Is Delayed Realization/Awareness Proof of the Distinct & Separate Nature/Characteristic of the 3 persons in the Triune God/Trinity—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

Luke 8:42-47 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
42 for he had an [c]only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying. But as He went, the crowds were pressing against Him. 43 And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, 44 came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His [d]cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. 45 And Jesus said, “Who is the one who touched Me?” And while they were all denying it, Peter said, “Master, the [e]people are crowding and pressing in on You.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.” 47 When the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed.

Mark 5:25-35 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
25 A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, 26 and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse— 27 after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His [a]cloak. 28 For she [b]thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will [c]get well.” 29 Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?” 31 And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” 32 And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.

In my opinion, the fact that power left him without Jesus Christ's knowledge suggests to me that The Holy Spirit within Jesus Christ(but Separate from Jesus Christ Himself) might have been The Power or caused the Power to leave Jesus Christ.

The Power in turn would heal the physically sick lady.

Therefore, it seems like The Holy Spirit within Jesus Christ may have acknowledged and acted in response to said lady's act of faith, but Jesus Christ Only found out about Said action by The Holy Spirit later on which is evidenced by Jesus Christ's Delayed Realization/Awareness.

Therefore, Is Jesus Christ's Delayed Realization/Awareness Proof of Distinct & Separate Characteristic of the 3 persons in the Triune God/Trinity?

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    This is a theological question that would be better asked at Christianity, perhaps phrased in terms of asking how modalists/unitarians understand this passage.
    – curiousdannii
    Mar 29 '20 at 4:18

"Distinct" and "separate" are distinct and separate words. But our God, who is the Father, Son, and Spirit (Mt 28:19) are Singular-Plural (Deut 6:4; Jn 10:30, 38; 8:29; 1:1-2). Meaning They're distinct but never separate. They're impossible to separate, because They constitute one organic being, one life (14:6, zoe). And now mankind is part of that. Part of Him. Humanity is. Specifically: the son of David, Jesus Christ (1:14; Rm 1:4; 1 Cor 15:45).

No, I'd say you're mistaken. Power didn't leave Him without His knowledge. He asked "Who touched Me?" for her sake, not for His sake. To get her to as it were confess Him before people (cf Rm 10:9-13). Jesus is Lord! He asked Peter Who men said He was. To get Peter to enjoy and confess the revelation. He asked Pilate, in Jn 18:34, to try to help him. He asked Peter if he loved Him, and Peter, exasperated the third time said, You know I love You. "Feed My sheep" He said.


Your question is, as it relates to the Gospel texts you cite:

Is Jesus Christ's Delayed Realization/Awareness Proof of Distinct & Separate Characteristic of the 3 persons in the Triune God/Trinity?

I think that your premise that power left Jesus without His knowledge is not true. The same texts you quote tell us this:

Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me" (Luke 8:46)

Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth (Mark 5:30)

Note that Mark even includes the adverb immediately (εὐθέως), indicating the knowledge was immediate and not some sort of "Delayed Realization/Awareness". Matthew shows something similar (Matthew 9:20-22).

Your question in itself is not whether the three persons of the Trinity have separate characteristics, but whether your premise - which I believe is false - could lead to some conclusion about their characteristics. It is impossible to create a sound argument for any conclusion if one or more of the premises of the argument is false. Perhaps you did not mean to state things the way you did, but I won't speculate as to your true intent here.


Scripture tells us that the Son is not the source of his works. It is the Father. See J 14:10 below.

As for the Holy Spirit, Greek grammarian Daniel Wallace demonstrates from Greek grammar that the spirit is never presented as being the ultimate agent or source of any action.

See Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit, Passages Involving Agency. [a]

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth his works. (J 14:10, ASV).

[a] The Abstract:

Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit


The modern, broadly conservative articulation of the distinct personality and deity of the Holy Spirit has often included in its arsenal a point or two from the realm of philology. The Fourth Gospel has especially been mined for such grammatical nuggets, though Ephesians, 1 John, and sometimes even 2 Thessalonians have been claimed as yielding syntactical evidence in defense of the Spirit's personality. Two kinds of texts have been put forth in support of this supposition: passages involving grammatical gender and passages involving notions of agency. Those involving grammatical gender are used as an apologetic defense of a high pneumatology; those involving agency are simply assumed to prove the point. I believe that this grammatical defense for the Spirit's personality has a poor foundation. If it is indeed invalid, then to use it in defense of a high pneumatology not only damages Trinitarian apologetics but also may well mask an emerging pneumatology within the NT.

Key Words: Holy Spirit, pneumatology, gender, personality, Greek grammar

  • Then again, if one wanted to describe these things how else would one approach the issue? Is "taking the grammatical high ground" as Wallace does, nothing more than an esoteric attempt to preserve an intellectual "neutrality" of something which, as Wallace admits, is actually present in the world? Apr 3 '20 at 16:52
  • @RevelationLad Actually present based on post biblical reflections and realized at Chalcedon in 475?
    – user33125
    Apr 3 '20 at 17:17
  • No. Simply pointing out that while Wallace decries the "simple" readings he still reaches the same conclusion. You quote Wallace (obviously in part since he accepts the Trinity) who says "Slow down! Do not make the type of mistake a semi-literate or illiterate does." Rather, one must undertake a serious study of the grammar to discern the subtleties of the Trinity. Then you have solid reasons to reach the same conclusion those folks who really do not appreciate all of the nuances in Greek understood when they heard it the first time. Apr 3 '20 at 18:56
  • @RevelationLad Have you read the article? His conclusion is that Greek grammar has nothing to support the personality of the HS in scripture. There are no nuances to support that view from the grammar.
    – user33125
    Apr 3 '20 at 19:19
  • You mean: "And I am not denying the doctrine of the Trinity, of course, but I am arguing that we need to ground our beliefs on a more solid foundation." Or, “We are not arguing that the distinct personality and deity of the Spirit are foreign to the NT, but rather that there is progressive revelation within the NT, just as there is between the Testaments.” Or, "And If we rush to a Chalcedonian view of the NT, simply because we know that it's right, perhaps we will overlook some of the theological development and therefore rich tapestry of NT thought." Apr 3 '20 at 19:33

While I am convinced of the distinctiveness of each member of the Triadic Unity, I do not really think this passage offers evidence of that distinctiveness. Rather, this certifies the fact emphasized by Paul in Philippians 2. Taking the form of a servant was an exchange of μορφῇ / nature. He exchanged the essence of God for the essence of man.

Spirit clothed itself with flesh, Hebrews 2:14,

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil

and 10:5-10,

"Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: 'Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.' Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’ ” Previously saying, 'Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them,' (which are offered according to the law), then He said, 'Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.' He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

This was much more than just a transformation from spirit to flesh. In becoming man, every attribute that defined him as God was either submitted to limitations or subjected to vulnerability. He became subject to all of the same sets of determined relations that are part of all human existence.

Omnipotence yielded itself to dependency. The all-sufficient one became fully dependent,John 5:30,

I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

This made him vulnerable to temptation - He could have sinned. 2 Samuel 7:14,

I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the [d]blows of the sons of men.

and Matthew 4:1-10,

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, 'If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.'

But He answered and said, 'It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

'He shall give His angels charge over you, and, in their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’

Jesus said to him, 'It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, 'All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.'

Then Jesus said to him, 'Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’

Omniscience gave way to revelation. As a man, he did not know all things. He had to learn God’s will as a man and submit to it, Deuteronomy 18:18-19,

I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.

John 12:49-50,

For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.

Omnipresence confined itself to the limitations of time and space. In other words, he functioned in a three-dimensional existence.

His Eternal nature was surrendered to mortality – he became subject to death.

The transcendent One became an equal among his fleshly brethren, Hebrews 2:17,

Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

The unified One became the cursed of God, Mark 15:34,

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' which is translated, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'

Galatians 3:13,

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)

and 2 Corinthians 5:21,

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

The unchanging One became subject to change. He not only changed form, but his fleshly form would also be subject to all of the changes of natural biological processes. Hew grew and aged physically.

  • 1
    You are providing series of references without actually quoting the texts and you are presenting the dreaded 'wall of text' without paragraph breaks to assist your reader. This is poor quality for this site.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 28 '20 at 14:49
  • Very well, Let me see if I can flesh this out for the reader.
    – oldhermit
    Mar 28 '20 at 15:17
  • 1
    None of this agrees with the Council of Nicea. None of this agrees with the teaching that the Person of Jesus Christ unites every attribute of Deity and every attribute of humanity. There is no 'merging'. There is no 'diminishing' of Divine attributes by humanity, I disagree, fundamentally, with what you have expressed. He did not 'become man'. There was no 'transformation'. Scripture says that 'God was manifest in flesh' which is something entirely different to what you have expressed.
    – Nigel J
    Mar 28 '20 at 16:18
  • Perhaps this is something you and I could discuss one-on-one.
    – oldhermit
    Mar 28 '20 at 17:40
  • 1
    @oldhermit - I agree with your statement above with the rider that such divine limitations were a voluntary setting aside of Christ's divinity which was undiminished (either He was divine or not!) This formed part of His great temptation, not to use His divinity while human. In any case, all this does not answer the question.
    – Dottard
    Mar 28 '20 at 21:29

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