Interesting questions. Some I can answer, some I cannot. I'll start with this one since time is limited. In this case, belief is equated with obedience. They are not interdependent of one another. Obedience validates belief.
Why do you think Jesus has such a profound need for human obedience? If he could actually create a hundred billion galaxies with a thought
, what could he possibly gain from human obedience that he couldn't just will into being?
If we look at every other known example of an obedience-based relationship, there are basically two reasons the dominant being desires the obedience: 1) For the safety of the obedient party, and 2) To gain wealth, power, status, pleasure, and possessions that the dominant party cannot produce, or cannot produce easily for themselves. The first case pertains to relationships like parent and child (but this is temporary, until the child grows up, or at least gets old enough that the parent can explain why
they shouldn't touch a hot stove), or government and citizen (traffic laws, etc.). It doesn't really apply to the case of Jesus, because the danger to be avoided is the everlasting fury of Jesus himself, which just returns us to the original question. Why should Jesus be eternally
seething with rage and demanding torture for humans who practice the wrong sort of mating habits, or eat shrimp wrapped in bacon in 50 B.C.E.?
So now we're left with the second option. Examples of this abound. A Pharaoh needs obedient subjects because without them, that pyramid he wants ain't gettin' built. Without them, he doesn't have an army, or a palace, or hundreds of sexy concubines, or gold and jewels, or the status of the Living Horus, Son of the Sun, a god on Earth. Without obedience, a Pharaoh isn't a Pharaoh, he's just one more guy. So, his motives for demanding obedience, and punishing disobedience to the extent of his abilities are obvious and easy to understand. The same thing applies to many other collectors of obedience--CEO's, dictators, kings, popes, tribal chieftains, generals, etc.. Without it, they can't achieve even a fraction of the power (ability to accomplish their goals), wealth, status, strength (i.e. military force at their command), etc. that they have with it. If you try to imagine a Pharaoh with omnipotent magic power that costs no effort to wield
, then his need for obedience disappears. He can snap his fingers and create a far better palace, pyramid, or temple than all the humans in the world could possibly produce for him.
Applying this to Jesus then, the very fact that he is said to require human obedience as his absolute top priority, and react with literally infinite
rage if it is not forthcoming, is compelling evidence that he is not metaphysically omnipotent and complete-in-himself. The fact that Jesus never shows up to bask in the praises he's given, or scoop the money out of the collection plates, or live in the beautiful cathedrals built for him is another clue. Who does
show up to collect the proceeds of the obedience Jesus demands? Human beings. For that matter, whence cometh the very notion that there's such a thing as a "Jesus," and the claim that he demands obedience on pain of everlasting torture? Texts, written by men (none of which was Jesus himself--it's all written by other people), copied, re-copied, and re-re-copied--by men; translated, re-translated, and re-re-translated--by men; interpreted for us--by men, the very men who get the benefits of all the obedience in Jesus' place. It's human beings all the way down.
Kinda makes the answer to the "Why does Jesus need obedience?" riddle seem rather obvious, don't you think?