarian theology affirms the belief in one God who exists eternally in three distinct Persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. Each Person of the Trinity is fully God and shares the same divine essence, yet they are distinct in their relational roles and functions.
    • Eternal Subordination: Theologians within the Trinitarian tradition interpret passages like 1 Corinthians 15:27-28 as indicating an eternal subordination of the Son to the Father in terms of role or function, while maintaining equality in essence. This understanding emphasizes the relational dynamics within the Trinity rather than suggesting inferiority or inequality of nature.
  2. Incarnational Perspective:
    • Incarnation and Humility: Another perspective emphasizes the voluntary submission of Jesus Christ to the will of the Father during His incarnation. As the Son of God took on human flesh and entered into the world, He willingly subjected Himself to the Father’s plan and purpose, demonstrating humility and obedience.
    • Role in Redemption: This perspective highlights the role of Jesus Christ as the obedient Son who fulfills the Father’s redemptive plan through His death and resurrection. His submission to the Father’s will ultimately leads to the defeat of sin and death, bringing about reconciliation and restoration for humanity. In the divine plan for the redemption of the world, the Father committed everything into the hands of the Son (Matthew 11:27; Colossians 1:19).
    • Glorifying the Father: The ultimate purpose of Christ’s mission was to glorify the Father (John 17:1, 4, 6). And Christ will not rest until the Father’s supremacy is acknowledged by the universe (Ephesians 4:6; Philippians 2:11). Thus, nothing will be outside the parameters of God’s gracious control (1 Corinthians 11:13b).

Exploring Key Concepts:

  1. Divine Authority and Submission:
    • Authority of the Father: The passage in 1 Corinthians 15:27-28 affirms the ultimate authority of God the Father, who subjects all things under the Son’s feet. This underscores the sovereignty and supremacy of the Father within the divine order.
    • Submission of the Son: While Jesus Christ is fully God, His submission to the Father does not imply inferiority or lack of deity. Instead, it reflects His relational role within the Trinity and His obedience as the incarnate Son.
  2. Unity and Harmony Within the Trinity:
    • Unity of Purpose: Despite the distinction in roles within the Trinity, there is perfect unity and harmony among the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each Person works in concert with the others to accomplish the divine plan of redemption and reconciliation.
    • Mutual Submission: The submission of the Son to the Father is not a unilateral action but occurs within the context of mutual love, respect, and cooperation among the Persons of the Trinity. It reflects the relational dynamics of the Godhead rather than hierarchical dominance.

Implications and Application:

  1. Model of Humility and Obedience:
    • Following Christ’s Example: Believers are called to emulate the humility and obedience demonstrated by Jesus Christ in His submission to the Father. Just as Christ submitted to the Father’s will, believers are called to surrender their lives to God and seek His kingdom above all else.
  2. Understanding the Trinity:
    • Mystery and Revelation: The Trinity is a foundational truth of Christian faith revealed in Scripture. The relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit reflects the multifaceted nature of God’s being and the depth of His love for humanity.


In conclusion, the passage in 1 Corinthians 15:27-28 offers profound insights into the relationship between Jesus Christ and God the Father within the context of the Trinity. While affirming the equality of the Father and the Son in essence, it also acknowledges the distinct roles and functions within the Godhead. Through the voluntary submission of Jesus Christ to the will of the Father, believers are invited to contemplate the mystery of God’s love and the depth of Christ’s humility in His incarnational mission. Ultimately, the unity, harmony, and mutual submission within the Trinity serve as a model for believers in their relationship with God and with one another.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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