One mediator between God and man


#1

1 Tim 2:5 clearly states that Jesus is the only mediator between man and God. How does asking the saints for intervention before the Father square with this scripture?


#2

[quote="Reborn2013, post:1, topic:342034"]
1 Tim 2:5 clearly states that Jesus is the only mediator between man and God. How does asking the saints for intervention before the Father square with this scripture?

[/quote]

We are asking the saints to pray for us,much in the same way you would ask a frien or family member. Same with Mary.:)


#3

Although Jesus is thought to be fully human and fully divine in a hypostatic union, in what sense is He a “mediator” between mankind and G-d? Is He not believed to be the second Person of the Trinity and thus, in reality, G-d Himself? When Christians pray to Jesus, do they not pray to Him as G-d and not as a human? I understand he is believed to have a specific function as the Savior but is He not G-d Incarnate according to Christianity?

As to your question, the Saints are not worshiped by Catholics; rather, they are venerated and prayed to for intervention so that they can pray to G-d. This is similar to asking other (living) people to pray for them, which is done not only in Catholicism but in Protestantism and Judaism.


#4

Jesus is part of the Trinity, and, as such, consubstantial with the Father and the Holy Spirit. ie. they ‘contain’ the same substance - God. But they are three distinct persons nonetheless.

It is one of the hardest concepts for Christians to get their heads around. Think of it this way: Aren’t water and ice made of the same substance (water)?

Yes! However, they are also very distinct in nature. God is like water, and Christ is like ice, and the Holy Spirit is like water vapour (metaphores, of course!!!). They are all made of the same substance, but are three distinct entities.

Hope I have made myself clear.

Except the prayers that Jesus receives by us through his Saints, especially the Virgin, are infinitely more pleasing to him than those said by other mere humans for us!


#5

Saints are just people. I could ask anybody to pray for me, most wouldn’t have
a problem with that, but as soon as the people I ask to pray for me are saints,
that’s when some choose to make an issue.

“THEY’RE DEAD!” some might say, but it is the Christian understanding that all
people within the Body of Christ are NOT separated, not even by death. Wish I
can remember where that is in the Bible (I know it’s there), so we can trust that
the saints can perceive our prayer requests. It is also more certain that the fer-
vent prayers of saints are far more powerful than had they come straight from
us. This we can assume from James: The fervent prayer of a right-
eous person is very powerful.

  • James 5:16b
    Now as for the “One mediator between God and man” bit, that is absolutely true,
    except I would use a capital “M” to indicate that Christ is THE Mediator, that we
    put all our faith and trust in him, but as we can observe so easily in this life, we
    all prayer for each other, hence we are all (with a lower case “m”) mediators to
    God (even Jesus) on each others’ behalf.
    That doesn’t mean we on Earth or saints in Heaven are in any way Mediator as
    Jesus is the Mediator to the Father. Saints cannot save our souls, not even the
    Virgin Mary, but nevertheless we Catholics look forward to the belief that there
    are a myriad of saints and angels, who found favor with God, can pray for us.

As always in this kind of discussion, I now refer you to Father Jeff:[/FONT] Why Do Catholics Pray to Saints?
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#6

Could you speak to how the Jewish people have understood and practiced the concept of saints (tzadikim) down through the ages?


#7

Yes, you are clear in your explanation of the Trinity although the water-ice-vapor analogy has its limitations even to the point of heresy, as I found out myself when I used it a while ago as a construct to explain the Trinity. There probably is no human analogy that is a perfect fit. Saying the “nature” of G-d is distinct is somewhat better, but surely NOT three distinct ENTITIES. I think of the Trinitarian G-d as meaning the spiritual “substance” of G-d is the same whereas the function or role differs according to each of the Persons.

Still, it is not the Trinity I have so much difficulty with (although, faithful to Jewish teaching, I am not in accord with the Personhood concept of G-d), but rather the notion that Jesus serves as a Mediator in His role as Savior, the Son of G-d, being that He is thought by Christians to be G-d Incarnate. When you pray to Jesus, don’t you pray to G-d Himself, and NOT to Jesus’ human, sinless nature, albeit the latter is intertwined with His divine nature in a hypostatic union? This I find challenging to understand. Yes, Jesus’ function is distinct as Savior but is He not fully G-d as well?


#8

The concept of vicarious atonement in Judaism is a tricky one. Tzadikim, in their position as holy men, can help other people by means of their prayers, but not entirely. Individual atonement is still needed and sincere, tangible, behavioral efforts on the part of wrongdoers to reverse course. A more detailed explanation would require a treatise, of which I am definitely not qualified!


#9

My analogy was merely meant to clarify the concept which is obviously hard to understand both for non-Christians such as yourself and Christians like me. This is the same reason why I used the term ‘entities’ - it is just a way of expressing the concept using simple language. Of course, my teaching are not the Church’s, and you should consult the Catechism to get a better idea of what the official teaching of this matter is.

My understanding is that, although all three manifestations of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), are consubstantial, they have separate roles in the works of Creation and human salvation, and the role of Jesus as Mediator is to be understood in this context. Jesus is begotten (‘generated’) by the Father to save humans from the bondage of sin, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son, and its role is to inspire faith in the hearts of the people of God.

Given Jesus’ purpose, which is defined in the New Testament as that of redeeming mankind, he still maintains that role in Heaven even though he is back with the Father. His role as redeemer has not changed, and this is why he is THE Mediator.


#10

I think I understand this now. Thank you for the clarity of your comment.


#11

:thumbsup:


#12

Faith in Jesus would qualify you :wink:

Peace bw/u
Michael


#13

This blog post may be helpful: catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/one-mediator-between-god-and-men

Yeah, the Trinity is a difficult subject. Purportedly about the time that St. Augustine thought he had it all figured out, an apparition of Jesus showed up and told him he was wrong. It’s a hard subject, and most analogies, while possibly useful on some level, are actually completely wrong when taken beyond the superficial.

Still, it is not the Trinity I have so much difficulty with (although, faithful to Jewish teaching, I am not in accord with the Personhood concept of G-d), but rather the notion that Jesus serves as a Mediator in His role as Savior, the Son of G-d, being that He is thought by Christians to be G-d Incarnate. When you pray to Jesus, don’t you pray to G-d Himself, and NOT to Jesus’ human, sinless nature, albeit the latter is intertwined with His divine nature in a hypostatic union? This I find challenging to understand. Yes, Jesus’ function is distinct as Savior but is He not fully G-d as well?

Yes He is. That’s actually necessary - no one but God could possibly fulfill that role perfectly. But it might be a bit off to say that Jesus is the mediator between us and Himself - I think (and if I am wrong, someone please correct me) that it would be more correct to say that Jesus is the mediator between us and the Father. Who is the same God, but who is also a different Person of the Trinity.

From a book quoted on the above website:

… the Incarnation corresponds to mediation in the order of being, and the Redemption (remission of sin and conferral of grace) is mediation morally.

This kind of mediation is incommunicable. No one but the Savior unites in himself the divinity, which demands reconciliation, and the humanity, which needs to be reconciled.


#14

A great thread. Thank you all for the enlightenment !


#15

[quote="Iron_Donkey, post:13, topic:342034"]
This blog post may be helpful: catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/one-mediator-between-god-and-men

Yeah, purportedly about the time that St. Augustine thought he had it all figured out, an apparition of Jesus showed up and told him he was wrong. It's a hard subject, and most analogies, while possibly useful on some level, are actually completely wrong when taken beyond the superficial.

Yes He is. That's actually necessary - no one but God could possibly fulfill that role perfectly. But it might be a bit off to say that Jesus is the mediator between us and Himself - I think (and if I am wrong, someone please correct me) that it would be more correct to say that Jesus is the mediator between us and the Father. Who is the same God, but who is also a different Person of the Trinity.

From a book quoted on the above website:

[/quote]

I think that must be it: G-d the Son (Who is fully G-d) is the Mediator between mankind and G-d the Father (Who is fully G-d). It sounds so simple but how difficult to grasp it really is! Thank you.

One more question, of course: if G-d is fully G-d as both the Father and the Son, then why are their functions or roles distinct? Yes, there is a human analogy here: one can play many roles in life; however, in this instance, one is still the SAME person. Why does this work differently when viewing G-d as three DISTINCT (but not separate) Persons? Apart from functional difference, what does "Person" actually mean?


#16

[quote="Reborn2013, post:1, topic:342034"]
1 Tim 2:5 clearly states that Jesus is the only mediator between man and God. How does asking the saints for intervention before the Father square with this scripture?

[/quote]

I think of things in a family sense. Or the biblical expression might be the Mystical Body of Christ. We rely on each other as parts of one body rely on one another. Jesus is the blood of this body. He exists fully in each member, yet each member is not the full body.

Mary (especially) and the saints are the pure and spottless bride of Christ brought into His presence and glory. We are united to them through faith. Yet we are not there yet! We need to finish our journey and be judged.


#17

#18

Jesus is the only Son of God, and yet we all are also Son’s of God in and through him. Just as Jesus is the one or unique mediator, in that he presents our requests to the father, so we also can become mediator’s in and through him.


#19

[quote="meltzerboy, post:15, topic:342034"]
I think that must be it: G-d the Son (Who is fully G-d) is the Mediator between mankind and G-d the Father (Who is fully G-d). It sounds so simple but how difficult to grasp it really is! Thank you.

One more question, of course: if G-d is fully G-d as both the Father and the Son, then why are their functions or roles distinct? Yes, there is a human analogy here: one can play many roles in life; however, in this instance, one is still the SAME person. Why does this work differently when viewing G-d as three DISTINCT (but not separate) Persons? Apart from functional difference, what does "Person" actually mean?

[/quote]

Let's make it clear then, WE DON'T KNOW! :D
Here's a few short little statements:God is ONE **as to **BE **and **THREE **as to **PERSON.
God is ONE . . .WHAT *and **THREE *. . . . WHOS**.
I hope that helped. ;)


#20

Haha, no problem. The aspect of the issue I had in mind was the following: did/do Jews ask tzadikim to pray for them?


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