Published on June 9, 2009
Jesus Christ, True God and True Man : Jesus Christ, True God and True Man Who is Jesus Christ? + For the Apostles, and for Peter? + For you? The Coming of Christ : The Coming of Christ Almost two thousand years ago, Jesus asked this question: “Who do people say that I am?” (Matt 16:13). It is easy to believe in the humanity of Jesus if we accept Him as a historical figure, but how about His Divinity? The Bible mentions His divinity directly or indirectly in a number of places. John 1:1 says: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." High caliber historians of Jesus’ time confirm his existence : High caliber historians of Jesus’ time confirm his existence “A wise man” (Flavius Josephus, Jewish Roman aristocrat, wrote in 93 AD) “Founder of the name Christian; put to death by Pontius Pilate” (Tacitus, 116 AD) “To whom hymns were sung as to a god” (Pliny the Younger, Governor, 112 AD) – this confirms early belief in his divinity! Christ: Son of God: : Christ: Son of God: Colossians 2:9 says: “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily". Christ and the Father:"He who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9) and "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30). The three Synoptics set forth the humanity of Christ in its obedience to the law, in its power over nature, and in its tenderness for the weak and afflicted. When we say Jesus is “God”, what do we mean? : When we say Jesus is “God”, what do we mean? Supreme Being: there is no other God! Creator and Conserver: if Jesus forgets us, we vanish! His name is I Am Who Am: he was in “burning bush” with Moses, and he alone IS! Highest form of life: he is Supreme Happiness Is Jesus God?:Two ways of proving : Is Jesus God?:Two ways of proving Jesus DID things that only God can do If your car can fly, it is a plane! Jesus performed miracles, then He may be God. Jesus CLAIMED he was God The classic proof: either he was telling the truth or not! Jesus DID things that only God can do : Jesus DID things that only God can do He did miracles in his own name He stopped storms! (“What kind of man is this?”, the apostles asked) He cured from a distance! He walked on water! He multiplied some bread and fish to feed more than 5000 people! He raised people from the dead Even Lazarus who was already decaying! Such a strong manifestation led to the decision to eliminate him. Jesus DID things that only God can do : Jesus DID things that only God can do No other religious leader was said to have risen from the dead, and with proofs! “if he did not rise, vain is our faith” (St. Paul) First premise: he really died on a Friday. He was executed by professional Roman soldiers who were trained to kill. He was in fact buried. Second premise: by Sunday, his tomb, guarded by Roman soldiers, was empty. Then, he “appeared” to many. Thus, it was not auto-suggestion Thus, he really rose from the dead by his own power! Jesus CLAIMED to be God: claim of powers and rights : Jesus CLAIMED to be God: claim of powers and rights He forgave sins (Remember: only the offended party can forgive) He demanded absolute obedience and love (he who loves father and mother more than me is not worthy of me!) He claimed to be greater than Israel’s great King, Solomon! He said he had angels at his beck and call. He allowed himself to be worshipped and adored! Jesus directly CLAIMED to be God:claims that made the Jews want to stone or execute him : Jesus directly CLAIMED to be God:claims that made the Jews want to stone or execute him Before Abraham was, I AM Implies he is Eternal! I and the Father are one. Are you the Christ, the son of the living God? I AM For the Jews, the name of God is I AM WHO AM! Conclusions of those who face the truth : Conclusions of those who face the truth “My Lord, my God!” (St. Thomas the Apostle) “In the Beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (St. John, the Apostle) “Christ who is God over all” (St. Paul, Apostle of the Gentiles) Roman official: "Surely this man was the Son of God!"(Mark 15:39). Jesus is God. : Jesus is God. Early Christian writers Didache – Jesus is the God of David (around 100 AD) St. Ignatius of Antioch (107 AD) calls Jesus “God” many times in his epistles. Council of Nicaea (325 AD): Christ is homoousios (one in the being with the Father) Millions of martyrs and saints sacrificed their lives cheerfully to defend the divinity of Christ St John’s Gospel : St John’s Gospel The fourth Gospel sets forth the life of Christ not in any of the aspects which belong to it as human, but as being the adequate expression of the glory of the Divine Person, manifested to men under a visible form. God Sends His Son : God Sends His Son · "But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons." (Gal 4:4-5) · God visits his people · God fulfills the promise to Abraham and his descendants God acts beyond all expectation--He sends His own beloved Son Historical Existence of Jesus : Historical Existence of Jesus · born a Jew of a daughter of Israel · at Bethlehem · at the time of King Herod, the Great and the emperor Caesar Augustus · carpenter by trade · died crucified · in Jerusalem · under the procurator Pontius Pilate, during the reign of emperor Tiberius Two Natures, One Person (Prosopon) and Hypostasis : Two Natures, One Person (Prosopon) and Hypostasis true God, true man, in the unity of his divine person. · not part God part man. · two natures (human and divine), not confused, but united in the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. a truth of Faith defended since the beginning of the Church. a mystery Denied true Divinity : Denied true Divinity (a) Paul of Samosata: Jesus Christ son by adoption, not by nature (b) Arius: Jesus Christ is from another substance (of a different nature) with the Father (c) Nestorius: Jesus Christ is a human person joined to the divine person of God's Son; hence, Mary only the Mother of a man, but not mother of God. Why did the Word Become Flesh? : Why did the Word Become Flesh? To save us by reconciling us with God God "loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins" (I Jn 4:10) “The Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the World (I Jn 4:14) So that we might know God's love To be our Model of Holiness. Christ's soul, intellect and will : Christ's soul, intellect and will INTELLIGENCE: Human Knowledge. · He "increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man" (Lk 2:52) Infused Knowledge (CCC 473) Beatific Knowledge WILL: · two wills · not opposed to each other cooperates and submits to his divine and almighty will IN A TRUE BODY.