When Did God give Jesus all authority on heaven and Earth?:    After His resurrection, and just before Jesus returned to heaven, He told the disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:18)  Then, in Ephesians 1:20-23 we are told that when God raised Christ from the dead, He “seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over every thing for the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills everything in every way.”   If Jesus is presently head over the church, he is also head over all authority, power and dominion. And that happened after his resurrection, when He returned to heaven to receive the glory He once had with the Father. This is confirmed in 1 Peter 3:22where Jesus Christ’s resurrection is said to save believers, and that Jeus “has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand – with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.”   Jesus had to relinquish the glory and power He had in heaven before His incarnation, and He told His disciples then that He was keen that they see Him with the glory He once had. That is in His prayer just before the crucifixion, in John 17: “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” Jesus had laid down His heavenly glory and authority in order to become the suffering servant, and after His resurrection, He was given all authority in heaven and on earth.”


Good question and good points. Clearly, Jesus accepted a temporary limitation of his glory and power when he took on flesh. It is a lot of fun speculating on what powers Jesus had and what knowledge he had at different stages in his human life. When he was four years old, did he know he was the Messiah? Could he read all the thoughts of his mother? Could he walk on water when he was six years old? Such questions, of course, cannot be answered. You ask a deeper, more theological question. How much of his glory did he shed when he came to earth? Philippians 2 suggests what we already know, which is that Jesus gave up his place in heaven and lowered himself to become like us. The foreshadow analogy is Moses, who gave up his place as the son of Pharaoh to become a slave and to share in the degraded situation of the Israelites. I am sure that Jesus went down a lot more levels when he came and lived in a body than Moses did when he gave up his place in Pharaoh’s palace.

I agree with your supposition that when Jesus was raised from the dead, and, even more significantly, when he ascended back to the father, he was received back into the full glory he had before he was incarnated as a human being. I am not sure we can be absolutely positive how much he lacked while still in his normal physical body, how much he gained in his ressurrected (but not yet ascended) body, and how much more of his original glory he gained when he ascended. I would just say that as he matured in his physical body he came into greater and greater knowledge of who he was and greater and greater intimacy in his relationship with his father, as well as into greater miraculous power. It is interesting but perhaps not all that helpful to try to guess exactly what powers and abilities and what degree of glory he had as any one single point along the continuum. There is a fairly strong suggestion in scripture that some kind of transformation occurred when he was baptized and the Holy Spirit fell on him. Some in the early church speculated a great deal of transformation at his baptism–some even proposing that he became fully God only at his baptism. This view was rejected, of course.

Without any definite answers, we can still marvel at two things:

1. How much Jesus lowered himself to take on flesh.


2. How exalted he is now with the Father in heaven. Revelation Ch 5 gives us a good idea about that.

John Oakes

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