When I headed to Multnomah School of the Bible to complete my bachelors as a transfer student in 1982, my mother bought a new Bible for me, The Open Bible. I was thrilled to pour over the notes and find answers to my many spiritual questions. But almost immediately I began to question the notes themselves.
Several places in the notes referring to Jesus' miracles, the authors of the Open Bible said that Jesus proved his deity through performing miracles. I've never doubted Jesus' deity, but I did question the logic of miracles as proof of deity.
The Old Testament records many miracles and none of them prove the human agent is also divine. Moses was given various miracles to perform as a proof that Yahweh was working through him. The prophets raised people from the dead and made axes float in water proving they spoke with God's authority. In the book of Acts, the apostles performed miracles giving them opportunity to preach the gospel to the curious.
Through graduate school the questions only grew. Why did Jesus pray unless he needed to? Was Jesus lying when he sometimes said he didn't know things? Why was Jesus led by the Holy Spirit and empowered by the Holy Spirit unless he needed to be? Why did Jesus say he couldn't do things on his own (John 5:19)?
I began to wonder if there was a simple answer to the puzzle. The thought began to germinate, just a little sprout of a thought. Maybe Jesus came to earth acting like a man, a Spirit-filled man. The kind of human being that you and I should be if we were truly led by the Holy Spirit.
That is also when a silent panic came on. It sounded like heresy. Was I denying Jesus' deity? Or could Jesus be (ontologically) 100% God and 100% man, but behave as a Spirit-filled man?
The next step in my quest for answers was to review the teaching of the church, a kind of heresy check. I turned my attention to some noted theologians and the great Christological statement of Chalcedon.