Let Jesus be Jesus.

Ok, so the last post put forward church life as an analogy of trinitarian life.  More specifically:

‘Differently gifted members of one priesthood’ is analagous to ‘Differently gifted Persons in one Godhead.’

Once this is seen, then we can all breathe a sigh of relief and just let Jesus be Jesus. 

What do I mean by that?  Well let me ask a few questions.  When you read the Gospels, do you ever wonder:

  • Why doesn’t Jesus just say ‘I am God’?  Why all this ‘I am sent…’ stuff?
  • Why does Jesus keep saying things like: ‘I can do nothing by myself’? (e.g John 5:19,30)
  • How come Jesus sleeps?
  • How come Jesus doesn’t know when He’s returning?

Do we get worried when we see that Jesus is ‘differently gifted‘ to the One He calls Father??

Well we needn’t be.  It is a revelation of His divine nature (and not a concealment) that we see in Jesus such dependence on the Father.  When He says ‘I am sent’ it reveals His divine nature as the eternal Son of the Father.  When He says ‘I can do nothing’ it reveals His divine nature as the eternal Servant of the LORD.  When He sleeps it reveals His divine nature as One dependent upon the ever-wakeful Father.  When He says He doesn’t know when He’s returning He reveals His divine nature as One sent from God.  He waits on the Father’s command and does not initiate His first or second coming.

He really can’t do anything by Himself.  He really does sleep (He really does die even!)  He really doesn’t know when He’s returning.  But for all that He is no less divine.   For He belongs to the other Members and in union with their ‘giftings’ He is a full participant in the communion that is God.

We don’t need to assign these differences in Jesus to some ‘human nature’ locked off from a special sphere of uncorrupted deity.  Jesus’ deity is not insulated from these differences, it includes them.  It is the human Jesus who says ‘If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father.’  It is the human Jesus who says ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’  In His differences, even in His complete humanity, He is the living God.  So let’s let Him be who He is in the Gospels.  Let’s not fit Him into some pre-conceived notions of divinity.  Let’s let Jesus be Jesus.

Posted on by Glen in christology, theological method, trinity, Uncategorized

About Glen

I'm a preacher in Eastbourne, married to Emma.

0 Responses to Let Jesus be Jesus.

  1. Dev

    Hey Glen

    just a question after re-visiting this issue

    isn’t the Father eternally the Father – always more ‘mature’ than the Son, as opposed to just gifted differently?

    isn’t there an eternal hierarchy?

  2. Glen

    an eternal *functional* hierarchy. to say an eternal *ontological* hierarchy is to be Arian.

    so it depends what you mean by mature.

  3. Dev

    yea.. but i think saying ‘gifts’ is a bit too relaxed

    what do you mean by ontology as well
    isn’t it ontological to be Father?

    can we separate His being from His role?

  4. Dev

    if He is eternally gifted this way
    and has an eternal role in this manner
    isn’t that an ontology?

    otherwise isn’t there ‘stuff’ underneath Him being Father in His relationship to the Son via the Spirit?

  5. Glen

    yes definitely it is essential to the Father’s being to be Father and eternally so. And this hierarchical structuring is internal to the being of God. The ontological equality comes when you say that the Fatherness of the Father is different but no less essential to God’s being than the Son-ness of the Son. Indeed they are inextricable as mutually constituting realities.

    So in answer to your first question, you can say the Father is more mature than the Son so long as you co-ordinate that strictly and eternally with a Son who is more obedient – ie a relationship of mutual dependence in which each are who they are in relation to the other.

    Does that help or is it just words?

    :-/

    also I think you avoid the “underlying stuff” by saying that the divine nature is the mutual indwelling of the Persons and therefore not at all underlying but IN the Persons.

  6. Dev

    yea.. i suppose that we should just let them ‘be’

    whatever they are, they are ontologically, and trinitarianly – as in – it only applies together

    there is no other ontology except Trinity

    and that the gifting or roles are also only valid in relation to one another

    so even it we want to use the Omni words…
    we should say God is omnipresent – and define:
    The Father who is on the throne of the universe is present everywhere in the Son who is seated at His right hand side through the Spirit that He sent to His Son, to dwell in His Son

    and then add a church dimension to it:

    The Spirit, who dwells in His Son, who now encompasses the church, which is all in all…

    Therefore the Father is all in all, and omnipresent..

    how’s that for Trinitarian attributes including the gospel?

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