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Matthew 28:18 NASB (After Jesus has risen from the dead & meets His disciples again):

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

There is already a question on SE on what this authority is. My question is when this authority came to Christ — the way this phrase is placed makes it seem like Jesus received this authority because of His resurrection/triumph over death, but as God eternal He must have had authority over everything since the beginning. This made me wonder whether there are different aspects of authority and Jesus is referring to a new one He gained after bearing the sins of the world? Perhaps (in light of the following verse) He is referring to now having a “right” over all the earth again because He has redeemed His people back to Himself? Or this was an authority that only the Father has until Jesus “earned” it on the cross? Are there Scripture passages that speak to Jesus receiving a new authority/power after His resurrection?

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    "but as God eternal", hence the complication! If he was a man, as the bible consistently informs, then it makes perfect sense that he 'inherits' all things', and is 'exalted over all' etc etc etc and given authority over all too!... a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God J 8:40
    – steveowen
    Aug 20 '20 at 1:09
  • 2
    The authority Jesus received indicates he formerly did not have it. One cannot be given authority that they already have. Because the Father gave him this authority, it complements the claim of Jesus that he was going to the Father who was greater (John 14:28). Also, if Jesus is "God eternal" as you claim, how many Gods do you have? Aug 20 '20 at 1:30
  • 1
    Start by inspecting Matthew itself (4:8-11, 7:29, 8:8-9, 9:6-8, 10:1, 21:23-27, 24:30, 26:64), then move on to other books (Acts 10:38; Romans 1:4; Ephesians 1:19-22; Colossians 1:16; 1 Peter 3:22).
    – Lucian
    Aug 20 '20 at 1:45
  • 2
    Jesus' statement about being given all power relates to his being God manifest in flesh. It is a question of authority in humanity and we see this when he is received up into heaven and given a place at the right hand of God, on the throne . . . in humanity.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 20 '20 at 5:38
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    @Austin I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. Revelation 3:21.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 15 at 4:40

11 Answers 11

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+300

Ezekiel 46:16-18 demands:

Thus saith the Lord GOD; If the prince give a gift unto any of his sons, the inheritance thereof shall be his sons'; it shall be their possession by inheritance. But if he give a gift of his inheritance to one of his servants, then it shall be his to the year of liberty; after it shall return to the prince: but his inheritance shall be his sons' for them. Moreover the prince shall not take of the people's inheritance by oppression, to thrust them out of their possession; but he shall give his sons inheritance out of his own possession: that my people be not scattered every man from his possession. (My emphasis)

So whatever gift that is granted to the sons is to be granted by inheritance. Jesus came in the flesh to fulfill the law, not to worm around it. Isaiah 53:10-12 insists:

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (My emphasis)

Hebrews 1:1-4 clarifies:

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (My emphasis)

Now the word, "inheritance" applies to Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, who was born under the Law of Moses and His perfection was required of that Law. He fulfilled that Law and became the author of eternal salvation as Hebrews 5:8-9 clarifies:

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; (My emphasis)

And in accordance with Isaiah 53:10-12, supra, as insisted also by Hebrews 9:14-17:

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. (My emphasis)

So this is the new testament in Heb 5:8-9, supra, that Jesus is the mediator of. Yes, it required His death, Yes, Jesus received authority over heaven and earth by inheritance that required His death, burial, resurrection, and His ascending to the Father with His own blood. Notice that Jesus told Mary not to touch Him prior to His ascending to the Father to be glorified in John 20:17:

Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

So there is that "sticky" Father to Son inheritance factor involved here. Yet just eight days later, Jesus appeared to His disciples in His "glorified body" and, according to John 20:27, told Thomas:

Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

It was at this same time--when Thomas and others had doubted--that Jesus also said to them as duly recorded in Mathew 28:17-18:

And when they saw him, they worshiped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

There is a big difference between this powerful statement and those words of the pre-death, pre-resurrected, and pre-ascended Jesus in John 12:47:

And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

Thank God all this was accomplished and concluded under the Law so as to provide all the adopoted sons--believers-- with their inheritance as heirs of God, and joint heirs in Christ as promised in Romans 8:15-17:

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (My Emphasis)

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  • Thank you so much for this enlightening answer, Bill! I really appreciated the ample Scriptual references from both the OT and NT - they were really helpful in tying everything together and bringing the answer back to Scripture. I had not thought of "inheritance" when thinking about the concept of authority given to Christ, but it makes total sense. I also had not previously paid much attention to John 12:47 in relation to this topic, but that whole paragraph is a really interesting one to study and compare to post-resurrection Jesus. Thanks again - a well-deserved 300 points!
    – Gremosa
    Jan 6 at 23:14
  • @Gremosa, Thank you for appreciating the words which I had no part of writing. I only was fortunate to be able to recite them. Thank God for His WORD, and thank God for your appreciation of His WORD. Jan 7 at 0:22
  • I agree that this is an excellent and well-thought out answer and I upvoted it. These is the tricky passage in Rev 11:15 about Christ inheriting things - where do you see this fitting?
    – Dottard
    Jan 7 at 20:38
  • @Dottard I believe the power was given at the time of Jesus' glorification. That does not mean that He would take the throne of David on earth at that time. Of course, that is a part of the "promise" to the children of Israel--the earthly promise. That cannot occur until the church dispensation has culminated in being caught up to be with Christ, and until antichrist rules as prophesied. Nevertheless, we (the church) are now already complete in Him because He has already brought in the "new testament". Jan 7 at 21:15
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"Has been given"

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (Matthew 28:16 [ESV]
καὶ προσελθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς λέγων, ἐδόθη μοι πᾶσα ἐξουσία ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς

In this instance the verb δίδωμι is in the aorist indicative:

In the indicative, the aorist usually indicates past time with reference to the time of speaking (thus "absolute time").1

This means Jesus had the authority when He spoke.

Generally speaking, anyone who has authority may also relinquish it, or delegate it, either on a temporary or permanent basis. This is particularly true if they have all authority:

5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2) [ESV]

This could be used to say all authority was given sometime [shortly] after His death on the cross. However, before "emptying" Himself Christ Jesus had "equality with God," a condition which has authority. Thus, what He received after His death on the cross was a type of restoration of what He had surrendered.

In terms of all authority a situation described in Genesis must also be considered:

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)

As Creator, God had all authority, some of which He gave to man. Therefore, when Jesus spoke after His Resurrection the authority given to the first two was now (in some form) with Him.

Resolution
Since everything came into being through Him and nothing which exists which was made without Him, it is reasonable to conclude He was the one who gave authority to man, and He later gave away all [other] authority in order to take on the form of a servant. Thus, the authority He has now has can be traced back to sometime after His death on the cross and Resurrection. Yet, since all authority must go back in time to His having equality with God, all of what He now is that which He had from the beginning.

This requires further explanation. He has not exercised all authority:

26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 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 that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 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. (1 Corinthians 15)

He has not exercised His authority over death. This demonstrates that having and exercising authority are separate. It may raise the question how how "the Son" may have all authority, a restoration of His equality with God, and yet now seemingly lacks equality with God (despite having all authority).

As God who took on the form of man and became flesh, His existence as Son of Man holds legal significance. That is, the Son of Man not exercised His authority over death. He is the Son of God and Son of Man and holds all authority of both positions. Until He exercises His authority, God is not "all in all." This condition will be corrected when the last enemy is destroyed and God will [once again] be all in all and there will no longer be any separation between man and God.


Notes:

  1. Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament, Zondervan, 1996, p. 555
2

Before interpreting those difficult passages, as a principle of the interpretation should be taken more simple passages that clearly assert the Godhead of Jesus Christ, who claims that even before the universe was created, that is to say, in eternity (because time came together with the created world and could not exist before that) He and the Father enjoyed the same Glory (John 17:5), and thus to Both befit the very same worship (John 5:23), and in fact the universe was created by Both Father and the Son (John 1:3) which makes it absolutely impossible to attach the Son to the created order, for He is co-eternal Son of the Father and co-Creator of the universe with the Father.

Having established this, we can safely proceed to cracking the question of Jesus receiving authority. In a theological sense, taking the eternal perspective, Logos born from the Father indeed receives everything from the Father as from His Principle and Source, and this "happens" in eternity, without any process or growth, and thus, even though the Logos born from the Father receives the divine nature from the Father, the Receiver is equal to the Giver, as this giving is in the very property of the Giver, for the Father eternally begets the Son, eternally and entirely giving to the Latter His (the Father's) divine Nature. Thus with regard of this divine nature the Father and the Son are absolutely identical, but they absolutely differ and not mingle by their Hypostases/Persons, for Father is the only Source. Thus, Logos is "given authority" eternally from the Father together with the entirety of divine nature.

But here in Paul, the authority received clearly addresses the death and the resurrection of Jesus. This authority Jesus received by the very act of the voluntary death on the Cross, for could He save humanity from sin without this? Was there any other way? For instance, Him asking Father to send Him, or even without asking Father to command twelve legions of angels (for He had the same authority over angels as the Father) to come down and destroy those who were going to sadistically kill Him (Matthew 26:53), but then the will of the Father would not be fulfilled, that is to say, humanity would not be saved. Why? Because the notion of salvation implies that humans are not following God because they are terrorised by God's omnipotence and His irresistible might to punish malefactors, but out of free repentance and free loving response of their hearts. Without this freedom there is no salvation, for we are to be sons, co-heirs and co-Kings of Christ in His Kingdom, not slaves. Thus Christ's voluntary submission of Himself to His murderers was necessary for salvation of mankind, including those murderers.

Now, if the salvation and redemption of humanity could be conducted only and exclusively through Christ's sacrifice on Cross, then even Father could be totally impotent to save humanity without this sacrifice of His Son, which sacrifice was the Father's will. But if both the Father and the Son were impotent to save humanity without the Son's, Jesus Christ's sacrifice on Cross, then it means that something eluded Their authority before this act and sin still reigned over humans. And therefore not only the Son received this authority over sin and death after His sacrifice on Cross, but also the Father received this authority, for without it the Father was as impotent as the Son to redeem humanity from the sin and death.

However, although the above said is correct, still there remains an inexactitude, because, in this passage of Paul, the Giver (Father) and the Receiver (Son) are clearly distinguished and this act is related to the salvific Crucifixion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, in which sense is Jesus a receiver of all authority after the Crucifixion and Resurrection? The answer of the Church Fathers, and I think the only correct one, is that Jesus' human nature received this authority, but since this human nature after its adoption belongs inseparably to His divine eternal Person of the Son/Logos, we can say that He received this authority, as we can say that He died, while of course it is beyond sacrilegious and silly to say that Father's eternal Son and Logos ceased to be. But the eternal Logos, not Father and neither Holy Ghost, suffered historically that, which He had not suffered and could not suffer in eternity, because after the Incarnation, He also humanly suffered upon Himself the consequences of human nature's falledness: envy, cowardice, lies, ingratitude, treason, hatred, misunderstanding, stupidity, cruelty. But He did not identify the fallen with the falledness, and sinners with the sin, but in His human nature showed the perfect conduct of this nature: courage, truthfulness, humility, love, empathy, patience and forgiveness.

Since this human nature uniquely belonged to the divine uncreated Person of Logos, it means that, unlike us, who are created persons, this nature could not but act like that, totally being subjected to the Logos' divine will, but this inavoidability must have been revealed and undergone in a concrete temporal process, in the concrete and real historical life and drama of Jesus Christ. And thus, since Jesus' human nature's perfection was reached through His Crucifixion, He received the divine authority over all creation according to humanity also. Therefore, receiving that, which He had not before.

But, again, how He received it, this authority according to His humanity? Father gave it to His human nature, or Father and Himself together? Of course the second is true, for Father and the Son act always together in Their divine action, and thus, just like Jesus' human body was resurrected by Father and the Logos, so also Jesus' human nature was given divine authority over all creatures similarly by Father and the Son/Logos.

I am not prepared to fully address this mystery now, but one thing is clear that through Himself, by leading His human nature to its perfect action of unconditional self-sacrificial love for humanity, He gave an example to all humans of all ages, as to how to live and act; yet, not an example which humans can emulate without participation in Him, but He became the living and participable example, to the effect that through Him, and only through Him, we can participate in perfection of human nature and lead our natures to this perfection. Thus, Jesus heralded the New Era of humanity: after His Crucifixion and Resurrection no man can aspire at becoming a perfect human being, without Jesus Christ actually entering in his life and working in him, leading him to this perfection, with his free co-action.

Thus, the created human nature in Jesus received this authority over all creation through His dying for the humankind on Cross, which means that in Him and through Him we also can deify our human nature and we also receive the same authority, yet not unavoidably as befits His divine Hypostasis/Person, but by free acceptance of His grace on the part of our created hypostases/persons, because His commandments that account for our perfection we can fulfil but through Him (John 15:5).

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  • What difficult passage are you referring to? Oh, John 1:3 Through the Son all things were made.. yes I see now!
    – steveowen
    Aug 20 '20 at 6:20
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The authority God the Father gave to Christ in Matthew 28:18 does not refer to what he previously had but had set aside for a while. It was something new. It was a new authority which resulted from or had come about as a consequence of God the Father reconciling all things to Christ.

The "all authority" (in heaven and on earth) which God the Father gave to Christ in Matthew 28:18 was a new kind of authority in relation to all creation because God has restored all things through Christ. This is evident in the other texts of the New Testament:

• 1 Corinthians 15:26-28 said that all things are not yet subject to the Father because all things are not yet subject to Christ. Christ gave the kingdom to the Father. The Father receives it. The Father subjects all things to Christ and then afterwards God became all in all. It was only after the Father subjected all things to Christ when it is said that God will be all in all.

• Colossians 1:19-20 said that all things have been reconciled to God through the blood of the crucified Christ.

• Ephesians 1:11 said that the time will come when all things will be under the headship of Christ.

Based on these biblical texts, it is possible for both God and Christ to have a new kind of authority over all creation due to the new relationship brought forth by them through the cross. Thus, the time when Christ received all authority in heaven and on earth would be when he was at the cross and received death. Philippians 2:9-11 spoke of the exalted Christ receiving from the Father immediately after his death on the cross. Neither the resurrection nor the ascension was mentioned by Paul in that text. Then 1 Corinthians 15 said that when every believer received immortality (defeating death, which is the last enemy) that's the time when all things will be under God and God will be all in all.

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To answer your question, we must go all the way to the beginning and ask the obvious question, “when was authority delegated?” and consequently “was this authority hijacked and lost?”

Man the image bearer

The Hebrew text says that Adam was made in the image of God, this is referring mostly to the fact that he was now a delegated representative of God on earth

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:27‬ ‭

Being God’s representative on the earth as God’s image bearer, Adam was entrusted dominion over certain realms

“And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have DOMINION over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:28‬ ‭

This dominion was entrusted to Adam and consequently Eve and their descendants. However come Babel, humanity rebels, again.

Transfer of dominion

According to the most corroborated reading of Deuteronomy 32:8, in concert with the text in Genesis 11, we understand that humans did not want to be governed by God, and in essence wanted to shake off God’s dominion and rule the earth in their own right, assuming the God-given authority onto themselves, (legally but illegitimately) denying God His rightful authority over the earth through a God-man partnership through delegation.

“Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭11:4‬ ‭

God seeing this, decided to split humans up, assign them different geographic territories and further assign to each grouping intermediaries that would represent God before men and men before God.

“When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.” ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭32:8‬ ‭

These sons of God would enact justice on the earth. But with great power came great abuse of power and corruption of power. These sons of God ultimately received worship onto themselves from men in place of the true Recipient.

“God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭82:1-4‬ ‭

By v6 God enacts judgment against the sons of God and they become the gods of the nations. Man no longer had intermediaries to God of heaven but now the intermediaries became their gods. God said He would raise up His own nation, which He did through Abraham, bringing back all the nations back to Himself through Abraham and his SEED, starting in Genesis 12 which follows Babel’s rebellion Genesis 11.

“Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭82:8‬ ‭

These gods were then judged throughout history by God

“For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord.” ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭

Satan consolidates the authority

These gods consolidated their power in the Accuser/satan. Satan tells Jesus that all authority on earth is his and it was given to him. This was done by the gods of the nations. This was now legitimately theirs and now satan’s. Man transferred their dominion/authority by worship/prostrating before the gods and in doing so transferred the authority they possessed into the hands of the gods and ultimately into the hands of Satan.

“And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭4:5-7‬ ‭

Redemption

To redeem is to buy back what was already yours.

Jesus is God.

[As a side point to the objection that Jesus is God, consider Psalm 82 “Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations”. It is clear that God is inheriting and God is also judging, no one can dispute this is what psalm 82 reads. Who then inherits and who then judges? The Father? Both of these are ascribed to Jesus. “but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir (one who inherits) of all things, through whom also he created the world.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭1:2‬ ‭and “For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,” ‭‭John‬ ‭5:22‬. We see Jesus both the judge of everyone and the heir that inherits all the nations].

If He were not God then His death would not have been sufficient to pay the cost of redeeming all creation. Someone worth all Creation or greater had to pay the price worth all Creation needing redeeming. He also had to be human because humans were needing the restoration. Therefore by being God (spirit) inside a human body, fully man and fully God, He achieved both.

“And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:10‬ ‭

Now granted this plan was fragmented throughout the OT, but pieces together in the NT, clear and easily deciphered. For had the gods of the nations known...

“None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:8‬ ‭

The full restoration is yet to take place but in the meantime the transaction has been made and the authority has been transferred back into the hands of God through Jesus Christ legally. Through His death He stripped the gods of the nations and satan of ALL legal rights.

“by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:14-15‬ ‭

Absolute Authority Regained

When did Jesus regain this authority? When He said it was finished and then died on the cross

“When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” ‭‭John‬ ‭19:30‬ ‭

Once the payment was made on the cross, God officially took back all authority in heaven, on earth and under the earth. Heaven cheered and hell groaned

Only one more step remained

Resurrection of the Victor

“that he worked in Christ WHEN he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:20-22‬ ‭

This seated at the right hand did not require Jesus’ ascension seen by the disciples, Matthew 28:18 notes that Jesus had this authority whilst still on the earth.

This phrasing seated at the right hand in the heavenly places is merely stating that Jesus was settled in His appointed position of authority in Heaven or as Mark puts it 16:19 right hand of God, position of authority as God.

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  • Not sure where you get this idea from, “ Jesus is God. If He were not God then His death would not have been sufficient to pay the cost of redeeming all creation” This conflicts with Heb 1:2 where Jesus is made ‘heir’. It was interesting until that section.
    – steveowen
    Dec 31 '20 at 5:51
  • 2
    @user48152 I do not subscribe to a creed and then read my Bible, I read my Bible and let it speak to me what my creed ought to be, no prejudice. I’ve already in numerous ways, as have others pointed out the existence of the Trinity in the OT. If you don’t agree, then you should be able to explain this question christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/78194/… quite easily. Also Jesus says NO ONE has seen the Father except He. Yet throughout the OT many saw God. Was Jesus lying? (No, they saw God Jesus.) Dec 31 '20 at 13:04
  • I did- twice. It was summarily deleted both times LOL. We all understand see can mean know - this is explained by Jesus himself. He said he was a man, so now he is still lying, only with greater clarity! (According to those making him God)
    – steveowen
    Dec 31 '20 at 21:01
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TL;DR: he received it at his ascension, but won't claim it until his return.

The chronology of the authority over Earth is fairly clear:

  • In Matthew 4:8–9 Jesus didn't dispute Satan's possession of "all the kingdoms of the world", so we know he didn't yet possess it while incarnated as a human.
  • In Matthew 28:18, the recently resurrected Jesus now says that "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.". Obviously he "earned" that authority at it his resurrection and shortly after he received it at his ascension (when he became the "first-fruits offering" on Sunday).
  • Nevertheless, years later, 2 Corinthians 4:4 still refers to Satan as "the god of this age", so even though Christ had the authority, he hadn't yet claimed it.
  • At last, Christ lays claim to his position when he returns to rule the Kingdom of God during the Millennium. Revelation 11:15 says "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!".
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What must not be overlooked is Revelation 12:7-11 which reads,

7 Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.

From the above scripture it would appear that Christ received authority over heaven and earth after Satan was hurled down to earth due to the war that broke out in heaven.

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  • When do you think this took place? After Christ was resurrected and ascended into heaven? Just curious.
    – Lesley
    Jan 17 at 17:19
  • @Lesley, My view of when the event in Heaven took place is caught between my answer here and another answer here, hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/21007/…. I will let you decide.Let me know.
    – Bagpipes
    Jan 17 at 17:49
  • Will take a look but not tonight - must shut down and get dinner served!
    – Lesley
    Jan 17 at 17:57
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I suggest that this was a two-stage process as follows.

1. Jesus' pre-incarnation was an exalted form

  • John 1:1, 2 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
  • John 17:5 - And now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with the glory I had with You before the world existed.
  • Phil 2:5, 6 - Christ Jesus: Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped

2. Jesus' humiliation was great because Jesus was Great

  • Phil 2:5-8 - Christ Jesus: Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross.
  • John 1:14 - The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

3. After the Resurrection - Jesus was exalted to the Right hand of God

As shown here, the "right hand of God" signifies the highest place of honor and authority

  • Matt 28:18 - Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.
  • Phil 2:9-11 - Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name above all names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
  • Acts 2:33 - Exalted to the right hand of God
  • Acts 7:56 - I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God
  • Rom 8:34 - Christ Jesus who died- more than that, who was raised to life- is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us
  • Col 3:1 - set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
  • Heb 10:12 - this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God
  • 1 Peter 3:22 - [Jesus] who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to Him.

4. This exaltation to the right hand does not make Jesus' authority complete

  • Ps 110:1, 5, 6 - 1 The LORD said to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” 5 The Lord is at Your right hand; He will crush kings in the day of His wrath. 6 He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead; He will crush the leaders far and wide.

Note that this says that while Jesus ("Lord") was to hold the highest position of authority at the right hand of YHWH, that this would continue until Jesus triumphed over the enemies of sin, ("make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet")

5. Jesus' Authority and reign complete only when Sin is finally banished

Note that the time when Jesus finally becomes undisputed supreme leader of all is only when the earthly kingdoms become His, and submit to Him, that Jesus' reign will be undisputed. (This has not happened yet but will occur.)

  • Rev 11:15 - “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.”

CONCLUSION

While Jesus was exalted to the highest position at the right hand of the throne in heaven after His resurrection, His reign will only become absolute and undisputed when sin and suffering are finally banished from the earth, following the second advent.

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The most explicit statement that I'm aware of in the scriptures regarding the timing, associates the giving of the authority in the sky above and the earth beneath with his ascension:

[Dan 7:13-14 NLT] (13) As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. (14) He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal--it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed.

Paul qualifies the extent of his rule by stating the obvious exception:

[1Co 15:27 NLT] (27) For the Scriptures say, "God has put all things under his authority." (Of course, when it says "all things are under his authority," that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.)

(Paul clearly did not believe that Jesus was "eternally co-equal with the Father" nor would he abide "eternally his majesty co-equal with the Father" or any of the other Trinitarian nonsense:

[1Co 8:6 NLT] (6) But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.

[Eph 4:6 NLT] (6) and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all.

[1Ti 2:5 NLT] (5) For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity--the man Christ Jesus.

John says that his ascension was a benefit to him:

[Jhn 14:28 NLT] (28) Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am.

That is because he would be seated at God's right hand (which is a dependent position):

[Jhn 16:7 KJV] (7) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

"Being seated" doesn't mean that Jesus is stuck in a chair but rather that he has been installed as ruler:

[Jhn 20:22 NLT] (22) Then he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

Acts may take this literally:

[Act 2:33 KJV] (33) Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

John had said that it could not occur until he ascended, suggesting that he had ascended shortly, if not immediately, after his encounter with Mary:

[Jhn 20:17-22 NLT] (17) "Don't cling to me," Jesus said, "for I haven't yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" (18) Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, "I have seen the Lord!" Then she gave them his message. (19) That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! "Peace be with you," he said. (20) As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! (21) Again he said, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you." (22) Then he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

Matthew also has it having been a trip up and back again:

[Mat 28:16-20 NLT] (16) Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. (17) When they saw him, they worshiped him--but some of them doubted! (18) Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. (19) Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. (20) Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

The only gospel that has Jesus telling them to wait for him in Jerusalem, for Pentecost, until he sent the Comforter is Luke-Acts, so as Einstein said, "time is relative":

[Act 1:1-13 NLT] (1) In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach (2) until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. (3) During the forty days after his crucifixion, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God. (4) Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, "Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. (5) John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." (6) So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, "Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?" (7) He replied, "The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. (8) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere--in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (9) After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. (10) As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. (11) "Men of Galilee," they said, "why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!" (12) Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile. (13) When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying. Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the Zealot), and Judas (son of James).

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  • 2
    I guess all doesn’t mean all Jan 1 at 1:18
  • 2
    @Ruminator If it’s so easy to read and understand as you have shown through the scriptures, how come almost no one gets it?
    – steveowen
    Jan 2 at 3:47
  • 1
    @Ruminator "Paul clearly did not believe that Jesus was 'eternally co-equal with the Father'" - clearly contrary is true: "who existing in form of God did not thought it robbery to be equal with God" (Phil. 2:6) and this before His incarnation, and if equal to God then equal in authority also. And when you read in 1 Cor.8:6 that "God created everything through Jesus", then is not Jesus outside of this "everything" and therefore uncreated? Yes, indeed. And since there is a binary opposition God vs creation, then Jesus is on the side of God, being God, as John says in the opening of his Gospel. Jan 2 at 6:08
  • 1
    @LevanGigineishvili I can't help you Levan, you are too far gone.
    – Ruminator
    Jan 2 at 6:14
  • 1
    @Ruminator And I invite you also to follow sincerely grammar, logic and come where I am, with billions of others, as a matter of fact. Jan 2 at 7:00
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Jesus was given authority over all (under God) when raised from the dead and ascended to his heavenly Father and God.

These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His (God’s) might 20 which He (God) brought about in Christ, when He (God) raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

22 And He (God) put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Eph 1:19-23

It must be understood that Jesus is not regaining this authority that he supposedly had previously. As the man born to die, Jesus had only limited authority over that which was necessary for his ministry. God had granted him to ‘forgive sin’, this was not of Jesus but through as Matt 9:8 shows.

But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men

Previously, he did not have authority when he was flesh, except in the Father's name. For eg, he did not have authority over death - as death was 'master over him' Rom 6:9

We see in several passages the exaltation of Jesus once his mission is completed. This glorification, honour, power, new spirit life John 6:57, 5:26, is always from the Father to His son. The glory goes to God, yet He honours the son by exalting him to His side, setting him as king of all under Himself.

For this reason also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil 2:9

We see from v6 the foundation of how God is working through Jesus to accomplish redemption of His creation. Being in the ‘form’ of God or the ‘image’ of God (Col 1:15, be careful which translation you refer to as some have done terrible damage to this text. Col 1:18 helps to put v15 in correct perspective) Being the ‘image’ or ‘form’ does not make Jesus God, as the rest of scripture abundantly confirms. Jesus IS God’s authority while he maintains the form and image - doing what he sees and hears from the Father. Yet even as John explains how Jesus has authority to judge, this is still according to God’s will and purpose, not his own inherent authority. John 5:30 (Of course, the style of John’s writing is often of what already IS, even if it not quite yet)

Jesus began life, born of Mary - he was not before this and so has no previous inherent authority in a person. This accords with what the scripture tells us abundantly about the man, Jesus... he who was made perfect through suffering. What does "made perfect" mean in Heb 5:9?

Jesus, born with his own will, which differed from the Father’s John 6:38, Luke 22:42 though always made subject, shows that he could not pre-exist in some way as God. Therefore he had no supreme authority (under God) prior to his birth. We have reference to many ‘sons of God’, but none are without sin except Jesus. Before him, there is no sinless son mentioned, except prophetically pointing to Jesus. (Heb 1:1-2 mentions the time frame regarding Jesus and those before him)

Expectantly, some will read into the John 1:1-3 ‘logos’ as being Jesus in the beginning’, but this is a humanly devised idea and has been addressed previously.

We know Jesus gave all credit to his Father for all he did and said while on earth in the flesh, relying on God to save him from death - this is not the death of the cross. Any authority he had at this time is as God’s representative.

In the days of His humanity, He offered up both prayers and pleas with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His devout behaviour. Hen 5:7

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Preamble:

Any question concerning Jesus is going to be problematic because it depends on whether the context concerns his flesh or his spirit.

The Flesh
The 'man' who bore the name 'Jesus' was knit together in the womb of Mary by the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit:

34Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Luke 1:34-35 (KJV)

In other words, the 'man' who bore the name 'Jesus' was not born of sexual union, but was the genetically assembled child of Joseph and Mary, 'made' a descendant of David according to the flesh.

Such a notion might boggle the minds of some, but John the Baptist recognised 'making descendants' was something God could do, when he addressed the Jews' claim to be descendants of Abraham:

And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
Matthew 3:9 (KJV)

The writer to the Hebrews says this:

Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
Hebrews 10:5 (KJV)

And Paul, adds:

But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Galatians 4:4 (KJV)

Also, this:

The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
1 Corinthians 15:47 (KJV)

The first man 'not born' of sexual union was Adam, the second (and only other) was Jesus. Clearly, Paul fully understood the miraculous nature of Jesus' birth.

The Spirit
The miraculous virgin birth of the 'man' Jesus was necessary because the spirit of the parents is passed on to their children as part of the reproductive process. So, each child born of sexual union is made in the image of its parents and is thus moved, like them, by a spirit independent of the Spirit of God.

The best of humanity is moved by inclinations that may or may not be in accord with the Spirit of God -- sometimes in accord, but much of the time at odds. However, such was never the case with the 'man' Jesus:

And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
John 8:29 (KJV)

The 'spirit' is that capacity within man that enables him to deploy his mind and his flesh in the pursuit of his desires. Who could say, "I do always those things that please him" apart from a man who was exclusively moved by the self-same spirit that moved the Father.

In regard to the flesh, a pre-incarnate Jesus never existed, since there is no record in the narrative of scripture of a child who was 'not conceived' of sexual union -- other than the account concerning the child of Mary and Joseph.

In regard to the spirit, though, the pre-incarnate Jesus was none other than God, himself:

5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Philippians 2:5-7 (KJV)

The one who pre-existed in "the form of God", in the fullness of time "took upon himself the form of a servant" in order to be "made in the likeness of men"

Conclusion:

The LORD foreknew that any king of his people would, needs be, one of them. So he made himself 'a man' to fit the bill. However, this 'man', like all men, came into the world with no power and no authority in-and-of himself, but would have to show himself worthy. Not to God (since the 'man' He made was driven by His own Spirit, regardless of cost, to finish the work set before him), but to mankind.

As to when Jesus received authority over heaven and earth, the writer of Hebrews says this:

1God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Hebrews 1:1-3 (KJV)

And this:

11And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God;
Hebrews 10:11-12 (KJV)

So, in brief, "God ... hath spoken in these last days unto us by his Son, ... whom he hath appointed heir of all things ... when he had by himself purged our sins [after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever], sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;"

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