God is the source of all authority by definition. Then what is meant by Matthew 28:18?


And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.


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

If the bible is the infallible word of God, and God is the source of authority on the definition of God, and JC is God, then what does Matthew 28:18 mean? How can JC be granted authority, if JC is God in the first place?

  • Please keep comments to discussing constructive criticism for the question. You can chat theology in Christianity Chat.
    – curiousdannii
    Oct 29, 2021 at 1:09

1 Answer 1


You are correct to sense some confusion here.

Jesus is not God, so that removes the apparent paradox regarding authority.

There are many reasons why Jesus cannot be God. Being given authority is but one.

But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—then He *said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, pick up your stretcher and go home.” 7And he got up and went home. 8But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men. Matt 9:6-8

Some other reasons why Jesus is a man only and not God;

The bible teaches Jesus is a man

  • that's why he can be tempted - in all things Heb 4:15 (God cannot be tempted James 1:13)

  • that's why he can die - God sent His only son... John 3:16, God is immortal 1 Tim 6:16

  • that's why he will inherit everything (which is odd if he allegedly made everything) Hebrews 1:2

  • that's why we're 'told' he is a man - John 8:40 a man who has spoken the truth that I heard from God (in his own words) Rom 5:15, Acts 2:22, Acts 17:31, 1 Tim 2:5

  • that's why he was foreknown by God 1 Pet 1:20

  • that's why he is the last Adam (which makes him human) 1 Cor 15:45

  • that's why he had a God - the same God as everyone else Rom 15:6, John 20:17

  • that's why the NT tells us repeatedly that Jesus is not = to the Father - in anything!

  • that's why he had to grow in wisdom learning obedience through suffering Luke 2:52, Heb 5:8

  • that's why he could do nothing of himself - even his words were the Father's John 5:19

Whether Jesus is 'in the flesh' - mortal before his death, or immortal after his resurrection, Jesus is still subordinate to God and indeed has a God as we all do. God has granted Jesus all authority to give life, to judge, to be mediator between God and men (1Tim 2:5) and several other things.

To think that Jesus is God with the above sampling of very clear references of him not able to be God, these verses must be interpreted in very a disharmonious manner and not simply read as intended.

  • 2
    While its scoping may not be as explicit as it could be, the question seems pretty clearly directed to those who believe Jesus is God. This isn't even one of those questions which have a completely unspecified Christology. So it's particularly disingenuous of you to clear up the "confusion" by asserting one particular contrary position while giving no mention that the Christians the OP does direct their question to have not only a different position, but also their own ways of resolving the question.
    – curiousdannii
    Oct 28, 2021 at 6:33
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    @curiousdannii It is a completely open question; I am willing to consider any theory that purports to resolve the obvious contradiction. Thank you.
    – Lucky
    Oct 28, 2021 at 6:51
  • 1
    Yes, that’s how it read to me. The question begins with IF, then it’s all available for query.
    – steveowen
    Oct 28, 2021 at 7:09
  • 1
    @Lucky Sorry but we don't do questions like that here, because they devolve into arguments. Please edit your question to pick a position whose answer you are interested in.
    – curiousdannii
    Oct 28, 2021 at 8:27
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    @Lucky The answer from a Unitarian perspective is pretty obvious (Jesus isn't God, although Steve Owen does a great job of giving context here), so probably makes sense to refine this to the perspective of those who think Jesus is God (usually = Trinitarians). Oct 28, 2021 at 21:28

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