Totally confused with my faith--can you help?


#1

Hello, first off, I would like to say that I am asking this question because I really need the guidance, and I am sorry, that it is a bit long. All my childhood life, I went to Catholic School. In college, I researched other religions, but the truth is, I did not know my own (apparently). I went to my first Baptist service for a friend’s baptism... "PRAISE JESUS" PRAISE JESUS" was all that I heard. God, was never mentioned... I asked my friend, why not pray to God? He said, Jesus is God! WHHHAAATTTT??? In my whole life, never did I know that Jesus was actually God! I was under the impression that Jesus was the "SON OF GOD", divine in his attributes, but never GOD. In my childhood, I had a picture in my room, of God (as an old man) hovering over Jesus on the cross, Mary to the side, and a nun praying in front. That was my reference I guess.
I started reading the bible again to see if I missed something... I don't think I did. There are numerous versus that still seem, that Jesus is another being, literal son or prophet...
John 14:28
The Father is greater than I.
(If they are the same person, why did Jesus say this)

John 6:46
Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he that is from God, he hath seen the Father.
(If that is the case, then even though the apostles, people and everyone else saw Jesus, they did not see the Father)

John 14:28
The Father is greater than I.
(This is another strong statement that makes a distinction between Jesus and God.)

Mark 10:18
Why do you call me good? No one is good, except God alone.
(Here Jesus emphatically makes a distinction between himself and God.)

John 5:19
The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees the Father doing, because whatever the Father does, the Son does also.
(Jesus declares that he is following a pattern laid down by God. He is expressing obedience to God.)

Matthew 24:36
No one knows about that day or hour, not even the Son, but the Father only.
(Here Jesus makes a distinction between what he knows and what the Father knows.)

Job 2:4-7,9-10
The temptation with the devil
(How can this even happen? How can Satan, for which he was made from, tempt God? Did Satan know he was God? Did Jesus know he was God?)

Matthew 27:46
My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?
(Why is he asking, if was God, who is he talking to?)

Acts 7:55-56 55
But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
(How can God sit beside himself?)

I have also done research about versus that "may" prove that Jesus is God,

John 8:58. Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"
John 10:30 "I and the Father are one" in John 10:30."

But, could have Jesus had "God Consciousness", meaning that he does have divinity, but is Not God???

No matter how many times, I read the bible, it still reads as if they are two different people. Why call Jesus, "The Son of God", "The Son of Man", when we could have just called him simply.... God.

I truly want to know, why I can't fathom this concept. It seems that Christians (excluding Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses) are the only group of people that believe in this concept. I am not saying Jesus was not Holy, but I cannot pray to him as I have prayed to God, for all this time. I still picture Jesus as a messenger that will take up my prayers to God. Any help with this is GREATLY appreciated!


#2

Hello - second off,

The Church has always taught that Jesus is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. He always existed as God. With His conception in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, he took on a human nature. It is a dogma of the Church that He, from that time on, was one Person with two natures; a divine nature and a human nature. In His human nature He lived as a human being. So He spoke of the Father as being greater than Himself. “The Father is greater than I” (Jn 14:28). In His human nature He could be tempted. But because of His divine nature, He couldn’t succumb to temptation.

Besides the verses you quoted ( John 8:58. “Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’” John 10:30 “I and the Father are one” in John 10:30.") in the Gospel of John (18:4-6) when a band of soldiers and officers from the chief priests approached Him, stating that they were seeking Jesus of Nazareth, “Jesus said to them, ‘I am he….When He to them, ‘I am he,’ they drew back and fell to the ground.” Jesus was in total control. This last show of the power of His divinity confirms how He entered His Passion by His own will.

But the boldest Scriptural acknowledgment of His divinity (Jn 20:28) came on the Sunday after Easter when the Apostles were again gathered in the upper room with doubting Thomas. After calling Thomas forward and offering him the opportunity to put his hands ito His wounds, Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!

Frankly, I don’t know how you could have believed in the Eucharist while thinking the He was not God. Be patient with yourself. It will take a while to get used to. But the news is very, very good. Jesus is the perfect mediator for us because He is both God and man. This also shows us how great God is and how we cannot completely wrap our minds around the extent of His divine love that He would endure such a Passion for the likes of us.

See: catholic.com/tracts/browse/Jesus

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


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