When did Jesus know that He was God?
QuestionAnswer Jesus was and always will be God. He has been the second Person of the Trinity from the beginning of time, and He will continue to be so indefinitely. The topic of when the human Jesus realized that He was God after the Incarnation is intriguing, yet it is not addressed in the Bible. Jesus, as an adult, came to terms with His identity, articulating it in the following way: “Very truly I tell you,. before Abraham was born, I am!” (See also John 8:58.) And when He prayed, “Now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world started,” He was saying, “Glorify me with the splendor I had with you before the world began” (John 17:5).
In the year 2000, when Jesus was twelve years old, Joseph and Mary transported the entire family to Jerusalem.
The pilgrims returned to Jerusalem, where they saw Jesus “in the temple courts, sitting among the professors, listening to them, and asking them questions.
His mother inquired of Jesus as to why He would vanish and cause them such concern.
- Were you under the impression I had to be at my Father’s house?
- Whatever His contemporaries did not understand, it appears that Jesus, even at a very early age, understood that He was theSon of God and that the Father had foreordained the task He was to undertake on the cross.
- If we consider Jesus’ human experience at this moment, He didn’t need to “grow in knowledge” because he already knew everything.
- Jesus never ceased to be God, yet in some circumstances, He chose to conceal His divinity in line with the Father’s will.
- He, the Son of God, intentionally placed Himself in the position of having to digest information in the same way that a man would do.
- From a heavenly viewpoint, the Son had known from the beginning of time who He was and what His earthly mission would be before He came.
- We are unable to determine exactly when that point occurred.
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When did Jesus know he was God?
DAUGHTERS: DEAR FATHER: I have a question for which you are most likely unable to provide an answer, but I will give it my best effort. His preaching career did not begin until he was in his early 30s, according to historical records. You may be wondering why Jesus waited for such a long time to begin his ministry. I know he was a carpenter in his 20s, working for St. Joseph, his foster father, and that he was in his 20s when I met him. Was Jesus still unaware that he was God at the time? — Anonymous ANONYMOUS: DEAR ANONYMOUS: You’re absolutely correct.
- No one, in reality, does so.
- It is just unknown where he was over the entire period.
- Joseph, as you describe.
- Scholars have recently speculated that Jesus may possibly have spent time in the wilderness with his cousin John, the Baptist, and with a sect of ultra-observant Pharisees known as the Essenes, who were known for their strict adherence to the Law of Moses.
- What we know about them matches very closely to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
- We don’t have any historical information about Jesus’ life until he was in his early 30s.
- According to the Bible, the age of thirty is believed to be the point at which one is mature enough to assume leadership responsibilities in the community.
Ezekiel was around 30 years old when he was summoned to be a prophet.
According to this interpretation, the age of 30 indicates that Jesus was the appropriate age to begin his ministry.
In response to your last question, theologians have wrestled with it since the fifth century, when the ecumenical Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D.) stated that there are two natures – divine and human — in one person, namely, Jesus Christ.
Of course, Jesus’ divine essence was always aware that he was the Son of God.
The issue remains, however, as to when Jesus’ human nature realized that he was in reality God.
To put it another way, we know in different ways depending on our level of psychological and intellectual development.
Although the youngster is unable to explain himself or herself in words or logical form, his or her body language is apparent.
When adolescents are 12 or 13 years old, they begin to demonstrate the ability to reason rationally.
This process of being fully conscious of one’s own being takes many years and is constantly in need of further clarity and understanding.
If we truly think that Jesus was a “genuine man,” we should expect him to have gone through these phases of self-awareness as a human being.
Our belief is that Jesus would have had complete awareness of his divinity at the time of his Baptism by John the Baptist, since his divine nature was revealed to him by a voice from heaven declaring him to be the Son of God, which we think he would have had by that time (see Mark 1:11; Matthew 3:17; Luke 3:22).
It’s important to remember that theology is defined as “faith seeking understanding.” No amount of knowledge or experience should diminish our feelings of love, devotion, or appreciation toward God, who “so loved the world that he sent his only Son” (John 3:16) in order to provide us with redemption.
Note from the editor: This story initially published in the May 2017 issue of Catholic Digest.
On June 18, 2017, Fr.
Fr. Claude contributed to many Bayard, Inc. publications, includingLiving with Christ and Catholic Digest, on an as-needed basis. Please pray for the repose of his soul as well as for all those who are grieving his death, particularly his family and Assumptionist brothers. We miss him a much.
When did Jesus know He was God?
The “word” (Jesus) was with God in the beginning and was God, according to the gospel of John. The plain message of Scripture is that Jesus was fully conscious of His divinity at all times. He stated this concept on a number of occasions (see Did Jesus Claim to Be God? for more information). The Lord Jesus Christ confirmed His mission at the age of twelve, understanding that He was about His Father’s business (Luke 2:41-5). In John 8:58, Christ referred to himself as the “I Am,” a reference to God’s designation as the “I Am” in Exodus 3:14.
- Those who have seen Him since birth have recognized Him as a king (Luke 2:1-20).
- His religious tutors were astounded by His understanding when he was just 12 years old (Luke 2:41-50).
- “Behold, the Lamb of God, who wipes away the sin of the world!” he said in awe.
- A Roman centurion who was present at Jesus’ crucifixion declared Jesus to be the Son of God (Matthew 27:54).
- Jesus both taught that He is divine and demonstrated that He is divine via His healings and miracles.
- When Thomas first saw the resurrected Jesus, he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” in a clear and correct manner.
- Philippians 2:7 speaks about Jesus’ willingness to empty Himself.
This does not negate the reality that Jesus has been and will continue to be totally divine during his whole life.
Those who believe that Jesus was all-knowing throughout his earthly existence contend that this is because he did not lose any of his divine traits or become any less divine while on earth, and hence did not lose his all-knowing status.
“For in him all the fullness of divinity dwells physically,” according to Colossians 2:9, “since in him all the fullness of god dwells bodily.” This is why some believe that Jesus was never less than one hundred percent omniscience (all-knowing) during his time on earth as a person.
Despite this, He possessed the fullness of deity in His human body, including complete awareness that He was divine.
Truths that are related: Is it true that Jesus ever claimed to be God?
Is it scriptural to believe that Jesus existed before the creation of the world?
What does it mean for Jesus to be the firstborn son of the Father to be born? What is the theological idea of the hypostatic union and how does it manifest itself? What did Jesus mean when He stated, “I AM,” and what did He mean by that? Return to the page: The Truth About Jesus Christ.
When did Jesus know he was God?
The question is, at what point did Jesus realize he was, without a doubt, the Son of God? Was there ever a point when he had any doubts about who he was? Answer:Because Jesus Christ was born with an immeasurable amount of the Holy Spirit, we should not assume that He had any reservations about His status as God manifested in the flesh. Take note of Peter’s assurance in his ability to discern the genuine character of Jesus when he says the following to him. Then Simon Peter responded, declaring, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” in response.
- It was not flesh and blood that revealed it to you, but My Father, Who is in heaven” (Matthew 16:13 – 17, HBFV throughout).
- The Father in heaven praised Peter by revealing to him the spiritual identity of his Son and allowing him to announce this identity to the other disciples, which was a great honor.
- Albrecht Durer was born in 1506 in Germany.
- Neither His identity nor a sense of self-doubt were at issue in His indecision in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:37 – 39), which concerns His temptation to wish the cup of His sacrifice to pass by.
- As a result, given that knowledge, He did not require faith to know about the Father in the same way that we do, because we have never had the same type of direct contact with the Father that He did before his incarnation (that is, before being placed into the Virgin Mary’s womb).
- It was his admission of who he was that provided the Jewish religious leaders with the justification they needed to put him to death on the scaffold.
- It turns out that there is one part of the Bible that, following deeper examination, provides fairly solid (though perhaps not flawless) evidence for how early in Jesus’ life he realized he was the Son of God.
He also understood and embraced the fact that his divine origin obliged him to accomplish certain things, such as teaching people the truth about the Father (e.g.
When Jesus was twelve years old, he traveled to Jerusalem with Mary and Joseph in order to observe the Passover.
He stayed behind in the temple, patiently listening to what the priests had to say and asking questions as he went along.
After his human parents tracked him down after several days of frantic seeking, he was confronted with the question of why he had remained at the temple without alerting them.
“Don’t you understand that I’m supposed to be attending to My Father’s affairs?” – (Luke 2:49, HBFV) ” God (and not Joseph) was his actual Father, and he understood that he was God’s Son, as revealed by his response to the question.
Considering Jesus’ statement in Luke 2:49 that he needed to be active in his “Father’s business,” especially at a time when Joseph was still living, it’s clear that he understood his mission was to proclaim the gospel.
As the only begotten Son, Jesus also recognized the need of aligning his desires and purposes with those of his heavenly Father.
While the Bible is quiet on whether or not Jesus realized at such a young age that he would one day die in the place of mankind’s sins, there is little doubt that he understood his divine origins and true identity as the Son of God.
When did Jesus realize He was the Son of God, or did He always feel that way?
It is true that the Bible does not contain many details about Jesus’ childhood–but even the brief glimpse we do have of him as a child indicates that He was already conscious of His unique position as God’s Son, sent from heaven to die for our sins. Jesus was 12 years old at the time of the incident. For the annual Jewish festival of Passover, His mother, Mary, and father, Joseph, took Him to Jerusalem to be with them. Mary and Joseph were devout people who, according to tradition, made the long journey from Nazareth to Jerusalem every year.
- They were separated from Jesus on this particular occasion.
- “Can you tell me why you were looking for me?” he inquired.
- Don’t lose sight of the fact that Jesus was God manifested in human flesh from the time of His miraculous conception.
- Have you accepted Him into your heart, and do you express your gratitude to Him on a daily basis for His love?
Jesus, Did You Know?
“Mary, Did You Know?” is a famous Christmas song that was first published in 1991 and was sung by British singer Michael English. A cultural phenomenon arose as a result of the (maybe excessive?) dramatic song. The song’s lyrics examine the mystery of a human mother giving birth to a newborn boy who will someday quiet a storm with his hand and bring the dead back to life, according to the lyrics. Throughout the song, Mary is asked a series of questions that ultimately come down to one: Did you realize that your baby is God?
- Listeners are brought to a posture of wonder when they realize that God was able to complete the mystery of redemption despite the human ignorance of the woman who conceived and birthed his Son.
- Despite what the angel Gabriel revealed to her (Luke 1:26–38), she was unaware of the full extent of what her new baby was capable of accomplishing.
- There were limits to her knowledge and comprehension since she was a human being.
- That is, did Jesus understand everything there was to know about his identity as God’s Son?
And, if that’s the case, did Jesus have complete knowledge? After all, according to the Nicene Creed, he is “very God of very God, born, not produced, being of one essence with the Father.” He is, in other words, “very God of very God.”
On the one hand, it appears that the solution is clear. One can even think of a succinct syllogism that expresses the point succinctly: God knows everything. Jesus is the Son of God. As a result, Jesus is the only one who knows everything. The following passages come to mind as examples of instances in which Jesus demonstrated a level of knowledge that was beyond human comprehension: He knew that a coin had been found in the mouth of a fish (Matt. 17:27), that the Samaritan woman had had five husbands (John 4:18), and that Lazarus had died before he and the disciples were notified (John 11:41).
- Mary was completely unaware.
- The response, on the other hand, is not so straightforward: Jesus isn’t the only God in the universe.
- According to Luke 2:52, Jesus’ “knowledge and stature increased, as well as his favor with God and men increased.” At the very least, this suggests that Jesus was constrained by the natural path of human growth, both in terms of his physical and mental development.
- Was he taught to fish as a child since he grew up in a carpenter’s home?
- Was he aware of what it was like to be a female while growing up as a boy?
Startling Admission of Ignorance
It goes without saying that the Bible does not directly address these issues. It does, however, provide a shocking admission of ignorance in Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32, which is worth noting. Jesus declares, “No one knows when I will come again, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” He is referring to his second coming. There. We’re right in the middle of it. Jesus admits to himself that he lacks wisdom. Jesus was completely unaware. Throughout church history, several approaches have been used to dealing with this stunning statement.
In other words, these are expressions of his humanity, and just his humanity, and nothing else.
The incarnate Son of God can be both knowing and unknowing at the same time, according to Athanasius, who is commenting on John 17:1, when Jesus appears to know that his hour has arrived.
We require certain Christological categories in order to at the very least comprehend—if not completely explain—such a statement made by the incarnate Son of the Living God.
Natures, Persons, and Classical Christology
Here, the terminology of the Council of Chalcedon (AD 451) can be of assistance because it is based on the Bible. When the second member of the Trinity became incarnate within the womb of the virgin Mary, he united his divine essence with a human nature that was previously separate. Rather than a deduction, it was an addition. “Christ “emptied himself,” in the words of the apostle Paul, not by denying his divine essence, but by “assuming the form of a servant” (Phil. 2:7). Chalcedon referred to this as the “hypostatic union,” which he defined as the merger of two entire natures “without confusion, without change, without division, without separation” in a single being.
- Instead, the council stressed the connection of God’s two natures inside the one person of the Son of God, who is the union of the Father and the Son.
- Answer: by assisting us in seeing that when we encounter Jesus’s ignorance in Scripture, we are not addressing a nature, but rather we are confronting a person.
- What would be lost if the Bible did not contain the lines describing Jesus’ ignorance found in Matthew 24 and Mark 13, for example?
- As God, the Son’s omniscience is not diminished by his human character, nor does the divine morph the human (as man, the Son’s human intellect does not become omniscient—just as his body does not become omnipresent—as a result of his divine nature).
- But it’s important to remember that nature doesn’t do things; people are the ones who do them.
- This is true of Christ, as it is of all other humans, but it is compounded by the fact that he has two natures, one physical and one spiritual.
- To provide an example, resting on a boat symbolizes his human nature, but strolling on water symbolizes his divine essence.
- However, all of these deeds are credited to the same individual—the person known as Jesus Christ.
(See, for example, Luke 1:43; John 3:13; Acts 20:28)
Pressing into the Mystery
What would be lost if the Bible did not contain the lines describing Jesus’ ignorance found in Matthew 24 and Mark 13, for example? When we think of Jesus as being omniscient, we tend to think of him as neat and orderly. However, being neat and orderly tends to promote the interests of another sort of knowing, namely ours. As Hilary of Poitiers (AD 310–367) put it, “What man cannot fathom, God can be,” and we must keep this in mind as we live our lives in faith. This should result in a stance of love, rather than a posture of grasping for an extensive description of what is being discussed.
- It also serves as a reminder that having a limited understanding is not a sin.
- As a result, we may rest in, rather than resent, the things we haven’t been given the wisdom to understand (Deut.
- Because we do not know when Jesus will come, we must patiently wait on God and place our faith only in him.
- I’ve argued that when Jesus stated he “didn’t know,” he was just expressing himself in accordance with his human nature, not his identity.
- As a result, Jesus didn’t know.
- The paradoxes of the incarnation are many and varied.
What did Jesus know and when did he know it?
A reader writes:Sean Bean (Boromir! Woot!) is a favorite of our family, so we’ve been looking forward to The Young Messiah with great anticipation. I read your interview with the director, and it seems like it was a pretty intriguing conversation. After seeing the trailer, though, I have serious reservations about how Jesus is shown in the film. It’s true that you recommended not to view the trailer, but I did so before reading your essay! I don’t see how Jesus could be God yet be completely unaware of who he is.
She considers this to be heresy.
I’d want to start by informing your aunt that The Young Messiahhas received a great deal of appreciation from people such as Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, Archbishop Charles J.
In his remarks, Archbishop Chaput described the film as “a depiction loyal to biblical faith” as well as “an amazing picture.” According to Cardinal O’Malley, the film was “captivating, motivating, and profoundly affecting.” Archbishop Wenski feels that this video has the potential to “open a door into people’s hearts that might otherwise have been closed because of their fear of God, their wrath at God, or their indifference to God.” The depiction of “the way that religion is questioned in extremely complex situations” was appreciated by Bishop Olmstead, who also noted that “there is a clarity that shines through and a simplicity of faith that is really inspirational.” All of these men are respected members of the Church whose names are well-known among orthodox Catholics.
- Their approval is not likely to be granted for any theologically questionable or even heretical material.
- Jesus’ awareness, like so many other aspects of the Incarnation, is a mystery that we can only speculate about and cannot truly comprehend or grasp.
- Art may assist us in grappling with mystery in our imaginations, and in approaching it via the power of imagination.
- The Last Temptation of Christ is a book in which I discuss these and other themes in great detail.
- From the very beginning of his conception, Jesus was and continues to be both wholly divine and fully human.
- As a human being, Jesus performed human tasks with human hands, thought and behaved with human judgment, and loved with human compassion as he lived out his humanity to the fullest extent possible.
- In accordance with Gaudium et Spes22, CCC 470 (emphasis added), Jesus, like other human beings, possessed a finite, rather than an infinite, human mind and a finite amount of human knowledge.
- (Hebrews 5:8).
- Catholic doctrine rejects these errors outright.
Monothelitism, which teaches that Jesus has a divine will but not also a human will, and Apollinarianism, which teaches that Jesus had a human body but no human rational mind or soul; instead, the divine Word was “plugged in” where the human mind should have been, are two more nuanced versions of the error.
- The Church, in response to this misunderstanding, admitted that the eternal Son likewise adopted the form of a rational, human soul.
- As a result, this knowledge could not be considered limitless in and of itself because it was employed within the historical context of his existence in space and time.
- His voluntarily emptying of himself, assuming “the shape of a slave,” corresponds to the reality of his deliberate emptying of himself.
- In the words of St.
- In addition to demonstrating divine insight into the secrets of human hearts, the Son demonstrated divine penetration into the secrets of human hearts.
- What he acknowledged to not knowing in this region, he afterwards declared himself not sent to divulge in another section of the country.
According to theCatechism, he states unequivocally that he himself does not know the day or the hour of the return of the Son of Man in judgment on mankind (Mark 13:32).
(The last story is particularly noteworthy because it depicts a person being healed by Jesus’ power without his active knowledge or purpose — in other words, Jesus accomplishing a miracle by mistake.
Most surprisingly, despite his own repeated prophesies of his crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus appears to truly consider the idea that he may not have to suffer and die after all — that there may be another way — in the Garden of Gethesemane.
Without oversimplifying, we might claim that, like any other human being, Jesus’ human mind and awareness were linked up with the grey matter in his head — once there was grey matter in his skull to begin with.
Again, Jesus was, of course, always omniscient in his heavenly intellect.) As a one-celled zygote in the Blessed Virgin Mary’s reproductive tract, and for at least the first week or so of his existence as a multicellular blastocyst, he had no brain cells at all, and consequently no human awareness or knowledge in the sense that we understand and experience them today.
- During his embryonic development, he became aware of sounds ranging from the beating of his mother’s heart to the pitch of her voice and the voice of St.
- Our experiences have an impact on the way our brains function.
- This exposure prepared Jesus to think and express himself in certain ways.
- At that point in his development, his human brain was not yet fully matured enough to comprehend some concepts or think about them.
- Jesus had to learn how to walk, talk, think, pray, and so on, just like everyone else.
- Humanly speaking, there came a point in infant Jesus’ existence when he realized he was holding his own hand for the first time.
- Joseph was when he recognized his face for the first time.
There was a point in his life when he realized that humans are either male or female, and that he was male.
Theologians refer to them as his “filial consciousness” and “messianic consciousness,” respectively.
In his life, it was the first time that he was told about the Annunciation and the Nativity, as well as about the shepherds and the Magi.
Furthermore, there was a first occasion when Jesus recognized himself as the promised Messiah.
Theologians refer to them as his “filial consciousness” and “messianic consciousness,” respectively.
This, however, is opposed by Luke 2, which informs us that Jesus was already aware of God as “my Father” at the time of his discovery in the Temple, according to the text.
On the other hand, some have suggested that, despite the fact that he continued to work in obscurity as a carpenter or handyman for another 18 years or so until his encounter with John, and then embarked on a dramatic new chapter in his public life that culminated in his crucifixion, while Jesus exhibited “filial consciousness” as a child, it was not until his baptism in the Jordan that he manifested “messianic consciousness.” Even Jesus’ explanation to his parents following the discovery in the temple (“Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” or “about my Father’s business?”) appears to be somewhat undermined.
- It is true that there is nothing in the Bible to show that during the following 18 years he did anything out of the ordinary for a rural Galilean laborer, it is equally true that his quiet does not imply that he did nothing unusual.
- Most Catholics have more or less imagined Jesus working in his father’s carpentry shop year after year, fully aware that the time had not yet come for him to begin his public ministry, and, of course, there is nothing wrong with this picture in the slightest.
- Even as a child, Jesus recognized that he was God’s Son, but he didn’t understand everything, at least not in a human sense.
- Jesus appears before the Father in the person of the Son, on familiar terms.
- He is aware of him.
- Jn 1: 18).
- However, it is also true that his intelligence continues to expand.
- As a result, it becomes evident that he thought and learnt in the same way that we do.
The interplay between the two is something that we will never be able to fully comprehend. (128-129; Pope Benedict XVI, “Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives”; p. 127) There are three things, in my opinion, that we can affirm with certainty:
- Our family adores Sean Bean (Boromir! Woot! ), so we’ve been looking forward to The Young Messiah with bated breath since it was announced. This sounds like an extremely interesting interview with the director, which I read. Although I enjoyed the trailer, I have some reservations about how Jesus is depicted in the film. Even though you said not to watch the trailer, I did so prior to reading your article! How could Jesus be God and not be aware of who he is, to my mind, defies comprehension. I’ve talked to my aunt about the book, and she believes that Jesus performs miracles by chance, rather than on purpose. ‘This is heresy,’ she claims. In response to that, what would your thoughts be. For starters, I’d like to inform your aunt that The Young Messiahhas received a great deal of praise from people such as Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, and Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix. In his remarks, Archbishop Chaput described the film as “a portrait true to biblical faith” as well as “an exceptional motion picture.” This film, according to Cardinal O’Malley, is “captivating, inspiring, and profoundly moving.” “This film has the potential to open a door into people’s hearts that would otherwise have been closed because of their fear of God, their anger at God, or their indifference to God,” according to Archbishop Wenski. The depiction of “the way that faith is challenged in very complex situations” was praised by Bishop Olmstead, who also stated that “there is a clarity that shines through and a simplicity of faith that is just inspiring.” Among orthodox Catholics, these are all respected Church leaders whose names are well-known. Anything theologically suspect, let alone heretical, will not be approved by them under any circumstances. In The Young Messiah, as I discuss in greater detail in my review, there are numerous aspects that I enjoy, but one that stands out to me is the way it imagines Jesus’ consciousness at the age of seven. Jesus’ consciousness, like so many other aspects of the Incarnation, is a mystery that we can only speculate about and cannot comprehend completely. However, attempts to imagine Jesus’ experience must remain speculative unless we can say certain things about it and avoid certain obvious errors. Imaginative grappling with mystery, and approaching it through the faculty of imagination, can be aided by artistic expression. While artistic interpretations of Jesus may not accurately depict him as he truly was, even exploring different ideas about what he might have been like can be rewarding and enriching, so long as the results do not appear to be in direct conflict with important truths. (These are issues that I discuss in depth in my book, The Last Temptation of Christ.) The Eternal Word assumed human nature, according to our Catholic belief, in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus was and continues to be both fully divine and fully human from the moment of his conception. He always possesses the fullness of omniscience, even when he is in the fullness of his divinity. As a human being, Jesus performed human tasks with human hands, thought and acted with human judgment, and loved with human compassion in the fullness of his humanity. With his birth from the Virgin Mary, he has truly been adopted as one of us, sharing our characteristics with the exception of the ability to sin. In accordance with Gaudium et Spes22, CCC 470 (italics mine), According to the same laws that apply to all human beings, Jesus also had a finite mind and a finite amount of knowledge. “Jesus grew in wisdom” (Luke 2:52), and “he learned obedience,” according to the Bible (Hebrews 5:8). Several heretical errors depict Jesus’ humanity as a kind of “man suit,” in which the divine Word, as it were, dresses up as a human being without truly assuming human nature in all its fullness. Catholic teaching rejects these errors outright. It is believed that Jesus was fully divine but only appeared to be human in the fullest sense of the word, a belief known as Docetism. Monothelitism, which teaches that Jesus has a divine will but not also a human will, and Apollinarianism, which teaches that Jesus had a human body but no human rational mind or soul
- Instead, the divine Word was “plugged in” where the human mind should have been, are two more nuanced versions of the mistake. When it comes to the reality — and the limits — of Jesus’ human mind and human knowledge, the Catholic Church speaks out strongly against this error: As Apollinarius of Laodicaea put it, Christ was the divine Word, which had taken the place of the soul or the spirit in the old testament. The Church, in response to this error, confessed that the eternal Son also assumed the form of a rational, human being. Because the Son of God assumed the form of a human soul, this soul possesses genuine human knowledge. It was exercised within the historical contexts of his existence in both space and time, and as a result, it could not be considered limitless. The Son of God would be able to “grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” when he became a human being, and he would even be required to inquire for himself about what one can only learn through personal experience in the human condition. His voluntary emptying of himself, taking “the form of a slave,” corresponded to the reality of his voluntary emptying himself. This truly human knowledge of God’s Son, on the other hand, expressed the divine life that was present in his person. According to St. Augustine, “The human nature of God’s Son, not by itself but through its union with the Word, knew and revealed in itself everything that is related to God.” In the first place, this is true of the intimate and immediate knowledge of his Father that the Son of God made man has of him. In addition to demonstrating divine penetration into the secrets of human hearts, the Son demonstrated divine penetration into the secrets of human minds. The union of Christ’s human knowledge with divine wisdom, manifested in the person of the Word made flesh, enabled him to comprehend the fullness of the eternal plans that he had revealed. Despite the fact that he acknowledged to not knowing anything in this area, he declared himself not to be sent to divulge it. In the case of CCC 471–474, A surprising concept to some Christians who are accustomed to the Gospel tales of Jesus revealing supernatural knowledge in a variety of areas ranging from the secrets of people’s souls to predictions about the future (e.g., the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70). The Gospels, on the other hand, provide several instances in which we can see the limits of Jesus’ human comprehension. In fact, according to theCatechism, Jesus admits outright that he does not know the day or the hour of the Son of Man’s return in judgment (Mark 13:32). When he is touched in a throng, he appears to be taken aback (Matthew 8:10, Mark 6:6, Luke 7:9) and appears to have no idea who it is (Mark 5:31). This later story is noteworthy because it depicts a person being healed by Jesus’ power without his active awareness or aim – in other words, creating a miracle by accident, as the saying goes. While this did occur in the novel, it does not appear to do so in the film (at least not in a clear enough manner). As a one-celled zygote in the reproductive tract of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and for at least the first week or so of his existence as a multicellular blastocyst, he had no brain cells at all, and therefore no active human intellect, consciousness, or knowledge in the sense that we understand and experience them today. Most strange of all, despite his own repeated prophesies of his crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus appears to truly consider the idea that he may not have to suffer and die after all — that there may be another way — in the Garden of Gethesemane. A blog article cannot possibly discuss or explain all of the theological difficulties that exist, let alone settle them all in a single post. Without oversimplifying, we might claim that, like any other human being, Jesus’ human mind and awareness were linked up with the grey matter in his head — once there was grey matter in his skull to begin with. But this would be oversimplifying things. (An aside on theology: St. Thomas distinguishes between “acquired knowledge,” which he claims Christ gained through the senses and the “active intellect,” and “infused knowledge,” which he claims Christ obtained through the “passive intellect.”) Considering the current situation, I am only prepared to speak about previously acquired information as well as the activities of the active mind. Again, Jesus was, of course, always omniscient in his heavenly thought. The Blessed Virgin Mary’s reproductive tract contained a one-celled zygote, and for the first week or so of his existence as a multicellular blastocyst, he had no brain cells at all, and consequently no human awareness or knowledge in the sense that we understand and experience them today. During the process of developing his brain, he went through the same neuronal growth and formation that all of us go through when we are first becoming awake and aware of our surroundings. During his embryonic development, he became aware of sounds ranging from the beating of his mother’s heart to the pitch of her voice and the voice of St. Joseph
- Over time, he learned to recognize familiar voices and words and distinguish them from unfamiliar ones, even while still in the womb, and he eventually developed the ability to speak. Experiential learning has a profound impact on our brains. Having been exposed to the phonemes and rhythms of Aramaic and Hebrew shaped Jesus’ brain, long before he was humanly aware of what those sounds meant. This exposure prepared him to think and express himself in certain ways. The sleep that his human mind experienced was genuine. At that point in his development, his human brain was not yet fully matured enough to comprehend some concepts he didn’t yet understand. Because the human brain is limited in capacity, and the omniscience of divinity cannot be accommodated in a finite number of brain cells, there were things Jesus didn’t know while in his human awareness. Jesus had to learn how to walk, talk, think, pray, and so on, just like everyone else on this planet. If his development was more or less normal, he began to become humanly aware when others were paying attention to him around the age of six to nine months, and around the age of two or three, he began to be consciously aware in a human way of the mental states of others around the age of three or four (theory of mind). As far as we can tell, the infant Jesus recognized his own hand for the very first time when he was born. His first encounter with St. Joseph occurred when he recognized the face of the saint for the first time. When he realized that the familiar sound “Yeshua” was referring to him for the first time, it was a surreal experience. His initial realization that persons are classified as male or female, and that he himself was a man, occurred during this period. Neither Jesus’ human comprehension of these two things — his identity as the Son of God on the one hand and his mission to be Messiah on the other — occurred at the same moment. Theologians refer to them as his “filial consciousness” and his “messianic consciousness.” Also, I believe there was a first instance in which he was cognizant of the fact that he was distinct from other human beings, at least in a human sense. When he was a child, he was told stories about the Annunciation and the Nativity, and about the shepherds and the Magi. In that moment, he realized that God was his Father in a unique way, distinct from the ways in which God is the Father of all others. As well as his realization that he was the Messiah for the very first time, Neither Jesus’ human comprehension of these two things — his identity as the Son of God on the one hand and his mission to be Messiah on the other — occurred at the same moment. Theologians refer to them as his “filial consciousness” and his “messianic consciousness.” Because there is a clear connection in all four Gospels between Jesus beginning his public life and the ministry of John the Baptist, some Bible scholars and theologians have speculated that it was only at his baptism (when the voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”) that Jesus came to understand in a human way that he was the Son of God. As Luke 2 teaches us, Jesus was already aware of God as “my Father” when he was found in the Temple, a claim that is challenged by other sources. As a result of this, we might conclude that Jesus, even as a 12-year-old child, was well aware of his unique connection with God. Alternatively, based on the fact that he continued to work in relative obscurity as a carpenter or handyman for another 18 years or so until his encounter with John, and then embarked on a dramatic new chapter in his public life that culminated with his crucifixion, some have suggested that although Jesus exhibited “filial consciousness” as a child, it was not until his baptism in the Jordan that he manifested “messianic consciousness.” In fact, Jesus’ answer to his parents following the discovery at the temple (“Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” or “about my Father’s business?”) appears to be substantially weakened. And although it is true that there is nothing in scripture to suggest that during the following 18 years he did anything out of the norm for a rural Galilean worker, it is equally true that his silence does not imply that he did nothing out of the ordinary for anybody else. Aside from that, there is a clear distinction between displayingmessianic awareness and possessingit. In their minds, most Catholics have more or less envisioned Jesus toiling in his father’s carpenter shop year after year, well aware that the time had not yet come for him to begin his public ministry, and, of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this image. However, there is nothing in Scripture or Incarnational theology that renders it a heresy to speculate that things may have turned out differently in this instance. Even as a child, Jesus recognized that he was God’s Son, but he didn’t understand everything, at least not in a human sense, until later. According to Pope Benedict XVI, “On the one hand, the twelve-year-response old’s made it apparent that he was well acquainted with the Father—God.” His knowledge of God is unique
- It is based not only on the testimony of others, but also on his recognition of God inside himself. Jesus appears before the Father in the role of Son, and the two are on friendly terms. When he’s around, he’s alive. He is aware of his presence in the room. The only one who can reveal the Father is Jesus, according to Saint John, since he is the only one who has taken up residence in his heart (cf. Jn 1: 18). Exactly this is conveyed by the twelve-year-response: old’s he is with the Father, and he perceives everything and everyone in terms of the Father. But it is also true that his wisdom continues to develop. His knowledge, as a human person, does not exist in an abstract omniscience, but rather is based in a particular history, a specific location and time, and in the various stages of human life, and it is this that gives concrete form to his knowledge. As a result, it is apparent that he thought and learnt in the same way that we did. It becomes abundantly clear that Jesus is both a genuine man and a true God, in the sense that the Church’s faith describes him. Ultimately, we will be unable to characterize the interplay between the two factors. (128-129
- Pope Benedict XVI, “Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives,” p. 127). In my opinion, there are three things that we can assert with certainty:
The precise timing and manner in which Jesus came to the conscious human understanding of his own identity, which he did not possess at conception, is unclear in light of scripture teaching and established Catholic theology beyond those three fixed points. We can dispute and hypothesize about which picture is the finest or most likely to depict Jesus’ whole humanity, but there is opportunity to consider a variety of diverse options while pondering Jesus’ full humanity. The Incarnation, in particular, may be given considerable creative license (within the bounds of dogma) by storytellers who are contemplating the mystery of the Incarnation, allowing them to explore various images that might help us understand or think about what it might have been like for God to become man.
We’re not sure what he was thinking when he was seven years old.
Did Jesus Know He Was God? Revisited
Was Jesus aware that he was the Son of God? REVISITEDA nthony Zimmerman, S.V.D., is a forensic veterinarian. As a reaction, it was published in The Priest in September 1993. Charles DeCelles (The Priest / April ’93) challenges the notion that Jesus was unaware that He was God; yet, I find DeCelles’s praise to be feeble and inadequate. According to the Gospels, Christ generally operated in a way that revealed a complete understanding of His divine identity and authority. Without knowing that the Sea of Galilee belongs to Him, who would go for a walk along its shores?
- Peter attempted the same thing, but began to sink the instant his gaze was taken away from Christ.
- Keep your cool!” (1) What if He was completely unaware of heavenly power?
- He was well-versed on the subject.
- “I am not alone; rather, the Father is with me,” he stated emphatically.
- The Gospel of John, according to DeCelles, “Jesus admits that he does not know the exact time of the end of the world,” and this “acknowledgement of ignorance” is consistent with erroneous prophecies.
- The error must have been in our understanding rather than in Christ’s lack of knowledge.
- As a group, the apostles made the error of underestimating Christ at first, confining His lofty views to the confines of their limited worldly concerns.
Christ was not amused in the least.
And when Jesus saw what was happening, he said them “What are you talking about when you say you don’t have any bread?
Is it possible that your hearts have become hardened?
Do you have ears, yet you are unable to hear?
We believe that the apostles rowed the remainder of the way across the lake with their heads down, frightened of opening their tongues for fear of putting their foot back into the hole they had dug for themselves.
(5) They were well aware that Christ expected them to believe, and that He would not be patient with them if they failed to live up to His high standards of behavior.
It is more likely that we are the ones who are ignorant than that He is.
At the end of the conversation, they would add, without hesitation, “Now we know you know everything.” (6)An excellent communicator Before we look at the chapter in which Christ talked about “ignorance” of the Day of Judgment, it’s important to remember that He was a master communicator who was not beyond utilizing mental reservations, for example.
- (8)If we accept this as meaning that the Son of God, in His divine essence, was unaware of something that the Father is aware of, we label Christ a heretic in the same way that Arius was.
- In the universe, God’s knowledge is God’s essence.
- As a result, the Son of God, in His divine essence, knows the exact hour of the Last Judgment, just as the Father and the Holy Spirit know it.
- This is something Thomas looks into.
“”However, this will not stand,” Thomas responds, “since, as John 1:3 states, all things were created by the Word of God, and among all other things, all times were created by Him.” He is no longer oblivious of everything that He has created in the past.” (9) Thomas goes on to explain that Christ made a mental reservation in this instance; He was fully aware of the Day’s events, but chose not to reveal them: “He is said, therefore, not to know the day and the hour of the Judgement, for that He does not make it known, because, when asked by the apostles(10), He was unwilling to reveal it,” Thomas explains further.
Consequently, by saying “only the Father,” we are given to understand that the Son knows, not only in the Divine Nature, but also in the human, because, as Chrysostom argues, it is given to Christ as man to know how to judge112which is greater12much more is it given to Him in the human to know the less, namely the time of judgment (loc.cit.).
- First and foremost, Christ experienced the beatific vision from the moment of His Incarnation.
- This is a direct knowledge of the Divine Essence that does not require the use of an intermediary species or image: “the divine essence itself is joined to the beatified mind as an intelligible to an intelligent person,” as the saying goes.
- Christ “knowing all things that God knows in himself by the knowledge of vision, but he did not know all that God knows by the knowledge of plain intelligence,” as the saying goes.
- Christ, on the other hand, was aware of the things that relate to His dignity: “Now, insofar as all things are subject to Christ and His dignity, all things in some way or another belong to Him and His dignity.
- Second, Christ had instilled wisdom in his followers.
- (17) Because this knowledge was habitual, Christ could employ it whenever He wished.
- The possibility of speculation on the boundaries of Christ’s human “awareness” is provided in this section.
Aspects of spiritual reality that we see are transient, like the wind, and come and go without our being aware of where they came from or where they are going.
Even while we get spiritual instruction from the Holy Spirit, the delicate things of the spirit are beyond the grasp of our brain, which is unable to catch them with our five senses.
We understand the meaning of a notion, but we are constantly on the lookout for the most appropriate term to describe what we mean.
Only a fleeting awareness of what’s going on We are acutely aware of the words, but only a hazy understanding of the underlying concept.
(21) Due to His comprehensor and wayfarer roles, Christ was able to comprehend and experience spiritual realities in their entirety during His human life on earth.
However, Christ’s 13 billion nerve cells in the brain had a finite carrying capacity, could only store a limited number of “bytes” of distinct and conscious information at a time, and could only show pictures of a limited number of knowledge bits at the same time.
We may also speculate that His human brain would not be up to the task of executing all of the procedures required to bring a body back to life, as we might expect (Naim, daughter of Jairus, Lazarus).
In the end, it’s possible that Christ did not find it necessary to cram into His short-term memory, which was supported by the neurological circuits, pathways, and automatisms of the 12 billion brain cells, the myriads of sense images required to display the conditions that would eventually trigger the Day of Judgment.
- Nonetheless, it is possible that He did not have the Day itself displayed on sense images.
- To display the knowledge on a sensory screen, which He already had access to through spiritual vision and infused wisdom, there was no need to overburden His brain circuits with more information.
- In order to make facts that He already knew more palpable for “conscious” human consciousness, He could project truths that He already knew through vision and infused knowledge onto the neurological circuits of the brain, when He wished.
- Possibly He didn’t see the point in activating His human neurological potential in order to conjure up a sense-image on which He could base His understanding of the Day of Judgment.
- If He didn’t know what He was saying with His human brain, He wouldn’t put it into verbal signals; if He didn’t put it into verbal signals because it didn’t come from His previously formed cerebral concepts, He wouldn’t do it.
- Not only did His speech organs not respond to manipulations operated by disembodied knowledge of His vision and infused knowledge, but they were also not those of a robot.
- He did not speak about things that he did not truly understand with his brain as well.
- Because of this, he was able to speak honestly from what he knew in a humane manner.
This involved not only the hundreds of muscles in the chest, throat, and lips, but also the areas of the brain that are specifically involved in cognition, such as Broca’s area, Wernicke’s area, the prefrontal cortex, and the motor association areas, as well as the auditory checking processes that took place while the speech was being produced.
As soon as He spoke, “I AM,” He was speaking with human consciousness on behalf of the Person WHO IS.
They all worked together as a team.
Christ’s beatific vision, His infuse of knowledge, and His cerebral electro-chemical processes all worked together to provide Him with the unique certitude and awareness that He is, in fact, the I AM (I am that which I am).
The Gospel, I believe, is best understood when we recognize that Christ allowed His human brain to keep Him constantly aware of His divine Personhood, to project on the screen of consciousness a palpable and sensible awareness of His divine Sonship, and that He allowed His human brain to do so.
It belonged to the totality of Christ’s mission to come to understand, not only with human knowledge, but also with sense detectable pictures, that He is, in fact, the I AM.
The authority of the ONE and ONLY Teacher, who knows where He came from and where He is going, was evident in his words.
The conclusion is that it is not true that Christ made mistakes or was incompetent in any way.
Footnotes1 Mk 4:39.2 in 17:24.
Three times in 16:32.4 seconds, Mk 8:16-18.5 seconds in 21:12.
7 in 7:8; 11.8 Mk 13:32; 7 in 7:8 In 3:8.21 Cf.
in 3:14.22 ST III, 10,2.13 in Matt.12 ST III, 10,2.13 in Matt.12 ST III, 10,2.13 in Matt.12 ST III, 10,2.13 in Matt.12 ST III, 10,3.14 in Matt.12 ST III, 10,3.14 in Matt.12 ST III, 10,3.14 in Matt.12 ST III, 10, Anthony Zimmerman was a copyright in 1993.
Father Zimmerman writes for The Priest from his home in Nagoya, Japan, and is a regular contributor to the publication. You can read more of Fr. Zimmerman’s writings atCopyright – 1 2 2001 EWTN All Rights Reserved