Did Jesus have a will different from the Father's?


In Luke 22:42 Jesus says “Not my will but thine be done.”. Does that mean Jesus had a will different from the Father’s He just choose not to follow it?


It shows Christ was fully human and divine, with a human and a divine will. The prayer seems to show Christ submitting his human will to the Father’s will. Monothelitism (the notion that Christ possessed but one will) has been condemned as a heresy.


Well then how come everything that is my will has evil inclinations. Such as wanting to go watch sports, eat at nice restaurants, or watch a movie rather than doing what God wants such as preparing for a presentation or praying? Everything that is my will has somekind of evil inclination behind it whether gluttony, sloth (sleeping to kill time) etc. What kind of things could Jesus desired to do that were not evil? I thought that our desire to do things other than God’s will was the evil that remains in our heart?


Exactly. The human part of Christ wanted very much NOT to be betrayed, tortured and murdered. I’d say that’s essentially what the Agony in the Garden was about - His human will and His divine will at odds with each other.


I think we have to distinguish between His desires and His will. Jesus obviously willed Himself to overcome the temptation to avoid being betrayed, tortured and executed. It seems unthinkable that there could be conflict between His human and divine wills - or between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in any respect.


EVERYTHING that is your will has evil inclinations? You never will to love someone, to treat others as you want to be treated, to be the light of Christ to others, to pray, to proclaim the gospel, or to never commit evil? Jesus had the human will of survival and the instinctive will of self preservation. So when He asked his Father if the cup could pass from Him it was this will that He exhibited. There is no moral evil in wanting to save your own life. The divine will however was that He came to die for our sins. His divine will knew that; all while His human will wanted to do what was innately human which is to preserve life.


Maybe you’re a little too hard on yourself, I don’t think god just wants us to pray and be in church 24/7. Jesus was criticized by the pharisee for doing some of the same things you consider evil.

10 And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax-collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax-collectors and sinners?
Matthew 9

Also important to note is that Jesus was true God and true Man. He was like us in all things but sin.

15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 4


I agree, and that is what I was about to say, and I think I can add a bit more to that. You can see, for instance, in the 40 Days in the Desert attempts of Satan to tempt Jesus’s human nature to sin or fall into our common instinct to avoid displeasure (in that case, hunger), the search for power and, interestingly, blind faith as well (as seen when being persuaded to jump off the Temple, resting assured the angels would save Him on the basis of an incoherent reading of Scripture).

It’s not hard to conclude that a hypostatic union of divinity and humanity isn’t the most “natural” thing to happen, and Jesus’s great example of how a saint should be, is seen more clearly when He’s deliberately taming His flesh to be as close as possible to the divine nature’s holiness, like when He (as I showed just above) He’s in the desert, or during His Agony in the Garden. He progressively departed from His human instinct and uncovered His true identity to humanity, especially when voluntarily reaching the pinnacle of human suffering during the Passion. :thumbsup:


What does the catechism say?

Christ’s human will

475 Similarly, at the sixth ecumenical council, Constantinople III in 681, the Church confessed that Christ possesses two wills and two natural operations, divine and human. They are not opposed to each other, but cooperate in such a way that the Word made flesh willed humanly in obedience to his Father all that he had decided divinely with the Father and the Holy Spirit for our salvation.110 Christ’s human will "does not resist or oppose but rather submits to his divine and almighty will."111*

*111 Council of Constantinople III: DS 556.

2824 In Christ, and through his human will, the will of the Father has been perfectly fulfilled once for all. Jesus said on entering into this world: "Lo, I have come to do your will, O God."99* Only Jesus can say: "I always do what is pleasing to him."100* In the prayer of his agony, he consents totally to this will: "not my will, but yours be done."101* For this reason Jesus "gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father."102* "And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."103*

*99 Heb 10:7; Ps 40:7.
*100 Jn 8:29.
*101 Lk 22:42; cf. Jn 4:34; 5:30; 6:38.
*102 Gal 1:4.
*103 Heb 10:10.


I meant more in the sense that as long as someone occupies a human body, they are subject to certain temptations and limitations - the desire to avoid hunger, pain, etc. They’re very strong instincts.

Like the disciples said when they failed to stay awake: “The mind is willing, but the flesh is weak.”


:thumbsup: It follows that when we resist temptation we are using supernatural power to overcome our natural instincts or acquired habits and inclinations - even if we don’t believe in supernatural reality! This must be where God’s grace comes in. Free will cannot be explained scientifically because it implies self-determinism which is beyond the scope of empirical investigation.


I agree. I hadn’t read your post when I wrote mine today. :slight_smile:

PS I prefer the translation “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

closed #13

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