The Shack... Jesus dependended on the Spirit and the Father

The Schack… Theological feature: Jesus never drew on his divine nature to do anything. He lived out of his dependence on the Father (99-100).

Comments: There are solid New Testament scholars who hold this position (Gerald Hawthorne is one). However, I agree with Klaus Issler that Jesus did occasionally do things by virtue of his own divine status (for instance, he forgave sins).

Contrary to popular stereotypes, the Jesus of the Gospels did not walk around flexing his divine muscle. Luke makes it a point to teach us that Jesus ministered because “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me” (4:19). In Matthew, Jesus says that he casts out demons by the power of the Holy Spirit (12:28). These and other verses present a picture of Jesus as the ultimate human being, dependent on the Father and the Spirit, and doing nothing of his own accord. This life of absolute dependence and Spirit-fullness is what human life is all about. Luke painstakingly points to Jesus as our role model in Spirit-dependence.

In The Shack, Papa seems to say that Jesus was dependent on the Father and not the Spirit. This would not be correct. Jesus was dependent on both of the other persons of the Trinity, apparently even more the Spirit than the Father.

Postmodern connections: Jesus is presented as thoroughly human, especially in his state of being dependent on God. The postmodern study of Jesus always takes his humanity fully into account.


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