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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Attributes of Christ

ATTRIBUTES OF CHRIST.—In the Divine Person of Jesus Christ two perfect Natures were united. We shall therefore find attributes belonging to (1) His Divine Nature, (2) the union of the two Natures, (3) His true Human Nature. As in dealing with certain passages the extent of the Kenosis will weigh greatly, the present arrangement must be taken as largely provisional.

i. Attributes belonging to Christ’s Divine Nature.—Jesus Christ is the manifestation of the Divine attributes. He is ‘the image (εἰκών) of the invisible God’ (Colossians 1:15); ‘the effulgence (ἁπαύγασμα) of his glory, and the very image (χαρακτήρ) of his substance’ (Hebrews 1:3); ‘the power of God and the wisdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 1:24)—synonyms for Λόγος, in the phraseology of Jewish speculators. He applied to Himself words spoken of God, making the significant change of ‘Me’ to ‘Thee’ (Luke 7:27, cf. Malachi 3:1 and Luke 1:17; Luke 3:4); He asserted that He came forth from God (ἐκ John 8:42, cf. παρά John 17:8, ἀπό John 13:3), words which ‘can only be interpreted of the true divinity of the Son of which the Father is the source and fountain’ (Westcott); He claimed the power of interpreting and revising the Mosaic law (Matthew 5:27 f, Mark 10:4 f); He acted in the temple as its master (John 2:14 f, Matthew 21:12); He accepted from Thomas the supreme title (John 20:28), and joined His name permanently with that of the Father (Matthew 28:19).

St John identified the Divine Person of Isaiah’s vision with Christ (John 12:41). St Paul charged the Ephesian elders to ‘feed the Church of God which he purchased with his own blood’ (Acts 20:28) and applied to Christ the words of Joel, ‘Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved’ (Romans 10:13). Thus He is One to whom prayer is offered (Acts 7:59; Acts 1:24 probably), cf. one of the earliest names for His disciples (Acts 9:14; Acts 9:21, 1 Corinthians 1:2). In the Epistles His Divinity is everywhere assumed and is ‘present in solution in whole pages from which not a single text could be quoted that explicitly declares it.’* [Note: Dale, Christian Doctrine, p. 87.] His name is joined with that of the Father, and a singular verb follows (1 Thessalonians 3:11, 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17); the title ‘Lord’ in the highest sense is given (Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 12:3, etc.); He is ‘God blessed for ever’ [Note: See Sanday-Headlam, Romans, pp. 233–238.] (Romans 9:5), and ‘in him dwelleth all the fulness (πλήρωμα) of the Godhead bodily’ (Colossians 2:9; cf. Colossians 1:19, John 1:16).

1. Eternal Existence.—Christ claimed that He came down from heaven without ceasing to be what He was before (John 3:13). Existence without beginning is implied in John 8:58 ‘before Abraham was born (γενέσθαι) I am’ (εἰμί), cf. Revelation 21:6; and He spoke of the glory which He had with the Father before the world was (John 17:5). The Λόγος was in the beginning, He was the ‘mediate Agent of Creation’ (John 1:1; John 1:3, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:2; Hebrews 1:10); He is the upholder of all things (Colossians 1:17, Hebrews 1:3), the ‘first-born of all creation’ and ‘before all things’ (Colossians 1:15; Colossians 1:17), cf. the use of ‘manifested’ (φανεροῦσθαι) in 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 1:20, etc.

2. Unique Relation to God.—In a few passages only does Jesus call Himself the Son of God (Luke 22:70, John 5:25; John 9:35; John 11:4, cf. Matthew 27:43, John 10:36); yet He was early conscious of His Sonship (Luke 2:49). He frequently accepted the title (cf. Matthew 16:16), and this led to the charge of blasphemy (John 19:7; cf. John 5:18). From the earliest time it was adopted as expressing the uniqueness of His Person (Acts 9:29, Romans 1:4, etc.). He is described as the ‘Only-begotten’ (μονογενής, John 1:14; John 1:18; John 3:16; John 3:18, 1 John 4:9). He spoke of ‘My Father,’ ‘Your Father,’ but not of ‘Our Father’ (except as a form of address to be used by His disciples in prayer, Matthew 6:9, Luke 11:2 Authorized Version), ‘thus drawing a sharp line of distinction between Himself and His disciples, from which,’ says Dalman, [Note: The Words of Jesus , p. 190 (Eng. tr.).] ‘it may be perceived that it was not the veneration of those that came after that first assigned to Him an exceptional relation to God incapable of being transferred to others.’ In this respect Matthew 11:27, which forms the link between the Synoptics and the Fourth Gospel, is quite explicit (cf. Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible ii. 623); cf. also Mark 13:32 and the clear distinction made in John 20:17.

3. Union and Equality.—The Jews interpreted His words ‘My Father worketh even until now and I work’ as making Himself equal with God, and He did not correct them (John 5:17-18). ‘I and the Father are one’ (ἓν ἐσμεν) implies one essence not one Person (John 10:30), cf. John 5:23, John 10:33, John 14:7 f., John 17:11; John 17:21 f., It is difficult to describe the manner in which St. Paul associates Him with the Father as the ground of the Church’s being and the source of spiritual grace and peace, in any other terms than as ascribing to Him a coequal Godhead (1 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:11 f., 2 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Corinthians 13:14), cf. Philippians 2:6 (οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ).

4. Subordination and Dependence.—such as belong to the filial relation—are also clearly implied in John 5:19 (‘The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner’), and in John 14:28 (‘The Father is greater than I’), cf. also John 5:22; John 5:26; John 6:37. So in Epp. ‘All things are yours; and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s’ (1 Corinthians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 3:23), cf. 1 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Corinthians 15:28.

5. Universal Power is frequently claimed by Christ as His even on earth, although it could not be fully exercised until after the Ascension (Luke 10:22 || John 16:15). He is given authority (ἐξουσία) over all flesh (John 17:2); ‘All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth’ (Matthew 28:18), cf. John 3:35; John 13:3. Accordingly St. Peter describes Him as ‘Lord of all’ (Acts 10:36); He is ‘over all’ (Romans 9:5); and the ‘head of all principality and power’ (Colossians 2:10). He is present still with His Church though invisible (Matthew 18:20; Matthew 28:20, cf. 1 Corinthians 5:4), ruling and guiding (Acts 9:10; Acts 22:18; Acts 23:11, and cf. the letters to the Churches, Revelation 2, 3).

6. Divine Consciousness and Knowledge.—Jesus claimed a unique knowledge of the Father and the exclusive power of revealing Him (Matthew 11:27). He spoke of heavenly things which could only be known by Divine consciousness (Matthew 18:10; Matthew 18:19, Luke 15:10, John 3:12; John 14:1). He was the great Prophet which was to come (John 6:14, Acts 3:22), the fullest revealer of God’s will (Hebrews 1:2), but He differed essentially from even the highest prophets, in that He spoke with authority as from Himself, and never introduced His message by such words as ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ ‘In him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden’ (Colossians 2:3). He knew (John 18:4) and made known the details of His Passion and Resurrection (Mark 8:31; Mark 9:31; Mark 10:33 etc., cf. Mark 14:8-9). He foretold the sufferings of His disciples (Matthew 10:18 f.), the destruction of Jerusalem (Luke 19:43-44; Luke 21:21), events preceding the end of the world (Matthew 24 ||) and the judgment of mankind (see below). Here too may be mentioned His power of knowing the thoughts of men. Such knowledge is described both as relative, acquired (γινώσκειν, cf. Mark 2:6), and absolute, possessed (εἰδέναι, cf. John 6:61, Luke 11:17), cf. Luke 7:39-40; Luke 9:47. He seems to be addressed as καρδιογνώστης in Acts 1:24, which agrees with what is told as to His supernatural knowledge of the thoughts and lives of persons, cf. John 2:24-25 (‘He knew all men.… he himself knew what was in man’), also Luke 19:5, John 1:48; John 4:18; John 4:29; John 6:64; John 11:11; John 11:14. It appears also with regard to things (Matthew 17:27; Matthew 21:2; Matthew 26:18, Luke 5:4-6, cf. John 21:6). Whether such passages imply absolute omniscience, or omniscience conditioned by human nature, depends upon the view taken of the Kenosis (see Westcott, Add. Note on John 2:24; Gore, Bamp. Lect. p. 147).

7. Self-assertion and Exclusive Claims.—His works were such as no other man did (John 15:24), His words shall outlast heaven and earth (Matthew 24:35), men will be judged by their relation to Him (Matthew 7:23; Matthew 10:32), and by their belief or unbelief on Him (Mark 16:18, John 6:40; John 12:48). He requires the forsaking of everything which may prove a hindrance to following Him (Matthew 8:21; Matthew 10:37, Mark 10:21, Luke 14:26). Suffering and loss incurred for His Name’s sake will be rewarded in the Regeneration (Matthew 19:29 ||), even now those who suffer for His sake are blessed (Matthew 5:10 f.). He claims to be the Light of the world (John 8:12; John 9:5; John 12:46), the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). Eternal life, spiritual strength, and growth can come only from union with Him and feeding on Him (John 5:40; John 6:51 f., John 10:28; John 15:4-5; John 17:2). He is the Giver of rest and peace (Matthew 11:28, John 14:27). And such claims are endorsed by St. John (John 1:9, 1 John 5:12) and St. Paul (Romans 8:1, Philippians 4:13, 1 Timothy 1:12).

ii. Attributes belonging to the Union of the two Natures.

1. Mediation.—There is a twofold Mediatorial activity ascribed to the Son of God which must be distinguished; that presented in the revelation of the Logos proceeding from God all-creating and all-sustaining; and that exhibited in the work of the Christ, leading back to God and transforming the relation of contrast into one of union, that God may be all in all.* [Note: See Martensen, Christian Dogmatics, § 180.] The former has been already mentioned, the latter appears in passages which speak of Christ as delivering us from sin and Satan (John 12:31-32, Hebrews 2:14-15, 1 John 3:5; 1 John 3:8), as obtaining for us eternal life (John 3:14 f., John 6:51, Romans 6:23, etc.), as procuring the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16; John 14:28, Acts 2:33, Titus 3:5-6 etc.), conferring Christian graces (1 Corinthians 1:4 f., Ephesians 1:3-4 etc.), and acting as our representative High Priest (Hebrews 4:14; Hebrews 7:25 f. etc.). [Note: Dale, Atonement, p. 451.] The title ‘Mediator’ (μεσίτης) occurs in 1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:15; Hebrews 12:24.

2. Sovereignty.—One object of Christ’s coming was to found a world-wide imperishable society, called the Kingdom of Heaven or the Kingdom of God. He was foretold in prophecy as King (Zechariah 9:9, cf. Matthew 21:5). He Himself spoke of His Kingdom (Matthew 13:41; Matthew 16:28, Luke 22:30) and accepted the title from Pilate, but explained that it was ‘not of this world’ (John 18:36-37). Satan tempted Him to antedate it by a short but sinful method (Matthew 4:8-9). He is ‘King of Kings and Lord of Lords’ (Revelation 19:16; cf. Revelation 11:15).

Dalman (Words of Jesus, p. 133 f.) thinks, assuming an Aramaic original, that ἐν τῇ βας. μου or αὐτοῦ would have to be rendered ‘when I am King,’ etc., and Luke 23:42 ‘as King’; cf. Daniel 6:28 בְּמַלְכוּח דָּרְיָוָשׁׁ ‘in the reign of Darius.’ On the ‘originality’ and ‘audacity’ of Christ’s design to form a world-wide kingdom see Liddon, . Lect. iii.; Homo, ch. v.

3. Consciousness of His Mission was ever present to His mind. Frequently He uses such expressions as ‘the Father that sent me’ (John 6:44; John 8:16; cf. John 20:21), ‘Him that sent me’ (John 7:33; John 12:44; John 16:5), ‘I am sent’ (Matthew 15:24, Luke 4:43). There was the sense of purpose in His life, ‘To this end am I come into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth’ (John 18:37); it is implied in the repeated use of ‘must’ (δεῖ), implying ‘moral obligation, especially that constraint which arises from Divine appointment’ (Grimm-Thayer, see Mark 8:31, Luke 24:46 TR [Note: R Textus Receptus.] , John 3:14 etc.); and cf. Luke 9:51 ‘He steadfastly set (ἐστήριξε) his face to go to Jerusalem.’

4. Sinlessness.—While He had the most perfect appreciation of sin and holiness, while He prescribed repentance and conversion, rebuking all self-righteousness and pride, He was absolutely without any consciousness of sin or need of repentance in Himself. He claimed to be free from it (John 14:30); He challenged examination and conviction (John 8:46); He could say at the end: ‘I glorified thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which thou hast given me to do’ (John 17:4, cf. John 8:29; John 19:30, Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5; and as to His best disciples, Luke 17:10). The truth of His claim was testified by His forerunner (Matthew 3:14), most intimate friends (John 1:14), enemies (Mark 14:55 f.), judges (John 18:38, Matthew 27:24 etc., Luke 23:15), and betrayer (Matthew 27:4)—on Mark 10:18 see the Commentaries. Christ’s moral perfection is recognized everywhere in the Epistles: ‘who knew no sin’ (2 Corinthians 5:21); ‘who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth’ (1 Peter 2:22). He is holy (ἅγιος, Acts 3:14, Revelation 3:7; ὅσιος, Hebrews 7:26), righteous (δίκαιος, 1 Peter 3:16, 1 John 2:1), pure (ἁγνός, 1 John 3:3), guileless and undefiled (ἄκακος, ἀμίαντος, Hebrews 7:26); cf. Hebrews 4:15, 1 John 3:5; 1 Peter 1:19.

5. Glory.—St. John, summing up his experience, writes: ‘We beheld his glory, glory as of the only-begotten from the Father’ (John 1:14); here many find a reference to the Shekinah (note ἐσκήνωσεν) and interpret δόξα as the ‘totality of the Divine attributes’ (cf. Liddon, BL [Note: L Bampton Lecture.] 2 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] 232); others, as ‘a glory which corresponded with His filial relation to the Father even when He had laid aside His divine glory’ (Westcott). Isaiah in his vision saw His glory (John 12:41), it was manifested in His ‘signs’ (John 2:11), and at the Transfiguration (2 Peter 1:17). In some sense it was laid aside or veiled at the Incarnation (John 17:5), but Christ constantly spoke of it as regained by means of His death and resurrection (John 12:23; John 13:31; John 17:1; John 17:5), cf. John 12:18, Philippians 3:21, and Revelation 5:12 (‘Worthy is the Lamb that hath been slain to receive the power and riches … and glory and blessing’). He will come hereafter in His glory as Judge (Matthew 25:31), cf. Matthew 19:28; 1 Peter 4:13; and in Epp. He is styled ‘the Lord of glory’ (1 Corinthians 2:8, James 2:1).

6. Salvation.—His mission on earth was ‘to seek and to save that which was lost’ (Luke 19:10; cf. Luke 9:56, John 3:17, 1 Timothy 1:15), it was implied in His very name (Matthew 1:21). He is the author (ἀρχηγός, Hebrews 2:10; αἴτιος, Hebrews 5:9) of salvation. Twice only is the full title ‘Saviour of the world’ given (John 4:42, 1 John 4:14, cf. 1 Timothy 4:10), but ‘Saviour’ is found frequently (Luke 2:11; cf. Luke 2:30, Acts 5:31; Acts 13:23, Philippians 3:20, 2 Peter 3:18 etc.). In this connexion may be noted the power of forgiving sins which He claimed on earth as Son of Man; see His words to the man sick of the palsy, with the comment of the bystanders (Matthew 9:2 f.), and to the woman who was a sinner (Luke 7:46), cf. Acts 5:31; Acts 10:43.

7. Judgment.—One of the most momentous attributes is the power of judging mankind, involving complete and entire knowledge of the thoughts, actions, and circumstances of all men (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:5). That such should be His work was foretold by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:12) and asserted by Himself (Matthew 16:27; Matthew 25:31 etc., cf. Revelation 22:12). It is committed to Him by the Father (John 5:22), because He is a son of man (John 5:27 (Revised Version margin)), and His disciples should watch, making supplication that they may prevail … to stand before Him (Luke 21:36). He is ‘ordained by God to be the judge of quick and dead’ (Acts 10:42; cf. Acts 17:31, 2 Timothy 4:1), and before His judgment-seat we all must be made manifest (2 Corinthians 5:10, cf. Romans 14:10).

8. Supreme Power.—He exercised power over nature (John 2:9, Matthew 8:26; Matthew 14:25; Matthew 21:19, Mark 6:35 f., Luke 5:4 f.). His various miracles of healing showed His power over disease. Sometimes the cure was accompanied by His touch (Matthew 8:3; Matthew 8:15; Matthew 20:34, Luke 22:51); sometimes the sufferer touched Him (Mark 5:18, Luke 6:19); it was wrought by a word (Matthew 12:13); or by visible and tangible means (John 9:6-7); and even at a distance (Matthew 8:13, Mark 7:30, John 4:50). Three instances of power over death are recorded (Mark 5:41, Luke 7:14, John 11:43); cf. Matthew 11:5. His power also over evil spirits was shown in many cases and acknowledged by them (Mark 1:24; Mark 5:7, Luke 4:33 etc., cf. Acts 10:38). He was the One stronger than the strong man, Luke 11:22, cf. Matthew 4:10-11. He excited astonishment in the people (noted chiefly in Mk. and Lk.). It was caused by His teaching (Matthew 7:28, Mark 1:22), His words of grace (Luke 4:22, cf. John 7:15; John 7:46), and the authority with which He spoke (Luke 4:32); in these instances θαυμάζειν and ἐκπλήσσεσθαι are used. The effects produced by His miracles are expressed by similar words of amazement—θαυμάζειν (Matthew 15:31, Mark 5:20, Luke 11:14, John 7:21); ἐκπλήσσεσθαι (Mark 7:37, Luke 9:43); θάμβος and ἐκθαμβεῖσθαι (Mark 9:15, Luke 4:36); ἔκστασις and ἐξίστασθαι (Mark 2:12, Luke 5:28; Luke 8:56); φόβος (Luke 5:26; Luke 7:16). Among the disciples the same feelings were caused: ‘they were sore amazed in themselves’ (λίαν ἐξίσταντο, Mark 6:51); ‘being afraid they marvelled’ (φοβηθέντες ἐθαύμασαν, Luke 8:25); ‘they were amazed (ἐθαμβοῦντο) and astonished exceedingly’ (ἐξεπλήσσοντο, Mark 10:24; Mark 10:26); ‘they were amazed (ἐθαμβοῦντο) and afraid’ (ἐφοβοῦντο) on the last journey to Jerusalem (Mark 10:32).

9. Dignity.—An attribute commanding respect and reverence is closely connected with the above. The Baptist declared Christ to be immeasurably above himself (John 1:27), while Christ described him as the greatest of the prophets because His forerunner (Matthew 11:9-10); the disciples ‘were afraid to ask him’ (Mark 9:32, cf. John 4:27); those who came to arrest Him fell to the ground (John 18:6; cf. John 10:38 Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885), and Pilate was the more afraid hearing His claim to be the Son of God (John 19:8); note His silence (Matthew 26:62 f., Mark 15:3 f., Luke 23:9). Other feelings, however, than reverence for His dignity were also excited, e.g. repulsion in the demoniacs (Luke 4:33) and in the Gerasenes (Mark 5:17); wrath (Luke 4:28); shame in His adversaries, joy in the multitude (Luke 13:17); consciousness of unworthiness in the centurion (Matthew 8:8), and of sinfulness in Peter (Luke 5:8).

10. Restraint in the use of Power.—This attribute is strongly marked. Christ never used His Divine power for His own benefit (Matthew 4:2 f.) nor for destroying life (on apparent exceptions, Mark 5:13, Matthew 21:19, see Comm.). He restrained it that the Scriptures might be fulfilled (Matthew 26:54), and His exercise of it was often limited by want of faith on the part of those present (Matthew 13:58).

iii. Attributes belonging to Christ’s true Human Nature.—Becoming truly man, He took upon Him our nature as the Fall had left it, with its limitations, its weaknesses, and its ordinary feelings so far as they are not tainted by shi. He partook of flesh and blood, and in all things was made like unto His brethren (Hebrews 2:14; Hebrews 2:17, cf. Romans 8:3). He possessed a true human will, but ever subject to the guidance of the Divine will (John 6:38, Matthew 26:39); a human soul (ψυχή, Matthew 26:38, John 12:27) and a human spirit (πνεῦμα, Mark 2:6, Luke 23:46, John 11:33; 1 Peter 3:16); He was representative Man (1 Corinthians 15:22); all which is implied in ‘the Word became flesh’ (ὁ Λόγος σάρξ ἐγένετο, John 1:14). The Permanence of His Manhood is evident since He was recognized after the Resurrection (cf. John 20:27) and ascended with His glorified body into Heaven; there He intercedes as our High Priest (Hebrews 4:14 etc.), and will one day come again in like manner as He was seen to go into heaven (Acts 1:11).

1. Limitation of Power seems to be implied in the Incarnation; it is noted especially by St Mark, who has several passages expressing inability (οὐ δύνασθαι, Mark 1:45; Mark 7:24; Mark 6:5, which compare with Matthew 13:58).

2. Limitation of Knowledge is distinctly asserted by Jesus Himself on one point (Matthew 24:36 Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885, Mark 13:32, cf. Acts 1:7, Hebrews 10:13). In His childhood He grew, ‘becoming full of wisdom’ (πληρούμενον); He advanced (προἐκοπτε) in wisdom (Luke 2:40; Luke 2:52); the story of the fig-tree implies that He expected to find fruit (ἦλθεν εἰ ἄρα εὑρήσει τι ἐν αὐτῇ, Mark 11:13). He prayed as if the future were not clear (Matthew 26:39); He asked questions for information (Matthew 9:26, Mark 6:38; Mark 8:23; Mark 8:27; Mark 9:21, Luke 8:30, John 11:34), cf. Mark 11:11.

3. Astonishment and Surprise.—In two cases only is Jesus said to have marvelled (θαυμάζειν, Mark 6:6, Luke 7:9), but surprise is implied at His parents (Luke 2:49); at the disciples’ slowness of faith and understanding (Mark 4:40; Mark 7:18); at the sleep of Simon (Mark 14:37); cf. Mark 14:33 where a very strong word is used of the Agony (ἐκθαμβεῖσθαι, to be ‘struck with amazement’).

4. Need of Prayer and Communion with the Father is apparent from many passages. Sometimes He continued all night in prayer (Luke 6:12). It was associated with great events in His life (Luke 3:21; Luke 6:12-13; Luke 9:18; Luke 9:28, John 12:27; Matthew 26:36 f. ||, cf. Hebrews 5:7); it is mentioned after days of busy labour (Matthew 14:23, Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16). He offered thanks also (Matthew 11:25, John 11:41). Jesus prayed for His disciples (Luke 22:32, John 17), and taught them to pray (Matthew 6:9, Luke 11:2), but He never gathered them to pray with Him. Compare also Matthew 14:19; Matthew 19:13, Luke 11:1; Luke 24:30 etc.

5. Temptation was a reality to Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11 ||), Satan left Him only for a season (Luke 4:13; cf. Luke 22:53, John 14:30). It came also from Peter (Matthew 16:23) and His enemies (Luke 11:53); cf. Luke 22:28 (ἐν τοῖς πειρασμοῖς μου); He was ‘in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin’ (χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας, Hebrews 4:15).

6. Suffering came from such temptation (Hebrews 2:18); but the word πάσχειν is specially used of the last days of His earthly life. Thus the prophecy of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah was fulfilled (Mark 9:12, Luke 24:26; Luke 24:46; cf. εἰ παθητὸς ὁ Χριστός, Acts 26:23). Peter’s confession at Caesarea Philippi marked the time when Jesus began to emphasize this side of the Messianic prophecies (Matthew 16:21, cf. Matthew 4:17). The only absolute use of the word in the Gospels occurs in Luke 22:15. (See ‘Sorrow’ below.) By suffering He learned the moral discipline of human experience, He was ‘made perfect’ and ‘learned obedience’ (Hebrews 2:10; Hebrews 5:8-9), so that He can be a pattern and example for Christians (1 Peter 2:21, 1 John 2:6; 1 John 3:3). He exhibited faith (Hebrews 3:2; Hebrews 3:6) and trust (John 11:41 f., Hebrews 2:13) in the highest forms. He is the ‘author and perfecter (ἀρχηγὸς καὶ τελειωτής) of our faith’ (Hebrews 12:2), ‘the perfect example—perfect in realization and effect—of that faith which we are to imitate trusting in Him’ (Westcott). Submission and Obedience He showed to Mary and Joseph also (Luke 2:51), and to His Heavenly Father (Matthew 26:42); cf. Romans 5:19. The purpose of His life was summed up in the words ‘to do thy will, O God’ (Hebrews 10:7).

7. Liability to Human Infirmities.—Jesus experienced hunger (Matthew 4:2; Matthew 21:18, cf. John 4:31); thirst (John 4:7; John 19:28, cf. Matthew 27:34); weariness and pain: ‘being wearied (κεκοπιακώς) with His journey He sat thus (οὕτως) by the well’ (John 4:6); in the boat He ‘fell asleep’ (ἀφύπνωσε, Luke 8:23); in the Garden there appeared an angel strengthening Him (ἑνισχύων, Luke 22:43); He was unable to carry His cross (Mark 15:21), and it would seem that He Himself required support (cf. φέρουσι Mark 15:22 with ἐξάγουσι Mark 15:20); cf. 2 Corinthians 13:4, Hebrews 4:15. No sickness is mentioned (the quot. in Matthew 8:17 can hardly bear this meaning); He truly died, but it was a voluntary death (John 10:17-18; and note that in no Gospel is the word ‘died’ used of His passing from life); cf. Romans 6:9 ‘death hath no more dominion over him’ (οὐκέτι κυριεύει), and Acts 2:24.

8. Sorrow.—The prophecy was amply fulfilled that the Messiah should be ‘a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.’ Sorrow was inevitable for one who had such insight into human nature, and so sympathized with its woes (cf. John 11:33-38). It came also from ‘the

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Attributes of Christ'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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