How do I answer this teenager's question


#1

I would really appreciate help on this.

How can I answer the following question from a teenager in a way they can understand:

If Jesus is the Son of God, how can He also be God?

Thanks.
God bless.


#2

Easy answer:

Jesus refers to God as His Father, always. Just read the New Testament. If He refers to God as Father, that makes Him the Son.

The complicated answer lies in understanding the Trinity.


#3

[quote=LawStudent]I would really appreciate help on this.

How can I answer the following question from a teenager in a way they can understand:

If Jesus is the Son of God, how can He also be God?

Thanks.
God bless.
[/quote]

That’s an easy one . . . sort of. When a man and woman procreate, the end result is human - so the son of man is always fully man. Man does not procreate a lesser form. In a similar way, when God “begot” Jesus, the end result is God. They are of the same exact nature, and thus Jesus, who is God’s begotten Son, is fully God.

David


#4

Analogies typically work best:
There are things in life that are triune in nature but one. For example: An egg is one but with three distinctions. You have the yoke, the white, and the shell, but all three composite the one egg. Another example: A piece of fruit such as the peach has three components. A peach has the outer layer (the skin), the inner layer (the juicy stuff known as the meat), and the core. All three components composite the one peach.

        Other things that we have in our everyday lives      that are triune is water.  Water is one substance that can be      liquid, gas, and solid distinctly or all at the same time. The following quote is from the late Dr. Walter      Martin:  *"It is a well-known fact of chemistry that plain water,      when placed in a vacuum under 230 millimeters of gas pressure and at a      temperature of 0 degrees Centigrade, solidifies into ice at the bottom of      the container, remains liquid in the center and vaporizes at the top! At a      given instant the same water is both solid, liquid and gas, yet all three      are manifestations of the same basic substance or nature: H2O - hydrogen:      two parts; oxygen: one.  If one of the simplest of all created      substances can be three in manifested form and yet remain one in nature,      then the Creator of that substance can surely be Father, Son and Holy Spirit      - three Persons and one Nature - without any violation of logic or reason      whatever if He so wills."

You may also tell him that it’s not 1 + 1 + 1 = 3, it’s 1 x 1 x 1 = 1.

Another way of explaining (to a Jehovah’s Witness, but it still holds) it here.

Finally, the Baltimore Catechism is probably one of the most neglected tools of our faith. The short question-answer format really helps! (Longer answers of same Catechism)

Good luck, and God Bless,
RyanL


#5

[quote=LawStudent]I would really appreciate help on this.

How can I answer the following question from a teenager in a way they can understand:

If Jesus is the Son of God, how can He also be God?

Thanks.
God bless.
[/quote]

I think you should begin by telling your teenager that questions about God are going to be complex and difficult because God is so much more, so much higher than we are that to expect a sound bite answer would be unrealistic.

Understanding who God is comes under the heading of a mystery. We can only really know what God has revealed about himself to us. But, we humans seem to need definitions so the Church has put into words what it knows from what God has revealed to her from Christ and the ongoing guidance of the Holy Spirit.

God is an eternal being who has always been who and what he is. That is a difficult concept for us to understand because we are finite. The longest living thing is not even a blip on the radar of eternity. God simply is. He always has been and always will be Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Having said all that, the Church explains that God the Father desired to share his love, and so the Son is that other person of the Godhead with whom God the Father shares his love. The Holy Spirit is the love the Father and the Son have for one another. All this took no time to happen because with God there is no time. Time is what we experience in the created universe, but God was never created. He just is. He exists in the eternal now, and so the relationship within the Godhead has always existed and will never cease to exist.

I wish I could put it more simply, but really that is as simple an explanation as I can give and do the question any justice.


#6

Start by explaining to him the concept of Nature. For the purposes of this question, we are primarily concerned with two kinds: Divine Nature (which only God has) and human nature (which the rest of us share).

It can be agreed that those of us with human natures give birth to others with human nature.

God, in his Divine Nature, can (and did) beget One who shared the same Nature.

So, it makes as much sense to say:

Jesus is the Son of God, as well as God, as to say

I am the son of humans, as well as being a human.

For a good read on this, I’d recommend Frank Sheed’s “Theology For Beginners” available from Catholic Answers.


#7

Simply by using a Shamrock.

Just be certain that it’s not a 4 leaf clover.:wink:


#8

[quote=LawStudent]I would really appreciate help on this.

How can I answer the following question from a teenager in a way they can understand:

If Jesus is the Son of God, how can He also be God?

Thanks.
God bless.
[/quote]

Trinity.


#9

[quote=RyanL]Analogies typically work best:
There are things in life that are triune in nature but one. For example: An egg is one but with three distinctions. You have the yoke, the white, and the shell, but all three composite the one egg. Another example: A piece of fruit such as the peach has three components. A peach has the outer layer (the skin), the inner layer (the juicy stuff known as the meat), and the core. All three components composite the one peach.

Other things that we have in our everyday lives that are triune is water. Water is one substance that can be liquid, gas, and solid distinctly or all at the same time. The following quote is from the late Dr. Walter Martin: *"*Good luck, and God Bless,
RyanL
[/quote]

Great answer! I learned something more from your answer!


#10

i recommend Theology for Beginners by Frank Sheed. He explains things far better then anyone else I have read.

The shamrock and egg analogies are mildly useful but but are prone to serious misunderstandings … like modalism for example.


#11

Tell her they are separate as persons but one in nature. Be sure to also tell her that if she fully understands that then she is the first person in history to do so!


#12

Way back in eternity, what do you suppose God’s first thought was? Think big… God’s first thought was of himself, God. Now how perfect do you think God’s thought of God is? Absolutely perfect. God’s thought of God is so perfect that it lacks none of the divine attributes of God himself, each is all-powerful, all-knowing, etc. Except for the fact that one is the thinker and one is the thought, God and God’s thought of God are exactly the same. We refer to God the thinker as God the Father, and we refer to God the thought as the living Word of God or God the Son or the Son of God because He is spiritually generated or begotten of Father. Although the Father and the Son are distinct divine Persons yet they are inseparably one God.

Perhaps the closest analogy on earth to the relationship between the Father and the Son would be conjoined human twins, two human persons who share a single human body. If there is such a thing as conjoined triplets, then perhaps the closest analogy on earth to the whole Trinity would be conjoined human triplets, three human persons who share a single human body.


#13

Tell him this about the Trinity. Imagine God as the sun. Well, the light that comes forth through the sun is Jesus and the heat that comes forth throught the sun is the Holy Spirit.


#14

[quote=YinYangMom]Easy answer:

Jesus refers to God as His Father, always. Just read the New Testament. If He refers to God as Father, that makes Him the Son.

The complicated answer lies in understanding the Trinity.
[/quote]

Explain that we’re not meant to understand fully. We are meant only to submit. We see things now as in a mirror, one day we will see the truth face to face.


#15

I’m a teenager, and I never understood it until I read C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity.


#16

I dunno, one way I have always liked looking at it is that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are manifestations of God. So, they can still be considered God. Jesus is the biological son of God in the sense that God impregnated Mary with Jesus. That makes Jesus the son of God. However, Jesus’ soul is still infused with God. So, the biological component of Jesus really is the son of God, but the soul is connected.

Eamon


#17

We are Borg.

What was the question?

We can’t understand the true collective mindset, and being absolutely connected to it? Or if we can understand that, can we not all be hooked into the God mindset, through the various “persons” or “persona” which He takes, from Creator to Flesh to Redeemer to Judge and Father and Guide and Teacher and all those other names we have? I figure the Trinity is just about as good a way as we have at illustrating three persons with such unity that it is beyond human comprehension. Kind of like matter meeting antimatter; we can show it in the math but not have a good “feel” for how it all really works under the hood.

The separation was when Adam and Eve apparently tried to be the first engineers (disclaimer: I have MS in EE) where they weren’t satisfied leaving well enough alone. They had to take it apart so they could try to figure out how it works. Once they saw that, they figured they could improve on it and build Electric Freezers so they could store up animals in case God quit coming through for them some day…

Alan


#18

shop.catholic.com/cgi-local/SoftCart.exe/online-store/scstore/p-B0072.html?L+scstore+pkrf4314ff017801+1140037093

Cheap but good.


#19

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