I have spent some time recently studying Christian apologetics (defence of the faith) and have heard some Muslim scholars raising interesting questions about the Trinity and the dual (human & divine) nature of Christ. Here are a few thoughts.
One Muslim questioner was asking about Mark 11:12-14, which says the following:
12 Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.”
And His disciples heard it.
The questioner was suggesting that if Jesus is God, surely He could have made figs appear on the tree to satisfy His hunger. Why didn’t He do so? Also, if Jesus is God, wouldn’t He have known there were no figs on the tree before He even approached the tree?
I suppose what we’re getting at here is the question of whether Jesus maintained qualities such as omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence when He took on human form. It seems from this passage that He didn’t, so are we really able to say He is fully God and fully man? I would be interested to get your thoughts – feel free to comment below.
A different but associated question that has been puzzling me is this: Did Jesus will the crucifixion? There seem to me to be two conflicting scriptures here.
Firstly, John 10:17-18 (NKJV):
17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
Secondly, Luke 22:41-43 (NKJV), in which Jesus is praying to God the Father in anticipation of His crucifixion:
41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed,42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground…
Unless I am mistaken, it seems that in the first scripture Jesus is suggesting He has authority over His own life and death, but in the second scripture that He is dependent on the will of the Father. This is somewhat confusing, and so to aid clarification, I’d love to get your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading!