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Faber

The all-powerful (Almighty) Lord Jesus (Matthew 28:18)

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Matthew 28:18

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (KJV)

 

I find it surprising that those who deny the Lord Jesus is God will sometimes refer to Matthew 28:18 emphasizing that Jesus was GIVEN His power/authority and so therefore He can not be God.

 

Those who believe the Lord Jesus is God can account for the fact that He was "given" all power in that before His resurrection He simply refused to always employ His omnipotence[*1] but those who deny the Lord Jesus is God are unable to satisfactorily explain that the Lord Jesus possesses (right now) all power[*2] - He is omnipotent/Almighty.[*3]

1. Leon Morris: He is making clear that the limitations that applied throughout the incarnation no longer apply to him. He has supreme authority throughout the universe (The Gospel According to Matthew, Pillar New Testament Commentary, page 745-746).

2. B. Reicke: Elsewhere, however, it is said of the Redeemer during His earthly life that He has laid aside His power and appeared in lowliness and humility, Mt. 11:29; 12:18-21; 2 C. 8:9; Phil. 2:5-8...cf. the temptation of Jesus, Mt. 4:8 f. par. Lk. 4:5 f. Thus, when the full power of Jesus is occasionally mentioned during the time of His humiliation, it is merely a proleptic fact.

A new situation is brought into being with the crucifixion and resurrection. The Chosen One seizes the full power which He had from the beginning of the world, Mt. 28:18 "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth". Cf. the proclamations of the heavenly King in Rev., e.g., concerning Alpha and Omega (TDNT 5:895, All).

 

If a person claims to believe the Bible and yet insists that the Lord Jesus is not God my question for them is this:

Since the Father gave the Lord Jesus universal power doesn't that make you a polytheist in that you now have more than 1 Being who is Omnipotent/Almighty?

 

In conclusion, Matthew 28:18 is a powerful passage which affirms the all powerful Jesus.

 

 

 

[*1] The Lord Jesus is Omnipotent.

1. H. Sasse: His omnipotence, in which Christ shares as kyrios (1 C. 8:6; Col. 1:16; Mt. 28:18), extends over the whole world, over heaven and earth (TDNT 1:679, earth).

2. F. Graber: The exaltation of the Son confirms that all authority (-> Might) has been given to him (Matt. 28:18) (NIDNTT 1:95, All).

3. A. H. Leitch: Christ possesses the attributes of God: omnipotence (Matt. 28:18) (The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible2:92, deity of Christ).

 

[*2] The omnipotence of the Lord Jesus is universal.

1. BDAG (3rd Edition): Of Jesus' total authority Mt 28:18 (exousia, page 353).

2. H. Traub: The inclusion of heaven and earth in the saving event in Jesus Christ means that no entity in heaven or on earth can possess autonomy: Mt. 28:18. By the resurrection all power has been placed exclusively in the hands of the risen Lord (TDNT 5:518, heaven).

3. See H. Sasse (#1) of footnote #1.

 

[*3] Almighty = Omnipotent = All-powerful

1. Almighty: (1) having unlimited power; omnipotent, as God or a deity (Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, page 41, NY: Gramercy Books, c. 1996).

2. Omnipotent: (1) almighty, or infinite in power, as God or a deity (4) the Omnipotent, God (Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, page 1005, NY: Gramercy Books, c. 1996).

3. Omnipotence: The quality of having all power (The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible 4:595, omnipotence, A. H. Leitch).

The above can also be seen when comparing Revelation 19:6 in the KJV and the NASB (the underlined below is mine).

KJV: And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

NASB: Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.

The same Greek word which is correctly translated as both "omnipotent" and "Almighty" is pantokratōr which refers to possessing all power.

1. BDAG (3rd Edition): Almighty, All-Powerful, Omnipotent (One) (pantokratōr, page 755).

2. J. P. Louw and Eugene Nida: (a title for God, literally 'all powerful') - 'the Almighty, the One who has all power' (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains, 12.7, pantokratōr, page 139).

3. William Mounce: pantokratōr is a compound of the two Greek words meaning "all" and "power"- thus either "the Almighty" or "the all-powerful One" (Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, Almighty, page 15).

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