And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me."

Matthew 28:18 (ESV)

Jesus , being given universal authority, is the supreme ruler of the universe.

  1. Is the passage saying that the Father transferred his role as Lord?

  2. If not, were the Father and the Son both Lord of all creation and thus, we have two Lords? However, this would contradict two scripture passages:

    • Jesus is the 'one Lord' (1 Corinthians 8:6).
    • Jesus is the 'only Sovereign' (Jude 1:4)

So, if the Father still had all authority over all creation, giving it to the Son could only mean two things:

  1. Either God temporarily gave up the function of being Lord and gave it solely to his Son. Only the Son rules at this age.
  2. Or God shared his own authority to Jesus so that they are co-regent. They rule together as one.

What does it mean that all authority is given to Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:18?

  • Three cowards...
    – user10231
    Jun 11 '16 at 10:21

Yes, temporarily.

I consider the account of the political relationship between the Pharaoh of Egypt and Joseph to be an excellent illustration of the political relationship between God and Jesus.

  • Joseph was given all authority in Egypt:

Gen_41:41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. Gen_41:44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.

  • the line between Joseph and Pharaoh was never compromised.

At no point did Pharaoh cede or diminish his own supremacy. Joseph was absolute ruler in Egypt except for his complete submission to Pharaoh just as Jesus was given "all authority" but that authority did not change the fact that he was subject to his God. There was an apotheosis but he never actually became God or Pharaoh:

1Co 15:27 For "God has put all things in subjection under his feet." But when it says, "all things are put in subjection," it is plain [obvious!] that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him.

  • it was temporary. After the subjugation of God's enemies is complete Jesus will no longer have any political power so that God may be "all in all" (or, "God alone will rule and God will rule alone"):

1Co 15:28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

God did the same with his role as shepherd. He appointed Jesus as shepherd and he himself ceased be the acting shepherd. YHVH placed his flock in the care of Jesus:

Joh 17:6 "I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them [entrusted their care] to me, and they have kept your word.

Joh 10:29 My Father, who has given them [entrusted their care] to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.

Act_2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

  • 1
    (+1) for bringing up the Pharaoh and Joseph analogy.
    – Radz Brown
    Jun 6 '16 at 17:07
  • 2
    (-1) The presumption of this answer is that Jesus was a “nobody” in the beginning and when His temporary assignment is up He will return to being a “nobody.” In the example, suppose Joseph’s true birthright was to be the King of Kings (as in his dream). In that case Pharaoh is not enduing him with any power; rather Pharaoh would be ceding power that rightfully belonged to Joseph in the first place. The fact that the Creator of all things temporarily gives away His authority to take up residence in a human body does not make him a nobody from the beginning. Jun 6 '16 at 17:21
  • @RevelationLad I removed the offending word.
    – user10231
    Jun 7 '16 at 0:45
  • The question asks about the meaning of "all authority." Your answer is specious suggesting Pharaoh giving Joseph partial authority is a good illustration of Jesus having all authority. The correct comparison of all authority in the life of Joseph is with Jacob/Israel and Joseph's brothers. What does it mean for Joseph to have all authority over his brothers while their father is still alive? Jun 8 '16 at 19:13
  • @RevelationLad The fulfillment of Joseph's dream was fulfilled by his role as Pharaoh's appointee, when they come for bread because of the famine.
    – user10231
    Jun 8 '16 at 20:04

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