How could the divinity of Christ have suffered?

Exactly so. This is human nature, and human emotion, and human sorrow and human joy.

Catholics have a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to emphasize the human love and human emotion in the heart of Jesus. It is an emotion flowing from his humanity, and expressed perfectly by his divinity as a divine Person,

After read the previous posters talk about Jesus suffering, I think I understand it a little better. I think the point has been made about the identity of the one who is suffering. A nature has no identify and therefore can not be identified as a sufferer. However, a nature has properties and characteristics that can enable the one who has that nature to experience something. Since the human nature is capable of causing the person who has it to experience suffering then Jesus suffered as any human would.

However, the divine nature is another matter. I have always heard the divine nature can not change and therefore can not suffer.

To explore the question of God suffering I think a definition of suffering is in order. Just what is suffering? If we say that suffering only occurs in the physical body then bodiless people in hell would not suffer. So suffering must extend beyond the physical and encompass the soul as well. So what is metaphysical suffering? Is it negative thoughts or feelings? Where do these thoughts and feelings come from?

When we say God doesn’t change does that mean he also doesn’t think consecutively one thought after another? Because a change in thought is still a change. Could it not be possible for God to experience an unpleasant thought yet still not change his nature?

While God is outside time we are in time. Thus things happen consecutively for us. So if it 3 pm for us right now then God knows it is now 3pm for us. But if it changes to 3:01pm then God being all knowing knows it is now 3:01pm for us. So then didn’t something change in the mind of God? He knew it was 3pm. Now he knows it is 3:01pm.


Yes, but it wasn’t only ‘a divine Person’ that suffered. Isn’t Christ also a human person as well as a divine person? Christ is both a divine and human person with a human soul.

Can it be said that His spirit is divine and He has a human soul?

The way I understand it, Jesus’ glorified body has a human soul, doesn’t it?

No, Jesus is not a human person. He is only one Person, and that is the Second Person of the Trinity, the Divine Word, the Son of God.

He is a human being though, by reason of having a human nature. That is a result of the hypostatic union. Because he took on a human nature–with a human body and a human soul, including a human intellect and human will and human emotions, he is both a human being and a divine being. He fully possesses the one divine nature, and also fully possesses his own human nature. But he is only one person, and that is a divine person.

So, in his humanity, he suffered, being like us in all things but sin.

In his divinity, he could not suffer.

That is a difficult concept, because we only have experience with one human person having one human nature. If we could imagine remaining one and the same human person while also taking on a canine nature to experience what our pet experiences, that would be an analogy. (Not a great analogy, because that would require two material bodies–a human one and a canine one. Whereas in the hypostatic union, the divine nature is not embodied; only Jesus’ human nature is embodied.)

God does not ‘think consecutively’ nor experience reality consecutively. He experiences it as a totality. To God, 3pm is exactly the same instant as 3:01pm or 5pm the next day. All moments are present to him as now.

I have a question. You mentioned that Christ is a human being. And since Christ is also a divine being, that would be two beings in Christ. Wouldn’t that mean that Christ is God and man, two beings, rather than God-man, one being?

May God our Father give you grace and peace.

Well yes, if you take “being” to mean the same as “nature,” then he is two beings—divine and human, but he is not two persons; he is but one person!

I’m not sure that it makes much difference whether we refer to Christ as the God-man or as God and man. Both mean that he is one Person with two natures, and fully capable of acting in accord with both natures.

As God, Jesus knows all things. As man, his human knowledge is limited, as human knowledge must be. As man, he had to learn and study just as we do, growing in wisdom. As God he is all powerful and omniscient and omnipresent. As man, he is limited by human abilities and subject to a timeline like us.

To say more than that would require an essay on the hypostatic union of the divine and human natures, and I’m not capable of that. I think that Fr. William Most has explored the subject in a book.

Thank you for your answer. Tho I’ll have to look further.

The Thomists say that it may be that the existence of the human nature takes existence from the existence of the divine nature. That was said in Ott.
This would seem to indicate one being. But I will try to find more on this.

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