What Jesus knew

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Mercury, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. Mercury

    Mercury
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    0
    I saw this topic come up in the Bible Versions forum and would like to get other people's thoughts on it. Someone there claimed that Jesus retained his perfect and complete knowledge while he walked the earth. Personally, I believe Jesus emptied himself of some of his divine attributes -- including total knowledge -- in his incarnation.

    Philippians 2:5-7: "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."

    Now, it is not clearly stated what specifically Jesus emptied himself of. But other passages show that divine knowledge is one of those things:

    Luke 2:52: "And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." If Jesus increased in wisdom, that means he did not have all wisdom as a child. He was fully human, and as such he also had to learn, just as his body had to grow. Saying that an all-knowing Jesus increased in wisdom is as nonsensical as claiming that a perfect translation of the Bible became "perfecter" through revisions.

    Mark 13:32: "But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." This verse clearly says, in Jesus' own words, that Jesus did not know all things during his incarnational life on earth. There were things that God the Father knew that the Son did not know at that time.

    The obvious question, then, is how was Jesus able to reveal the details of the kingdom of heaven to his followers? Again, the question is answered clearly by Scripture; it is both prophesied and fulfilled:

    Deuteronomy 18:15: "The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him."

    John 7:16: "So Jesus answered them and said, 'My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.' "

    John 12:49: "For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it."

    John 17:6-8a: "I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them."

    Hebrews 1:1-2: "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe."

    From this, we can see that it is not necessary to believe that Jesus was all-knowing during his earthly life in order to trust his words to us. Jesus gave us the word he received from the Father. And so, we can truly believe that Jesus was fully human, knowing our weaknesses, hungering like we do, crying as we do, able to be surprised as we are, growing in stature and wisdom as we do -- but all this without sinning as we do. Jesus' emptying of himself was not permanent. The One who now intercedes on our behalf has shared in our weakness, but is no longer limited by these weaknesses. Continuing on in the first passage I quoted:

    Philippians 2:9-11: "For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus 'every knee will bow', of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."


    Thoughts?
     
  2. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    I agree with Mercury on this. (Though I am cautiously optimistic on doing such a thing after seeing some of the things posted on the evoutionist threads)

    Mercury gives these "proofs" and they are valid.

    (Really - Literally true).

    Jesus said in John 14 that He took the words that His father GAVE him and it is THESE that he spoke. Jesus said "OF MY OWN SELF I can say nothing".

    It was His connection with God while in human form on earth - and emptied of His "powers" that He spoke.

    NOTICE that when Satan tempts Christ -- in the first temptation he does NOT ask Christ to SIN (as any of us know it) rather he suggests that Christ USE His God-power -- THAT ALONE would have been wrong. So that tells us that although He HAD IT -- He was not supposed to be using it.

    Of course you must believe this REALLY happened and that the DETAILS of scripture are "trustworthy" EVEN though science does not come up with Satan in a jar, nor does science SHOW us "incarnation science" - it is beyond them.

    ("Creation science" as in the "CREATOR's science" is also beyond athiest evolutionists as it turns out)

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  3. Mercury

    Mercury
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bob, even when you agree, you can't help but disagree, can you? [​IMG]
     
  4. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    Never miss the opportunity to get back to that foundational point! [​IMG] That's my motto! [​IMG]

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  5. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Messages:
    2,782
    Likes Received:
    0
    Logically, one must agree that the physical brain of Jesus was unable to contain the infinite omniscience that is His in heaven.

    Even if He was in complete control of swapping knowledge in and out of His physical brain, having only a finite lifetime and a finite sized brain means infinity couldn't fit in the physical incarnation part of Jesus.

    Jesus is more than His physical incarnation, of course, but isn't it exactly the physical incarnation we are talking about here?

    So add my vote to the consensus.
     
  6. Marcia

    Marcia
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    11,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is a challenging topic.

    Jesus was always God even as he lived as a man, however. I believe that at certain times he set aside his omniscience, but I would stop short of saying that he could or did not have omniscience at all while he was on earth.

    Jesus performed miracles that showed his power -- in most cases, it seems he had this power as part of his deity. After all, in Matt 8 he rebuked the sea and wind and they ceased (this is the passage God used to open my eyes to who Christ really was and what I was reading when I was saved, btw).

    Jesus also often knew the thoughts of others -- there are numerous passages where it says Jesus knew the thoughts of the disciples or of the Pharisees. This is part of his omniscience.

    I agree with Mercury's points but would say that there is no solid evidence that Jesus set aside omniscience completely or at all times.
     
  7. Mercury

    Mercury
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    0
    Agreed. While God could do anything, if Jesus were truly human and not just appearing to be human, then his intellect would be bound by the size of his brain the same way his strength was limited by his muscles. Often at Christmas time we speak of how Jesus became a defenseless baby, but his humanness did not end when he turned 30.

    I don't see how that last statement could be logically possible. (God can do anything he wills, but not logical impossibilities that come from word games, such as the old canard about creating a rock so heavy he can't lift it.) How can God partially set aside omniscience? If some knowledge is set aside, then he no longer has omniscience. Partial omniscience is an oxymoron the same as partial perfection or being partially eternal.

    Yes, good points -- but where did Jesus' supernatural power and knowledge come from? If Jesus was all-powerful, then why did he have angels guarding him (if we can believe the devil's application of Scripture in Luke 4)? Over and over in the gospels (especially John) Jesus claims that he is doing the work of the Father, drawing on the power of the Father, speaking the words the Father gave him. To me, that puts the miracles in a different light, and it also explains why Jesus was disappointed when his disciples were not able to do similar miracles. The miracles did not occur because Jesus himself had all the power of God (if so, how could the disciples be expected to duplicate them?), but rather because Jesus was in perfect communion with the Father -- he had perfect faith!

    That may sound like it minimizes Jesus' divinity, but really Jesus' miracles and prophetic statements were not unique proof that he was God. Elijah and Elisha also prophesied, raised the dead and performed other miracles. Evidence of Jesus' divinity comes from his statements of being equal with and one with the Father, his forgiveness of people's sins, and most importantly, his bodily resurrection (with nobody else being the one to raise him).

    Here's some passages that support the idea of Jesus working through the Father:

    John 5:19-20, 30: "Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. [...] I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.' "

    John 14:10: "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works." (emphasis mine)

    In this light, the incarnation seems to make a lot more sense. Jesus really did empty himself when he came to be born in Bethlehem. His signs and wonders were not due to having all power, but rather to being one with the Father: to having the perfect relationship with God that is glimpsed at in Genesis 2, except this time without sin. God himself demonstrated to us how this is possible for a mere human being, even though all others have failed.

    Note Jesus' rebuke in this passage before he calmed the winds and the sea: "Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?" Could this mean that if the men had had enough faith, they would not have needed to wait for Jesus to calm the winds himself?

    Anyway, I'm mainly thinking out loud here. This is an issue I hadn't thought about too much until today when I was reflecting on Philippians 2. I'd appreciate other thoughts, especially any verses that would seem to contradict this thinking. The main one I can think of is Mark 5 where a woman touches Jesus and he notices that "power had gone out from him." John 16:30 would also seem to be a difficulty for claiming Jesus' knowledge is limited, but context shows that it is spoken by the disciples and in the following verses Jesus clarifies their profession by saying it is due to the Father being with him. To me, Luke 2:52 and Mark 13:32 are too clear to be dismissed by this verse. Any others?
     
  8. billwald

    billwald
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
    If Jesus did his stuff without going through God and the Holy Spirit then the atonement was meaningless.
     
  9. Gup20

    Gup20
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,184
    Likes Received:
    1
    I would agree (with Mercury even!! imagine that!!) that Jesus put down his omnicence to become human - otherwise we may have had stories of Jesus coming out of the womb and saying hello to those around him.

    John Chapter 5 deals with these things very well -


    Jhn 5:20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
    Jhn 5:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth [them]; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
    Jhn 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
    Jhn 5:23 That all [men] should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
    Jhn 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
    Jhn 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
    Jhn 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
    Jhn 5:27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
    Jhn 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
    Jhn 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
    Jhn 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
     
  10. Marcia

    Marcia
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    11,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    I didn't say he had partial omniscience. What I was suggesting was that sometimes he had omnisience and sometimes not. I don't that is illogical or an oxymoron.

    I don't know a passage that says Jesus had faith. He did not have to have faith - he was God (the Son). Are you saying Jesus knew the thoughts of people because God was feeding him that knowledge?

    The apostles were able to heal and drive out demons because Jesus gave them that power at a specific point (see Matt 10.1).

    I think that what is bothering me here is a possible tendency to emphasize Jesus' humanity at the expense of his deity. In his incarnation, he was always and at all times fully man and God. He added humanity to his deity when he incarnated; he did not give up any deity to become man. Whether he gave up certain powers, the Bible does not say. The only support for this is the verse about not knowing the time of his return. But I don't think we can infer from this that he had no omniscience at any other point on earth.

    I think this would be a good topic for the Baptist Theology and Bible Study forum. I don't know what it's doing in this forum.
     
  11. Marcia

    Marcia
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    11,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry, I see from Mercury's profile that is not Baptist and had to post here. [​IMG]
     
  12. Mercury

    Mercury
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh, okay. Sorry for misunderstanding you. [​IMG]

    I still would disagree, though, because the passages already given seem to show that Jesus learned things and that there were things he didn't know. For instance, I don't think he just turned off omniscience when talking about his second coming and then went back to being omniscient after that. Mark 13:32 doesn't say that Jesus didn't know now, but rather that the Son doesn't know and the Father does. I think that statement would apply to Jesus' entire earthly life. And, if there was even one thing Jesus didn't know, he was not omniscient.

    Yes, in much the same way a prophet is fed information from God, or a Holy Spirit-indwelled believer can receive information from God. Like that, but perfect!

    As for the faith bit, I admit that I was extrapolating instead of working from a clear teaching, but I base that on Jesus' statements to the disciples that they could have done similar things if their faith had been stronger. I do think that faith was necessary for Jesus. That's why he made time to pray by himself during his ministry and culminating in Gethsemane -- that shouldn't have been necessary if his unity with the Father were independent of faith. So, I think the life Jesus modelled for us includes a life of perfect faith. If that idea is unscriptural, I'd like to know. Do you know of any passages that contradict this?

    I agree with your last statement, but it comes down to what makes Jesus God. If omniscience is a necessary ingredient, then there's a serious problem because you've already said above that at some times Jesus didn't have omniscience. If you make his godhood dependent on his knowledge, then Jesus was not always God. I agree with you that Jesus was always God, but then I must conclude that he was able to set aside his infinite power and knowledge to become human while still being God. It's a mystery I don't claim to fully understand.

    No, it's more than that. The Philippians 2 passage infers it, Luke 2:52 states it outright, and then we have Mark 13:32 which you alluded to. There's also a number of passages where Jesus shows surprise or shock that can be read more naturally if Jesus was not just feigning those emotions.

    Anyway, thanks for responding. I'd like to hear other Baptist opinions on this topic too, so feel free to start a similar topic in one of the Baptist-only forums if you like.
     
  13. Marcia

    Marcia
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    11,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello, Mercury,

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    I think Phil 2 only says that Jesus set aside his glory (which was later revealed on the Mount of Transfiguration to 3 disciples). It is talking about Jesus humbling himself to incarnate as a baby.

    I agree that Lk 2.52 and Mk 13.32 support what you are saying but I am still not entirely convinced Jesus set aside his omniscience at all times.

    I am not sure of the faith thing, either. I think Jesus modelled prayer and communication with God, but did not need faith.

    I'd like to have more feedback on this and will start a thread in the Baptist Theology forum. I hope we get some helpful responses!
     
  14. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    As I said earlier --

    NOTICE that when Satan tempts Christ -- in the first temptation he does NOT ask Christ to SIN (as any of us know it) rather he suggests that Christ USE His God-power -- THAT ALONE would have been wrong. So that tells us that although He HAD IT -- He was not supposed to be using it.


    Eating bread is not a sin. Eating bread when Satan says to eat bread - is not a sin. God does not ALLOW Satan to define sin, satan can only tempt us to do what GOD defines as sin.

    Jesus was under "a rule" that He could not use HIS power as God - on earth. WE don't have that as a rule. IF you could TURN a rock into stone and eat it after days of not eating - it would not be a sin. But you can't so we are stuck depending on other means for bread.

    However the point is that although Christ clearly HAD the power to turn the stone into bread (to create LIFE as GOD) He refused to go against His Father's will - He did not sin and USE that power.

    Why is this important?! Because that means that Christ had the "power" to vaporize His tormentors in a micro-second. To make them "as if they had never existed" or at the very least "to bend their current of thought slightly" during those hours of torture to Himself -- and He did not.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  15. Gup20

    Gup20
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,184
    Likes Received:
    1
    I don't agree with this statement. I think that WHO Jesus was never changed... but he chose to limit himself severly by becoming a man. He made himself subject to his own rules ... allowing himself to be governed, rather than governing. Really, he was allowing himself to be judged by the same judgement we all face. I think that he had open lines of communication with God as no other ever has because his state of 'one accord' with the Father was unbroken until his death.

    We can see in John 5 that Jesus - on his own in his humanity - could do nothing - he had none of the power of his deity as a man:

    Jhn 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

    In fact, the ONLY thing that Jesus ever honored or respected in men was faith. The only thing that ever made Jesus marvel at, for example, was a person's faith.

    I think Merc is right... I think Jesus had perfect faith and was a distict and clear example of what is possible FOR US if we only have faith. We can do the same things Jesus did (sans the dying on the cross for humanity, of course) and greater if we have faith.

    Jhn 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
     
  16. Marcia

    Marcia
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    11,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is no biblical support for Jesus having faith. And there is no support that he gave up deity to become man. I see from your profile that you are word-faith, and that explains your views. But these views are not Biblical (that Jesus was not God when incarnated) and not part of the historic Christian faith.

    Jesus never denied his deity; in fact he affirmed it many times while on earth.
     
  17. Mercury

    Mercury
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not entirely convinced either, but so far that's the way I see it. ;)

    One thing I hope we agree on is that neither of our positions on this issue diminish the deity of Christ. This is because we both agree to the following statements:

    1) Jesus was always and at all times fully man and God.
    2) Jesus was not always omniscient.

    Therefore, omniscience was not necessary for Jesus to be fully God, because you wouldn't think that Jesus lost his God nature at the times when you believe he set aside his omniscience. Similarly, I also do not believe Jesus lost his God nature even though I believe he set aside his omniscience during his entire earthly life.

    Thanks for starting that. I'll be following it with interest! So far the only idea to come out of it is that Jesus regained his omniscience when he was baptized. That is easily shown to be false since one of the main verses that show Jesus was not omniscient is Mark 13:32 which happened long after Jesus' baptism.
     
  18. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    Well Jesus DID have faith and we are to "WALK as HE Walked" 1john 2:3-7.

    Jesus said "My God My God WHY have you forsaken Me?"

    Jesus said "IF IT be possible LET this cup pass from ME"

    Jesus said "Peter I HAVE PRAYED for you that your faith fail not"

    Jesus said "OF my OWN self I can do NOTHING".

    Jesus PLACED himself in the position of depending on the Father AND He said He was doing that every thing on several occassions.

    I think we can believe Him on that point.

    In Phil 2 and Heb 5 we find Christ LEARNING obedience through things He suffered. EVEN to the point of "strong crying with tears".

    He was the ultimate example of faith.

    But it is not a question of denying His deity and being confused about it. FAit was in REMAINING in darkness and NOT using infinite wisdom of HIS OWN to solve His problems.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  19. Marcia

    Marcia
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    11,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bob, I have yet to see support from the Bible for this. He was God the Son and God does not need faith.

    I am appreciating your feedback and Mercury's post as well. Not much is happening with this in the Baptist forum unfortunately.
     
  20. BobRyan

    BobRyan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,837
    Likes Received:
    4
    You are right that God is infinite in knowledge, power, glory and has no need of anything.

    I don't claim to fully grasp the incarnation of God the Son so what I do is "observe the limits" that scripture sets for Christ.

    And when we observe Christ in tears and "strong crying" (Heb 5) and "learning obedience through the things He suffered" we KNOW this is not the infinite God-being LEARNING someting He did not know before NOR even "being in want".

    So it can only be that God the Son is deferring His God attributes so he CAN suffer as a human.

    Once we go there - then we can truly understand why He says "I do NOT speak My OWN word" and why He says "What I hear - that is what I speak".

    His entire life was one of trust and dependance on the Father - SHOWING us the way that we are to walk. He continually pointed out that He was giving us an example and that we are to follow it.

    Why would Christ need to pray to the Father and "make a request"?

    Christ Himself said of His own second coming that ONLY the Father knew the time.

    This could only be true if Christ was voluntarily deferring some knowledge.

    However - I do not claim to fully understand the incarnation or how it worked.

    In Christ,

    bob
     

Share This Page

Loading...