23 Oct 2011

Jesus Christ: Fair & Balanced

Religious 21 Comments

When you read the gospels, one of the things that stands out in the life of Jesus is how much of His time He spent in prayer. This is interesting, because you might at first think that Jesus doesn’t “need” prayer as much as the rest of us do.

Indeed, that’s usually the angle that preachers will take on Sundays with this fact. They’ll say things like, “Folks, it’s my job and I’m here to tell you, I need more prayer in my life. If the Son of God could make time to do it, so can we. Our responsibilities aren’t more important than what He was doing.”

That’s all fine and good–literally–but I think it might give the impression that Jesus was praying out of a sense of duty, and that it was just one more thing He had to add into His list of “Things to Do Before I Die.” (I hope that is funny and not blasphemous for my religious readers. God picked the Jews as His chosen people, so I think He appreciates comedy.)

In the present post, I want to make the simple claim that I think Jesus was only able to achieve His amazing feats because of His intense prayer life. For example, I think He “needed” to pray all night before knowing which men to choose as His inner circle. I think it bolstered Him and made Him believe that He really was the Son of God, to hear a voice from heaven declare as such when He was baptized. And I think He needed an angel to minister to Him before facing His excruciating task on Good Friday.

Now when I say “need” in this context, of course I don’t mean that there was no other way. With God all things are possible. What I mean is that God wanted His son to live among us a mortal man. So for example, I think that the young Jesus was actually learning from the scribes in the Temple. I don’t think He knew as much at age 12 as he would at age 31.

In that context, I think Jesus’ mind and body would have been overwhelmed if, say, He literally went around doing nothing but heal the sick and preach every waking moment. His faith would not have been as strong (necessary for Him to raise people from the dead) and His sermons would not have been as profound.

As a Christian I am supposed to make prayer an important part of my life. This isn’t a senseless rule imposed on me “just because,” but rather (I believe) a habit that is designed for my own good, both in this life and the next.

21 Responses to “Jesus Christ: Fair & Balanced”

  1. Eeyore says:

    When I was younger I used to wonder why an omniscient and omnipotent God would need people to go to church and worship Him and praise His name. Does He have low self-esteem or something? I then realized that it’s not for Him, it’s for us.

  2. David S. says:

    It’s really laughable to me, and sad for you and many of your hopeless commenters that you should not only succumb to some ancient religion from what would otherwise be one of the least important strips of land in the world. But, of course it’s completely consistent with your total failure in the realm of economics or any enterprise that requires the slightest bit of abstract thought.

    • Fleece says:

      David I am both an atheist and Keynesian, so I have plenty of criticism for Murphy. But your posts are pretty sad – at least put forth some proper arguments.

      • David S. says:

        Fleece, you’re pretty pathetic if you think there needs to be any argument against religion. One should require evidence for a belief in the first place, not the reverse.

    • Joseph Fetz says:

      Yeah, because everybody knows that David S. is a literal treasure trove of intellectual insight and abstract thought.

    • Eeyore says:

      David, if commenters of this page possessing faith is sad for Bob, then how would you describe a guy who comes to a blog for the purpose of laughing at Christians? Maybe you should find a way to advance the discussion of your ideas and beliefs instead of turning people off to your argument because of the rhetoric you use. Just a suggestion.

    • Matt Flipago says:

      You are a major reason there are still Christians out there. They look at you and say, “these people are full of hate, and child like thought process.”

  3. Tom E. Snyder says:

    Excellent. Keep the faith.

  4. Brandon Harnish says:

    Bob, do you know much about Preterism?

  5. Antony Solomon says:

    Just a line to say thanks for showing me that i can match my Christianity with libertarianism and free market economics (after a sojourn (sic) through left wing solutions. (Along with Shawn litenour and Tom Woods). keep up the good work.

  6. Jeffrey Ludwig says:

    Great post . . . Anyway, the following doesn’t directly relate to your post, but I found it interesting. I’m reading Jesus Huerta de Soto’s book Money, Bank Credit, and Economic Cycles right now, and in one of the footnotes, he mentions that Mises’ master builder example to illustrate the business cycle appears in Luke 14:28-30, as follows (NIV):

    “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'”

    • MamMoTh says:

      Oh dear, fortunately we can ridicule now all those who might have ridiculed Gaudí at the time he started building the Sagrada Familia.

      Anyway, this just shows what a boring world we would live in if it were inhabited only by Austrians. (We already know how boring it was when it was inhabited only by religious people). But, little by little, we’ll get rid of them.

  7. Leo says:


    I think you are becoming a Christian Hedonist! 😀


    It’s a real thing! It’s like the Austrian Economics of Christianity 😉

  8. Luke says:

    Jesus the man needed prayer, I would agree. The duel nature of Christ is certainly fascinating to ponder on. From an infant to dying on the cross, what was going on in the Earthly mind of Christ would be amazing to know. (if it even works that way)

    • Bob Murphy says:

      The duel nature of Christ…

      Whoa! Even though He seemed like a pacifist, I would not want to face Christ in a duel.

      • Tel says:

        A spiritual dual no doubt.

        Visions at high noon. Meekness cage match. Parables at twenty paces. Quick draw iconography… that sort of thing.

        I agree, Jesus would be tough to beat, but it’s a thrill just to be playing in this league, both teams really deserved to win tonight and I’d just like to say, the real winner is the spirit of spirituality.

  9. Neil says:

    Luckily for me, I don’t believe in this entity called David–whatever it might be. I’ve never seen it and it sounds completely bogus. Why some of you stop your busy day and leave a comment “prayer” to such an non-entity, I have no idea.

    Clearly, the letters as they appear on this page under the term David were not created by an intelligent being, but instead are the result of countless ages of specks of dust accumulating and forming lines on the screen.

    You believers are ridiculous. If you look around the world there is NO chance such a David exists.

    Thanks, Bob, for sharing your faith and your economic wisdom. I know I have benefited greatly from it.

    • Fleece says:

      Lol. You clearly don’t understand evolution.

      But then, few creationists do, and the ones that do try to reconcile it with their beliefs.