Q. Last Sunday the speaker told us not to be too hung up on Christmas, because Jesus had to be dedicated, circumcised and fulfill all the OT requirements in order to be perfect. What’s your opinion on this?
A. I have not heard the speaker for myself, but based on what you reported I would disagree with his premise. To claim that in order to be perfect, Jesus had to fulfill all OT requirements is to state that He achieved perfection by works or performance, which is heretical.
First, Jesus is perfect because He is God:
• Col 2:9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,
In fact, He is the standard by which perfection is measured. He did not have to fulfill His own laws to qualify. It’s His nature.
Secondly, perfection can never come through the Levitical priesthood or the Law:
• Heb 7:11 Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron?
Jesus is priest according to the order of Melchizedek, higher than the order of Aaron.
The only sense Jesus need to be perfected was through sufferings:
• Heb 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.
This does not refer to Jesus being deficient in any moral sense. It only points out that as God Jesus had not experienced human suffering. Therefore He had to be made perfect or complete by suffering what we went through to sympathize with our weakness:
• Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
I believe Jesus is perfect because of who He is, not because of what He had done. The latter flows out of the former, not the other way around. Doing follows being.
7 thoughts on “Jesus’ Perfection”
You don’t think it’s required of the Messiah to obey the Law of God?
I did not say that. Mt 5:17 Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. I said His perfection is innate in His nature as God, not as a result of His obeying the Law, which was the speaker’s point. There is a huge difference.
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Yes there is a difference. I guess I misquoted you, I’m sorry. But I also think I have a different interpretation of Christ’s perfection, which may be why I read it that way. I see his “perfection” in Hebrews as the perfection of obedience, which is parallel to the obedience of Abraham, not because he’s “God”. I don’t find anywhere in the scripture where Jesus is declared to be God. I think God is God, and Jesus is his Anointed One, so I would not see his perfection is inherent as I would attribute it to God Almighty.
I think that’s where we differ. I believe Jesus is God the Son, the Second Person of the one Triune God, hence His perfection because of His dual nature, not only as the perfect Man but also as full Deity equal to the Father. As to the biblical support, there are lots of good theology books on the Deity of Christ and I don’t need to repeat what others have clearly expounded. But thank you for sharing.
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BTW love the pic! That’s a classic!
Yes, I would say you are right, that seems to be the difference we have. I’m very familiar with all the theological arguments, I’ve been a Christian for over 30 years and held a Trinitarian view for most of them. In recent years I’ve greatly softened my stance on that for a variety of what I feel are very good scriptural reasons. However, I still hold a high Christological view and applicationally I don’t really argue the point too much since in essence it amounts to hair-splitting, but I can respectfully disagree as you have. Still appreciate your blog and hope to keep reading!