Why Did Jesus Pray?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
Greetings fellow pilgrims,

I think this could be an interesting topic.

Why did Jesus pray?

Luke 6:12​
And it came to pass in those days that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

So, why did Jesus pray?
Did he need to?
If so, why did he need to?

Jesus prayed a lot. Here's a link to a page that shows approximately 21 times where Jesus prayed. Many times we hear the words of his prayers, while other times there it is just mentioned that he prayed at this or that occasion.

What I say below is presented as if it were a clear, dogmatically clear, doctrine Scripture. I assure you it is not. Many places in the Gospels would seem to disprove my thesis. But here it is, so pick at me all you want. :)

I ask again why did Jesus pray?
I have found that people often consider it a strange idea when I give the answer that, "Because Jesus lived his life as a man. A man born without a sin nature, but a true man who relied on God the same way we do."

This observation can only be understood if we realize that God can do things that we consider impossible. I don't think it's correct to consider Jesus as a world-class marathon runner who just jogged and pretended he couldn't run. Jesus was not just pretending he didn't have the full power as the second person of the Trinity, but, in a way that we cannot understand, it was as though he actually didn't have that power. We know from his 40 days of temptation in the wilderness that he could have used his power but did not and would never do so apart from the Father's will. I think it is somewhat like the doctrine of the Impeccability of Christ that teaches that he could not possibly have sinned, yet at the same time maintains that Christ's temptations were real. So severe were they that in Gethsemane, he might have died or been too weak to continue his mission to suffer as the Messiah. It took a visit from an angel to give him the strength he, living as a man, did not have.

I believe the Bible teaches that Jesus was not born with the knowledge that he was the Son of God. Still, through the use of means, the same means available to us, he came to that knowledge through prayer, worship, Scripture, and the Holy Spirit which together revealed to him that he was the incarnate Son of God. It seems he understood this by around age 12, but simply calling God his Father does not prove that. His development followed the pattern shown in Scripture.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
(Luke 2:52)

As I often say when I speak of something somewhat controversial,
Now, where did I go wrong? I'm sure some of you will tell me.:)
 

RecovRecon

Puritan Board Freshman
I would venture that he prayed because it was one of the many facets of the law that He had to obey. He obeyed all points of the law, and one of those would be to pray...another idea is that He did so as a communication measure, which is what prayer is. It wasn't so much as if He was ignorantly asking for some outcome that could have been a 50 50 chance, which is also how we should NOT view prayer. It was that He could do no less than communicate perfectly within the God head, and prayer should be that communication for us as well. Particularly in the garden of Gethsemane, it wasn't that His prayer was unanswered. The cup WAS taken away...He did not have to endure hell forever. Did Jesus know He wouldn't be in hell forever? I'm sure of it. So why bother praying other than to communicate His desires with His father. He is our example. So I know I don't have any scripture chapter and verse to back this thought up, but it seems to be scripturally principled and it's what I've rolled with.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
I’ll add that Paul told us to pray without ceasing. How can we do that?

By being in Christ. Jesus was in constant communion with the Father during his ministry.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
I would venture that he prayed because it was one of the many facets of the law that He had to obey. He obeyed all points of the law, and one of those would be to pray...another idea is that He did so as a communication measure, which is what prayer is. It wasn't so much as if He was ignorantly asking for some outcome that could have been a 50 50 chance, which is also how we should NOT view prayer. It was that He could do no less than communicate perfectly within the God head, and prayer should be that communication for us as well. Particularly in the garden of Gethsemane, it wasn't that His prayer was unanswered. The cup WAS taken away...He did not have to endure hell forever. Did Jesus know He wouldn't be in hell forever? I'm sure of it. So why bother praying other than to communicate His desires with His father. He is our example. So I know I don't have any scripture chapter and verse to back this thought up, but it seems to be scripturally principled and it's what I've rolled with.

Thanks, Jessica, for your response.
At least someone was brave enough to start. :)
Is it OK if I have a few comments on some of what you wrote?

would venture that he prayed because it was one of the many facets of the law that
A. What you said here is true enough. But I am sure that the Law does not command the practice of all nigh prayer. I'm sure Jesus would not continue all night in prayer as an example of fulfilling the Law. Do you know the meaning of the word 'supererogation?' You might want to look it up.

It wasn't so much as if He was ignorantly asking for some outcome that could have been a 50 50 chance, which is also how we should NOT view prayer.
A. Surely it was not a 50/50 "chance" of Him getting an answer. As I have often said, "Jesus' prayers are also prophecies" in that He only requested things according to The Father's will. All that Jesus prayed for was, and in some cases, will be fulfilled.

Particularly in the garden of Gethsemane, it wasn't that His prayer was unanswered. The cup WAS taken away...He did not have to endure hell forever. Did Jesus know He wouldn't be in hell forever? I'm sure of it.
A. I agree that His prayer was answered. I will ask that you rethink the part where you state that "The cup WAS taken away...He did not have to endure hell forever." Did someone tell you that that is what transpired at Gethsemane? As I see it, there were two requests on the table. And only two. To escape the cup, or to drink it to the dregs. And we know that it could only be the latter. Jesus already knew that He would not remain in hell forever. Consider the following.

Psalm 16:10
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; Neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Acts 2:27
Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, Neither wilt thou suffer [allow] thine Holy One to see corruption.
Acts 2:31
he seeing this before the spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

Thanks again for your thought,

Ed
 

RecovRecon

Puritan Board Freshman
What you said here is true enough. But I am sure that the Law does not command the practice of all nigh prayer. I'm sure Jesus would not continue all night in prayer as an example of fulfilling the Law. Do you know the meaning of the word 'supererogation?' You might want to look it up.


A. Surely it was not a 50/50 "chance" of Him getting an answer. As I have often said, "Jesus' prayers are also prophecies" in that He only requested things according to The Father's will. All that Jesus prayed for was, and in some cases, will be fulfilled.


A. I agree that His prayer was answered. I will ask that you rethink the part where you state that "The cup WAS taken away...He did not have to endure hell forever." Did someone tell you that that is what transpired at Gethsemane? As I see it, there were two requests on the table. And only two. To escape the cup, or to drink it to the dregs. And we know that it could only be the latter. Jesus already knew that He would not remain in hell forever.
I don't think Christ's praying all night was what was fulfilling the Law, it was just the praying itself. He chose to pray as long as He wanted to communicate in my opinion. I don't think supererogation comes into play here. He would not attempt to be over righteous.

I think you might have misunderstood what I meant when I said the 50 50 thing...I was saying that a 50 50 chance was NOT possible. So yes agreed.

I agree they there were only those 2 options. To drink the cup or have it taken. And to that understanding, I actually would have pointed to those example verses you provided of why the cup of eternal hell WAS the cup taken away. It literally talks about how the Father won't leave/hasn't left Christ in hell, and I believe Jesus was praying in accordance with the truth He knew was written and would be written in Scripture. If the cup was NOT taken away (not sure what the cup would be then otherwise), then we would have to be content with the idea that perfect, righteous, holy Jesus Christ requested of the Father something outside of God's will to deliver. I don't believe Jesus had any unanswered prayers because that would mean the God head is in disharmony. At least how I see the chips fall.
(Also just to clarify, I don't believe **hell** was the cup taken away, but the **eternal stay in hell** was the cup taken away. Because He did have to pay hell.)
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
Why did Jesus pray? I actually get this question frequently when I teach kids. The following few brief answers might not go terribly deep, but I tend to give some of these:

Because prayer is inherent to being human. Jesus knew that God "gives to all mankind life and breath and everything" (Acts 17:25). Every man constantly receives from God everything he needs—how much more so a man on mission from God. Prayer reflects an awareness of this.

Because prayer is inherent to the mission of the Messiah. Prayer lies at the core of a life of faith. And the Messiah is full of perfect and constant faith, taking to God every concern and emotion he has—his praise, his daily needs, his hurts, his anger, etc.—as seen in our prayerbook and his, the Psalms. Jesus' prayer life is the Psalms come alive.

Because prayer is inherent to the work of the Mediator. Jesus is our representative before God, the true High Priest who still prays for us constantly. A high priest who didn't pray would be no priest at all, and we would have no mediator.

Because prayer fits how salvation is the work of the triune God. In his saving work, Jesus was commissioned by the Father (John 5:19-27) and was anointed and empowered by the Spirit (Luke 4:18; Luke 5:17). The whole Trinity is involved and invested. So, Jesus doesn't pray only because he is human or only as a man, but also because he is God in complete union and partnership with the other persons of the Godhead as he undertakes his mission.

Those points usually feel like plenty when I get this question, but I'm open to other good points, which surely exist. I usually don't delve into Jesus' level of awareness of who he was, nor exactly how he drew on his inherent divine power vs. drawing on power given to him as a Spirit-strengthened prophet, because there are already other good reasons why Jesus prayed. But it certainly can be profitable to discuss and understand all of it.
 

alexanderjames

Puritan Board Freshman

I agree they there were only those 2 options. To drink the cup or have it taken. And to that understanding, I actually would have pointed to those example verses you provided of why the cup of eternal hell WAS the cup taken away. It literally talks about how the Father won't leave/hasn't left Christ in hell, and I believe Jesus was praying in accordance with the truth He knew was written and would be written in Scripture. If the cup was NOT taken away (not sure what the cup would be then otherwise), then we would have to be content with the idea that perfect, righteous, holy Jesus Christ requested of the Father something outside of God's will to deliver. I don't believe Jesus had any unanswered prayers because that would mean the God head is in disharmony. At least how I see the chips fall.
(Also just to clarify, I don't believe **hell** was the cup taken away, but the **eternal stay in hell** was the cup taken away. Because He did have to pay hell.)
Where did you get this idea that the cup was taken away from Christ?
This idea runs entirely against orthodox teaching and the message of the Gospel.

When we consider Christ in the garden of Gethsemene we enter into a very solemn matter. Jesus indeed drank of the cup which contained the wrath of Almighty God. This wrath we ourselves are deserving of. Furthermore, His prayer was answered. He submitted Himself to the Father to save His elect in praying “Thy will be done”. And He bore the condemnation of our sins in His body on the tree.

I have to confront you on this in case no one else picks it up.
 

RecovRecon

Puritan Board Freshman
Where did you get this idea that the cup was taken away from Christ?
This idea runs entirely against orthodox teaching and the message of the Gospel.
This is what I had been raised to understand, and it makes very much sense. I know it isn't a common view, but I also don't think it runs contrary to the gospel, and age of a viewpoint doesnt always equal absolute foolproofedness. I have not yet heard a reasonable explanation in my past discussions that explains how God the Father could say No to His Son and maintain perfect harmony in the Godhead. I'm not certain Cup means exactly the same thing every single time it is used either, but at least in Gethsemane, it has been the best explanation I have heard. Yes He suffered Hell. But as Scripture testifies, He was spared remaining there, which was what mankind deserved. He was spared, as He had requested, the full cup.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
This is what I had been raised to understand, and it makes very much sense. I know it isn't a common view, but I also don't think it runs contrary to the gospel, and age of a viewpoint doesnt always equal absolute foolproofedness. I have not yet heard a reasonable explanation in my past discussions that explains how God the Father could say No to His Son and maintain perfect harmony in the Godhead. I'm not certain Cup means exactly the same thing every single time it is used either, but at least in Gethsemane, it has been the best explanation I have heard. Yes He suffered Hell. But as Scripture testifies, He was spared remaining there, which was what mankind deserved. He was spared, as He had requested, the full cup.
As I read it, the prayer was two sided, "take the cup, but ultimately let your will be done". It seems the prayer was open ended, either this or that. The prayer answered was that Jesus would do the will of the father (he was given what he needed to endure). The father's will was that Jesus would drink the cup. Also, did Jesus suffer in hell? I know the apostle's creed states this, but I see no where in scripture that would lead me to believe this. I do know he experienced the Father's wrath though.
 

chuckd

Puritan Board Sophomore
I believe the Bible teaches that Jesus was not born with the knowledge that he was the Son of God. Still, through the use of means, the same means available to us, he came to that knowledge through prayer, worship, Scripture, and the Holy Spirit which together revealed to him that he was the incarnate Son of God. It seems he understood this by around age 12, but simply calling God his Father does not prove that. His development followed the pattern shown in Scripture.
How could the Son of God not know he is the Son of God?
 

RecovRecon

Puritan Board Freshman
How could the Son of God not know he is the Son of God?
Correct, Jesus says constantly that He must do the will of His father. As well as saying He and His Father are one. He wasn't in some matrix. At 12 yrs old He knew what His mission was, as the 2nd person of the Trinity. He says Behold my mother and brethren ...if He didn't know, He wouldn't say that...on and on. I don't believe His praying to the Father reflected that He perceived Himself to be in a flesh vacuum or something.
 

RecovRecon

Puritan Board Freshman
As I read it, the prayer was two sided, "take the cup, but ultimately let your will be done". It seems the prayer was open ended, either this or that. The prayer answered was that Jesus would do the will of the father (he was given what he needed to endure). The father's will was that Jesus would drink the cup. Also, did Jesus suffer in hell? I know the apostle's creed states this, but I see no where in scripture that would lead me to believe this. I do know he experienced the Father's wrath though.
Eh, that seems to be a bit strange to me still...if it was "open ended" where Jesus expressed His desire but then said "however, if **going against the desire of the 2nd person of the Trinity** is what the will of the 1st person of the Trinity is, then do that." ...I still think the Godhead is more in sync, if you will, than that. I believe both requests of the prayer were answered. I believe God's will and the Son's will were one.

Yes I know there is some hell/hades technicality, for purposes of my conversation here I tend to use them interchangeably. I truly am not sure, but He did descend into some version of what our eternal punishment would have been, certainly.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
How could the Son of God not know he is the Son of God?
Do you think that the incarnate Son of God Jesus in His estate of humiliation was talking about the man Jesus? The One who was like us in every respect, yet without sin, knew I was the Savior of the World when He was, let's sat, one year old?

To think Jesus, in His estate of humiliation, had all the power, knowledge, and omnipresence of the second person of the Trinity but just didn't use it, seems like He was not a man at all. Was He just pretending to need the Holy Spirit's power and comfort?

I'm going to do some more study before I say much more. This is far too Holy a subject for me to type a quick unreflected reply.
The question seems to be. Did Jesus live His perfect life as a man? Or as Holy God?
I'll have to get back in the future.
 
Last edited:

chuckd

Puritan Board Sophomore
Do you think that the incarnate Son of God Jesus in His estate of humiliation was talking about the man Jesus? The One who was like us in every respect, yet without sin, knew I was the Savior of the World when He was, let's sat, one year old?

To think Jesus, in His estate of humiliation, had all the power, knowledge, and omnipresence of the second person of the Trinity but just didn't use it, seems like He was not a man at all. Was He just pretending to need the Holy Spirit's power and comfort?

I'm going to do some more study before I saw much more. This is far too Holy a subject for me to type a quick unreflected reply.
The question seems to be. Did Jesus live His perfect life as a man? Or as Holy God?
I'll have to get back in the future.
In the one person of Jesus Christ, consequently, there are two different kinds of consciousness or experience : one divine and one human. But these two kinds of consciousness do not constitute two persons, any more than the two kinds of experience or consciousness, the sensuous and the mental, in a man, constitute him two persons. There can be two general forms or modes of conscious experience in one and the same person, provided there enter into the constitution of the person two natures that are sufficiently different from each other to yield the materials of such a twofold variety. This was the case with the God-man. If he had had only one nature, as was the case previous to the incarnation, then he could have had only one general form of conscious ness : the divine. But having two natures, he could have two corresponding forms of consciousness. He could experience either divine feeling, or human feeling; divine perception, or human perception. A God-man has a two fold variety of consciousness or experience, with only one self-consciousness. When he says "I thirst," and "I and my Father are one," it is one theanthropic ego with a finite human consciousness in the first instance, and an infinite divine consciousness in the second.

A man can have two forms of consciousness, yet with only one self-consciousness. He can feel cold with his body, while he prays to God with his mind. These two forms of conscious experience are wholly diverse and distinct. He does not pray with his body, or feel cold with his mind. Yet this doubleness and distinctness in the consciousness, does not destroy the unity of his self-consciousness. So, also, Jesus Christ as a theanthropic person was constituted of a divine nature and a human nature. The divine nature had its own form of experience, like the mind in an ordinary human person ; and the human nature had its own form of experience, like the body in a common man. The experiences of the divine nature were as diverse from those of the human nature, as those of the human mind are from those of the human body. Yet there was but one person who was the subject-ego of both of these experiences. At the very time when Christ was conscious of weariness and thirst by the well of Samaria, he also was conscious that he was the eternal and only-begotten Son of God, the second person in the trinity. This is proved by his words to the Samaritan woman : "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. I that speak unto thee am the Messiah." The first-mentioned consciousness of fatigue and thirst came through the human nature in his person ; the second-mentioned consciousness of omnipotence and supremacy came through the divine nature in his person. If he had not had a human nature, he could not have had the former consciousness ; and if he had not had a divine nature, he could not have had the latter. Because he had both natures in one person, he could have both.


WGT Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, Christ's Theanthropic Person
 

RecovRecon

Puritan Board Freshman
Do you think that the incarnate Son of God Jesus in His estate of humiliation was talking about the man Jesus? The One who was like us in every respect, yet without sin, knew I was the Savior of the World when He was, let's sat, one year old?

To think Jesus, in His estate of humiliation, had all the power, knowledge, and omnipresence of the second person of the Trinity but just didn't use it, seems like He was not a man at all. Was He just pretending to need the Holy Spirit's power and comfort?

I'm going to do some more study before I saw much more. This is far too Holy a subject for me to type a quick unreflected reply.
The question seems to be. Did Jesus live His perfect life as a man? Or as Holy God?
I'll have to get back in the future.
Christ actually addresses your second paragraph concern when He talked to Peter for cutting the soldier's ear off...He said "don't you know I could request a legion of angels to save me right now? But how would the scripture be fulfilled?" (Paraphrased). So I do think He actually willfully chose not to execute some power that He could have done, for the sake of the salvation plan. And that doesn't go contrary to God's nature anyway. Doesnt He have the power at all times to do anything? How often does He withhold His power? It's all over the OT for starters. I believe Jesus willfully subjected Himself and much of His power to the confines of a sinful body, which is **why** it was such an estate of humiliation for Him to come in the flesh at all - it wasnt just humiliation at the cross, it was the fact He had to cloth Himself with our mortality. Christ's sacrifice goes way deeper than what we can imagine.

I would say the 100% God part did not need comfort from the Spirit, but His 100% man part did. Not something that's easy to grasp.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Sophomore
Eh, that seems to be a bit strange to me still...if it was "open ended" where Jesus expressed His desire but then said "however, if **going against the desire of the 2nd person of the Trinity** is what the will of the 1st person of the Trinity is, then do that." ...I still think the Godhead is more in sync, if you will, than that. I believe both requests of the prayer were answered. I believe God's will and the Son's will were one.

Yes I know there is some hell/hades technicality, for purposes of my conversation here I tend to use them interchangeably. I truly am not sure, but He did descend into some version of what our eternal punishment would have been, certainly.
Remember that the Godhood only has one will, but the person of the Son has two: the divine and the human.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Sophomore
I would say the 100% God part did not need comfort from the Spirit, but His 100% man part did. Not something that's easy to grasp.
I shy away from using percentages or words like “fully”. He was truly God and truly man, the natures distinguishable but not separable. By using “math” you end up in contradictions. Using historic confessional language maintains mystery but not contradiction.
 

RecovRecon

Puritan Board Freshman
Remember that the Godhood only has one will, but the person of the Son has two: the divine and the human.
Even if He was tempted in His flesh to ask something contrary to God the Father's will, I dont think He would have fallen into that temptation and prayed amiss.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Sophomore
Even if He was tempted in His flesh to ask something contrary to God the Father's will, I dont think He would have fallen into that temptation and prayed amiss.
I wasn’t necessarily arguing with your overall point, just prodding you to watch your language closely.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
I wasn’t necessarily arguing with your overall point, just prodding you to watch your language closely.

Hey doc,

What follows is not an answer to yours or anybody else's post. I just picked up on your phrase, "watch your language closely," and thought that some questions about Jesus the man, God, one Person, and two natures might be interesting and helpful to to some.

Introductory Notes:
Below are what I call some "important and interesting questions" about the Lord Jesus Christ. Many of the questions relating to Jesus, us laymen are not regularly conversant with. Now the brainiacs out there, the theological wizards know these things plus a lot more. Fisher' Catechism talks about Jesus in little bite-size questions and answers that I believe are quite easy to understand, even though the topic is wildly profound. Take your time, and don't think you have to read them in one sitting. Many of the things are worth prolonged meditation and praise to our God for sending His wonderful gift to the world.

You might want to pick up a copy of Fisher,s Catechism for your personal edification. It has over 4,000 questions and even more Scripture references based on the Westminster Shorter Catechism. I love this work with all my heart and soul, and have put hundreds and hundreds of hours typesetting it and studying it. I just plain fell in love with it. I think you could too.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~​

Some important and interesting questions from Fisher's Catechism: The Westminster Assembly's Shorter Catechism Explained

Westminster Shorter Catechism
Question 21. Who is the Redeemer of God’s elect?
Answer: The only Redeemer of God’s elect, is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continues to be God and man, in two distinct natures, and one person, for ever.

Below are some of sub questions from Fisher's Catachism:

Q. 24. When he became man did he cease to be God?
A. No; but he became Immanuel, God-man, Matt. 1:23.

Q. 25. What is the import of the name Immanuel?
A. It imports, that God is in our nature; and that a God in our nature is not against us, but a God with us, and for us, to save us from the hands of all our enemies, Luke 1:71.

Q. 26. What moved God to become man, in the person of the Son? A. Nothing but matchless and undeserved grace and love, 1 John 4:10. Q.

27. How many natures has Christ?
A. Two: namely, the nature of God, and the nature of man, 1 Tim. 3:16.

Q. 28. Why are they called two distinct natures?
A. In opposition to the error of the Eutychians of old, who maintained, that the two natures were mixed or blended together, so as to make but one nature.

Q. 29. Why is he said to have but one person?
A. In opposition to the error of the Nestorians, who maintained, that each nature was a person; or, that he had two persons.

Q. 30. How does it appear, that the two natures of God and man are united in the person of the Son?
A. From Isaiah 9:6 —“Unto us a child is born — and his name shall be called — The mighty God.” It neither being possible nor true, that he who is the child born, could be the mighty God, except by union of the divine and human natures in one person, Rom. 9:5; 1 Tim. 3:16.

Q. 31. Will ever the union between the two natures be dissolved?
A. By no means: for he is, and will continue to be our Kinsman, Priest, and Representative, in both natures for ever, Heb. 7:24, 25.

Q. 32. Does not each nature, notwithstanding of this union, still retain its own essential properties?
A. Yes; the divine nature is not made finite, subject to suffering or change; nor is the human nature rendered omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent, as the Lutherans, contrary to scripture and reason, affirm.

Q. 33. Are not the acts and works of either of the two natures, to be ascribed to the person of Christ?
A. Yes; because all he did and suffered, or continues to do, as Mediator, must be considered as personal acts, and from thence they derive their value and efficacy, Acts 20:28.

Q. 34. Why is the union of the two natures called a hypostatical or personal union?
A. Because the human nature is united to, and subsists in the person of the Son of God, Luke 1:35.

Q. 35. What is the difference between the hypostatical union, and the union that takes place among the persons of the adorable Trinity?
A. The union that takes place among the persons of the adorable Trinity, is a union of three persons in one and the same numerical nature and essence; but the hypostatical is a union of two natures in one person.

Q. 36. What is the difference between the hypostatical union, and the union that takes place between the soul and body?
A. Death dissolves the union that is between the soul and the body; but though the soul was separated from the body of Christ, when it was in the grave, yet both soul and body were, even then, united to the person of the Son as much as ever.

Q. 37. What is the difference between the hypostatical union, and the mystical union that is between Christ and believers?
A. Both natures in the hypostatical union are still but one person; whereas, though believers are said to be in Christ, and Christ in them, yet they are not one person with him.

Q. 38. Why was it requisite that our Redeemer should be man?
A. That being our kinsman and blood relation, the right of redemption might devolve upon him; and that he might be capable of obeying and suffering in our nature, Heb. 2:14.32

Q. 39. Why was it requisite that our Mediator should be God? A. That his obedience and sufferings in our nature and room, might be of infinite value for our redemption, Acts 20:28; and that the human nature might be supported under the infinite load of divine wrath; which he had to bear for our sins, Rom. 1:4.33

Q. 40. “Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be God and man in one person?” A. “That the proper works of each nature might be accepted of God for us, and relied on by us, as the works of the whole person, Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 2:6.”

Q. 41. What may we learn from the indissoluble union of the two natures in the person of Christ?
A. That this union shall be an everlasting security for the perpetuity of the union between Christ and believers: that the one shall never be dissolved more than the other; for he has said, “Because I live ye shall live also,” John 14:19.

Westminster Shorter Catechism
Question 22. How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
Answer: Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to himself a true body and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin.

Q. 1. Did Christ assume the person of a man?
A. No; he assumed the human nature, but not a human person, Heb. 2:16.

Q. 2. Had ever the human nature of Christ a distinct personality of its own?
A. No; it never subsisted one moment by itself, Luke 1:35.

Q. 3. What is the reason that the human nature of Christ never subsisted by itself?
A. Because it was formed and assumed at once; for the moment the soul was united to the body, both soul and body subsisted in the person of the Son of God.

Q. 4. How came the human nature to subsist in the person of the Son?
A. The whole Trinity adapted and fitted the human nature to him; but the assumption of it, into a personal subsistence with himself, was the peculiar act of the Son, Heb. 2:14, 16.

Q. 5. Since the human nature of Christ has no personality of its own, is it not more imperfect than in other men, when all other men are human persons?
A. The human nature of Christ is so far from being imperfect, by the want of a personality of its own, that it is unspeakably more perfect and excellent than in all other men, because to subsist in God, or in a divine person, is incomparably more noble and excellent than to subsist by itself.

Q. 6. In what lies the matchless and peculiar dignity of the human nature of Christ?
A. That it subsists in the second person of the Godhead, by a personal and indissoluble union.

Q. 7. What is the difference between the human nature and a human person?
A. A human person subsists by itself; but the human nature subsists in a person.

Q. 8. When Christ became man, did he become another person than he was before?
A. No; there was no change in his person; for he assumed our nature with his former personality, which he had from eternity.

Q. 9. What is the reason that the assumption of the human nature made no change in the divine person of the Son?
A. Because the human nature was assumed by Christ without a human personality.

Q. 10. Whether is it more proper to say, that the human nature subsists in the divine nature, or in the divine person of Christ?
A. It is more proper to say, that it subsists in the divine person of Christ, because the natures are DISTINCT, but the person is ONE; and it was the divine nature only, as it terminates in the second person, which assumed the human nature into personal union.

Q. 11. Can we not say, consistently with truth, that the man Christ Jesus is God?
A. We assuredly may; because in this case, we speak of the person, which includes the human nature. Q. 12. But can we say, in consistency with truth, that Christ Jesus, as man, is God? A. No; because in this case, we speak only of the human nature, which does not include his divine person.

Q. 12. But can we say, in consistency with truth, that Christ Jesus, as man, is God?
A. No; because in this case, we speak only of the human nature, which does not include his divine person.

Q. 13. What is the human nature, or in what does it consist?
A. It consists in a true body and a reasonable soul, of which the first Adam, and every man and woman descending from him, are possessed.

Q. 14. Had our Redeemer always a true body and a reasonable soul, subsisting in his divine person?
A. No; until he came in the fulness of time, and then took to himself a true body and a reasonable soul.

Q. 15. How do you prove that he took this human nature to himself?
A. From Heb. 2:14, 16 —“Verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.”

Q. 16. Why is Christ said to take to himself a true body?
A. To show that he had real flesh and bones, as we have, Luke 24:39; and that it was not, as some ancient heretics alleged, only the mere shape and appearance of a human body.

Q. 17. How does it appear that he had a true and real body, as other men have?
A. He is called Man, and the Son of man, Psalm 80:17; he was conceived and born, Matt. 1:20, 25; he was subject to hunger, thirst, and weariness, like other men; he was crucified, dead, buried, and rose again: none of which could be affirmed of him, if he had not had a true body.

Q. 18. Had not he a reasonable soul, as well as a true body?
A. Yes; otherwise he had wanted the principal constituent part of the human nature: accordingly, we read, that his “soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death,” Matt. 26:38.

Q. 19. Why was not the human body created immediately out of nothing, or out of the dust of the earth, as Adam’s body was?
A. Because, in that case, though he would have had a true body, yet it would not have been akin to us, bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh.

Q. 20. Did Christ bring his human nature from heaven with him?
A. No; for he was the “seed of the woman,” Gen. 3:15.

Q. 21. How then is it said, 1 Cor. 15:47 —“The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man, is the Lord from heaven?”
A. The plain meaning is, the first man had his original from the earth; but the second man, as to his divine nature, is the eternal, independent, and sovereign Lord of heaven and earth, equally with the Father; and as to his human nature, there was a more glorious concurrence of the adorable Trinity, in the formation of it, than in making of the first Adam.

Q. 22. What was the peculiar agency of each person of the adorable Trinity in this wonderful work?
A. The Father prepares a body, or human nature for him, Heb. 10:5; the Holy Ghost forms it, by his overshadowing power, out of the substance of the virgin, Luke 1:35; and the Son assumes the entire human nature to himself, Heb. 2:14, 16.

Q. 23. Why was Christ born of a virgin?
A. That the human nature might be found again in its primitive purity, and presented to God as spotless as it was at its creation, free from the contagion of original sin, which is conveyed to all Adam’s posterity by natural generation.

Q. 24. Was it necessary that Christ should be conceived and born without sin?
A. It was absolutely necessary; both because the human nature was to subsist in union with the person of the Son of God, and likewise because it was to be a sacrifice for sin, and therefore behoved to be without blemish, Heb. 7:26.

Q. 25. What benefit or advantage accrues to us by the spotless holiness of the human nature of Christ?
A. The spotless holiness of his human nature is imputed to us as a part of his righteousness, 1 Cor. 1:30; and it is a sure earnest of our perfect sanctification at last, Col. 2:9, 10.

Q. 26. Was not the virgin Mary, the mother of our Lord, a sinner as well as others?
A. Yes; for she descended from Adam by ordinary generation; Christ rebuked her for going beyond her sphere, John 2:4; and she needed a Saviour as much as others; and believed in him for salvation from sin, Luke 1:47.

Q. 27. What necessarily follows upon the union of the two natures?
A. A communication of the properties of each nature to the whole person.
Q. 28. How does the scripture apply this communication of properties to his person?
A. By ascribing that to his person, which properly belongs to one of his natures.

Q. 29. How is this illustrated in scripture?
A. It is illustrated thus: though it was only the human nature that suffered, yet God is said to purchase his church with his own blood, Acts 20:28; and though it was only the human nature that ascended to heaven, yet, by reason of the personal union, God is said to go up with a shout, Psalm 47:5.

Q. 30. Can an imaginary idea of Christ, as man, be any way helpful to the faith of his being God-man?
A. So far is it from being any way helpful, that it is every way hurtful; because it diverts the mind from the object of faith to an object of sense; by means of which we cannot believe any truth whatever, divine or human; all faith being founded solely and entirely upon a testimony.

Q. 31. How then is the person of Christ, God-man, to be conceived of?
A. It can be conceived of no other way, than by faith and spiritual understanding; or, by “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him,”Eph. 1:17.

Q. 32. What improvement ought we to make of Christ’s incarnation?
A. To claim him as our own, in virtue of his wearing our nature, saying, “Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given,”Isaiah 9:6; or, which is the same thing, to follow the practice of Ruth, in lying down at the feet of our blessed Boaz, saying, “Spread thy skirt over me;”that is, take me, a poor bankrupt sinner, into a marriage relation with thee, “for thou art my near kinsman,” Ruth 3:9.
 

Anti-Babylon

Puritan Board Freshman
Even if He was tempted in His flesh to ask something contrary to God the Father's will, I dont think He would have fallen into that temptation and prayed amiss.

A true statement here. With heavy implications.

I am good with you saying God the Father and God the Son's wills are one. As long as you agree that the Person of God the Son had two natures and therefore two wills: the divine and the human. His flesh, though, was unstained by original sin so - while His flesh nature was certainly tempted to go contrary to God the Father's will - He did not do so and never did.

That said, could not God the Son be revealing the nature of his flesh to us and - for our Christological edification - when he asks if it be God's will for the cup to be taken away?

This interpretation would not be prone to the error of envisioning Christ as "praying amiss" but instructing us further of our role in prayer/ the role of our human will and flesh in prayer and, ultimately, the sovereignty of God as He also simultaneously is ensuring it is recorded in his infallible, inerrant Word?
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
This interpretation would not be prone to the error of envisioning Christ as "praying amiss" but instructing us further of our role in prayer/ the role of our human will and flesh in prayer and, ultimately, the sovereignty of God as He also simultaneously is ensuring it is recorded in his infallible, inerrant Word?
This is how I have always seen it.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top