An interesting imagination excercise....you are a Pharisee.....

Imagine that you are a Pharisee.

You are on the way to meet and encounter, face to face a man claiming to be the Messiah (this happens to be Jesus) but you are very very skeptical of His claims and decide to test Him.

While walking to the meeting place you decide that you will test Him by asking Him to perform a miracle (walking on water, for example), and to answer a few deeply theological questions.

What would convince you more of His Truth?

  1. He performs the miracle and convincingly answers your questions to your satisfaction. On numerous occasions this was repeated.

OR

  1. You are so overtaken with the splendour of His being that you forget all about asking any questions or requesting any miracles, for they are insignificant to what you manifestly see before your eyes, in awe. Every time you meet Him, the same intent for miracles etc is on your mind, but each and every time, you cannot come round to make the request.

As an add on, what else would you do?

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Mmmm,

The thing is, they knew he did miracles. They saw it.

And it didnt’ matter. The miraculous was not the issue.

For them, it was His claim that He was the Son of God, that He was King of the Jews: IE blasphamey.

I have a hard time answering your question because I get the sense you have romanced His presence in this life.

In His appearance, he didnt look any different than anyone else. There was no “splendor”

:shrug:

I think no.2 because St Peter ‘recognised’ Jesus via the gift of the Holy Spirit. The spirit is stronger than the body, & so if God wants to reveal Himself, He will, without the need for a change in physics.

Its like:.why does one person look at the world, the sky, the trees, the birds etc & see very clearly the Spirit of God as very near; & yet another will look at these same things & ‘see’ only trees, sky, water etc.

You ‘see’ God with your heart & your soul.

For me, I would be more convinced by the repeated miracles and answers to questions.

The ‘being overtaken by his splendour’ suggests that my faculties of reason and discernment were seriously compromised and I should not rely on anything I decided whilst in such an impaired mental state.

The miracles wouldn’t really convince me either. They’re parlor tricks that could be accomplished by a sufficiently advanced technology.

What would really convince me is an explanation of how he created the universe that I can understand. If he could put the pieces together, for me, of how he fits into the birth of the cosmos, I might be more inclined to believe that he’s what the religious refer to as a God.

It would also help my belief if he could convince cosmologists and those who study the universe’s origins as well. I realize we’re not talking about the present age in this scenario but I figured Id throw that in too.

Thankyou for your thoughts Marie :slight_smile:

Imagine you were one of them, how would you respond?
I think by “splendour” I’m talking about putting together all the love in the universe and seeing it in one man. Jesus was that right?
Putting together all the humility of the earth and seeing it all in one man. Jesus was that right?
If you see that as a Pharisee, and forget all about the “tests” you were going to give Him, would that be the more powerful miracle?

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What a beautiful answer thankyou Joy

You are a joy!!

:slight_smile:

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But what if all your faculties were abandoned every single time you wanted to test Him? Every single time.

Would that be convincing? Or no?

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If someone has access to such advanced technology, is it not a sufficient proof for you?

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Neither appearance nor miracles are the issue. In Deuteronomy, Moses warns against placing one’s trust in performers of miracles who wish to convince the Jewish people to follow a god that is alien to them. For my part, therefore, I would ask Jesus a few questions, in particular whether He claims to be BOTH the Jewish Messiah and G-d and whether the Messiah was prophesied to be G-d. I would want to hear His response in Person, not indirectly through His Disciples or, later, through the Church. If He claims He is G-d, I would ask Him whether G-d is Binitarian or Trinitarian? I would also ask Him what He will do to make the Jewish people believe He is the Messiah: for example, will He bring peace to the nations in my lifetime, will He restore the Temple after its destruction, will He fulfill the Torah Law, abolish the Law, establish a New Covenant, or study and practice the Torah in greater depth and detail? Finally, I would ask Him to clarify some of the Prophets’ writings, for example, those of Isaiah.

Wouldn’t that be God removing our free will? We would have no choice but to see that Jesus was God. Jesus called the disciples but I don’t believe they knew without a doubt who he was right away. They were convinced of it over time. Remember when Jesus asked Peter “who do you say that I am”? They had to come to believe on their own, not because they were overwhelmed by seeing “all the humility of the earth” in Jesus.

If I was a Pharisee, I imagine it would be something similar – a coming to know rather than a sudden knowing (maybe because I am by nature skeptical). As someone else said, the Pharisees saw the miracles Jesus performed but were unimpressed. Someone’s overwhelming personality would be likewise suspect – con men are charismatic too. No one was ever conned by someone they didn’t initially like and trust.

Wouldn’t that be God removing our free will? We would have no choice but to see that Jesus was God. When Jesus called the disciples I don’t believe they knew without a doubt who he was right away. They were convinced of it over time. Remember when Jesus asked Peter “who do you say that I am”? They had to come to believe on their own, not because they were “overtaken with the splendour of His being”

If I was a Pharisee, I imagine it would be something similar – a coming to know rather than a sudden knowing (maybe because I am by nature skeptical). As someone else said, the Pharisees saw the miracles Jesus performed but were unimpressed. Someone’s overwhelming personality would be likewise suspect – con men are charismatic too. No one was ever conned by someone they didn’t initially like and trust.

Jesus was fully God and fully man.

If you met Jesus on the road, would there have been anything in His outward appearance to suggest to you that He was God? Did He look like God, smell like God, sound like God? Could you have cut him open and found anything to suggest that He was anything but a man?

Similarly, when we receive the Eucharist, is there anything in its outward appearance to suggest that it is the body, blood, soul or divinity of Christ? It looks like bread, tastes like bread, breaks like bread. When you cut it open and analyze it, is there anything to suggest that it is anything but bread?

But He is God and really and truly present in the Eucharist.

Is it proof that the owner of that technology is a god? That depends what you define as a god.

If God is something that has the ability to walk on water, then walking on water is sufficient to show this. In this case God could be some alien with anti gravity boots (or sandals in this case).

But most christians and Catholics would say that God is the creator of the universe. To demonstrate that claim, Jesus would have to sufficiently explain how he created the universe, not only me but those who study such things.

Walking on water, raising the dead, turning water to wine, etc. doesn’t equal “all power creator of the universe”.

Yes, I agree with you, provided any of us, including experts, would be able to understand answers to questions such as this.

I think I’d be so overwhelmed by His splendor that I would forget any questions I wanted to ask Him. I think just meeting Him would be enough for me. But what do I know?

You make valid points dear friend, however, wasn’t St.Paul an example of many throughout human history who have a sudden and very dramatic and overwhelming conversion encounter with Jesus?

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I don’t know what God looks like. As a Pharisee, how would I know?

I do recognize however, that the way a sinless man acts and behaves will have a stirring and “self-forgetting” impact on my soul and heart.

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You know plenty :slight_smile:

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True, but God had a special mission for Paul. That doesn’t happen to everyone, just a select few.

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