When Did Jesus Speak As The Father?
Recently I was asked, "When did Jesus speak as the Father." Of course this question was driving at problematic use of terms in Oneness theology which says that Jesus is the Father. I avoid saying that in an equivocal sense because it does not seem logical or coherent. To get to the question, however, I would say the deity of the Father was Incarnate in the Son (e.g. Heb. 1:1-3). Jesus even said the Father was in Him (John 14). John 3:34 also tells us that the one whom God has sent utters the words of God. I would say, in order of revelation, it is easier to find Him speaking as the Son of God, or Daniel's "son of man".
The deity and humanity of Christ was united inseparably, just as you or I cannot be separated from the genetic contributions of our parents without harm. Therefore isolating the properties of the Incarnation will further confound the complexity of the Union altogether. Trinitarians should readily admit this to be true from their perspective as well, especially concerning the properties of the divine persons of the Trinity.
I believe there is only one person of God, and that person was Incarnate in human nature (Heb. 1:1-3). As far as I have found, no other meaning is provided in the text of Scripture. Pronouns and prepositions do not necessitate the meaning of plural persons especially in the normal understanding of the term person. It does not demand that corporeal realities are present since that would violate monotheism. Special meaning is the only retort for Trinitarians here but this contradicts theology since when it is properly appropriated is meant to transmit a reasoned understanding of the study of God. The Trinity contradicts such an outcome.
The Incarnation is a wondrous work of the Divine yet it cannot be fully understood. There are some things such as the prayers of Christ that may never be satisfactorily explained by anyone (see Matt. 17:46 or John 17:5). In John 2:19 it is recorded of Christ that when his body or temple is destroyed "I" will raise it up. This is said in light of the Incarnation but it also shows Christ speaking with divine prerogative. Jesus is the One who is fully human and fully divine. Jesus also speaks as no mere man as he pronounces before Abraham was "I AM" (John 8:58). The "I" of John 2:19 cannot be separated from the same singular deity of the Father who was Incarnate in the Son of God through the virgin womb of Mary. Jesus was the visible image of the very being of God (Heb. 1:3) and his divine nature is identical to that of the Father. Every characteristic of the Father is also characteristic of Jesus, the Son. There is no distinction between the Father and Jesus except those produced by His humanity.
In the John 17:5 text we are not forced to conclude that communication there is only between two persons, especially in the traditional sense. The prayers of Christ are probably given to us as examples of Christ's life of obedience and humility. In this text the Father is not speaking. In this text Jesus is praying, as God manifest in flesh, to God whom He knew was also somewhere other than Himself. This can only happen by the miracle of the Incarnation. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself (2 Cor. 5:19). If so, then God was in Christ as He prayed. This does not mean that Jesus prayed to a different divine person who is also God but as a man "approved" by God praying to God before His disciples. This is something Christians do to this day. God is inside of us yet we pray upward to Him as well. Jesus cannot be our perfect sacrifice if he was not human in every way. This means that Jesus had to pray (Ps. 65:2).