How is Jesus omnipresent?

 by Matt Slick

Email: When Jesus ascended into Heaven, it is written that He is now at the right hand of God our Father. We know that God, who is Spirit, is omnipresent. Is Jesus, who is in a glorified body, also omnipresent? If so, does this mean when we are transformed into our glorified bodies, we too will be omnipresent? If not, how exactly is Jesus with each one of us?

Response: This is a good question. Is Jesus, who is in a glorified body, omnipresent? The answer is yes. But, this involves a little explanation.

The doctrine of the incarnation of Christ is that Jesus, who was the Divine Word (John 1:1), became flesh and dwelt among us (v.14). This means that the Word added to his person a human nature. Now, this does not mean that the word has two natures. What it means is that the person of Jesus has two natures. In other words, Jesus the man is both the word and human. That is, he is both divine and human. This is why Colossians 2:9 says "for in him dwells all the fullness of deity in bodily form." Officially, this doctrine is known as the hypostatic Union.

All right, so the Bible teaches that Jesus is both God and Man at the same time. Remember, he has two natures. But we need to understand that as a man, by definition, he can only be in one place at a time; that is, his physical human side is only in one place at a time. There is no instance of a human being omnipresent. Jesus, as a man (yes, he is a man right now, see 1 Tim. 2:5; Col. 2:9) is located in one place in the heavens. But, since he has a divine nature and one of the attributes of divinity is omnipresence, then we can say that Jesus is omnipresent. Let me break it down a little more.

There is another doctrine known as the Communication of the Properties. This is the teaching that in the one person of Christ there are two natures and that each of the two natures has attributes. Furthermore, it states that those attributes of each nature are ascribed to the single person of Jesus. Therefore, we say that the man Jesus, who is also divine, can "claim" the attributes of divinity. Likewise, the attributes of humanity are "claimed" (ascribed) to Jesus as well. Let me give you two examples that substantiate this.

In John 17:5, Jesus says, "And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was." How is it possible that Jesus, the man, could lay claim to the glory that he had with the Father before the world was? Jesus the man was born on earth and had a beginning. Yet, we see that Jesus was claiming the glory he had with God the Father from ancient times. How? Because he was claiming the attributes of divinity.

In Matt. 28:19-20, Jesus says, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Notice that in verse 20 Jesus says that he will always be with the disciples. How can Jesus the man always be with the disciples? Obviously the command of Christ is not just for the disciples but for all which claim to be Christians as they carry out the command to "make disciples of all the nations." We find the answer when we realize that the divine attributes of omnipresence, which is one of the properties of being divine, are claimed by Jesus. Therefore, even though he was a man, he could also say that he would be with the disciples wherever they go and whenever they go.

To summarize, Jesus' human nature is not omnipresent. But, his divine nature is.  However, it is the one person of Christ who shares both natures (communicatio idiomatum), and it is the one person who is omnipresent.

All right, now back to the rest of the question. Will we also be glorified as Jesus was glorified in his resurrection and be omnipresent? No. We do not share God's divine nature. Therefore, we will not be omnipresent.

 

 

 

 
 
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