2 Corinthians 13:4 (DRB):

For although he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him: but we shall live with him by the power of God towards you.

What is the meaning of "he was crucified through weakness"?

Does it mean that Jesus was weak?, If so, what was the weakness of Jesus?, And how did he overcome it?

Hebrews 4:15 mentioned that Jesus is touched for our weaknesses because he was tempted like us, but he was without Sin.

Hebrews 12:2 mentioned that Jesus was the author and perfecter of our faith. This means that the weakness of Jesus, if present, is not in his faith.

Matthew 4:23, 9:35, Jesus was preaching, healing every disease and sickness among the people.

Hebrews 5:7 mentions that during the period of life of Jesus in the flesh he prayed with tears to God to save him from death. Some versions say: "during his earthly life," but this phrase is inaccurate.

Hebrews 5:7 (DRB):

Who in the days of his flesh, with a strong cry and tears, offering up prayers and supplications to him that was able to save him from death, was heard for his reverence.

  • The preposition is ek. 'Because of weakness' may be the correct translation here, meaning that as a consequence of the Son of God's willingness to accept, in his humanity, a situation of weakness, the Adversarial Powers took advantage of that. However, this backfired on them, 1 Corinthians 2:8, for had they known what they were doing, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. This is a comment (not an answer) because the preposition has a spectrum of meaning and the text requires interpretative handling in translation.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 9, 2020 at 9:02

2 Answers 2


The Greek reads καὶ γὰρ ἐσταυρώθη ἐξ ἀσθενείας. The root of your question seems to be, what is the meaning of ἐξ in this context?

The BDAG notes this verse under its entry,

of the reason which is a presupposition for someth.: by reason of, as a result of, because of

My interpretation of Paul's meaning is that, while Christ was crucified as a result of weakness, he now lives by the power of God. Thus, Jesus himself was "weak" in that he was crucified, but he is strong because of God.

In context, Paul was accused of weakness. Rather than argue about this, he allowed that he was weak, but that he continued his ministry, not by his own strength, but by the power of God.


Jesus was Lord Messiah, God Almighty, the Great I AM! As such He had infinite power available. However, during His incarnation, He became human (Phil 2:5-8), and, without relinquishing His divine prerogatives, chose to live as a human in complete dependence on the Father. (This must have been a very great, or infinite temptation.)

It was precisely because Jesus was human and did not resist the agony of crucifixion (even though He could have) it is said that He was crucified in "weakness" because to His tormentors He appeared weak.

Barnes arrives at a similar conclusion:

For though he was crucified through weakness - Various modes have been adopted of explaining the phrase "through weakness." The most probable explanation is that which refers it to the human nature which he had assumed Philippians 2:7-8; 1 Peter 3:18, and to the appearance of weakness which he manifested. He did not choose to exert his power. He appeared to his enemies to be weak and feeble. This idea would be an exact illustration of the point before the apostle. He is illustrating his own conduct, and especially in the fact that he had not exerted his miraculous powers among them in the punishment of offenders; and he does it by the example of Christ, who though abundantly able to have exerted his power and to have rescued himself from his enemies, yet was willing to appear weak, and to be crucified. It is very clear:

(1) That the Lord Jesus seemed to his enemies to be weak and incapable of resistance.

(2) that he did not put forth his power to protect his life. He in fact offered no resistance, as if he had no power.

(3) he had a human nature that was especially sensitive, and sensible to suffering; and that was borne down and crushed under the weight of mighty woes; see my notes on Isaiah 53:2-3. From all these causes he seemed to be weak and feeble; and these appear to me to be the principal ideas in this expression.

  • 1
    so, your point of view is that Jesus seemed to be feeble, but he wasn't actually.
    – salah
    Apr 8, 2020 at 12:29
  • Correct - but only to those who did not understand
    – Dottard
    Apr 8, 2020 at 12:45

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