Looking Up To Heaven

Why was it necessary for Jesus Christ, the Son of God to ‘look up to heaven’ when he prayed to his Father, if the Kingdom of Heaven is within?

Mark 7:34, Matthew 14:19, John 17:1.

Pax Christi!

I’m not sure. Habit/tradition? I’m sure He grew up seeing others do this. It’s probably not ‘necessary’. He may have sone this so we can identify with Him. Did He have to eat? Weep? Assume human form at all? Observe the Law? (Does God the Father observe Mosaic laws?)

We can better imitate Christ (‘Christian’ originally meant 'little Christ") when we can identify with Him.

God bless.

Along with svid’2s great answer, I 'd say it’s because he was a human being just like us. We seem to forget that Jesus was fully human as well as fully divine. Humans have certain ways of expressing universal needs/wants. Most humans have rituals/traditions in their worship that are very similar. As Chesterton observed, this shows the universality of our need for such things, but it does not signify whose theology is most correct. :slight_smile:

I have difficulty in assuming that it was his humanity that directed Jesus Christ to pray in the manner in which he did. I have difficulty in dividing Jesus into two persons, sometimes as one who is speaking as a human being, and sometimes as one who is speaking as the Son of God.

I think that it is quite evident that his great Passover prayer in John 17 is one in which his divinity as the Son of God is speaking/praying to his heavenly Father. The gospels are replete with Jesus speaking of his Father who is in heaven…transcendent from this earth.

Well, it was Jesus’ “difficulty” to deal with not ours. :slight_smile: Remember that he was like us in all things except sin. His humanity was not swallowed up by his divinity or he would not have been able to suffer for us or become our high priest. It’s a great mystery how he functioned as both God and man. But, he often made the distinction himself. Scripture also tells us that he left his powers and his privileges as the Son of God behind and did not “grasp at equality with God” but rather gave his life as a ransom for many. As the Second Adam, he could do this by the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s why he told his Apostles that they would do greater works than he because of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon them. They would do what he could not in the flesh–go into the whole world. God uses nature not negates it as he empowers us with his grace. If we spiritualize Jesus into divinity only we negate the Incarnation–something I rather doubt you wish to do. :slight_smile:

We do not divide Jesus into two persons. He is only one Person, but one Person with two natures; human and divine. In his human nature he learned like the rest of us.

Some of our great theologians and contemplative saints would say that Jesus suffered both in his humanity and in his divinity for our sins. Maybe we have spiritualized our concept of the kingdom of heaven, whereas Jesus said, “no one has ascended up to heaven, but he who has come down from heaven”. Thus, Jesus looked up to heaven as the Son of God who came down to this earth from his Father in heaven.

Only when there are difficult sayings of Jesus to be explained.

Sounds reasonable to me. :thumbsup:


Then we look to the Apostles, the Fathers of the Church, and the Magisterium. There are good resources available online that can help us, as well, such as the Catholic encyclopedia or Haydock’s Catholic Bible Commentary, and more officially the CCC, and the documents of the Church.

a few examples:

"My God, my God, why have your forsaken me?"

"But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only".

"Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,"

See my last post except this one. :slight_smile:


I do like the quote by Pope Benedict XVI. There are profound mysteries which can not
be explained with words of logic and are better left unanswered.

Thanks. Yes, I don’t know if it is possible for us to understand the mystery of the incarnation of God. There is no doubt that it is a mind blower. He speaks as a man and he speaks as God. He had to learn how to hold a spoon; He had to learn human language; He had to learn how to read; He had to learn Jewish customs. At the same time he could penetrate the human heart, walk on water, command the wind and the sea, heal the lame, give sight to the blind…

I get it. :thumbsup:

Yes, there are some things we won’t understand this side of heaven and some I don’t suppose we’ll ever fully grasp because we are finite beings.

But, this doesn’t mean that we can’t/shouldn’t do a bit of research to help us understand what we can. We want to be able to give a good answer to those who have questions and we want to understand, as best we can. how much God did for us by sending his Son to be one of us, since this latter pertains to our salvation. But, we are not required to understand everything but only to trust in God and do what he commands. :slight_smile:

I’m not quite sure what you mean. I don’t know what suffering in the divine nature could possibly be. As far as I understand, the Church rejects theopaschitism as a kind of metaphysical category mistake.

A theologian most respected by our past two popes has this to say about the suffering of the Son of God as explained in this article:


The Divine Mercy chaplet by St.Faustina the contemplative, begins with these words,** “Eternal Father we offer you the body and blood, the soul and divinity of your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ in atonement for our sins, and for the sins of the world.”**

Someone might find this article on the various postures of prayer to be interesting, and/or educational.


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