Once again, Jesus is getting me in trouble. This time it’s over at the Boar’s Head, where a “discussion” on Jesus’ knowledge of medical conditions turned into real concerns that I am promoting a less than orthodox view of Jesus.
When I was in my Master’s program at seminary, I remember a full-on debate between one of our theology professors and a visiting big-dog regarding what scripture meant when it says “He emptied himself.” No one solved the question, but it left me with the clear impression that both sides had a strong case.
A bit of theological reading- even on the internets- will fully validate that observation. God became a man and in his human nature, Jesus was like us in every way, but without sin. But after that….it’s a free for all in regard to a whole basket of questions.
What kind of questions?
1. How did Jesus’ brain develop? Did the development of his brain impact his understanding of himself and his world?
2. Jesus lived in the social thought-world of the ancient near east. Did he transcend that thought world or did his incarnation place him completely in the boundaries of that thought world?
3. Did Jesus miss any questions on the test? Did he have to study?
4. Did Jesus use tools to measure in his carpentry work? Or did he just know what to do?
5. Did Jesus, in his incarnation, know things about biology, astronomy and cosmology that were completely ahead of his time? For instance, did Jesus know that the sun did not orbit the earth?
6. Did Jesus understand diseases and conditions from within the understanding of a first century man or did he know the actual medical/biological nature of diseases and conditions that were commonly blamed on demons or God’s punishment?
7. Did Jesus know about viruses and contagious disease? Did he know the nature of mental illnesses like schizophrenia? Did he understand brain tumors, etc? If so, did he explain these things or did he respond to them within a first century understanding?
8. Were Jesus questions real questions? Or were they all rhetorical?
9. If Jesus did not have exhaustive divine knowledge as a human being, does this impact our view of him as God incarnate?
10. If the Father reveals to Jesus some things that other men did not know, does this mean that Jesus had, available at any time, exhaustive knowledge of the future, science, geography, etc?