Did Jesus have the ability to say "No" to the Father?


Jesus’s human will voluntarily submitted to the divine will. However, God would not have assumed a human nature in which the will did not submit to begin with.


If she did not have Original Sin then she did not have concupiscence in the sense of the ability to freely choose to commit sin, which came as a result of the Original Sin. If she (or Christ) did not have the ability to sin then in as far as sin is concerned they were like programmed robots. If that were the case then Jesus made no sacrifice in His suffering and death… it was something He was programmed to do. If Christ did not make a true sacrifice then we would still be in our sins.+

If He had the ability to choose then He could have chosen to disobey God. If He could do that then so could Mary had done so, which means the concept of the Immaculate Conception is questionable.


You don’t need concupiscence to sin. Mary voluntarily submitted to God’s will and, with the help of his grace, never sinned.


Again, my question is not about whether or not Christ sinned. He did not. It is about if He had the ability to sin… to say “No” to the Father. If He did not have that ability then He did not enter into His suffering and death willingly and that negates the sacrifice He made which HAD to be a free choice. We cannot do good unless we have the free choice to do evil.


Your argument is lacking in nuance and is overly simplistic. As stated
(1) The obedience of Jesus’ human will to the Divine Will was voluntary, and
(2) God would not have assumed a human nature which would have sinned.


Or perhaps to state another way, the potential to say no exists in the human will but it was a metaphysical impossibility for salvation history to have played out in such a way that Jesus would have sinned, for God would not have assumed a human nature in which such a course of events would have occurred.


The bottom line is this:
Grace never violates free will. Your position is suggesting otherwise. That’s a basic principle that you should conform your thinking to, and not try to conform the principles to your doubts.


Granted. But if Adam & Eve were part of a story and were not actual people, which is what I fully believe, then the theology built around, including the concept of Original Sin as a “black mark on the soul” as a result of their sin completely vanishes. If you try to treat it as actual history then you are fighting against a host of scientific knowledge and theories including evolution which the Church acknowledges IS possible. However as a story the focus changes from their supposed disobedience to the concept of man being given a conscience (or a human soul) which gave him “the knowledge of good and evil” as the tree was aptly named. I firmly believe that the conscience … the human soul rather than the animistic one is what completely separates us from all other animals and is responsible for all of the achievements of man.

There is nothing in the story that indicates that the supposed Adam knew beforehand that disobeying God was wrong. The story clearly states that “his eyes were opened” AFTER he ate.

Perhaps I am. But which interpretation makes more sense? That we inherited the stain of Original Sin from Adam and Eve (who most likely never really existed) despite the Church teaching that we do not inherit the sins of our fathers but are only responsible for our own sin, or the concept that when somewhere along the evolutionary line our first truly human parents were given a truly human soul and with it a conscience which gives us the ability to know good from evil, and it was the conscience, not a “stain of sin”, that we inherited, and it is the conscience which gives us the ability to sin.

I agree completely.

If you accept the concept of evolution then we never had “original holiness”. Before we were given the human soul we were animals incapable of sinning because we had no knowledge of good and evil. Is a wolf doing something “evil” when he kills a man or is he just being a wolf?


If He did not have the ability to sin and to say “No” to the father then His sacrifice was not a free choice at all, and as a result it was never a sacrifice. It would only be a sacrifice if He had the complete ability, like all of us, to refuse, but gave Himself over to the will of God.

Both lines infer that He had a will of His own and COULD HAVE said “No” but it was His choice to always do the will of the Father.


No. You said it properly.


Talking to Fr. David you said:

Exactly my point.


Christ has two wills, not one. That changes things.


I think you are missing my point. It is not a question whether He sinned or whether or not He would have sinned. It is COULD He have sinned? If He did not have at least the ability to walk away from the suffering and death awaiting Him then He was programmed to do what He did. If that were the case there was no sacrifice involved at all.


Jesus has 2 wills, Divine and human. As I posted, Here His Divine will is not in conflict with His human will.

It’s obvious to me, His Divine will and His human will are not in conflict.


Actually, according to the Scriptures, they were in conflict. His own will was saying “I don’t want to do this!” so ardently that He sweat blood. But He put aside His human will in order to do the will of the Father.

Do you notice the change in His demeanor after He went through after that agony? He came to the decision to accept the Father’s will and then from there got up and calmly met those who had come out to arrest Him.


Yet Jesus wasn’t arguing with His Father when He’s asking, If it is your will take this cup from me, but not my will but yours be done.

That demonstrates Jesus has 2 wills and His Human will is operational. AND His human will is subortinate to His Divine will.


Jesus and the Father share the same Will, so it would be impossible for Him to do so. To deny the Father would be to deny Himself.


Hi Wiley I go to Jesus. Jesus is the way to heaven. He was made a perfect human being because Jesus is God’s will. Everything Jesus Does is something that we can learn from and it’s written down in Scripture including what you said about Jesus agonizing words in the end. Jesus planted them there to teach us something! He agonized yet He did God’s will! So I no longer believe Jesus could say no. To have the ability in Jesus to say no would give an inch in for the devil in all of us because what we learn from Jesus is the way to the Father and disobedience is not the way to the Father. Jesus was man same as us in all ways except sin and that’s what this means. Jesus is our Savior and so we follow Him in His ways. We don’t choose to doubt God’s plan.


It was God’s will that Christ suffer and die for our Sins. Christ is God. Therefore, His Divine will was that He suffer and die for our sins.

It wasn’t like He was being forced to suffer and die for our sins by the Father.


I understood the point just fine. You are missing my point.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.