Monday, December 24, 2012

When did Jesus know?

When did Jesus know?

Have you ever thought about Jesus' first recorded miracle- the turning of water into wine?

How it  seemed Christ was perturbed at his mother's insistence?

This isn't the only time Christ was weary over performing miracles.

I have a theory why this was.

We have all heard of OCD, or obsessive compulsive disorder.

The hallmark of this disorder is the need for certainty. If we examine the best known OCD, that of hand washing , the desire is to be certain that one's hands are perfectly clean which of course is impossible to know. OCD applies especially to the serpent's promise in Genesis: "you shall know good and evil"

The cutting edge treatment for OCD is to expose oneself to the bacteria one fears and telling the patient the hard truth that he cannot know that his hands are pure. Reassurance that they are clean is the worst thing to say to and OCD'er.

What does this have to do with Jesus? Picture Jesus growing up - we DO NOT know what Mary and Joseph told him as a young boy. Rather it says that Mary pondered her knowledge of whom Christ was in her heart.

We are told that Jesus knew from an early age the Scriptures and argued with the teachers of the Law.

Yet we simply cannot know when he discovered that he was the Christ child, the Savior of the world.

In my opinion it was a learning process  just as we learn that we are loved by God so Jesus learned who he was strictly through the scriptures. "I was born in Bethlehem of a Virgin, could it be that I am
He? He must have flinched in horror at the reading of Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53.

But you say, where is the record of his early miracles? There is none, which goes to my theory.

The act of miracles would confirm to him, OUTSIDE OF FAITH, that he was the messiah. It would be like the OCD patient being told his hands are clean. Jesus had to believe in his being the messiah just as we have to believe in Christ- by his word.

Thus when Mary pushed Jesus into turning water into wine Jesus did not want the reassurance the miracle would provide. It says Hebrews He was tempted in all things we are...which must include faith and the lack of it.....It's almost like she wanted to brag on him- come on Son, it's time!

So we too are to rest in God's word, "Therefore since the promise of entering his rest stands be careful that none of you be found let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it" Heb 4:1

"There remains, then, a sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. " Heb 4:11

Not that we shouldn't do good works to prove our faith, but rest assured Christ didn't need to do a thing in order to know who he was. Let us rest in the scriptures too when we doubt our being the Children of God because "our hands are dirty".

"Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those are being tempted" Heb

The thought I want to leave with you is that ALL of Christ's miracles were done for our lack of faith, certainly not his. In fact says that all of God;s works were done at creation "And on the seventh day God rested from all his works." Heb 4:12

In the raising of Lazarus "Lazarus is dead and for your sake I am glad I was not there so you may believe Jn10. Just before Lazarus is raised "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I know that thou always hear me. I knew that you always hear me, but I say this for the benefit of the people standing here. 

Hebrews exhorts us is to enter that rest.

This next  statement may be heretical ..."Jesus did not know he was the Son of God, he had faith he was the Son of God."

Backing up my premise is when Jesus was in the wilderness and refused to do any signs or wonders. Rather what was his retort? He quoted scripture alone to Satan. Faith springs from believing, not doing. sola fide

But you say Christ had to be certain of his Son-ship and yet the Bible is clear that Jesus voluntarily "emptied himself" of his divine prerogative.......

Your attitude should be that of Christ Jesus
Who, being in the very nature God., did not consider equality  with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on the cross!

Then we have the real stumbler....when Christ was asked by his disciples...when the end of things would be and he answered that only the Father knew that.

There is no certainty in this life but we have been given the gift of faith. That's as good as it gets.



  1. luke mentions that, even before the 12 year old Jesus astounds at the temple and at which point he understands well who is Father is, the boy was filled with wisdom....not the typical 12 yr old boy, i think.

  2. I can't believe mom beat me to the punch! She's such a blogger now.

    It's a really interesting idea that Jesus had to learn from scripture, from his mother and the circumstances surrounding his birth, that he was the Christ. And that he would not perform miracles except as a sign to others---and not to confirm his faith that he was the son of God. He definitely believed he was the son of God by age 12 (as is part of the story mom mentioned).

    We have Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." So when you say, "Jesus did not know he was the Son of God, he had faith he was the Son of God," I think Jesus did know he was the Son of God, but maybe that knowledge is an intense---perfect---faith.

    That "emptying" passage from Philippians is really tricky. Because he definitely knew things that could not be known by purely human knowledge. For instance, when he knew someone had passed away, like waiting until Lazarus died to leave. So perhaps God spoke to him at the first time he could understand, or continually ever since he was born. In fact given human fathers who have such affection and talk to their children who can't understand, that could definitely be the case.

    But the message that Christ would not test his Father to confirm his faith is definitely true.

    1. Good points Grey. I tried to emphasize that Christ was in all ways tempted as we are...this was for our sakes, not his. So when we struggle with faith/certainty we know that Christ did too- in ALL ways He was tempted though we know he was victorious in these trials. If you read my piece on the Centurion his faith was so intense it bordered on certainty....and yet God the Father makes it abundantly clear that FAITH is what pleases him. There is also a Descartes argument- are you certain you are certain? dad

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  4. i've been meaning to comment on this for days! sorry i am late in the conversation. those are really interesting points... i've never actually thought about when/how jesus found out he was the christ. its a little mind-boggling to think about. when you consider christians who profess faith from very early on (early childhood), their testimonies are often "i can't pinpoint a moment, but the lord saved me from early on" or "i have never known a day where i wasn't sure of god's salvation." so perhaps it was a gradual development that grew into a surety of faith through the scriptures, or maybe it was that jesus had been "confirmed" in the womb and then had that perfect faith onwards... (which is a cool idea to think about, especially as we pray for teddy!).

    i was thinking though that jesus' miracles were more than just signs to others. they were a fulfillment of scriptures and needed to be done for that reason (e.g. healings), and also they revealed different parts of the Father's character and the kingdom (e.g. multiplying bread and fish, casting out demons, catching fish as a point that they will become fishers of men). they were also undoubtedly a "confirmation" of faith (in his divinity) but i suppose the motivation for that (whether for himself or others) is, as you say, for others. or perhaps, miracles were always just natural springs from perfect faith (as grey mentioned) and maybe jesus experienced them from the beginning because his faith was perfect. when he heals some people jesus says "'your faith has healed you" not "i have healed you" so i wonder if jesus just knew that perfect faith allows for the impossible and acted accordingly.

    all in all, very interesting musings...