Son subject to the Father?


#1

1 Corinthians
Chapter 15:
21 For by a man came death, and by a man the resurrection of the dead. 22 And as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But every one in his own order: the firstfruits Christ, then they that are of Christ, who have believed in his coming. 24 Afterwards the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God and the Father, when he shall have brought to nought all principality, and power, and virtue. 25 For he must reign, until he hath put all his enemies under his feet.

26 And the enemy death shall be destroyed last: For he hath put all things under his feet. **And whereas he saith, 27 All things are put under him; undoubtedly, he is excepted, who put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then the Son also himself shall be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. 29 **Otherwise what shall they do that are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not again at all? why are they then baptized for them? 30 Why also are we in danger every hour?

*28 “The Son also himself shall be subject unto him”… That is, the Son will be subject to the Father, according to his human nature, even after the general resurrection; and also the whole mystical body of Christ will be entirely subject to God, obeying him in every thing. *
www.drbo.org

Can someone explain these verses. Did St. Paul think that Christ was given authority by the Father, and that the Son would have to give this back? I am not content with the explanation in italics.


#2

Here is the commentary on those verses as given in the Geo. Haydock Bible Commentary:
haydock1859.tripod.com/id176.html

(Commentary on verse 28 “The Son also Himself shall be subject to Him.” - That is, the Son will be subject to the Father, according to His human nature, even after the general resurrection; and also the whole mystical body of Christ will be entirely subject to God, obeying Him in every thing.) Underlining mine.

For the whole Bible
haydock1859.tripod.com

Jesus does speak about authority being “given” to Him:
*Mt 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. *
(Also, do a word search - “authority” - in Gospel of John. Several good passages.)

Nita


#3

Thanks Nita, but as you can see I had that explanation in the OP. I just can’t understand how we can reconcile the equality within the Trinity, and the fact that authority has to be given to the Son.

Considering that the Trinity was co-equal and co-eternal before the incarnation, how or in what way, does the Divine Jesus acquiring a human nature now (since the resurrection) make him subject to the Father?

So maybe this relates to the understanding of "take Your seat at My right hand *until *I make Your enemies a footstool for You.

Why is the understanding of Jesus as the Church believes so hard for me to fully justify in the Bible?


#4

Probably because we are trying to apply our all too finite understanding to divine concepts that far exceed our human capacity for reasoning and understanding.

I have essentially the same issue with the very fact that God loves us so much. It’s incomprehensible, regardless of the fact that it is true and I believe it. :shrug:

Generally, when a person gives me the impression that they have all the answers with regard to God, I find pretty quickly that some of their answers are just plain weird.


#5

You are right. However, many people have brought up on this forum that faith and reason are not mutually exclusive, and in fact both work together in our understanding of God.

What if St. Paul really did believe what I suspect he meant with these verses? Would this affect our understanding of Jesus.

Reading these verses without twisting them, I see Paul saying that when all things have been put by God under the feet of Jesus, and when all is then subdued under him, Jesus will then give authority back to God who will rule over all, including Christ Jesus. Is that what you read?


#6

Perhaps the “have to” in your understanding is part of the problem - as tho Jesus is forced or compelled to be subject to God the Father by the Father’s decision only.

The whole plan of man’s eternal salvation - every step of it - was a choice of all 3 Persons of the Trinity. The Son chose to become man; chose to unite Himself with a human nature - not just for 33 years, but for all eternity (this is what blows my mind). United to Him (mystical body) through and in His glorified human nature, we will be brought right within the Trinity when He subjects all to God the Father. He chooses to do this!!! What an absolute manifestation of the infinite Divine love of the Son for us.

It is our fallen nature that sees subjection/serving as being inferior in some way. Jesus says the greatest are those who are servants.

The 3 Persons of the Trinity are equal in essence and in power. The manner (subjection) in which the Incarnate Son brings us into eternal union with our Triune God in no way alters the essence of His Divine nature or the power of His Divine nature.

Don’t know if any of this helps.

Nita


#7

Perhaps the “have to” in your understanding is part of the problem - as tho Jesus is forced or compelled to be subject to God the Father by the Father’s decision only.

Yes, I suppose this is a problem for me. I quoted the text from the D-R:
And whereas he saith, 27 All things are put under him; undoubtedly, he is excepted, who put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then the Son also himself shall be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

I guess it depends on the translation. Here it says that Jesus “shall” be subject unto Him. This does not rule out that Jesus freely subjects Himself. But that leads to another question. What would be the purpose of the Son being subject to God from now on, when before the Incarnation that doesn’t seem to be the case. I might be wrong though.

The whole plan of man’s eternal salvation - every step of it - was a choice of all 3 Persons of the Trinity. The Son chose to become man; chose to unite Himself with a human nature - not just for 33 years, but for all eternity (this is what blows my mind). United to Him (mystical body) through and in His glorified human nature, we will be brought right within the Trinity when He subjects all to God the Father. He chooses to do this!!! What an absolute manifestation of the infinite Divine love of the Son for us.

It is our fallen nature that sees subjection/serving as being inferior in some way. Jesus says the greatest are those who are servants.

This is quite profound. You are coming from a different angle than what I was thinking.

The 3 Persons of the Trinity are equal in essence and in power. The manner (subjection) in which the Incarnate Son brings us into eternal union with our Triune God in no way alters the essence of His Divine nature or the power of His Divine nature.

I understand that Jesus “did not cling to His equality with God” when He became man. But even now when Jesus is at the right hand of God, Paul seems to say that when all things are put under his feet, authority will be given back to God.

Would it true to say that from now on Jesus will be freely subjected to God, whereas before the Incarnation, there was no subjecion from the Son at all?


#8

All I can give is personal thoughts, since I don’t know of any particular Church teaching regarding the purpose of the Son being subject to God the Father.
My thought is that it has to do with His union to our human nature and to us. It is human nature/man that needs to be returned to its proper relationship to God.

Would it true to say that from now on Jesus will be freely subjected to God, whereas before the Incarnation, there was no subjecion from the Son at all?

I don’t know.
As mentioned, the 3 Persons are equal in essence and power, but the relations between the Persons are different. (eg. Son begotten by the Father, but Father not begotten)

Regarding subjectivity of the Son to the Father: I can imagine it as being almost reciprocal between the 3 Persons. Similar to the way Our Lord speaks of their relationship in the following verses:

*John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

John 17:9 I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom thou hast given me, for they are thine; all mine are thine, and thine are mine, *

Have you read St. Thomas Aquinas on the Trinity? It’s in volume 1 of the Summa Theologica. I’ve only read a little - deliberately. The Trinity to me is so far beyond anything I can comprehend that it is an area I have not pursued; mostly afraid I’ll misunderstand what Aquinas is saying. But you may find some answers there.

Nita


#9

The problem lies in the imperfection of human language and understanding. The three persons of God have a unified will. They cannot be opposed to one another. We say that the Son “obeys” the Father because that is about as close as we can get to understanding their relationship. Even though God has a unified will, each person of God has a free will of their own. But their infinite love and loyalty (and other things we have no words for) results in their chosing to act in accordance with that unified will. The most accurate human word for this is “obediance”.

Hope that helps! :thumbsup:


#10

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