Since Jesus has a human and a divine nature, does he also have a human and a divine will?

Hey everyone. Since Jesus Christ has a human and a divine nature, does it follow that He also has a human and a divine will? If so, can someone please explain to me how the two would work in conjunction with each other?

Absolutely yes. It would be heretical to deny that He had/has 2 wills.

If so, can someone please explain to me how the two would work in conjunction with each other?

Beyond saying that His 2 wills always act in harmony with each other, I’m not sure exactly how to explain it. In other words, there was never a point when the Divine Will wanted one thing but the Human Will wanted something else.

Try this from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Yes, you are correct. I am not a Theologian so I can’t go too in-depth but I do know that the Church holds that Jesus has a human will as well as His divine Will.
However, even though He did have a truly human will in addition to His Divine will, this does not mean that His human will was ever contrary to His Divine will (if His human will had ever gone against His divine will, that would mean that He had sinned, which of course He never did).

As I said, I’m not an expert, but at least that’s how it was explained to me.

  1. “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done” -Luke 22:42.

  2. “When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to Him ‘They have no wine left!’ and Jesus replied 'Woman, why are you saying this to me? My time has not come yet?”. - John 2. Jesus’ will was not to turn water into wine. It was the Father’s will though obviously.

  3. “Though he were a son, yet learned He obedience thru the things which He suffered” -Hebrews 5:8. I would think obedience is the subjugation of will here.

  4. “he was tempted in every way, yet did not sin” -Hebrews 4:15. I would think you need a will to be tempted to say yes or no.

I would think in Heaven there is One Will, but while He was a man- he was fully man and fully God. Just my opinion. :slight_smile:

Opinion is one thing. The infallible teaching of the Church is another.

The question of whether Christ had/has 2 wills was decided at the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople III.

Thank you for your answer Fr. David and thanks to others as well.

That said, when Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemene He asked His Heavenly Father to take the cup from Him but He then said “Not my will but Thine be done.” So my question is here, when Jesus was asking His Father to take the cup from Him but yet He was being submissive to the Father’s will? Does this mean that the our Heavenly Father and Jesus have two different wills which may want different things?

He did not lose his humanity at the Ascension. He will be fully man for all eternity.

I don’t know, I think that part of His agony in the Garden was due to His human desire to live, in conflict with His divine desire to fulfill God’s plan.

Father, his opinion happened to be correct, why not celebrate that? Didn’t seem a very charitable response.

That’s a good way of phrasing it.

It’s actually 2 different uses of the same word.
The word “will” (in Greek “thelema” I had to look it up) can mean either a specific choice (like willing to drink either coffee or tea) or it can mean the entire faculty of choosing.

What I’m going to try here is to make the distinction between the definitions by making words:

will1: a particular choice that applies to a specific moment
will2: the actual rational faculty of choosing

I know it’s not a perfect way, but it’s the only way I can think at the moment to use the word in 2 different senses without going crazy putting explanations in parentheses.

When we speak of Christ having “2 wills” what we mean is the 2nd definition—the faculty of choosing. When we say that he has “2 wills” what me mean is “two of will2.”
His will2 (two of them!) are always in harmony with the will of the Father.

I’m really struggling here to explain this. I keep typing and editing and deleting…so bear with me please.

In the Garden, when Christ says “not my will…” he is not talking about the faculty of choosing, but he’s talking about a particular, concrete option (sort of A or B).
His human instincts (and yes, he did have them or else he would not have been human), were telling him to avoid death. But that’s will1 not will2.

His will2 overcame his will1.

I know this can either explain it or totally confuse anyone who reads it. My apologies if it’s the later, but it’s the best I can do at the moment.

Two different, although very much related, uses of the one word “will.”

No, it was not correct.

Even in heaven, Christ continues to have 2 wills, not one.

We cannot say that Christ had 2 wills on earth and one will in heaven (which is what was posted).

It was not meant to be uncharitable. Sometimes responses are just short–it’s the nature of internet forums. Brevity is not the same thing as lack of charity.

No, but sometimes shortness is synonymous with the lack of charity…and that’s how it came off.

A nature is “non-personal” - a human nature means an “animal” body animated by an “intellectual” soul. Divine Nature is perhaps harder to put in a simple sentence, but is God. Will, however is a personal power. Individual persons have wills which love what the person loves and choose what the person chooses, and are informed by an intellect.

When Jesus assumed human nature, human form, in his distinct person, he began to know himself not simply as the Father’s Son, but as Jesus, the Father’s Son and Mary’s son. And he then desired things, both as the Son of God and as the man. In all this desire of good things, he had his understanding of who he was (Mary told him as he was growing up, John and the Father told him at his Baptism), and his reasoning about this consciously and in the shared communion of his soul with his divine self understanding led to his choices of what to do in relation to his desires.

Jesus governed his human will with his “rightly ordered reason”. He loved ONE THING, had One ultimate goal, so all his choices fulfilled his love and goal. When he was hungry in the desert, even though bread and nourishment is a good thing, his understanding of being the Son of God was put to him as a test. So, he did not command stones to become bread. He knew he was the Son of God and would not question it, but would go hungry instead. That was the actualizing of his human will in accord with his divine will.

How can the two “work together”? They work together because of love (the will is actually love making what is loved be one with you). If you love (desire) a piece of chocolate cake, your will is that love reaching out to the plate, taking cake with a fork, and making it one with you by putting it in your mouth.

The Son of God loved his Father (breathed to the Father the Holy Spirit to be one with the Father, and the Father likewise loves the Son, each putting themselves into union with the other). That is the Will of the Son of God. And the Father loved us (his Will) so the Son loved us (a gladly obedient Will). One Person, Jesus the Son of God, loved himself as he was - God and Man. He was happy to be himself, loving his Father and loving us. Since he loved us we can say that with both divine and human will he does all things to be united to us. The Will, human and divine, is Love making what is beloved be one with Him.

When our King Jesus prayed in the Garden, he was doing much like his ancestor King David praying Psalm 22. He was expressing the difficulty of what was about to happen. That was not his “will” talking, but his human reasoning working at finalizing his human soul’s understanding. The will is an actor, doing and moving the body, and the reason is a speaker, formulating words to make something understood. But, Jesus’ understanding, his right-reasoning, his knowing whom he loved, brought the words to his mouth representing the true human will: “I am your obedient son, your will be done, your word is my command”. Then Jesus Acted (his divine and human will) by standing and letting the arrest take place in the garden. This is what Paul enclosed his letter to the Roman’s with; he wrote to bring about “the obedience of faith” or the obedient choices of the will as guided by the understanding that is faith.

Free will makes choices to unite you with what you love. Your understanding and reasoning present things for you to love. If you love what is not your true goal, your love of that temporal thing may be satisfied, but you will not be more than momentarily satisfied.

This was not the best cohesive reply, but may aid.

John Martin

He has two wills that are completely united, so it’s as if there was “one” will.


The human will always acts in harmony with, and subject to the Divine will.

Just needed to put that out there.

With regard to Getsemanie:

I’m trying to explain that there is a difference between:
the “will willed” (what I tried to call will1)
the “will willing” (what I tried to call will2)

I’m not happy with what I posted.

If anyone can help explain this please do because I can see for myself that I’m not doing a very good job here.

Thank you for your comment- but my 2 parish priests disagree with you and agree that my comment was neither Monoenergism nor Monothelitism. The council, in keeping with Agatho, defined that Jesus Christ possessed two energies and two wills but that his human will was in subjection to his divine and all-powerful will. As he rose from the dead with a glorified body- so was his will (within that said body) glorified. To say there are 2 opposing wills in God is wrong. If you can show me in some official church document that Jesus currently has a will that opposes his Father I will change my opinion happily.

He did not say that there are two opposing wills in God. In fact, he stated that Christ’s human will never acts in opposition to his divine will.

Christ, from the moment of the Incarnation, has had 2 wills; one divine and one human. That applies for the rest of eternity.

At no point did He ever lose or cease to have a human will. He has it still in Heaven, just as He likewise has His glorified human body.

This is not to say that he has “opposing” wills. That’s not what I said. I said He has 2 wills. I also never claimed that his will opposed the will of the Father.

This matter was settled long ago in AD 681 by the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople III

Believing our lord Jesus Christ, even after his incarnation, to be one of the holy Trinity and our true God, we say that he has two natures [naturas] shining forth in his one subsistence[subsistentia] in which he demonstrated the miracles and the sufferings throughout his entire providential dwelling here, not in appearance but in truth, the difference of the natures being made known in the same one subsistence in that each nature wills and performs the things that are proper to it in a communion with the other; then in accord with this reasoning we hold that two natural wills and principles of action meet in correspondence for the salvation of the human race.

Those sentences are in the present tense, not the past. Since the Incarnation Christ has had 2 wills and continues to have 2 wills, human and divine, for all eternity.

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