Another questionable line of interpretation, if I may make so bold….
Jesus says to his disciples, “I will give you a mouth and a wisdom that none of those who oppose you will be able to stand against or contradict” (Lk. 21:14-15). Since his imminent death is in view, he must mean that he will have authority “to confer speech and wisdom in a supernatural manner” beyond death, in Richard Hays’ words. We may compare God’s promise to Moses: “Now go, I will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to speak” (Exod. 4:11-12).
In Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness Hays asks how it is that Jesus has such authority (71). How is it that he can confer powers and blessing “that no one but God could confer”? How can he appoint disciples and give them authority over demons and diseases? How can he promise to send power from on high upon his followers and then “in the dramatic opening scenes of Acts, fulfil that promise by pouring out the Holy Spirit”? Surely the power to send the Spirit “is a prerogative that belongs exclusively to God”?
The answer, Hays thinks, is to be found in Peter’s Pentecost sermon: Jesus possesses divine authority at the right hand of God, as “prefigured” in the words of Psalm 110:1. ‘Simply put, Jesus has the authority to send the Spirit because, as David declared long ago, he is “Lord.”’ This is the Spirit, moreover, that God named as “my Spirit” in the prophecy of Joel 2:28. So we see here “the closest possible Verbindung of Jesus’ identity with the divine identity” (72).
I don’t think so….
1. Speaking about the future in Luke 22:28–30 Jesus explains the source of his authority or “kingdom”:
You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, and I assign (diatithemai) to you, as my Father assigned (dietheto) to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
He confers authority on the disciples because authority has been conferred—the same verb—on him by his Father. Similarly, Matthew 28:18: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given (edothē) to me”; and John 5:27: “he has given (edōken) him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man”. These are all eschatological statements. They all presuppose the narrative of Daniel 7: kingdom is given to the Son of Man who suffers but is vindicated by God. You are not given something that you already have.
2. Jesus has the Spirit to pour out not because he participates in the divine identity but because, as Peter explains, he has “received (labōn) from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:33). [pullquote]Yes, this is God’s Spirit, and yes, the prerogative to send the Spirit normally belongs to God alone. But this is not a normal situation.[/pullquote] Because the day of God’s judgment is approaching, because in his death Jesus fulfilled the purposes of God, because God raised him from the dead, the prerogative to pour out the Spirit has been handed over to Jesus so that he can give it/him to his disciples for the sake of their mission to Israel (and beyond). It is mark of the continuing commitment of the resurrected Lord to his followers (cf. Jn. 16:5-15).
3. David could not have done this because he did not ascend into the heavens (2:34). The Lord greater than David (cf. Lk. 20:41-44) is the one who did ascend into the heavens, who was seated at the right hand of God to reign as king throughout the coming ages. That is what differentiates Jesus from David in this apocalyptic context, not a supposed divine identity.
4. Peter’s clear understanding is that the risen Jesus has authority not because he is Lord—a statement of identity—but because “God has made (epoiēsen) him both Lord and Christ”, by exalting him to his right hand (2:36). Hays omits to mention this detail. You are not made something that you already are.
Now it seems to me that we might reasonably use this fully coherent, fully biblical apocalyptic narrative as the starting-point for a redefinition of the godhead: God for us has become God-and-Jesus-at-the-right-hand-of-God, with Jesus exercising the full authority of the Father for the sake of his people. But I don’t see how we can make this apocalyptic outcome the premise for reading the passage. If we want to make divine identity a christological premise, then we have to look elsewhere.