If it all be possible, let this cup pass from me

In the days of his flesh, Jesus[a] offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; 9 and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 10 having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Given questions on how the sleeping disciples heard the prayer, and also suspicion about the incomprehension of the disciples in Mark, which is a theological motif rather than historical memory and the fact that the scene is steeped in references to the OT, the Lord’ Prayer and early Christian liturgical language (though Jesus accounts for all this), Joel Marcus has said:

“Perhaps a compromise solution is possible, since Heb 5:7 paints a picture much like that of Gethsemane scene but describes Jesus’ prayer for deliverance as a frequent practice rather than a one-time event. This may be substantially correct: Jesus toward the end of his ministry, was frequently observed by his followers to struggle with God in prayer over the question of his fate, and when they later tried to piece together what he had prayed in Gethsemane, they filled in the blanks from their memories of this practice in combination with the scriptures, the Lord’s Prayer, and the liturgy of the church.” v2 Mark pg 976-977

I have enjoyed much of this discussion as my truest passion to learn more of, and honor God, more than my passion for understanding evolution (which I do find quite fascinating).

I have a different perspective from which you might not have heard (at least I didn’t see it discussed too directly above), that seems to have me agreeing and disagreeing with a little of what many of you are saying, but from a completely different perspective. I am notoriously long winded, but I will try to sum it up as succinctly as possible, which addressing certain comments from above indirectly as well.

Some background info so you can try to understand where much of my thoughts are coming from… I believe Jesus was fully man in that He learned to walk, made mistakes, was tempted, had doubts ect. I think of the “God” part of Him more as a prince has “royal blood” in them. Jesus had “God blood” in Him. he was God, He created the universe, I think of Jesus as the prism that the light of God shines into and creation is displayed as a rainbow through Jesus (reference to John 1:3 and Col 1:16). There were plenty of humans in the OT who did just about every miracle that Jesus performed. For it wasn’t the OT humans performing the miracles of their own power, but God working in them. Just like it was very possible the Jesus didn’t perform any miracles under His own power, rather God working through Him. I won’t muddy the waters any more referencing the mere shadow of Paul healing people…

I do firmly believe that I could cast any mountain into the sea of do anything imaginable. As it would be the power of God doing it through me, and I would only be able to do something like that if it was God’s will.

I am very glad Jesus said that prayer of " not my will but yours". I end all of my prayers with this as well. Because I do not have the ultimate knowledge and wisdom of the universe that God has and I don’t want to pray for something that may butterfly effect against God’s will. I ask the desires of my heart (which I hope align more with His every day) and caveat it all with “not my will but your”. I might not literally speak that every time, but God knows my heart and my intentions and I desire that every time. I don’t care if I am sick or a loved one needs healing or I want nice weather for my event. I don’t want to do anything against His will. That is the fundamental purpose of all humans on earth, and to desire anything outside of His will is a sin.

Now I have to expand on desire…as that ties into the original questions of the thread. I like to think of humans have 3 stages. First there is the idea in ones head, it is almost subconscious, and it is never a sin. We don’t have any direct control of this, but this is one reason we are to guard out hearts and minds, “focus on what is good…”. So we have less bad things that pop up out of our control, the better off we will be. Then there is the second stage. This is the muddy waters of maybe not a sin, but can also be a sin. This is when we dwell on a thought. As Jesus warned us to not be anger in danger of murder and lusting as bad as adultery. The 3rd stage is certainly always a sin, “action”. That thought popped in our head, no big deal, pray about it, ask help from a Christian brother or sister, and move on. Dwelling on that thought, that can begin the intentions of actually doing it. And then obviously, doing the act is a sin.

So I do not believe a having a doubt is a sin. Am I good enough, can I do this event/thing? That is ok. I failed before. The consequences are immense if I fail…now you are starting to dwell on it. Now failing to do that thing you were commanded by God to do or knew you should do it and that doing it would bring God glory, you sin.

Jesus did not sin, he doubted. He rightfully fought that doubt with help from the Father. THIS is exactly why I believe He said this. For OUR benefit, AND because He was human. But He wanted us to know that when we do doubt, to always turn to God. In fact, if we had a human doubt or temptation and thought, “we are a deacon at a church (insert high level of self worth) we can handle not sinning” THAT is when you will sin and is a HUGE reason why I believe Jesus came to earth. To show us HOW to live.

My beliefs in a nutshell…Everything (including us) were all created for God’s glory. He wants to have a relationship with us, and wants to help us glorfiy Him, thereby giving Him even more glory (as to which He deserves). A great synonym I like for glory is credit. God created everything, and if anything good happens, He deserves the credit, as it all came from Him. I could…and do write pages in my blog expanding on this as I see it as a form of worship for me, but I am trying not to get too side tracked, but it is clearly the largest passion in my life.

So if we were created for God’s glory, but we need His help to do that. I say He created us like a 3 legged tripod, with God being the 3rd leg. We literally cannot do what we were created for (to stand up and provide stability for something) without His help, without a relationship with Him. That is to have a relationship with Him and when we do accomplish the task that brings Him (deserved) glory, we can thank Him for that help, and praise Him giving Him more glory. And others see this exchange and can also praise God for this, and He gets even more glory! And we are able to do what we were created to do, and so we are fulfilled and never have that void the rest of the world has that doesn’t know this.

So it do believe Jesus said that above and had doubt, and did consult God for help for that doubt. But I also believe He wanted to show us the way we are to live, and that is to always consult God when in “stage 1” and a thought pops in our heads that could lead to sin.

Since it is also discussed above that Jesus HAD to die for our sins, or there was no other way, I can also discuss my views on that which aren’t exactly ‘traditional’ doctrine.

Atheist use the argument (properly I believe and agree with them), that the sacrifice of Jesus’ life wasn’t that big a deal in that there are many humans “as spoken above” that die for other humans, but even those humans that do die for others, give up their life 'for good (they don’t come back to life). And that it isn’t really that big of a deal to give up your life if you know you are going to be raised in a few days and how that is not much of a sacrifice.

To give ones life has multiple meanings though. To die for someone (like spoken above jumping on a grenade vs just serving in the armed forces), is somewhat clear. But to give one’s life…that could be seen as to serve one or DEVOTE ones live for another. Though there are (rightly spoken) many humans in throughout history who have died for others, there is only ONE Person who lived (dedicated every action of their life) for another. Every decision Jesus made was to one, honor/glorify the Father, and two, set up the scene to be the spotless lamb.

There might be someone who, had their life saved (at least in movies) and claim in thankfulness to dedicate their lives serving the other. And they might attempt to do a decent job at it, but I guarantee they won’t do it to 100% perfection for one. But imagine if this ‘master’ they served greatly disrespected them on a continual basis or even tried to kill them and overthrow them. Do you really think they would keep serving them?

THIS is what Jesus did that was amazing! All humans who have did the egregious deed against the Father by sinning (by taking the gift of being the image bearer of God and trying to become our own gods and doing our own will over His) multiple times. Possibly claiming we can then make up for that misdeed by own own actions/strength and some disowning God and claiming they have no need for Him…Jesus gave up His life for them. Jesus dedicated every second of His life for them. THAT is how Jesus “gave His life for His friends” And in doing that ALSO as honoring the Father, AND demonstrated the love that God has for US. That is one of the many reasons I believe Jesus died on the cross for us, why it was “God’s will to crush Him”. It is my belief that there is no other way to impress on us just how much love God has for us!

As far as the actual act of sacrifice and dying for us being “required” like @mitchellmckain said in the first post, I am greatly against. Like there is some higher power above God that set some rule, and God’s only way was to send His Son to save us by dying and there was a ‘magical’ ‘formulaic’ deed that must have occurred? That is not a doctrine I subscribe to.

I think the death of Jesus for our sins is about a required as air is to breath or food is to survive. The only reason we need food to survive, is because wanted it that way. I fully believe if God wanted to, He could sustain a life on earth without food for 100 years or 10000 years. But He doesn’t want that, so He gave us food. The only one who can forgive a trespass is the one who was trespassed against and they can forgive it at any time in any way they want. I think it is a sick fleshly mindset that there must be suffering for the possibility of forgiveness. If someone murders a loved one of mine, and I see true remorse in them, I can forgive them. (Again that is not to say how great I am, for I am not, but to say that the power of the transforming Holy Spirit in me through the power of God, and truth of God, I can forgive that person). And there are people who have forgiven others of heinous acts. And surely man cannot be more merciful than the giver of mercy?

I believe God could easily and fully forgive all sins with the snap of a finger…but He doesn’t. I have my speculations as to why. I think we put too much emphasis on sin as an act. God could stop a murderer from stabbing his victim. But if the murderer gets to that point of desiring to end the life of another, THAT is the issue. This goes back to the second stage of dwelling on an idea. If God paralyzed that man so the murder didn’t happen, what exactly is the outcome? Sure that person can be alive still, but that sinful murderous, angry heart is still out there. THAT is the problem.

As a parent, do we want or desire, or require our children to suffer for the misdeeds they commit? NEVER! We DO want them to be ‘fixed’ though. We want the decision making process, that heart of theirs to be fixed so that some thing doesn’t happen. This is the purpose of a punishment, to correct, to transform.

THIS is another thing that Jesus did for us. God no longer seems to wipe people off the earth when the try to foolishly (and unsuccessfully) thwart God’s will. He always wanted to transform our hearts! That is how He ‘fixed’ sin, how He conquered sin. This is also why I don’t exactly believe in eternal suffering in hell or the ‘full wrath of God poured out on Jesus in our place’…but I don’t want to get too far off topic or on more tangents that I am already on. I write expand a lot on this in my blog, which I don’t think I am allowed to link publicly but if you are interested I can send you a PM. where I expand on all of this.

But trying to get back to the topic. I do believe Jesus had thoughts of anxiety when he prayed that prayer, and I do think He wanted God to help Him. And there was an alternative to Him dying, but that is not what God wanted.

This expands on the 'God-blood" of Jesus I spoke of above. Jesus had the authority to forgive sins by the snap of His finger or the Words of His mouth, and that is exactly what He did to the paralytic. God also provides a hot coal to Isaiah to atone of his sins. I know Hebrews says “without the spilling of blood there is no remission” but remember the Jewish audience here. They had a covenant with God, and agreement with God, saying that exact thing. Requiring the sacrifice of a spotless lamb to forgive sins. As per there agreement, the spilling of blood was required for forgiveness. Again, not because of any magical properties, but because that is just what God wanted.

Just as the scape goat had no magic powers. I believe God gave the people that gift of that ceremony (one to point to Jesus and what He would later do for us), but two, because He created us and know how we work. He wanted to give the Isaelites a way to “get things off their chest”. To feel better, and not to feel guilty of a thing done in the past. I believe Jesus died on the cross because it was God’s will, and speculate it was God’s will because He found that to be the best way to demonstrate His love towards us. This was not a plan B or something God was forced to do. The OT wasn’t something that happened and God played by those rules. He made those rules so we would understand when Jesus did what He did. The crucifixion is the crescendo of the history of our world has been building up to. The birth pangs before the joy or a new life!

Like physics as we know it and it’s laws are generally how God seems to want things to work 99% of the time. But when He wants to change that, He does. We call those interventions miracles. I do believe God wants us to believe in His Son’s death on the cross to atone for our sins and that is the ‘only way’ to be forgiven…as much as gravity is the ‘only way’ our universe works. Only being the general 99% solution. But remember, with is impossible with man, is possible with God.

I don’t like doctrine or difficult formulas and interpretations required for salvation or a ticket into heaven, it is much more simple than that. Do you desire for the will of God above all else, THATS it! For if you were to go to heaven, but desire anything less, heaven would be hell for you. My desire is not for extreme comfort or no more pain in heaven, rather to do the will of the Father for eternity and have Him help me do that, and glorify Him for helping me. I can do that now, I consider myself to already kind of be in heaven, like Peter able to walk on water when looking at Jesus. The only difference is that now I fail, and fail often. Like Peter walking on water, I get distracted and scared of waves and winds and turn towards those distractions, and fall and sink. The great news, the Gospel, is that Jesus reached out His hand and pulled Peter back up. And in heaven, I guess I won’t fail Him, which will be great. But if for now His will is for me to be here, here is actually BETTER than the comforts of heaven.

And I will end it on this parable I took from my blog…
There is a parable of the unmerciful servant which has multiple meanings to it, but one I learned recently I thought was quite interesting. The servant owes his master 10 thousand talents, and 1 single talent is about 20 years of wages. So basically the servant owes 20 x 10,000 years, or 200,000 years. Not even Methuselah lived anywhere close to that, which the reason those words are used is to basically say, impossible to pay back, or it will take an eternity to pay it back.
When you take glory or credit from God (as to which all glory and credit belong), this is a sin, and occurs with all sins. When you do anything against God’s will, you are saying I know better than you God, so I chose to do mine, not your will. That is stealing glory, and exulting yourself above the High and Mighty God. So when you steal that ‘tiny bit of glory’ (even one tiny sin) that ‘tiny’ bit is worth 10,000 talents, or an eternity of human wages. So if you want to pay it back, God will allow you to….it is just going to take an eternity attempt to pay it back yourself. Even insulting Him to attempt to say that you have the ability to pay it back is stealing of His glory. I believe that is the unforgivable sin. Which I believe the only unforgivable sin, is the unrepentant one, the one with no remorse for stealing the Glory of/from God.

The good news is that God offers to allow Him to cancel he debt (to forgive of us this theft), and the only requirement is to acknowledge that you can’t pay it back yourself, and be resentful that you stole the glory in the first place. To realize how grave of a problem that was, and to desire to never do it again. Almost to want hell, to desire to burn for an eternity, to realize how terrible of an act that one ‘tiny’ thing you did (and truthfully, the many large things you did). In my mind, a Christian (on some level) doesn’t want to go to heaven to be with God for eternity, rather wants hell so God isn’t in the presence of such filth that we are. I say on some level because on every other level, the transforming Holy Spirit inside us knows the forgiving power of God and how loved we are by God and wants nothing more than an eternity in the presence of God, knowing He forgave our debts in His mercy.

I am a man of logic. Which I know we are told to lean not on our own understanding but in all our ways acknowledge Him…(Perhaps I am clearly acknowledging Him and He is directing my paths straight?) But I don’t like to use verses from a book to give my allegiance to. MY faith and foundation is in God, and the Bible is simply an illumination of truth, but not the truth itself. I like to step back and look at the big picture and explain things that way, verses just relying on a verse (that clearly as this thread show, can be interpreted differently). I know I don’t have all the answers, but it does frustrate me how complex and formulaic it seems people try to make it. As you can see, i can get complex and into the weeds too, but I base all of my interpretations off of the one truth that we exist to glorify God and need Him to help us do that.

As far as a requirement as a human to fear death, I would disagree against. I don’t fear death, and I am actually quite suicidal (full disclosure). If it wasn’t for God, I am certain I would be dead. I also don’t understand how any non-Christian is still living and hasn’t killed themselves. The thing preventing me from killing myself is that it is God’s will for me to be here. I actually wish (stage 1 thought and some times slightly into stage 2 dwell) about dying, or wishing for death. Like wanting terminal illness or something that allow me to die without killing myself. Which maybe that is my thorn in my side. I don’t know why I struggle with that. And when I am able to exclaim of the greatness of God (like above) I feel on top of world or in heaven, like looking at Jesus and able to walk on water. But unfortunately, the distractions of this world get me all too frequently to turn my eyes off of God and when that happens, those thoughts pop in my head. I thank God for His protection during those times and for reaching His hand back out to me always. I also kind of thank God for that thorn He ‘blessed’ me with. As if it wasn’t for that, I might become too prideful of my own effort and thought. The very sin I have (which I wish I didn’t(Rom 7:15) is the very thing that God gets praise for! That is how God turns bones to armies and makes beauty from ashes! I guess ironic for the guy who above claims he figured out the purpose in life and how to have ultimate joy and already began his eternity, is the one who is suicidal. This just goes to show when I have the joy it is only because of relying on God and when my gaze strays from Him, that joy is sucked away.

Perhaps someone would even see my vulnerability of sharing my thorn, and come to know and praise God for it. I have already been accepted and loved by my Creator despite who I am, and have no need for approval of man. That truth allow one to be very vulnerable and genuine with people. Again, God would get glory for/from the ‘flaw’ that I have.


I’d say he at some point he knew his death was coming. Whether through natural or supernatural means. Though I agree with a lot of your points here.

Yes and Jesus, per the verse in Hebrews quoted above (5:7), seems to have been troubled by news of his death and struggled in prayer over it.

John has some historical details to it for sure but its definitely a “more spiritual gospel.” John wasn’t writing a modern history so your charge of “making things up” doesn’t really do full justice to the situation. John wrote good news where in a lot of ways the post-easter and pre-easter Jesus are merged as one.

I didn’t say he would need one. He may have used one. Luke says an angel strengthened him. I could ask you why God himself didn’t strengthen him. And the trinity leads to all sorts of absurdities. Why is Jesus praying to himself in Gethsemane then? Why is he asking himself to take his cup away that he poured for himself? Bringing the trinity into this is barking up the wrong tree IMHO.

Jesus was 100% God while on earth as well? Odd how 100% God doesn’t know who touched his robe. I don’t deny Jesus was God incarnate or that somehow God became man but I really emphasize that aspect: God became man.

That is a little naive. Every writer has an agenda. Luke tells us his agenda in his prologue. So does mark: the good news about Jesus. Writing was expensive and difficult in antiquity. There was an agenda and purpose involved in the composition of our gospels.

“Remembered” is a questionable word for some materials. Some of what’s in there is not memory. I already pointed out many differences between Mark and John. Luke had problems with Mark’s version as well. He removes the references to Jesus being “overwhelmed, anxious and sorrowful” and rather than have Jesus fall on his face he has him kneel (all theological fabric softeners for a tough scene). Recall John actually goes further in that an entire armed arresting party are the ones who fall to the ground. Matthew even has slight softening here. The pagan critic Celsus in the late 2d tried to use this as proof Jesus wasn’t divine. Origin tried to soften it by emphasizing Marks idiom “Jesus began to be overwhelmed”. Despite asking that the cup be taken away some have tried to say Jesus was feeling sorry about Judas betraying him, sorry for the Jewish people rejecting him and so on and so on. This passage has an interesting history in the church.

“But there is another side to the issue, and this is probably the aspect that Mark wants to emphasize. When Christians feel weak and fearful at the prospect of imminent death and other suffering–as many in the persecuted Markan community probably did–they may be empowered by remembering that their Lord also struggled with tribulation, but thereby overcame the world (cf. John 16:33). Thus some interpreters have seen the portrait of Jesus sin agony in Gethsemane as significant precisely because it shows him to be human (see already Justin, Dialogue 99) and the depiction of him both seeking to avoid the cup and accept it has often been cited as proof that he had both a human will and a divine one (see e.g., Aquinas, Summa Theological 3.18.1).” Joel Markus, Mark pg 987


You were not lying about being long winded :rofl: but it was worth the read. Thanks for sharing. Your blog sounds interesting. Care to send me the link?


I am ha ha.
But to be fair, all of your posts on this thread would possibly be equal in length to my one post? I just had too many branches of topics to cover and ones that needed explained to understand and back up my current beliefs/interpretations of the title text…and I joined in late. I am just getting back to this forum after a fairly long hiatus. I really enjoy how much knowledge and insight is shared from so many of the members here. And the level of decorum/conduct is unmatched.

And if I became a fireman does that mean I cease to be human? Yeah fireman is just an occupation, being human doesn’t preclude that. But I would say pretty much the same of God and man. Being human is just a form in time and space and being God doesn’t preclude that. I don’t think being God precludes anything.

That is a little uninformed. I have been to sci-fi conferences and was forced to wonder how the authors could put up with all the nonsense people were trying to read into their books. I have been an author and one of the techniques of good writing is let the reader fill in things with their own imagination according to their own interests and inclinations.

Making so much of memory is the more dubious thing here. Memory is always far more creative than anything like a motion picture camera. It pretty much requires us to add meaning to events. People’s account of the same events are always different. So my claim is certainly not that that this was anything like objective or without interpretation. The subjective elements are unavoidable even with remembered events. But neither can the reader avoid interpreting what he reads. So the agenda the reader sees in such an account is equally likely to have been added by the reader.

But does that mean you have him as some kind of intermediate ubermench but not quite super-human? I can’t help but read the Bible as presenting him as absolutely average joe, and yet simultaneously “super human.” While I don’t particularly like the adjective “superhuman”, it certainly is an apt description of someone who can walk on water, raise the dead, and command the wind and waves to obey him. Simultaneously, what is more “average” than thirsting, hungering, sleeping, being weary, crying at the death of ones friend, being troubled in heart… I can’t help but think this is what we would see had Christ been simultaneously 100% God and 100% man…

The alternative is to have some sort of blend, 51% God and 49% man where he is greater than any normal human but not quite deity, some amalgamation or blend creating some new distinct entity or breed neither truly human nor truly deity., no?

Even the book of John, that as Vinnie has rightly pointed out narrates much more from the perspective of Jesus’s divinity, still relates Jesus as communicating that his heart was troubled as he faced that final hour, and submitting to his purpose in spite of what his feelings were inclining him toward.

He was indeed well prepared for that outcome, and yet could have been full of emotional turmoil and distressed heart and anguish even in the face of such an event; especially as it comes closer. That is indeed human, after all.


Something makes me doubt that Jesus would have claimed that he himself calmed the storms or walked on water by his own power. I think he would have said rather that his Father does that for him, or enables him, or allows it at Jesus’ request. So it isn’t so much that Jesus is a powerful being in and of himself, but in his relationship to his Father above, he has such power and knowledge according to the will of God. That would fit more with the Johannian passage where Jesus lays down the breathtaking claim that he hasn’t done anything to prevent the same (and even more) to be expected of his disciples. I know that almost nobody takes that humility of His very seriously, but … they were his words according to John!


Agreed. It is hard to make out in the translations, but in the original Greek I think that must have been what stunned the disciples, not that a Christ commanded the waves but that the a father did it for him… the actual rendering probably isn’t so much

"Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”

it really should be translated…

“Who is this, that he commands even the winds and waves, even though technically he isn’t really commanding them and they are obeying him, so much as his Father is really doing it for him and the wind and waves are obeying the Father at his request that looks an awful lot like he was commanding the wind and waves directly.”

I don’t’ know.

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
Mark 4:39

He was directly addressing the wind and the waves, hence the disciples awe.

What I like is the last of that, “…and it was completely calm.” If something needs to be added to the text, it should be “…and they had to row all the way back, because of their lack of faith.” :grin:

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The average joe doesn’t impress all the people in the temple with his knowledge and understanding of scripture at 12 years old. This is definitely far above average. …unless like Vinnie you think this is simply stuff which the writers of the gospel simply made up.

Being a high IQ scientist or a fireman ready to give your life to save others does not make you less than human. Being human doesn’t mean you have to be stupid, cowardly, or selfish. Smart, brave, and selfless are things which human beings are definitely capable of.

I never thought this current worship of ignorance and stupidity would go so far as remaking Jesus Himself in such an image. I mean I can totally understand getting tired of attitudes that intelligence is everything – making smart people the better people. I was raised with such attitudes and I think it sucks. But leaning in the other direction to say that only stupid people are good people is just as bad, if not worse.

Came across this from Raymond Brown today.

“The view taken of Jesus’ knowledge has implications for how Christians relate themselves to the incarnation. The rightest theory of unlimited knowledge greatly reduces the ken o sis or emptying involved in the incarnation. Uncertainty about the future and about how some of the most urgent issues in life will turn out is one of the greatest agonies of being human. The Jesus who knew exactly what would happen becomes almost a play actor on the stage of time, unaffected by vicissitudes. He is a Jesus who should not have feared death in Gethsemane since he knew exactly how he would triumph, and he should not have found it necessary to pray that this cup pass from him. One may ask whether he would have been truly human like us in all things but sin (Council of Chalcedon). The centrists view, which allows human limitations (except sin), inevitably takes the lowly side of the incarnation more seriously. Jesus would share in the human anguish of not knowing exactly how what he had begun would triumph. Triumph it would, but that was a matter of trusting the Father. The length of time before the triumph, its manner and extent would not have been known to Jesus during his ministry, and so death would have come as an enemy to be overcome through complete self-abandonment to the Father’s plan—a plan not clear to the human mind of the Son (Mark 13:32). The incarnate Son who emerges from the centrist view of human limitations is one who empties himself, took on the form of a servant and became obedient even unto death on a cross (Philip 2:7-8). This difference between the rightest and centrist views of Jesus’ humanity affect its exemplary character. We can admire a Jesus without limitations, but then we do not have the inspiration of a Jesus who is able to “sympathize with our weaknesses” because “in every respect he has been tempted as we are” (Heb 4:15).” Critical Meaning of the Bible, pg 91-92

He goes on to point out how your perspective here also shapes your view of the early Church. Either way, its clear to me that scripture is not consistent in its teachings on this issue. We see it struggles to explain the incarnation as much as we do. I favor the centrist view. The “scandal” for many Christians behind the traditions of Gethsemane and Hebrews 5:7, which are extremely early and found all over our canon, means it is likely to be true. What Christian would create such embarrassing details about Jesus?


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CT has published a reply to the Gupta/Swoboda article. Here are links to both if anyone needs a refresher:

Forgive me for skimming, but here are my thoughts:

Jesus was fully human and fully God, 100% each. But during his incarnation, the Son had to set aside his divine consciousness. Otherwise, you wind up with the Jesus of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, who fashions clay birds that come to life. In contrast, the Jesus of the NT had to “grow in knowledge & stature” to represent us before God as High Priest. He had to be made like his brothers and sisters in every way, yet without sin.

Who among us has never experienced doubt? I’d suggest it’s part-and-parcel of the religious experience. If Jesus never experienced doubt, he didn’t fully share our humanity. Gupta & Swoboda’s article ends by noting that in every instance, Jesus gives us a model of faith.

Is there a resolution between the humanity of Jesus and the divine self-consciousness of the Son of God? I believe there is.

If Jesus laid aside his divine status and knowledge and was born of woman as a helpless infant, then he had to learn everything as we do. How did he come to a realization of his mission and identity? We can only guess, but I suspect it was the culmination of a lifetime of Godly parents, prayer, obedience, reading/meditation on Scripture, outward “signs” of God’s approval, etc., that drove Jesus into the desert to begin his mission. The devil tempted Jesus to doubt, but at this early stage, Christ was resolute. So the devil “left him until a more opportune time.” When was that? Gethsemane and the cross. Satan strikes with doubt at our weakest moment. George Floyd called out for his mama. Jesus called out to Abba. Both were dying of asphyxiation.

But what of the spiritual? Most would agree that Jesus attributed his miracles and teaching to faith/revelation from the Father/the Spirit. The source of doubt wasn’t an ontological separation of the persons of the Trinity, but the withdrawal of the Spirit’s “felt presence” and guidance. This is also a quintessential Christian experience. All of the great saints of the faith have felt the “dark night of the soul” at one point or another. You think you’re following the right path, accompanied by much prayer and confirmation, but suddenly everything turns sour, and the Lord is nowhere to be found. Left alone, the thought naturally comes, “Maybe I saw what I wanted to see. Have I deceived myself?”

“The Last Temptation of Christ” was a controversial book and movie some years ago. I don’t endorse either, but the question is valid: What was the last temptation of Christ?

It was doubt. Have I deluded myself? Did I misunderstand the evidence? Did my disciples understand, or have I “spent my strength for nothing”? It’s worth noting that both Is. 49:1-6 and Psalm 22 end on a note of trust. Left alone, Jesus was tempted by doubt, but he remained faithful to the end and did not sin.

For this reason God exalted his name above every name …

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That’s pretty much how I look at it. Minus a little bit here and there.

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Maybe at first, but later, growing in his divine consciousness as well? He ‘saw’ Nathaniel under the fig tree, and Mary appears to know he could perform miracles before the wedding at Cana. Did he not have some degree of ‘divine consciousness’ for them? He certainly had foreknowledge of multiple events during his time here, in addition to being prophetic.

So did almost very other prophet. All power and authority was given to Jesus as he continued to pursue the will of Yahweh.

Yes, I thought of that, Elijah, et al. What is your perspective of Jesus’ ‘divine consciousness’?

I think one of the biggest problems when it comes to this subject is that people latch onto the hardest to understand and most ambiguous verses and use that to interpret the easier verses. But the Bible gives many straight forward answers.

Did Jesus consider himself to be a all powerful being that had existed for all eternity?

Philippians 2:5-7
New American Standard Bible
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men.

Mark 10:18
New American Standard Bible
18 But Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.

I don’t see any clear cut evidence that Jesus ever believed himself to be a god. Everything that is dead clear, with no guessing involved, states that Jesus believed he was a man and that he was a human and that he was a mortal and that he was not eternal, and that he could be killed and tempted by sin. But he kept to his father’s will. He pursued it even into death and because he had never sinned, death could not keep their hold on him and Yahweh resurrected him and make him immortal, made him all knowing snd all powerful and it’s a position Jesus will keep until he defeats all the enemies of his father and then he will hand over all power and authority back to Yahweh the one and only true god.

1 Corinthians 15:25-27
New American Standard Bible
25 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is clear that [a]this excludes the Father who put all things in subjection to Him.

So since Jesus outright seemed to clearly reject being a divine being I am not one to call him a liar and try to prove him wrong with ambiguous sneaky verses.

But I do agree there are things that are unclear. But the unclear things don’t determine what’s possible by undermining the clear things. The clear things places the restrictions on the unclear things.

So I don’t think Jesus has divine consciousness. I believe all the special visions and knowledge unknowable by mankind was given to Jesus by the father just as with all the prophets.

That’s why Jesus did not know the exact date. Yahweh, his father and his god, did not reveal it to him.

Mathew 24:36
“ No one knows the time or hour, not even the son of the angels, but only the father”.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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