Angels from the realms of glory, wing your flight o’er all the earth…

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1. In the original piece, you suggest an impersonal Word (“which”), or wisdom of God, which is a way of tacitly downgrading his status as presented in John. The Word cannot be independent of God, since the Word “was God”. There is an interlocking chain of identification of the Word with Jesus from v.3 (affirmed in v.10a) to v. 15b (and possibly v.14b and 15a also), where “Son” is attributed to him. When “the Word became flesh” (v.14), there is a seamless identification with the Son, or putting it another way, the Son did not cease to be the Word. Whichever way you look at it, Jesus was the author of creation as the Word. This becomes the wider meaning wrapped up in the Word “Son”. The Son was not simply another descendant of David in the line of Israel’s warrior kings.

2. There isn’t any “authorisation” given to Jesus for him to have authority over the wind and waves. You consistently overlook the most obvious question which arises about Jesus: he was unlike any other character in Israel’s history (or anyone who has come since). It is this kind of question which John begins to answer in the prologue to his gospel.

3. At his baptism, Jesus is identified as the Son (all four gospels), not the servant. The baptism is more than a commissioning, but an affirmation of a unique relationship. Jesus expects his disciples to act under his authority (Matthew 10:1, 28:18-19), which was a delegated authority (to be exercised in his name). He was not simply modelling what his disciples could also do by themselves. They depended on his authority, not their own. The return from exile was anticipated in the OT as a return of YHWH (Isaiah 40:3). The anticipated return was in Jesus (Matthew 3:3 and all four gospels) - without any qualification anywhere of surrogate agency that I can see.

4. The feeding of the 5,000 is connected with the manna in the wilderness in John 6. Jesus makes an explicit connection from v.26 onwards. The feeding miracle becomes associated with the manna in the wilderness in v. 30, and Jesus identifies himself as “the true bread from heaven” v.32. The Father is also involved, but it is the unique relationship between Father and Son which invites further question. There is an association between Jesus and Moses, but the episode goes beyond far this relationship. Jesus has the power to give life and resurrection (v.40). Even in the synoptic gospels, where the association with the wilderness provision of manna is less explicit, once the association is made (as provided explicitly by John), Jesus is taking the role played by YHWH in the Old Testament wildeness provision. In the example you quote from 2 Kings, Elisha attributes the miracle to the Lord, not himself.

5. Moses didn’t invent the law, he got it from YHWH! Jesus is certainly cast as a new Moses in Matthew, but he goes beyond Moses by in part overturning the law, and certainly radically redefining it, without any reference to an authority given by YHWH to do so.

6. By the time of the raising of Lazarus, Jesus has become “the resurrection and the life” - not even just the agent, great prophet or whatever, through whom the dead are raised. “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” One can imagine John (or his school) meditating on the synoptic gospels (or some version of the stories about which they clearly had some knowledge), and finding in the other raisings from the dead no other explanation than that Jesus had in himself the attribute of God who raised the dead.

7. I think that when we get to Matthew 28 there are enough clues in the text to point to something more in Jesus than a messiah king in the line of Israel’s historic warrior kings. The weasel-word is “God”, as it fails to do justice to how “God” is being redefined, in many ways, in Jesus. I’m not an ally of Piper or his way of explaining things, nor do I think my observations are tortured. They simply take account of the evidence, and use a bit of thoughtful reflection and common sense.