Christ's Human Consciousness in Light of the "I am"

Jason Dulle


In your article The Oneness View of Jesus' Prayers you said "Christ is always conscious of Himself [only] as man." While that fits very beautifully with the way in which He distinguishes Himself from the Father, would that, however, somehow have to be qualified to account for His saying "Before Abraham was, I AM" (John 8:58), and speaking of Himself as come down from heaven (John 6:38 et al), which seem to indicate that He was also consciousness of Himself as God, and some sense of his present identity as God? While it would be logically impossible for Him to be conscious as the Father in addition to being conscious as a man simultaneously within Christ, is it also problematic for Him to evidently share all his memories as the pre-incarnational, uni-personal God, with the Father? Do such claims as "before Abraham was I am" imply that Christ was conscious of Himself as both God and man?



Jesus' statement that He existed before Abraham as the "I am" fits nicely with the notion that Jesus was always conscious of Himself as man. But we must remember who it is that is being conscious of Himself as man-it is God Himself. God is existing as man, and thus is conscious of Himself as man. Jesus, because His personal identity is that of God, knew very well who He was. He knew He was God existing as man, and as such He knew that He pre-existed Abraham. Jesus did not have to be speaking apart from a human consciousness to know that. Even if we say that a limited human consciousness could not know that, divine revelation could tell Him that just like divine revelation told Him lots of things that a limited human consciousness could not otherwise know.

All the "I am" episode shows us is that Jesus was well aware of who He was. After all, how could He not? There is only one person in Christ--God. The incarnation is not a case of divine amnesia wherein God forgets who He is, but rather divine self-limitation and accommodation to a human existence. God being conscious of Himself as man does not negate His divine identity. It was the divine person who was speaking, but from and through a genuine human consciousness. The human consciousness God acquired could never erase the knowledge and understanding of Jesus' own divine identity. Jesus was still God, but God knowing and acting as man.

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