Was Christ's miraculous power original, unborrowed and underived?

Posted Apr 24, 2011 by Bobby B in General Hits: 5,152

Foreshadows: Lectures on Our Lord's parables, By John Cumming, 1854, pp. 280, 281.

When Elijah was about to raise the widow's son, he cried unto the Lord and said, "0 Lord, my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourned, by slaying her son? And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord, my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again." That was a man armed with miraculous powers, doing miracles. But how did Elijah do it? He did it simply as the minister of God, simply as the channel through which God's power flowed, and he recognised that power, and gave the glory to the author of the miracle before and after he did it.  But when Jesus comes to do the miracle, he does not first say, "0 God, do it," he does not acknowledge, as Elijah did, that he had no power to do it, but he says, "Young man, I say unto thee, Arise."  When the apostles did miracles they did them amid prayer, or in the name of Jesus —"in the name of Jesus of Nazareth;" they proved that their power and authority were altogether borrowed; but when Jesus did miracles, he showed that his power was original, unborrowed and underived.  Elijah did the miracle as a man, Jesus did it as God; Jesus was not only man then, but he was also God.

This quotation by John Cumming raises an interesting question related to our perception regarding the "nature of Christ" during His incarnation.  If not mistaken, this question relates to the performance vs. relational concept of identity.  I have heard at least four different perspectives among SDA's, and wonder what your thoughts are.  The following are at least four possibilities:

1.  During His incarnation, Christ retained His identity (as pre-existent Son), while relinquishing ALL His powers of Deity.  Therefore, all miracles, and examples of when "divinity flashed through humanity" are evidences of the Father's power in, and through Him.

2.  During His incarnation, Christ retained "some" powers of Deity, i.e. omniscience; while relinquishing others i.e. omnipresence. 

3.  During His incarnation, Christ retained "all" His powers of Deity, yet never used them even once, while always relying on His Father.

4.  During His incarnation, Christ retained all His powers of Deity, yet never used them for His own benefit; He only used His powers to bless others.  Therefore, He did Not rely on His Father for miraculous power on any occasion.