Right after Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, the Bible describes three unusual things that happened. First, the heavens opened. Next, the Holy Spirit came down to rest on him like a dove. And finally, a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love…” (Matt. 3:17)
What does any of this have to do with the question above? Well, in Jesus’ baptism, we see three persons: there’s Jesus, the one getting baptized. There’s the Holy Spirit, who came down to rest on Jesus. And the mysterious speaker from heaven? Since the voice calls Jesus his “Son,” we know it’s God, our Heavenly Father.
Here’s where things get complicated: we know the Father is God. And Jesus is God’s Son, so he’s God, too. But what about the Holy Spirit? He’s also God! Does that mean there are three Gods? That’s what it looks like – but that can’t possibly be the right answer! We just learned from the previous question that there’s only one God! So how do we make this all make sense?
Truthfully, we will never be able to fully understand God. Our brains would explode if we even tried to dig into the depths of his greatness! However, we can create brand-new words to help describe how amazing he is. And one word Christians have created in the past to describe our glorious God is the word “Trinity.” It means “three in one,” and it helps us understand something about God that makes him truly unique, one of a kind, unlike anything else in the entire universe!
You and I and every human being on the planet are just one person. And that makes sense – one human, one person! But that isn’t true of God. He is one God, but he exists as three persons. We have names for each of these three persons: God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And we saw all three of them work together during Jesus’ baptism.
These three persons aren’t just a piece or part of God – they are all 100% fully God! Each person has all the power and goodness and knowledge that God has. And still, in some mysterious way that our brains can’t quite handle, these three persons are distinct. That means that the Father isn’t the Son. The Son isn’t the Holy Spirit. And of course, the Holy Spirit isn’t the Father.
One God. Three persons. Each person is God. And each person is distinct. These are the four “rules” we use to describe the Trinity. All of this is enough to make our brains melt into piles of goo! And while that can feel frustrating, it’s a good sign. It shows us that our glorious God is greater than our minds can ever fully understand! If our human brains were able to completely understand him, he wouldn’t be a very impressive God!