For I came down from heaven
by change of place, or local motion; for Christ is the immense, infinite, and omnipresent God, and cannot be said properly to move from place to place; for he fills all places, even heaven and earth, with his presence, and was in heaven as the Son of God, at the same time he was here on earth as the son of man: wherefore this must be understood in a manner becoming his proper deity, his divine sonship, and personality: this descent was by the assumption of the human nature into union with his divine person, which was an instance of amazing grace and condescension. The Jew F13 objects to this, and says,
``if this respects the descent of the soul, the soul of every man descended from thence; but if it respects the body, the rest of the evangelists contradict his words, particularly Luke, when he says, ( Luke 2:7 ) that his mother brought him forth at Bethlehem.''But this descent regards neither his soul nor body, but his divine person, which always was in heaven, and not any local descent of that; but, as before observed, an assumption of human nature, which he took of the virgin on earth; and so there is no contradiction between the evangelists; nor is descent from heaven unsuitable to Christ as a divine person, since it is ascribed to God, ( Genesis 11:7 ) ( Genesis 18:21 ) ; and if God may be said to go down from heaven by some display of his power, and intimation of his presence, Christ may be said to descend from heaven by that marvellous work of his, taking upon him our nature, and walking up and down on earth in the form of a servant; and which was done with this view, as he says,
not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me;
that is, not to do his own will, as separate from his Father's, and much less as contrary to it; otherwise he did come to do his own will, which, as God, was the same with his Father's, he being one with him in nature, and so in power and will; and though his will, as man, was distinct from his Father's, yet not repugnant, but resigned unto it: and this will he came to do, was to preach the Gospel, fulfil the law, work miracles, and obtain the eternal redemption and salvation of his people. What the above Jewish writer F14 objects to this part of the text is of very little moment: whose words are;
``moreover, what he says, "not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me", shows, that he that sent, is not one and the same with him that is sent, seeing the will of him that is sent, is not as the will of him that sends.''It is readily granted that they are not one and the same person; they are two distinct persons, which sending, and being sent, do clearly show; but then they are one in nature, though distinct in person, and they agree in will and work. Christ came not to do any will of his own different from that of his Father's; nor do these words imply a difference of wills in them, much less a contrariety in them, but rather the sameness of them.
F13 R. Isaac Chizzuk Emuna, par. 2. c. 44. p. 434.
F14 R. Chizzuk Emmuna, par. 2. c. 44. p. 434.