Jesus and Limitations, Now this is a dicey issue.
Jesus, as the second member of the Triune God, has no limitations. He is God (John 1:1). He has always been God and will always be God. But in the sovereign plan of God, Jesus added humanity to His divinity. This is called the Incarnation. Jesus became a man (John 1:14). He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of His mother, Mary. Thus Jesus became the God-Man. He was still God, but He chose for a time to limit Himself in the form of a Human man.
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5–8, ESV)
This is not like Superman who came to earth but merely dressed like a human man. If you shot Clark Kent, the bullets would still bounce off of him. He only looked human, he did not share in the limitations of the human race. Jesus actually became a man. He added the weakness, frailty, dependency, and limitations of humanity to His divinity. To use the Taxonomy we used last week in discussing Moses’ limitations, Jesus was emotionally limited, He was physically limited, and He was relationally limited.
Jesus was physically limited.
In the Gospel’s we see Jesus get hungry (Mark 11:12) and tired from walking (John 4:6). Jesus knows what it feels like to be us. He knows what it feels like to put a hard day in at work and come home exhausted. He was not Superman. The most glaring example is the way that Jesus died. He was punched in the face, had his beard plucked out, was brutally tortured and crucified in the most humiliating display of his physical limitations as a human man.
Jesus was emotionally Limited.
We see Jesus get emotional and weep at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:35), we see Him get angry in the Temple (Mark 11), that takes emotional energy and is draining. We also see Him abandon the crowds who were needing more from him, to seek silence and solitude with His Father (Matthew 14:22-23, Mark 6:45-46, John 6:14-15). Jesus knew when to pull away to recharge with the Holy Spirit and His Father.
Jesus was relationally Limited.
When Jesus put on flesh He was also no longer Omnipresent. He was born in Bethlehem and was raised in Nazareth. He grew up in one family, and only chose twelve apostles. Because He could only be in one place at a time, Jesus was limited in his relational abilities.
But unlike us, Jesus, though in the flesh, never sinned in response to his limitations. He never raged against His limitations. When confronted with His limitations Jesus leaned on the Father, trusted in the Spirit, and prayed in faith.
Interestingly, I haven’t found any place in Scripture where Jesus was frustrated with his limitations and wished he could do more. Jesus said, “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me (John 5:30).”
Jesus was okay "just" being Jesus and living dependent upon the Father. He didn’t desire to be the Father. He didn’t desire to be able to heal everyone, or speak to everyone, or minister to everyone. Jesus let God be omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent and while in the flesh he was okay with limitations.
Are you? As I have said over the last few weeks. I am not okay with my limitations most of the time. But I am slowly learning the blessing in them. I am slowly learning what it means to rest in Christs' perfect obedience for me and be okay in my limitations. God is God and I am not. This is the sacred bedrock upon which everything in life is to be built.
There is no rest anywhere else.