28 March 2013

Questions from Students: Jesus' Limitations

Illustration by RadoJavor
"So did Jesus always know that he was going to die? Or did God reveal it to him?"

Believe it or not, but there are Biblical scholars who have actually dedicated their lives to studying what it means for Jesus to be fully human/fully God. As a human, there is a strong possibility that Jesus did not know everything that was going to happen to him. It could very well be that Jesus had a limited look into the future. For example, when Jesus is awaiting his betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was said to be "distressed" about what was going to happen (Greek: ekthambeisthai). A better rendering of this word is "terrified surprise." In other words, Jesus does not really know what is going to happen.

However, when we look at his life and all the tensions he was creating with the religious leaders and Roman authorities it becomes obvious that Jesus is going to reach a climax and be at least threatened with death.

Also, if we read Jesus in light of the prophets of the Old Testament, we can safely assume that he is going to have the same fate as they did. Even if Jesus did not know exactly what was going to happen, he probably had a good idea.

I think that this actually makes Jesus even more profound. As a human, he probably didn't know all that was going to come, yet he remained faithful to his Father. He was terrified, yet he willingly chose his death, even though he could have easily done it another way.

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