Friday, October 17, 2008

John Gets It Right

This time we'll jump into the New Testament to take a quick look at just how much Jesus understood His position. In particular, we'll take a quick look at Jesus' thoughts as He is facing His upcoming crucifixion which will soon provide the method of salvation for everyone He loves so much.

John Gets It Right
Leading up to the crucifixion, Jesus predicts his death multiple times. If Jesus was a real man, one can easily see how troubled this would have made Him. He would have known all the grizzly details in advance, like a victim tied to a train track when he hears the whistle blow and feels the track begin to vibrate beneath him. It would be perfectly natural for any human to be fearful, and to seek a way out of that circumstance.

In the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, we see the report of Jesus' human reaction. Matthew and Mark report Jesus saying that His “soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death”. All three of the Synoptic Gospels, in Matthew 26:39, Mark 14:36, and Luke 22:42, record Jesus making a prayer that says essentially: “God, if it's possible, take this cup from me. But do what You will, not what I want.” From the context of the story, it's easy to see that the “cup” Jesus is referring to is Jesus' role, and the required upcoming crucifixion. I completely understand why a man would pray such a thing, as I can tell you I would be praying the same thing.

But that's the problem. Jesus was more than just a man. Jesus was supposedly God too. In that position, Jesus would have been intimately familiar with God's Plan to know how essential His role was. There was no other way, so Jesus would have already known it was impossible.

Furthermore, reportedly the scriptures from the beginning have pointed toward this exact moment with Him playing that exact role. In Jesus' own words, “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35), so again Jesus would know that His fate was impossible to escape.

Maybe you think that this just portrays Jesus' human side showing through? Perhaps you think that this is just proof of Jesus' real emotions; emotions that should not only be permitted but expected? Perhaps, but not according to the Gospel of John.

John 12:27 records Jesus as saying this with respect to His impending death:
"Now My heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour." NIV
In this single statement, John shows that Jesus was aware of his future death and was aware that His purpose for being alive was specifically to die in that way. John records Jesus even went as far as to mock the idea that He would ask God to save him. In contradiction, this is exactly what the other three Gospels say Jesus did.

Normally, three eye witnesses against one would make the discordant viewpoint null and void. But considering the status of deity that was endowed on Jesus, I can't help but think John got it right this time. It's the only viewpoint that represents perfect clairvoyant knowledge that Jesus should have had.

Clearly, all four Gospels can't be correct, because then Jesus lied in saying that He would not ask to be saved. So either this is another strike against the Gospel of John, or this is substantial evidence that events recorded in multiple Gospels the same way may still be inaccurate.


  1. In the John's record of Jesus' prayer (presumably in the garden) before being arrested, he also makes requests of God. "Father, glorify me in your presence" (v.5) "protect them" (v.11, 15) "sanctify them" (v.17).

    In fact, Jesus' request of God to "sanctify ... that they may be truly sanctified" (v.17, 19) would lead us to believe that the sanctification Jesus accomplished in the lives of these people, apart from God's sanctification, was incomplete.

    I mention these things because it would seem John may also support Jesus' separation from the Father to some degree.

  2. That's pretty interesting! I hadn't heard that before.

    I'm still lagging behind in my detailed study of the NT. I'm presently making a simultaneous version of the four Gospels to better get the whole picture. It’s proving to be much more work than I would have ever expected. Even the Synoptic Gospels are not as cohesive as I thought they were.

    Anyway, I’ll be posting it when I’m done, and in the process I’m sure there are lots of these little twists to discover.

  3. "Harmony of the Gospels" is a tool you might want to search for. Its a collection of the gospels by Christians that takes all the accounts and puts them side by side chronologically to the best of their ability. It would be interested to conduct your study using their own tool.

  4. Thanks for the tip! Ultimately, for the final version, I have something a little different in mind than what I can see on the web. But this will definitely help me out in a few of the more questionable areas of basic organization.

  5. Well written. I see Nate is present here. Nate is a Modalist, it seems -- a non-trinitarian. There are all different sorts of Christians, just as there are different forms of Buddhism, Hinduism....

    So apparently Nate's Jesus has his God spirit taken away in the Garden and that is suppose to explained why he acted so cowardly for supposedly being a god (which Nate does not believe he was at that time).

  6. @Sabio
    Thanks man!

    Actually, this is a "Nate" of a different color. This Nate is a now-former youth pastor who was coming to terms with his disbelief right around the time when I started blogging.

    Your Nate, is, wow, another interesting character. Modalist? That is a rare view in our world. I had to look it up.