Monday, February 11, 2013

Jesus' dependence on the Spirit

The life of Jesus is exemplary not just in what he did but also how he did it. Jesus was not immune to temptation or impervious to suffering. He fought the good fight of faith but he did not fight it alone. Jesus did not sever himself from the Trinity in order to accomplish his mission. He remained in communion with the Father and dependent upon the Spirit. The Spirit empowered and motivated everything Jesus did. (91)
Jonathan K. Dodson, in his book Gospel Centered Discipleship, introduces an important issue in fully understanding the incarnation of the Son of God. Jesus, as we know and as the church has known from its inception, is both fully God and fully man. And he lived his life on earth in dependence on the Holy Spirit as all men who are part of God's family do. Despite not needing the Spirit in regards to his divine nature, we see the beautiful condescension of the Son in that he relied on the Spirit of God while he lived his earthly life. Bruce Ware, in The Man Christ Jesus, relays some similar thoughts.

Again, one must come to terms with the significance of the repeated biblical teaching that Jesus, the Messiah sent from God, would be marked by having the Spirit upon him. But why would he need the Spirit since he possessed already the infinitely and complete divine nature? What can the spirit of God add to the deity of Christ? He can add nothing, since the deity of Christ in infinitely full and perfect. But what can the Spirit of God add to the humanity of Christ? He can add everything of supernatural enablement! Yes, Jesus, the Spirit-annointed Messiah, lived his life as a man, accepting the limitations of his human existence, and relied on the Spirit to do in and through him what he could not do in his human nature. His identity, then, as the Spirit-annointed Messiah is fundamentally that of a man empowered by the Spirit to carry out what he was called upon to do. (43)

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