Jesus question


#1

Apparently my Jesus Knowledge is rather lacking, so I was hoping that some of ya’ll would help fill in some of the blanks.

First, Could or couldn’t Jesus sin.

Originally posted by FCEGM

OTC, Kristina, it was quite impossible for Him to sin, since He is God Incarnate and God cannot sin. This is the teaching of the Church, that the God-Man was impeccable (could not sin).

But, to my knowledge Jesus is also completely Human too. Humans I thought could sin. The reason I ask is it wouldn’t make sense if he couldn’t. Why would Satan tempt Jesus after he had fasted forty days if he couldn’t sin? This is not me saying that he did but, that if he chose to (in some odd apparently nonexistent circumstances) he could. Could anyone help me with this?


#2

[quote=Montie Claunch]Apparently my Jesus Knowledge is rather lacking, so I was hoping that some of ya’ll would help fill in some of the blanks.

First, Could or couldn’t Jesus sin.

Originally posted by FCEGM

But, to my knowledge Jesus is also completely Human too. Humans I thought could sin. The reason I ask is it wouldn’t make sense if he couldn’t. Why would Satan tempt Jesus after he had fasted forty days if he couldn’t sin? This is not me saying that he did but, that if he chose to (in some odd apparently nonexistent circumstances) he could. Could anyone help me with this?
[/quote]

Montie, see my response in the original thread.


#3

Jesus was “completely” human, which is why he can’t sin. Sin makes us less human - it is a deviation from God’s design of “complete” humanity. When we enter Heaven, we will be completely human again, too, so we won’t sin.


#4

[quote=Montie Claunch]Why would Satan tempt Jesus after he had fasted forty days if he couldn’t sin?
[/quote]

Satan is a dork.

He’s crafty, but if he was as intelligent as his pride leads him to believe, he would have thought out that whole rebellion thing a bit more.

Why did he try to tempt Jesus? Because, like Calvin, he also thought human nature is inherently deprived, and so Christ would be, too. God has a higher opinion of us.


#5

[quote=awfulthings9]Satan is a dork.
[/quote]

Sorry, this is extremely off-topic, but are we supposed to / allowed to insult Satan like this? I do it all the time but sometimes I think I should have more fear of him - if I get carried away insulting him then I might underestimate his power (an angel, as compared to a human - thats a big difference in power).


#6

I think the article on the heresy of “Monothelitism and Monothelites” in the online 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia may be of interest. In describing the heresy, the article presents the Catholic view that Jesus has two wills, a divine will and a human will, which, because he is one Person, are always in harmony or something like that.

Although mysterious, Jesus having a human free will always in harmony with the divine will seems to to me to be like the free angelic will of the good angels and the free human will of saints in heaven which are always in harmony with the divine will.


#7

By belief is that because Jesus is God, that He could do anything, which includes sin if He so wanted to. But being God, He would have such an aversion to Sin that it would would sicken Him (not physically). So, yes, Jesus COULD sin but He WOULD NEVER, because He would always make the right choice, otherwise the temptation in the desert would make no sense.


#8

[quote=Flopfoot]Sorry, this is extremely off-topic, but are we supposed to / allowed to insult Satan like this? I do it all the time but sometimes I think I should have more fear of him - if I get carried away insulting him then I might underestimate his power (an angel, as compared to a human - thats a big difference in power).
[/quote]

St. Teresa of Jesus had some wise words in this regard (and many others :wink: ); she says that she is more afraid of those who are afraid of the devil than the devil himself.


#9

[quote=Loboto-Me]By belief is that because Jesus is God, that He could do anything, which includes sin if He so wanted to. But being God, He would have such an aversion to Sin that it would would sicken Him (not physically). So, yes, Jesus COULD sin but He WOULD NEVER, because He would always make the right choice, otherwise the temptation in the desert would make no sense.
[/quote]

This is absolutely NOT Catholic doctrine. Jesus, since He is God the Son Incarnate, could not sin, nor can God the Father nor the Holy Spirit sin.


#10

[quote=FCEGM]This is absolutely NOT Catholic doctrine. Jesus, since He is God the Son Incarnate, could not sin, nor can God the Father nor the Holy Spirit sin.
[/quote]

Right FCEGM.

Often this doctrine is not completely apprehended in its fullness – as an absolutely necessary result of the incarnation. The Church has always defended and preserved this great and supreme Truth regarding the incarnation: Jesus is God.

The concept of the hypostatic union describes for us the Truth that Jesus is only *one Person, *and He is a Divine Person, and that He is God. All persons, however, have natures. In Christ’s case His Personhood had the Divine Nature appropriate to Him, but also a Human Nature taken on by Him. Thus He could operate in both natures, but it was always He, the Divine Person who operated.

Natures don’t operate, persons do. Similiarly Natures don’t sin, only persons do.

When *we *sin, we (our personhood) sins in our human nature or with our human nature.

Jesus, although posessing a human nature COULD NOT SIN, because He is God, His Personhood is Divine, and a Divine Person cannot, by definition, sin.

This Truth of the Incarnation is a deep joyful mystery that we should often revist and tarry in.

What do you think?
God Bless and Happy Advent,
VC


#11

Jesus was true God and true man, with a divine will and a human will. Yes, he could sin. Yes, he was subject to temptation. But remember, he always did not his own will but “the will of him who sent me”. That is the point (one of many). That is why we follow him as an example and do the will of the Father. If we did the Father’s will, we would not sin either. Jesus is our example, let us follow the will of the Father and not sin. It seems that it is very hard to do, yet the more we do the Father’s will, the purer our hearts become and the more we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Then it becomes easier–“my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. Jesus showed us the “way”, he became man to show us that it can be done. His sinless life made him an object of contempt to sinners who would not repent. He suffered. His death brought not only salvation, but hope and guidence and help to those that believe. Those that believe do the will of the Father who sent him and will not sin. The whole of the law is contained in the commandment to “love God with your whole soul and whole heart and whole life, and thy neighbor as thyself”. A man that keeps this commandment does not sin even though he is a man.–nicolo


#12

[quote=nico1089]Yes, he could sin.
[/quote]

Nicolo,
I must disagree.

Please see the Catholic Encylopedia article on the Incarnation as an example of the teaching of the Church regarding Christ’s absolute impeccability (that He can not and could not sin):

B. On the Human Soul of Christ

(a) IN THE WILL

Sinlessness The effect of the Incarnation on the human will of Christ was to leave it free in all things save only sin. It was absolutely impossible that any stain of sin should soil the soul of Christ. Neither sinful act of the will nor sinful habit of the soul were in keeping with the Hypostatic Union. The fact that Christ never sinned is an article of faith (see Council, Ephes., can. x, in Denzinger, 122, wherein the sinlessness of Christ is implicit in the definition that he did not offer Himself for Himself, but for us). This fact of Christ’s sinlessness is evident from the Scripture. “There is no sin in Him” (1 John 3:5). Him, who knew no sin, he hath made sin for us" i. e. a victim for sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). The impossibility of a sinful act by Christ is taught by all theologians

My understand is that Christ’s inability to sin is an article of faith.

What do you think?
God Bless,
VC


#13

Hi Verbum Caro, Thanks, i didn’t know that. But if we follow God’s will, we won’t sin and that’s a good thing,eh? i believe that Christ wouldn’t sin even if he could. And i do believe God will HELP us to avoid sin if we try to live following his blessed Son.–nicolo


#14

Sin, by definition, is rejection of God.

Christ is God.

God cannot reject himself.

When we say God can do anything, we do not mean that God can contradict himself. He cannot, for instance, create a weight so heavy that he, himself, could not lift it, for that would limit God (by introducing a created and lesser element that is beyond his power to control). For Jesus to sin would be an inherent contradiction and, as others have pointed out, a contradiction of consistant Church teaching.

By the way, Merry Christmas, all.


#15

Part of the problem is with the meaning of the word “could” (sorry if I sound like Bill Clinton!).

One way philosophers ask this question is: “Is there a possible world in which Jesus, being fully human and divine, sinned.” And the orthodox Christian answer is “no.” But as a human being he had all the “equipment” for sinning. He experienced real temptation. To His human mind the possibility of sin presented itself as a real possibility. Yes, the result was inevitable, because His human will was completely united to the will of God and could not be otherwise (Jesus being a divine Person with a human nature). But psychologically speaking the decision not to sin was reached in exactly the same way that our decisions are reached. That’s my understanding anyway. If I’m unorthodox, I’m sure someone will point it out!

As for God being able to do anything, my understanding is that God can do anything God can will to do. But God cannot do anything contrary to His nature. Again, the question is what we mean by “can.” Nothing could stop God if God chose to sin. I think that is Loboto-Me’s point.

Of course, some theologians would say that what makes sin sin is going against God’s will, so the question whether God could sin is meaningless. I don’t hold that position–or rather, I think (with the mainstream of the Christian tradition) that God has a nature that is immutable and that this puts limits on what God may possibly will.

Edwin


#16

Very simple:

The teleological end of every human person is the Beatific Vision.
Jesus is always before the Beatifica Vision
Jesus in His humanity has already rested in His end.
Thus Jesus in His humanity has no other desire because His passions are ordered.
The human will cannot choose anything save the percieved good.
Jesus in His humanity possesses the preternatural state.
By possession of the preternatural state His human intellect and will are not impared.
This plus already possessing His end in His humanity he cannot sin.

Satan truly tempts Him but because of the hypostatic union his human will is in perfect union with the [His] Divine Will and thus no temptation would result in sin because Jesus already possesses the Highest Good that His humanity can receive.


#17

[quote=Contarini]Part of the problem is with the meaning of the word “could” (sorry if I sound like Bill Clinton!).

One way philosophers ask this question is: “Is there a possible world in which Jesus, being fully human and divine, sinned.” And the orthodox Christian answer is “no.” But as a human being he had all the “equipment” for sinning. He experienced real temptation. To His human mind the possibility of sin presented itself as a real possibility. Yes, the result was inevitable, because His human will was completely united to the will of God and could not be otherwise (Jesus being a divine Person with a human nature). But psychologically speaking the decision not to sin was reached in exactly the same way that our decisions are reached. That’s my understanding anyway. If I’m unorthodox, I’m sure someone will point it out!

As for God being able to do anything, my understanding is that God can do anything God can will to do. But God cannot do anything contrary to His nature. Again, the question is what we mean by “can.” Nothing could stop God if God chose to sin. I think that is Loboto-Me’s point.

Of course, some theologians would say that what makes sin sin is going against God’s will, so the question whether God could sin is meaningless. I don’t hold that position–or rather, I think (with the mainstream of the Christian tradition) that God has a nature that is immutable and that this puts limits on what God may possibly will.

Edwin
[/quote]

Thank you Contarini, that’s exactly my point.


#18

[quote=Montie Claunch]But, to my knowledge Jesus is also completely Human too. Humans I thought could sin. The reason I ask is it wouldn’t make sense if he couldn’t. Why would Satan tempt Jesus after he had fasted forty days if he couldn’t sin? This is not me saying that he did but, that if he chose to (in some odd apparently nonexistent circumstances) he could. Could anyone help me with this?
[/quote]

I believe the temptations had some teeth, that is, they tugged at Jesus at some level. Satan was tempting Jesus with situations where doing the wrong thing may seem right. Jesus had to rely on his trust in the Father’s will in all three temptations.


#19

Would anybody consider anger and losing your temper sinful? Go ahead if anybody can guess where I’m heading with this.


#20

[quote=mikew262]Would anybody consider anger and losing your temper sinful? Go ahead if anybody can guess where I’m heading with this.
[/quote]

Anger

The desire of vengeance. Its ethical rating depends upon the quality of the vengeance and the quantity of the passion. When these are in conformity with the prescriptions of balanced reason, anger is not a sin. It is rather a praiseworthy thing and justifiable with a proper zeal. It becomes sinful when it is sought to wreak vengeance upon one who has not deserved it, or to a greater extent than it has been deserved, or in conflict with the dispositions of law, or from an improper motive. The sin is then in a general sense mortal as being opposed to justice and charity. It may, however, be venial because the punishment aimed at is but a trifling one or because of lack of full deliberation. Likewise, anger is sinful when there is an undue vehemence in the passion itself, whether inwardly or outwardly. Ordinarily it is then accounted a venial sin unless the excess be so great as to go counter seriously to the love of God or of one’s neighbour.
newadvent.org/cathen/01489a.htm


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