Q. Thank you, as always, for the time and effort you put into this website and the help you provide to so many people.
My question is kind of two fold. Jesus, during His time physically on earth, was said to be perfectly human and perfectly divine. My first question is, in His humanity, did he retain his sense of identity as God, or did it not come until the advent of His ministry. This came to mind when I read about the time that He stayed behind in Jerusalem conversing with scholars. Was he inquiring in an effort to learn that which God should already know, or was he quizzing and in a sense educating them?
Also, if limiting Himself to only doing the things a normal believing human can do, is this to say that every act that has been passed down through the generations as “miraculous” and evidence of His deity are actually all things a believer can do by the power of the Holy Spirit and through their faith?
I know I’ve heard you talk about this some, I just wanted to clarify. It seems if this were the case it would follow then that His identity as God would be retained and it is the perfect knowledge of God that would allow Him to have the faith to do things that we could do if we had the same faith. It also would explain how He knew what was in people’s hearts, not because he was reading their mind, but because he was the author of the human psyche and would know the cause and effect reactions to what was going on. Am I off base here and if not can you help me nail this thought down via scripture?
A. When Jesus stayed behind to talk with the scholars, He impressed them with His knowledge and understanding (Luke 2:47) The implication is that He was in fact teaching them. And when Mary found Him there, He scolded her for not knowing where He would be. This implies that He knew Who He was and where He had come from. By the way, according to Jewish tradition, at age 12 He would have been considered an adult and responsible for His own behavior, and therefore had not been inconsiderate or disobedient in staying behind.
In John 14:12 He declared that we would do even greater things than He had done, because He was sending the Holy Spirit to empower us. This proved that all His miracles were performed by the Holy Spirit, not by Him acting as God. This teaches us not to view miraculous power as a sign of deity. The anti-Christ will perform miracles and deceive the world. Our belief in Jesus should stem from the fact that every significant detail of His life was foretold in prophecy, identifying Him beyond doubt as the promised Son of God.
The one thing we’ll never understand until after we’re raptured is the incredibly debilitating effect that sin has had on our lives. And nowhere is that more evident than in our faith. Jesus, being without sin, could muster up previously unheard of amounts of faith, energizing powers that all humans have, but that only He could demonstrate. One of the most revealing aspects of our change from mortal to immortal will be to learn that abilities we previously thought were supernatural had been available to us all along, but for our lack of faith.