Flesh and Blood and Reason


Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.…

I looked up an interpretation for what the Lord means by “flesh and blood” and it is interpreted to mean by rumor or the scribes or some human agency. I find that the interpretation is true but I also believe it can mean a little more as well.

Some things are difficult or maybe impossible to determine by reason. For example, suppose you see God but you can’t be sure that it is God that you see or the devil. How does one make that determination by reason. Very difficult or maybe impossible to do because we do not know what God looks like to recognize him. The same was true for Peter. It did take quite a leap of faith for Peter to name Jesus as the Christ. Upon what exactly does Peter make that determination if it had been by flesh and blood. His looks? The sound of his voice? The miracles? How is Peter able to make this heaven or hell decision? It had to be as Jesus said because reason alone does not suffice. So I believe that “flesh and blood” can also mean, literally, flesh and blood. He did not come to this revelation by reason which is a product of flesh and blood, or the brain. Jesus understood the brain and that our reasoning ability is granted to us by it. I do not think anyone can, literally, recognize God by reason alone, or in other words, by flesh and blood alone. We need what Peter had to know God face to face.



But also, faith is a grace; it cannot be achieved by human effort.



The words of our Lord apply in this situation as well. You did not come to this understanding by flesh and blood.

Conversion is a grace. Faith is a grace. We can obtain the graces of Faith and Conversion for others who do not have it by having Faith ourselves and being in a state of grace and praying for them. Faithfully praying, knowing that God hears our prayers and that He Loves us.

But remember - we do have to cooperate with the graces. Someone who is proud will not cooperate with His graces. Someone who is humble will. Being able to humble yourself is also a grace, but one you must cooperate with. Some have been given the grace to humble themselves but do not want to humble themselves, and some have not been given the grace to humble themselves. We have to be careful not to judge souls and to always plea with God on their behalf that God will have mercy on them and grant His grace to them.

It is a trap to believe that we can understand spiritual things by being “smart.” Only God can reveal these things to us. I only know what I know because God granted it to me to know.


I don’t know why this person was banned but I will say he had enough truth to be able to write those first two sentences. Consequently, I pay special attention to the rest of what he said too.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.