Does Jesus Have Something the Father Doesn't?

Greetings everyone!

I’m interested in receiving a response from Catholics and Protestants alike. Essentially, my question is this:

Jesus Christ has a resurrected and glorified physical body. Heavenly Father does not. Therefore, Jesus Christ has something that the Father does not have.

How do you reconcile this with traditional Trinitarianism?

To explain a bit of my purpose. I’m a member of the LDS church. I do not believe in the traditional concept of the Trinity. I believe I have a fairly good understanding of it, however. But, I also know that my understanding is likely very limited relative to a practicing Catholic or Protestant to whom the Trinity is doctrine and truth. So, based on my limited knowledge, I have been unable to reconcile the Trinity with the idea that Jesus has a resurrected physical body and God the Father does not. I am curious to know how others approach this topic. I am not intending to refute the teaching of the Trinity or defend any other concept of God. Therefore, my reponses here will be largely limited to getting further clarification and so forth. I, personally, am not interested in debating how God should be understood. I simply want to understand a perspective that I currently do not. I thank you in advance for any responses.

Kind Regards,

The triune God of the Bible is one God in three Persons: Father, Son & Holy Spirit. The Person of the Son took on humanity. Why do you think His taking on humanity through birth needs to be reconciled with traditional Trinitainism? The Father, Son and Holy Spirit aren’t identical Triplets.

I posted this elsewhere, but it’s relevant, so I’ll post it here as well :slight_smile: It’s a quote from Saint John Damascene

We hold, moreover, that Christ sits in the body at the right hand of God the Father, but we do not hold that the right hand of the Father is actual place. For how could He that is uncircumscribed have a right hand limited by place? Right hands and left hands belong to what is circumscribed. But we understand the right hand of the Father to be the glory and honor of the Godhead in which the Son of God, who existed as God before the ages, and is of like essence to the Father, and in the end became flesh, has a seat in the body, His flesh sharing in the glory. For He along with His flesh is adored with one adoration by all creation. An Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book IV, Chapter 2]

One cannot cut God into three pieces-He is One. Jesus, Our Father and the Holy Spirit
are united perfectly with and in each other and the problem is that we are unable to understand this but imperfectly. Where One is, All are-

Personally, I find peace in acknowledging that I cannot fully fathom this.

Jesus’ physical body was born of a human mother, Mary-conceived in an extraordinary way.

If you ask God to help you understand, He will enlighten you-

Good evening moondweller! Thank you for your response. :slight_smile:

To me, this seems to contradict the Trinitarian view of God’s simplicity, infinity, and unicity. For example, the body of Jesus is perfect and glorified. It is perfectly good. Indeed, the body of Jesus must be infinitely good (or does Trinitarianism accept that God has a quality that is limited in someway?). Because the Father does not have a body, Jesus therefore has a good quality that the Father does not, therefore the Father is lacking something good.

Again, the example given is based on my understanding of this subject matter. It may very well be that there is nothing to reconcile because I’m simply misunderstanding something.

Kind Regards,

The Trinity needs to be understood this way: where one Person is present, the other two are acting with Him, because all three Persons are part of the one Being of God united by a common Essence. When the Holy Spirit was sent at Pentecost, it was sent by the Father through our Blessed Lord - all three Persons acting at once even though only one is mentioned.

Now, as Saint John Damascene explained, Christ being “at the right hand” does not mean Christ is literally beside the Father, but that He is partaking in the Father’s glory equally. Likewise, Christ’s flesh - ergo our flesh - is partaking in that glory.

When I say “our flesh,” I refer to the state of mankind’s flesh before and after the new covenant. We were made the icon of God, yet we were tarnished after our sin and fell. When Christ died and was resurrected, He did so in a spiritually glorified body, and allowed us the ability to conquer that sinful flesh and to become partakers of the divine nature once again. We don’t become individual gods, but God works through us and with us as He did in the Garden.

I say this to try to give some clarity on the role between the Father and Son and the Incarnation. Christ became man, Saint Athanasius said, so that man might become God - not God by nature but by imitation. This is also where we receive the teaching of theosis, a state of being where someone becomes so full of righteousness that they are said to shine from the face as bright as the sun (very similar to Moses coming down from Mt. Sinai).

In short, Christ took flesh to glorify us and return us to the bosom of the Father, and the Father works through us thanks to this glorification.

Jesus is God who became Man. He is God Incarnate. God lowered Himself to us, to be one of us, to live among us and show us the Way.

Jesus is fully human and fully divine. He lost nothing of His divinity in order to become Man.

Good evening Jimdandy! It is a pleasure to meet you. :slight_smile:

Thank you for sharing your testimony of God. I certainly can appreciate your advice to ask God for wisdom that I lack. It is good advice. My prayers have lead me to a different understanding of God. So, on a spiritual level, I understand God differently. But, even though I understand God differently, I would still like to understand the Trinity, to the extend possible, on a purely intellectual level (or perhaps you were suggesting that understanding the Trinity on a purely intellectual level isn’t possible?).

Kind Regards,

Finrock, the “good quality”, as you say, of the Lord’s human nature and physical body, are God’s creation, so as created goods they do not add anything to the goodness of God or take away anything from the Father’s goodness and thus not from the Most Holy Trinity as a whole. The Incarnation brings the fulfillment of the created goodness home, first in the Man Jesus and His Resurrection and Ascension, and, second, in all those joined to Him by grace.

I’ll follow Byzantine’s lead and offer this from the same earlier thread:

Good evening RebeccaJ! Glad to see you today. :slight_smile:

I do understand that Jesus is God. I also believe that Jesus is God. From what I understand of the Trinity, God the Father and God the Son are seperate persons, is that not correct? What I understand is that Catholics believe that Jesus took on a mortal body but not the Father. Have I understood that correctly?

Kind Regards,

Good evening Byzantine Wolf! Thanks for your responses so far. :slight_smile:

Are you suggesting that God the Father then somehow enjoys the qualities of having a physical body by proxy, or did I totally misunderstand your point?

Kind Regards,

What do you mean “enjoys”? Do you mean he partakes in a flesh-like nature, or that He has the human nature and will that Christ has? My use of the word “flesh” may be too confusing - human nature may be more appropriate in this regard.

The Christian belief in the deity of Christ and His human nature is that, by dying and resurrecting that human nature, Christ allows us to be resurrected as well. We are reunited to the Father by Christ. The Father glorifies our human nature through Christ, thanks to the sacrifice on the cross and the Resurrection.

The Father does not take up a human nature as well, but we are reunited through Christ to the Father, as we were in the Garden before the Fall. We partake in God’s divine nature in this manner. The Father, however, does not embrace a human nature - that was the role of the Son, who was sent by the Father.

Another way I could ask the question is were you saying that because in the Trinity where ever one is present, the others are present as well and they share the same essence, it is as if the Father has a body because the Son has a body?

Kind Regards,

Essence or substance refers to their unification within the Being of God - remember that “Trinity” means “Unity in Three.” Christ is of the same substance as the Father (or homoousios in the original Greek), rather than what some heresies such as Arius taught, which was that Christ was of a different substance than the Father (heteroousios).

However, this doesn’t mean the Father has a body because the Son has a body. The point of the Incarnation was that Christ entered into our human nature to purify it and bring us back to the Father. Christ, the Son, humbled Himself to do this, and it was only He who took a human body while never ceasing to be deity. The Father did not take a body - in fact, the beginning of John’s gospel clearly states no one has seen the Father except the Son.

When I say we become partakers of the divine nature by Christ’s glorification with the Father, this pertains only to the status of our human nature within the Trinity. Christ is the Mediator of the new covenant, through which we are glorified. Only Christ has a human body, not the Father. The Father uses Christ’s body, however, to glorify our own through our keeping with His commandments and our belief in the deity of Christ. That’s how the Trinity works within the Being of God.

Good evening FCEGM! It is a pleasure to meet you. :slight_smile:

Thanks for your response. Thank you also for your link. The preliminary reading I did was helpful, however I want to re-read and think about more thoroughly what you’ve written to make sure I am understanding you correctly. I’ll then give you a response, either letting you know what I think I understand or ask for further clarification (this may not happen tonight, btw ;)).

Kind Regards,

But, even though I understand God differently, I would still like to understand the Trinity, to the extend possible, on a purely intellectual level (or perhaps you were suggesting that understanding the Trinity on a purely intellectual level isn’t possible?).

Kind Regards,

I simply mean that God reveals Himself -talk with Him and He will enlighten you.
Read the Gospel of John and then listen for God’s response.

I would suggest that you visit a Catholic Church and sit quietly there in the Presence of God-even if you do not believe He is there.

.you are in my prayers +

Mormonism teaches this in a form of understanding that is foreign to catholics (and all of Christianity). I can’t say what your understanding is, but I suspect it is neither Mormon or Catholic.

From what I understand of the Trinity, God the Father and God the Son are seperate persons, is that not correct? What I understand is that Catholics believe that Jesus took on a mortal body but not the Father. Have I understood that correctly?

Kind Regards,

This is correct. It is important to understand that the Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Father. If you remember from the Gospel of St. John, Jesus asks, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me?” and “If you know the Son then you know the Father.” Something to contemplate when thinking and praying to and about the Trinity.

Maybe this portion of the Athanasian Creed explains.

Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe faithfully the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man of the substance of His mother, born in the world; Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood; Who, although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but one Christ: One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking the manhood into God; One altogether; not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead; He ascended into heaven; He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty; from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give an account of their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire.


Yeah, a mother.:smiley:

What you have here is the mystery of the Trinity and the mystery of the incarnation. “Mystery” in that they’re both divinely revealed via the theopneustos Scriptures, but neither can be fully understood by us.

The incarnation of the Son neither contradicts, distorts or adds to the infinite, divine attributes shared by all three Persons of the Godhead. The Son didn’t take on a divine body, but a fully human body with all its finite, human limitations. For instance, like any human body it can be in only one place at one time. Nor can it be at the same time in a humble state and a glorified state (something Catholics need to consider regarding their “Eucharist”).

Through the incarnation the Son became fully man. He was/is at the same time fully God and fully Man - not a blending of the two. His divinity, with all its infinite attributes, did not take on humanity, nor did His humanity take on divinity. The “goodness” of His humanity is derived from the fact that He was totally sinless, not that it was in any way divine. And the testimony of Scripture concerning the MAN Christ Jesus is that:2 Cor 5:21 "He made Him (the Man Christ Jesus) who knew no sin {to be} sin (on the cross) on our behalf, so that we (who have believed on Him) might become the righteousness of God in Him."For this reason the MAN Christ Jesus is the Redeemer of Adam’s fallen race. And the message delivered to this world by the Apostles is for men to believe in Him for salvation: forgiveness of sins, reconciliation to God and the free gifts of righteousness and eternal life in Him.

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