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?
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 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 realize He was the Son of God, or did He always feel that way?
It is true that the Bible does not include many details about Jesus’ childhood–but even the brief view we do get of him as a child indicates that He was already conscious of His unique position as God’s Son, sent from heaven to pay for our sins. Jesus was 12 years old at the time of the occurrence. 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 religious people who, according to tradition, made the lengthy 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?
When did Jesus know that He was God?
The first thing we need to establish is that Jesus was, is, and always will be God. After that, we may proceed. As a member of God’s triune Godhead, which consists of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, Jesus is regarded as a divine being. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever,” according to Hebrews 13:8, and he is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Jesus was there throughout the creation of time, physics, and everything else in the cosmos (John 1:1-2).
When Jesus became a human person (also known as the “incarnation”) by being born of a young virgin woman named Mary (Matthew 1:18), He freely accepted certain bodily, intellectual, and social constraints that were placed on Him by the Father (1 John 1:14).
In the following way, the apostle Paul characterized Jesus: “Although he existed in the form of God, Christ Jesus did not see equality with God as something to be grasped, but humbled himself by taking the form of a servant and being born in the image of mankind.
Moreover, having been discovered in human form, he humbled himself by becoming submissive to the point of death, even death on a cross, for the sake of the gospel ” (Philippians 2:5-8).
Jesus’ Childhood Years
Because Jesus’ childhood is not extensively documented in the Bible, it is difficult to pinpoint the precise moment when He “realized” that He was God. However, we do have a photograph of Him when He was twelve years old. Every year, Joseph and Mary brought their little son Jesus to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival, as they had done since he was a child. When they returned from the celebration, they spent the next day traveling with their friends and family on their way back home before realizing that Jesus was not in their company.
When Mary inquired as to why He had vanished and caused her concern, Jesus said, “Why were you looking for me?
In Luke 2:41-52, you may read the entire tale.
Jesus’ Ministry Years
As an adult, Jesus was unquestionably aware of who He was, as evidenced by allusions to His identity found in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. “Now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world started,” Jesus prays in John 17:5, according to the Scriptures. In another narrative, the high priest of the Sanhedrin confronts Jesus and says, “Tell us whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God,” which Jesus responds affirmatively. When faced with death as a result of blasphemy, Jesus utters the following words: “You’ve stated your case.
(See Matthew 26:57-68 for further information.) The subject of when exactly Jesus recognized He was the Son of God is a fascinating one, and the Bible does not provide a definitive solution to this question.
We may be confident that Jesus was not taken by surprise when “the Holy Spirit descended on him in physical form, like a dove; and a voice from heaven said, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well delighted'” (Luke 3:22) after he was baptized.
- What is the identity of Jesus Christ? What was Jesus’ physical appearance like
- What evidence do you have that Jesus rose from the dead?
Jesus is an eternal being who chose to manifest himself in physical form as a restricted human being in order to assist everyone who believe in Him (John 1:1-2; John 3:16). To “grow up,” he had to go through the same process as any other human being, gaining information through time and maturing spiritually as he went (Luke 2:52). Because Jesus’ infancy is not extensively documented in the Bible, it is difficult to determine exactly when He “realized” that He had always been God.
We do know that when Jesus was twelve years old, he became aware that he was the Son of God (Luke 2:41-52). As an adult, Jesus was fully conscious of who He was and prepared to carry out the mission He had been given on earth.
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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 such, this knowledge could not in itself be unlimited: it was exercised in the historical conditions of his existence in space and time.
- This linked to the actuality of his voluntary emptying of himself, assuming “the form of a slave”.
- “The human character of God’s Son, not by itself but by its relationship with the Word, knew and showed forth in itself all that belonged to God.“ Such is first of all the case with the close and direct knowledge that the Son of God made man has of his Father.
- By its union to the divine wisdom in the person of the Word incarnate, Christ enjoyed in his human knowledge the fullness of understanding of the eternal plans he had come to reveal.
- (CCC 471–474) The idea of Christ’s knowledge being limited is startling to some believers who are used to the Gospel accounts of Jesus manifesting divine knowledge, from the secrets of people’s souls to prophecies about the future (e.g., the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D.
- (e.g., the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D.
- On the other hand, even in the Gospels there are occasions when we glimpse the limits of Jesus’ human knowledge.
- (Mark 13:32).
- (Mark 5:31).
This does happen in the book, by the way, but not in the film, at least not clearly.) 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, human consciousness, or human knowledge as we understand and experience them.
There are complex theological mysteries here, and it’s not possible in a blog post even to address them all, let alone to resolve them.
(Theology note: St.
Again, in his divine mind Jesus was of course always omniscient.) 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 human consciousness or human knowledge as we understand and experience them.
- At some point as an embryo he began to be aware of sounds, from the beating of his mother’s heart to the pitch of her voice and that of St.
- Our brains are shaped by our experiences.
- When he slept, his human mind really slept.
- There were things Jesusneverknew in his human consciousness; the human brain is not infinite in capacity, and the omniscience of divinity cannot crowd into a finite set of brain cells.
If his development was more or less normal, around the time he was six to nine months old he started to become humanly aware when others were paying attention to him, and around the time he was two or three he started to be consciously aware in a human way of the mental states of others (theory of mind) (theory of mind).
- There was a first time he recognized the face of St.
- There was a first time that he understood that that familiar sound “Yeshua” referred to him.
- Jesus’ human understanding of these two things — his identity as Son of God on the one hand and Messiah on the other; what theologians call his “filial consciousness” and “messianic consciousness” — did not necessarily come to him at the same time.
- There was a first time that he heard the story of the Annunciation and the Nativity, of the shepherds and the Magi.
- And there was a first time that he understood that he was the Messiah.
Some Bible scholars and theologians, noting the clear connection in all four Gospels of Jesus beginning his public life in connection with the ministry of John the Baptist, have speculated that perhaps it was only at the revelation at his baptism (when the voice came from heaven, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”) that Jesus clearly understood in a human way that he was the Son of God.
- However, this is contradicted by Luke 2, which tells us that already at the finding in the Temple Jesus was aware of God as “my Father.” From this we can say that Jesus was clearly already aware of his special relationship with God the Father as a 12-year-old youth.
- And while it’s true that there’s nothing in scripture to suggest that for the next 18 years he did anything out of the ordinary for a rural Galilean laborer, it’s also true that that silence doesn’t mean hedidn’tdo anything out of the ordinary either.
- Most Catholics have more or less imagined Jesus working in his father’s carpentry shop year after year in full awareness that the time for him to begin his public work had not yet arrived, and of course there’s nothing in the world wrong with this picture.
- Even as a boy Jesus knew he was God’s Son, but he didn’t know everything, humanly speaking.
- Only he knows God, not merely through the testimony of men, but he recognizes him in himself.
- He lives in his presence.
- As Saint John explains, Jesus is the only one who can be found resting in the Father’s heart and, as a result, is able to reveal him to others (cf.
- In his response, the twelve-year-old makes it obvious that he is with the Father and that he sees everything and everyone through the lens of the Father.
- As a human person, he does not exist in a state of abstract omniscience, but rather is anchored in a particular past, a specific place and time, and in the many stages of human life, and it is this that gives tangible structure to his understanding.
- It becomes abundantly clear that he is both a genuine man and a true God, in the sense that the Church’s faith expresses it.
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:
- As far as we know, Jesus did not have conscious awareness or acquired knowledge in the sense that we understand them at the beginning of his earthly life, since his brain had not yet matured sufficiently to support consciousness and mental processes. It appears that Jesus demonstrated a sense of his divine Sonship (filial consciousness) at the very least by the discovery in the Temple. At the very least, Jesus’ understanding of his messianic purpose (messianic consciousness) was plainly demonstrated during his immersion in the Jordan River.
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.
Jesus, Did You Know?
The precise timing and manner in which Jesus came to the conscious human awareness of his own identity, which he did not possess at conception, remains unclear in light of scripture teaching and established Catholic theology beyond those three fixed points, however. Despite the fact that we can dispute and hypothesize about which picture is the greatest or most plausible, there is still opportunity to consider a variety of alternatives while examining Jesus’ whole 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 could have been like for God to become man.
As a seven-year-old, we have no idea what he was thinking.
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? Did he have any idea what it was like to grow up in fifth-century Britain, having spent his childhood in first-century Israel? 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.
Did Jesus Know Who He Was When He Was a Child?
This week’s question: Did Jesus know who he was when he was growing up as a child? Yes, that is my response. When he was twelve years old, he was unquestionably aware of his own identity. Luke 2:39–52tells the story of Jesus’ family celebrating the Passover when he was twelve years old, during the time of Jesus’ death. While in Jerusalem, Jesus’ parents lost contact with him, and they spent the next three days searching for him across the whole city. They eventually tracked down Jesus in the temple, where he was asking questions of the top rabbis.
When Mary came to see Elizabeth while she was pregnant with Jesus and Elizabeth was pregnant with John the Baptist, Elizabeth shouted that the fetus in her womb had leaped for pleasure because Jesus was so close.
In light of the fact that John the Baptist and Jesus knew each other’s identities while they were both still in the prenatal condition, it follows that Jesus knew his own identity even before leaving the womb of Mary.
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 just a hazy understanding of the underlying notion.
(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 portrayed on sense pictures.
- To display the knowledge on a sense screen, which He already had access to through spiritual vision and infused knowledge, there was no need to overburden His neurological circuits with additional information.
- In order to make truths that He already knew more palpable for “conscious” human awareness, He could project truths that He already knew through vision and infused knowledge onto the neurological circuits of the brain, when He desired.
- Possibly He didn’t see the need in using His human neurological capability in order to conjure up a sense-image on which He might 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 topics that he did not truly understand with his intellect as well.
- Because of this, he was able to speak honestly from what he knew in a kind 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.
In other words, Christ’s beatific vision, His infused knowledge, and His cerebral electro-chemical processes worked in harmony to give Him that unique certitude and understanding that He is, indeed, the I AM.
The Gospel, I believe, is best understood when we see that Christ permitted His human brain to keep Him always aware of His divine Personhood, to project on the screen of consciousness a tactile and perceptible awareness of His divine Sonship, and that He allowed His human brain to do so.
It belonged to the fullness of Christ’s mission to come to understand, not only with human awareness, but also with sense perceptible images, 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.
6 in 16:30.
in 4:14.22 Lk 7:14.23 Lk 19:29-30 ST III, 11,2.20 Cf.
Father Zimmerman writes from Nagoya, Japan, and is a frequent writer toThe Priest. You may read more of Fr. Zimmerman’s works atCopyright – 1 2 2001 EWTN All Rights Reserved