Did Jesus have faith in God? – Part 2
Did Jesus have faith in God?
Did Jesus have faith in God?
In his second post, “Further Thoughts On the Question of Jesus’ Faith in God,” evangelical apologist Tom Gilson seeks to qualify or nuance his thesis that the New Testament, by not teaching Jesus to have had faith in God, implies that Jesus is God, who of course has no need of faith. He makes essentially five points:
I’ll have to remain agnostic on 4. 😉
I agree with 1, and with the part of 3 that says that Jesus did his works and gave his teachings by God’s power. On this, Luke 4, or, in John’s words,
Whoever receives [Jesus’s] testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. (John 3:33-35, ESV)
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 authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. (John 14:10, ESV)
And as Paul says,
…in [Jesus] the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily. (Colossians 2:9, NRSV)
That is, God lives and works in and through him in a uniquely full way – all the more so, now that Jesus has been raised to God’s right hand. (This point about Jesus’s reliance on God’s power doesn’t require any controversial modern kenosis theory, because it doesn’t require a two-natures christology.)
About 5, I would argue that it is false. I think my argument from last time stands. Also, 2 does give away the original point. Jesus prays to his Father, just like he taught us to pray to “Our Father.” All through all four gospels, he serves and submits to his God and our God, the Father. (John 20:17) And as best we can tell, Jesus was limited in his knowledge – and this explains his occasional fear, discouragement, and as I showed last time, why his faith, his trust in God, was truly herioc.
I don’t see how the risen and exalted Jesus, Jesus as he is now, would have any need for faith. He must now have all the power and knowledge he needs to rule. Faith? He’s been there, done that, and has come into his reward.
Mr. Gilson would agree with me that a cherished christological theory could prevent one from seeing the New Testament teaching of Jesus’s reliance on the Holy Spirit. I have argued here that equally, one’s theory prevent one from seeing the central example of Jesus’s faith in God. I urge that we should let christological theory bow to scriptural fact.
After you check out Mr. Gilson’s Thinking Christian blog, be sure also to look at his edited book True Reason: Confronting the Irrationality of the New Atheism. I haven’t had a chance yet to see it, but the list of contributors and chapters looks excellent!
(Here’s a link to all five of my posts in this series.)