I recently was interview by Mike Bennett. Mike hosts the FutureQuake radio show, which airs in radio prime time (home commute) in Nashville on WENO, AM 760 in Nashville, TN. It’s the only Christian radio show that is not restricted to the internet that I’ve ever been interviewed on. Goes to show you how popular the subject matter (really, ANY content-oriented subject matter) is on Christian radio. it also goes to show you that FutureQuake ought to be on your listening schedule if you lean at all toward a Christian orientation and like “alternative” topics. Mike/Dr. Future was recently (this past Sunday night) on Coast to Coast AM as a guest. My topic was “Why an ET God Appeals to Today’s Culture.” Mike has posted the archived mp3 file of my interview.
About The Author
CIA, Mind Control, Alien Abduction: Addendum
May 13, 2013
The Science and Pseudo-Science of Extraterrestrial Communication
January 1, 2015
Christian Fundamentalism, Aliens, UFOs: What About Matthew 24:37-38 and Daniel 2:43?
August 15, 2010
Update on "BioStation Alpha" Google Mars Image
June 13, 2011
Thanks for the heads up on the interview! In it, I think you touched on something I’ve often wondered about and was hoping you could guide me on. The part about Jesus being touched in the crowd and then Him asking who had touched him (Luke 8). I heard Walter Martin mention that verse one time in reference to evidence of Jesus’ humanity. I’d like to know, since you are great at this, if there is something about the text itself in the language and style it was written in that would lend more understanding to such an event surrounding Jesus and the disciples. To further clarify, is there something that would indicate that it could NOT be Jesus asking the question of who touched him in order to impart more understanding to his disciples?
In the situation, people were all around him in a crowded fashion which Peter pointed out, naturally, but Jesus clarified that power had gone out from Him. This could have been a clarification not only for Peter, but also for the woman, because He basically called her out so He could show her faith..?
Two other situations that cause me to really want to know more in such instances is one, when Jesus spit in the mud to heal a blind man (Mark 8), and two, when He said He saw Nathanael under the fig tree before Philip called to him (John 1). In the first case of the healing, I heard a pastor demonstrate how Jesus’ having to lay hands on the blind man twice was not to show a weakness in Jesus but that it was a demonstration for His disciples, in following verses, about their eyes’ being opened and just how clearly they were seeing things, from blurry to clearer. So if that’s valid, that might cause me to think that He did know who touched Him in the crowd and that He was asking who so He could point out the woman’s faith.
In regards to the second case of seeing Nathanael under the tree. IF the case with the woman was to show Jesus’ humanity and how He did NOT know all information all the time, like what stars are made of and details of the universe like that, then that makes me want to know how to answer the idea that in the case with Nathanael, Jesus wasn’t doing some sort of remote viewing thing to see him under the fig tree while they may have been some distance apart. I’m trying to say here that if in fact he wasn’t aware of anything He ever wanted to know at anytime, then with Nathanael, He either consciously made the effort to see Nathanael at a distance, or perhaps a vision of sorts was just revealed to Him by the Father to show Him one of His disciples.
I remember another one of Dr. Martins’ sermons where he went through similar instances and miracles done by Jesus to clarify how they were NOT what a new age advocate might try to parallel them to be. That’s a big reason in my asking. Not that I’m around new age people, hardly ever, but just to know how could I clarify for myself and them what is the proper understanding of belief and how verses from James aren’t necessarily the same thing as positive confession and positive thinking and manipulating the world around you with thoughts…subjects you don’t get on Sunday mornings, sadly.
I know that was scatterbrain and appreciate your consideration in answering. If I need to clarify a question, I will try! 🙂
@stringbox: Let’s start with specifics. There’s nothing in the text that is unusual or obtuse. It’s Jesus in normal narrative discourse for NT writers. In regard to yoru second paragraph, yes, that is possible, though we are not told as such. Now a bit broader. A number of these quirky passages in the gospels (e.g., where Jesus uses spittle and clay to heal a blind man) are often aimed at some folk belief in the wider culture or literary episode known in the wider culture (to either undo them or modify them to draw attention to Jesus in a specific way). This would have the same effect as what Martin is suggesting, though it is more specific.
The gospels have an interesting mixture of Jesus doing very divine things, and also having very human weaknesses and limitations. Such is the nature of the incarnation as described by the biblical writers. Paul spends a good bit of time on this in Philippians 2, where he describes the voluntary suspension by the Son (Jesus) of the attributes of deity for the sake of becoming human. The gospel writers’ descriptions matches that sort of theological commentary.
I just wanted to second that observation you made:
“Now a bit broader. A number of these quirky passages in the gospels (e.g., where Jesus uses spittle and clay to heal a blind man) are often aimed at some folk belief in the wider culture or literary episode known in the wider culture (to either undo them or modify them to draw attention to Jesus in a specific way). ”
That particular incident, spitting in the dirt to make clay, is interesting for a number of reasons, and I think it is important to notice that out of many miracles that Jesus did, this one apparently rocked the sanhedrin and religious leadership, and a great deal of the account is recorded in the Gospel.
The key thing to note is that this particular miracle was of a different sort than the usual miracles that Jesus performed. “No man has ever given sight to a man born blind”. Eyes healed yes, but this was not a healing, for the man had no vision, or possibly even eyes to begin with. I think what the religious leaders had picked up on was Jesus using clay, as God did in the creation account in Genesis, to create eyes for the man. This again was elevating the status of Jesus to co-equality with the Creator, and so was especially offensive to the religious leadership who recognized all to well the parallels.
The next bit below is more my own conjecture:
As for the miracles in general, as in the book of Acts, the Gospels declare many times that the power of God was present to perform miracles. Jesus Himself said that the work God was doing on His behalf constituted another testimony besides His own concerning His office and relationship to God and man. After His forty days in the desert He came out in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Therefor, I do not find it remarkable that Jesus would have felt power going out or through Him as someones’ faith, not in miracles, but in the person of Jesus, looking unto Him even as they looked on the bronze snake Moses lifted up, as the contact point for sinful man or women to receive mercy and help in time of need from a restored fellowship and access to God, as has been the testimony of many involved in healing ministries under the power of the Holy Spirit.
@clayvessel: Thanks for your additional comments! I like what you’re saying there. That does seem to be a creative miracle as opposed to just healing. If I may ask, where you find that the man may not have even had eyes? That’s just an aside, really. Just curious.
Actually I also need to clarify a bit on what I was actually trying to say in my pondering (note: not questioning, but pondering.) I mentioned mud, but I’m actually referring to the Mark 8 healing and looking back, I don’t see mud mentioned, but instead, “and when ?he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, ‘Do you see anything?'” So, still not a big deal, but I think we’re referring to different passages. The mud being in John 1, where the man was blind from birth, I believe is what you are pointing to. Regardless, I like what you said, but let me go on in my poor attempt at clarification.
I also do not find it remarkable or surprising that Jesus would have felt power go out from him, but am just interested to know whether or not he knew who touched him already and was only asking in order to teach another lesson. My point is that at least in some ways Jesus’ humanity seems to come across better in regards to his physical body, eating, sleeping, bleeding, but mentally he seems to always know things and in that respect reflect his deity ‘always’ in that sense. I’m not saying he doesn’t have a human brain, I don’t question his human/divine nature at all. It’s really just more a point of curiosity that I probably shouldn’t worry with, but my brain just goes that way sometimes. hehe.
I tied the thought back to the healing of the blind man in Mark 8, because I think the sermon I heard one time made a good point… that whole “blurry, then clear” motif, which did flow nicely into the following verses, where Jesus asked them who people said he was. Some said John the Baptist, some Elijah, but Peter said, “You are the Christ.” Again, “blurry understanding against clear understanding.” That motif also followed into the disciples misunderstanding of his purpose on earth we might say? They weren’t down with this crucifixion thing, but they came to understand it eventually. Blurry – Clear.
So it seemed Jesus was pretty much constantly teaching, even if asking a question, any question.
Now I’m probably getting blurry. 🙂 Anyhow, does that make any more sense? The notion of Jesus physically human in every way, but seeming to mentally show more the divine? I had started looking through one time to see in any place Jesus may have asked a question, did it appear he actually needed someone to share information with him. Even with the woman at the well, when Jesus told her go, call her husband and come here, he already new all of her “business”, and I don’t feel like Jesus followed the gossip column, he just knew everything. I’m not trying to infer that he wouldn’t have had to learn to walk when he was a youngster, but rather that if he wanted to know something, his divinity seems to shine in those situations. That’s not implying ‘cheating’ in anyway either. He is completely God and man, no imbalance, just perfect. Like I say though, it’s just curiosity in trying to more clearly understand the person of Jesus. He is pretty special after all!
@stringbox: All of this sort of thing just goes back to the incarnation. The gospels are full of examples where deity attributes are limited because of the incarnation, and Philippians 2 is crucial in that regard, noting that Jesus gave up the full range of divine attribute use by becoming incarnate.
I understand what you mean, and I also understand if it’s time to drop the idea, but the exchange has helped me in sorting my thoughts and just working through it. So I’ll summarize in this comment. My first thought with the woman touching him in the crowd… I think I heard Walter Martin use that verse one time to demonstrate Jesus’ humanity, and I just wonder if that’s the best verse to do that or if that verse can even conclusively point to his humanity in the form of the ignorance of who touched him. I think in your (MSH) first response you said that it was ‘possible’ that the question of “who touched me?” was for teaching purposes.(?) So that’s that part.
The second thing that gets me is the clarification of deity in the physical mind of Jesus, or at least how the very best way to put it into words would be. Like, did he only ‘know’, in information, what we know as humans, and just (of course) understood the scriptures perfectly and so could talk so accurately in terms of the spiritual? Second, is it best said like you mentioned, “examples where deity attributes are limited” or “Jesus gave up the full range of divine attribute use”? Limited deity or given up fully. I know it really sounds like splitting hairs at this point, but I assure you, in my head it isn’t, for this reason… If Jesus ability to know things like seeing Nathanael under the tree before he physically saw him, the woman at the well and her background, if that sort of knowledge is revealed to Jesus because of his and the Father’s inseparable communion through prayer life then is that something we see in people with strong prayer lives? I certainly feel God guide me through circumstance and the like, though I don’t think I’ve ever had a vision or just known something I normally would have no reason to know. I’m just wondering about his limited deity in terms of knowledge. Was it like his ability to heal people, did he just ‘tap into’ that power and at times ‘knowledge’ when it was appropriate? It’s late, so I’m losing clear thought again. Let me try it this way:
A: Jesus’ mind was perfectly tethered to the Father’s and if he needed to know what pi equals or the position of Saturn, he could know it. (and this would not be something we could access)
B: his mind was as plain human as our own and knowledge was revealed to him by the Father when he needed it for something, and so potentially this may happen to any devout Christian. (such as perhaps when people wake up and feel a sudden urge to pray for someone in the middle of the night.)
C: his mind was as plain human as our own but he was tapping into some ‘ability’ or mind discipline.
I don’t like C, because that’s what someone who does channeling would think, and ‘that just don’t seem right’. I’m fine with B. I’m fine with A too actually. I just don’t know which it is or if it’s both or what and it might really be a question I shouldn’t spend time on. If that’s the case, I gladly set it aside.
If it may also help to understand my strangeness here, think of it in terms, not exact but similar, to your take on Romans 5:12. Like in the traditional view of inherited guilt, how does that jive with Jesus’ humanity? I like your perspective on that whole thing by the way.
I’m just trying to balance in my mind the limitation of deity in Jesus against his humanity. Honestly, it just helps form a better and better picture in my mind of ‘the fullness of deity in human form’, what a human truly full of the Holy Spirit looks like. So yea, I know, it is perhaps like splitting hairs, but how else would I see inside the hair… 🙂
@stringbox: my view is pretty orthodox here: Jesus was full deity and in the incarnation he gave up the independent use of full divine attributes. The fact that he lacked “independent” use is by fault limiting as well, but it was his choice as part of the godhead to do this.