We know that it was the will of God (Jesus' father, "the God and father of our lord Jesus Christ") that Jesus taste death for every man:

KJV 1Jn_4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Apparently, Jesus' will was that he not die and that we all burn:

ESV Luk 22:42a saying, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me...

But according to "dyothelism" (which is, I believe generally considered to be "orthodoxy") Jesus had another will which was identical to God's will:


In this view Jesus actually acted by his higher will:

ESV Luk 22:42b ...Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done."

However, isn't the text saying that Jesus acted contrary to his own will and obeyed God's will?

In other words, rather than 3 wills in play there are only two:

  • God's will, which was done
  • Jesus' will, which was not done, because he obeyed God?

This is corroborated by "To the Hebrews":

Heb 10:9 then he added, "Behold, I have come to do your will." He does away with the first in order to establish the second. Heb 10:10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

So according to Luke 22:42b, isn't there only 1 divine will in play? Isn't Jesus being represented as one who's will is insignficant and suffused to God's will, disproving dyothelism?


  • a search of the phrase "will of Jesus" or "will of Christ" will show no results at all in the KJV

  • a search of "will of God" in the KJV returns 23 results

Mar_3:35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

Act_13:36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:

Rom_1:10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.

Rom_8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Rom_12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Rom_15:32 That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.

1Co_1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

2Co_1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:

2Co_8:5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.

Gal_1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

Eph_1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Eph_6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

Col_1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,

Col_4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

1Th_4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

1Th_5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

2Ti_1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,

Heb_10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

1Pe_2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:

1Pe_3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

1Pe_4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

1Pe_4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

1Jn_2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.


What is a Will?

It appears I must address this matter first, for there may be some confusion.

Dyotheletism deals with the will(s) of Christ in the Incarnation, it supports the Chalcydonian declaration of two natures, one human and one divine. I found this article by James Attebury to have a useful description:

I am defining a will as the desires that spring from the attributes of a nature. Human nature requires human desires which Jesus did not previously possess before the incarnation. A will is not a “center of consciousness” or “mind” which are descriptions of a person. Monotheletists confuse “will” with “person.” At the incarnation, Jesus acquired new desires that he previously did not possess since he became human in time and has not been human for all eternity.

This makes much more sense then, as you can see how Jesus never had physical hunger before, or a biological fight or flight response before becoming incarnate. These wills are where emotions, desires, felt needs, thoughts, values and other internal motivators take their first steps toward intent and then action. They aren't the consciousness or person as the term is used in some discussions.

Dyotheletism also affirms that the divine will held priority over the human will. So despite hunger or adrenaline, Jesus would act upon the divine will if it ever differed from the human will.

Counting Wills

With this in mind, I think you may be overlooking the implicit first person will in both these statements:

ESV Luk 22:42b ...Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done."

Jesus still has to act, which requires will, upon what he knows the Father's will to be.

Paraphrases could be:

"Not my fleshly will(1) be done, but I will(2) do your will(3)"

Or "What I may want(1) is secondary, but I am choosing(2) to put the Father's will(3) first."

Heb 10:9 then he added, "Behold, I have come to do(Jesus' will) your will.(Father's will)" He does away with the first in order to establish the second. Heb 10:10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Jesus' offering was willed by the Father and done willingly by Jesus.

I will note that I really prefer to speak of statements like Lk 22:42a as showing emotional complexity. I think we oversimplify the person of Jesus to be less than what any one of us is. I don't know about you, but I have mixed feelings about things I don't want to do but know I should all the time. We can call that a battle of wills if you like, but I don't generally think of it in those terms.

Dyotheletism is compatible with this, but it is nearly impossible to discern between the two unless we are given an internal glimpse into Christ's thoughts and emotions. Where we are not expressly told, we can only speculate whether the human will may have differed from the divine, because the divine always takes priority.

Here in Luke 22:42 we are given that glimpse and it does show the two wills of Christ ultimately deferring to the will of the Father.

  • Are you saying that Jesus had two wills? Or are you saying that he had one will but two emotions? – user10231 Jun 21 '16 at 16:32
  • @WoundedEgo If you are really wondering how this ties with Dyothelitism, maybe you'd get a better answer asking "How does Dyothelitism understand Luke 22:42?" on Christianity SE. – Joshua Jun 21 '16 at 17:15
  • Was Jesus' will done? If so, which one? – user10231 Jun 22 '16 at 14:59
  • Then perhaps you should delete your answer? In your answer you seem to be suggesting that there were 3 wills involved: God's, Jesus' divine will and his human will. – user10231 Jun 22 '16 at 17:13
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    @WoundedEgo you are asking a truth while I am looking at the text. You are being argumentative, biased, and pedantic. I have clearly stated where I am getting two wills and clearly described what I mean by those wills. Only then have I said it is compatible with Dyotheletism, and the paragraph before would essentially be how a Monotheletist would interpret this, that his one will was split. The text clearly says he has a will that is not the Father's and yet he decides to obey the Father's will. That is an act of will. If it's not the answer you wanted, DV and move on. – Joshua Jun 25 '16 at 22:19