Another name for the Man of Heaven is the Memra (Word; Gk. Logos) of G-d (Hitgallut 19:13), his Father, since he speaks for G-d. When the Most High G-d, HaShem, says, ‘Let us make man in our image’, Targum Yerushalmi on Bereishit 1:27 says, ‘And the Memra of HaShem created man in His [i.e. HaShem’s] likeness…’
With this in mind, Yokhannan says of the Memra, ‘All things were made through him’ (cf. Yokhannan 1:3), and, as Shaul says, ‘all things were created through him and for him’ (Colossians 1:16b), and then, in the first century of the common era, ‘the Memra became flesh and dwelt among us’ (ibid. 1:14). Most are not aware the first disciples of Yeshua are referring to this prominent figure from ancient Jewish Aramaic paraphrases of the Jewish Scriptures (i.e. the Tanakh, a.k.a. “Old Testament”), called Targummim (En. Targums). Fewer still have studied these writings, nor perceived the nuance of Yokhannan’s words, in context.
When Yokhannan speaks of the Memra, he makes an important distinction between the Memra and the Most High G-d. The extant Greek manuscripts of Yokhannan 1:1 say the Memra was πρὸς τὸν Θεόν (protos ton Theon): with the G-d. Like the Targummim, this statement clearly distinguishes the Memra from the G-d. Having made this distinction between the G-d and His Memra, Yokhannan then refers to the Memra not as the G-d, but only as theos, a “god”, without the definite article.
This is important because in Scripture and other Jewish sources, words that are translated “god”, such as el or eloah (elohim being the plural or majestic form of eloah), refer most-literally to an authority/power and not only to the Most High. Mosheh (Moses), for example, is twice referred to as an elohim by the Most High (Shemot / Exodus 4:16, 7:1). Likewise is the Messiah, the prophet like Mosheh (cf. Ma’asei 3:22), called elohim, whose G-d anointed him (cf. Tehillim 45:7-8, Hb.).
Heavenly and earthly powers alike are called elohim, including angels, courts of justice, judges, even the idols of the nations. There is, however, only one ultimate authority/power, i.e. G-d, and He is HaElokim (also “HaEl”).
‘HaShem, He is the G-d; HaShem, He is the G-d.’
— 1 Melakhim (Kings) 18:39b
What Yokhannan is actually saying is the Memra is the heavenly power who was with the G-d in the beginning, and through whom G-d created all things before he later became flesh and dwelt among us (cf. Yokhannan 1:14). Yokhannan does not say G-d became flesh, as many erroneously declare. The Memra is not G-d Himself, but the Heavenly Man who mediates between G-d and man (cf. 1 Timothy 2:5, 1 Corinthians 15:47,48,49, Tehillim / Psalms 80:15,17).
When the Lord Yeshua is accused of blasphemy for making himself a god (cf. Yokhannan 10:33), he reminds his accusers that HaShem calls the judges of Yisrael Sons of G-d and elohim (translated “gods”, but meaning powers; cf. Tehillim 82). Therefore, it is not blasphemy for Yeshua, whom HaShem has given authority to judge (Yokhannan 5:22,27, Ma’asei / Acts 10:42, 17:31), to call himself a Son of the G-d (cf. Yokhannan 10:34-36); a power like Mosheh. Yet it was for this claim that he was executed for blasphemy. Nowhere do Yeshua and his disciples say Yeshua is “god the son”.
Listen well to what Shaul says: ‘For although there may be powers/authorities in Heaven or on Earth—as indeed there are many powers and many lords—yet for us there is One G-d, the Father…’ (1 Corinthians 8:5-6a). As the Torah says, ‘Shema Yisrael, HaShem is Our G-d, HaShem is One’ (Devarim 6:4). Therefore, the Son is not G-d.