7-Minute Parish Catechesis – Lesson 9 (Jesus’ Divinity and Humanity)

Every Sunday, in the Nicene Creed, we profess, “I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father … and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man.

The Nicene Creed was developed at the Councils of Nicaea (325) and Constantinople (381) in response to Christological heresies that were spreading across Christendom. 

The Catholic Church has consistently taught that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man without confusion of the two natures.  The Son of God assumed a human nature (body and soul) at his Incarnation 2000 years ago.  Thus, Jesus Christ is one divine Person with divine and human natures. 

Jesus has a divine intellect and will and a human intellect and will.  His divine intellect and will maintain their omniscience and omnipotence, while the human intellect and will had to learn and do the things humans do but without sin.

Hebrews 2:17 and 4:15 tells us that Jesus became like us in every way but sin. 

Phil 2:5-8 – “Have this mind [of humility] among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.”

Jesus’ Divinity

John 1:1-3 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Vs. 18 – No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.

John 14:6-11 – Jesus said to [Philip], “If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him.”  Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.” 

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me. (Perichoresis: mutual indwelling.)

Jesus’ Humanity

John 1:14 – And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

Luke 2:52 – And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature…

Luke 22:42 – “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.”

Also, Jesus wept, drove out the money changers (righteous anger), was thirsty on the cross, and marveled at the centurion’s faith.  These are human emotions.

What does all this mean for us?  “Jesus had to be human so that he could make atonement for the sins of the human race.  He had to be God so that the atonement would have infinite value, and thus make reparation to an infinite God” (Beginning Apologetics, 2007).

For more on this topic, see Catechism paragraphs 456-483.