Isaiah 55:9 | Matthew 13:31, 28:19 | 1 Corinthians 13:12 | 1 Peter 1:2 | 2 Corinthians 13:14
They’re, like, different…but the same.
Do we understand the Trinity? No. At least, not completely.
“For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”Isaiah 55:9 NLT
Not only are God’s thoughts beyond us, but his essence–his being–is too big for us to grasp. That is why Jesus uses similes to describe Heavenly things.
Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”Matthew 13:31-32 NLT
And, as Emma and Sean mentioned, the similes only describe one aspect of who God is or His Kingdom. Even the auditory metaphor that Kaitlin and Josie illustrated is, while more effective, does not tell the whole story. That is something we can only have when we are with God in Heaven.
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT
That said, here are some instances in scripture where the Trinity is mentioned.
Jesus named the Trinity right before he headed back up to Heaven.
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”Matthew 28:19 NLT
The Apostle Peter described the Trinity in the beginning of his first epistle.
God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace.1 Peter 1:2 NLT
The Apostle Paul also described God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in his letter to the Church in Corinth.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.2 Corinthians 13:14 NLT
There are many more scriptures that shed light on God being three-in-one. How many can you find?
Questions for Group Discussion
- How much understanding do you have of the Trinity? Can you explain it to a fourth grader?
- Why do you think God does not provide more information about the Trinity in scripture? Is He deliberately being mysterious?
Challenge: Metaphorically Speaking
What’s a metaphor? It’s for describing things figuratively!
And that’s your challenge: describe something hard-to-explain by using simile, metaphor, or analogy.
- Choose something you understand well that is hard to explain. Here are some examples:
- How you can solve a Rubik’s cube in under 30 seconds
- How to know you’re form is good when swimming the butterfly stroke
- What it means to change the timing belt on a 2006 Toyota
- How you feel about broccoli
- Describe it in less than 100 words. You will need to use some serious figurative language to do this.
Before you get too overwhelmed by this proposition, consider the scope and complexity of what David described when he said, “You knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13 NLT).