Was Jesus fully aware of His divinity?


Can anyone point me to official Church teaching about whether Jesus fully knew that he was God? Certain things only seem to make sense to me (like the agony in the garden and how He speaks about Himself and the Father) if he had only *partial *knowledge of his relationship with the Father and Holy Spirit, but I have been told that the Church *does *teach he knew He was God from his age of reason.
CCC 472 talks of His “voluntary emptying of Himself, taking ‘the form of a slave.’” Later the Catechism talks of His intimate knowledge of the Father, but does that mean he knew he was God? He speaks of being one with the Father, but CCC points out the limits of His human knowledge.
Can anyone point me to official document that could clear this up for me? Thanks.


Based on John 8:58 and John 10:30 yes he knew.

John 17:5
And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Do we know of any texts that say that angels or created beings shared in God’s glory?

John 17 at least speaks of Christ’s pre-existence.


Hi ckcatholic,

Welcome to the forums! I might be able to help you clear some of it up, always remembering though our posture of humility in the face of these mysteries.

For clarity:

  1. Our Lord Jesus Christ is a Divine Person who has a Divine Nature and a human nature. Because He has a human nature, He has a human soul (and body). His human soul has the powers of the intellect and will.

  2. In Christ’s human intellect we can identify three types of knowledge: a) knowledge in the Beatific Vision, b) knowledge infused directly by God, and c) acquired or experiential knowledge.

  3. His human intellect possessed the immediate vision of God (i.e. the Beatific Vision) from the moment of His incarnation.[INDENT]For hardly was He conceived in the womb of the Mother of God, when He began to enjoy the Beatific Vision, and in that vision all the members of His Mystical Body were continually and unceasingly present to Him, and He embraced them with His redeeming love. (Pope Pius XII,* Mystici Corporis Christi*)

  4. By virtue of the Beatific Vision, the human intellect of Christ had an immediate vision of God and also, secondarily, the knowledge of those things outside of God but beheld in God as their source. But at the same time, this truly human knowledge of God’s Son expressed the divine life of his person.“The human nature of God’s Son, not by itself but by its union with the Word, knew and showed forth in itself everything that pertains to God.” Such is first of all the case with the intimate and immediate knowledge that the Son of God made man has of his Father.The Son in his human knowledge also showed the divine penetration he had into the secret thoughts of human hearts. (CCC 473)

  5. However, Christ’s created human soul and intellect is finite. Therefore it could not possess ALL knowledge possible, i.e. all knowledge that God possesses, which is infinite. [/INDENT][INDENT]This human soul that the Son of God assumed is endowed with a true human knowledge. As such, this knowledge could not in itself be unlimited. . .(CCC 472)

  6. Thus Christ, in His human intellect,“from the beginning knew all things in the Word, past, present, and future, or all things that God knows by the knowledge of vision.” (Denzinger “Sources of Catholic Dogma” 2184 – the response of the Holy Office is that the above is “certain”.)

  7. which would mean that He knew he was God, in His human intellect, from the beginning.

  8. Furthermore, it is fitting that Christ in His human intellect would also know things by virtue of infused knowledge, the same knowledge given to man before the fall (i.e. knowledge of those things natural to man to know, and also knowledge of those things supernaturally revealed.) This is similar to the type of knowledge angels have, they don’t rely on experiential knowledge gained via any bodily senses.

  9. Lastly, Christ possessed acquired knowledge - not gained by virtue of the Beatific Vision, nor by infusion, but experientially through the use of His senses.
    [/INDENT][INDENT]it was exercised in the historical conditions of his existence in space and time. This is why the Son of God could, when he became man, “increase in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man”, and would even have to inquire for himself about what one in the human condition can learn only from experience. This corresponded to the reality of his voluntary emptying of himself, taking “the form of a slave”. (CCC 472)

  10. This acquired knowledge was not new in the sense that it was already known by Christ in His human nature either through Beatific Vision or through infusion. Though it wasn’t new in content, it was *new in the mode by which is was obtained.

*[/INDENT]In summary (why didn’t I just summarize in the first place?! ;)):
Christ has two natures, human and Divine. In His human intellect He possesses three types of knowledge: Beatific, infused, and acquired. In the last type, acquired, Christ’s human knowledge grows through experience. It is new in mode but not content. The passages of scripture which indicate a lack of knowledge or a growth of knowledge or a partial knowledge of Christ refer to the acquired knowledge of His human intellect.

I wish to note that the above is, to the best of my knowledge, not at variance with the mind of the Church. If it should be found that anything I said is at variance with true teaching, it should be disregarded. It is due either to my own ignorance or my inability to communicate.

What do you think?


In John 8:21-59 particularly 58- 59 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.” Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.

Jesus repeatedly claims the divine name “I AM” for Himself. The Jews understood that He was calling Himself God and wanted to stone Him for blasphemy (cf. John 5:18, 8:59, 10:30-36). Ask the Witnesses why the Jews would seek to stone Jesus if He wasn’t claiming to be God, especially since execution by stoning was reserved by Jewish Law for only a few crimes.


Ryan :slight_smile:


The Chruch teaches that Christ’s Divinity is Eternal. That Christ all of Creation was made through Him.

Jesus states in John 10:30 “The Father and I are one.” The Greek word “*hen” *does not mean of one mind or of one purpose but of one thing, one being. Christ does not say that He and the Father are of one will but that He and the Father “ARE ONE.” The Jews react in the same way they did in John 8:58-59, when they clearly understood the words “I Am”. Christ asserts the name given to Jehovah in the book of Exodus. In 5:18 The Scriptures say He “also called God His own Father, making Himself equal to God.” He is again being accused of blasphemy, here he says again: “I am the Son of God” To claim to be the Son of God is to claim Divinity.

[size=2]The solemn teaching of the Church.

The Church teaches solemnly: (1) that God the son, the second person of the most Holy Trinity, became man; (2) that He was born of the Blessed Virgin Marry; (3) that He is true God, true man.
In the Athanasian Creed the Church speaks as follows:
"He is God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before time: and man, of the substance of a mother, born in time… Equal to the Father, according to divinity: less than the Father according to humanity…who though God and man, is, yet, not two, but is one Christ…one, indeed, not by the conversion of the Divinity into flesh, but by the assumption of the humanity unto God."

[size=2]The knowledge Christ had through his Divine nature was infinitely perfect.[/size]
The knowledge Christ had through his human nature was not infinite.

Christ’s soul possessed three kinds of knowledge:

Celestial- His soul from the moment of it’s existence enjoyed, like the angels the immediate vision of God, and in that vision beheld all things past, present, and to come.

Infused- His soul was endowed with all that knowledge which God gave the angels at their creation.

Experimental- His soul had the ordinary knowledge which men obtain in everyday life from the use of their senses and reason. However we must understand that all the knowledge so acquired was already in his possession through other channels.


This paragraph has me confussed. Is it suggesting Jesus didn’t exist at some point?


He existed. Read the first Chapter of John and Revelation. Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning, and the Last.” He neither have a beginning nor an end.


His Divinity does not have a soul, only His Humanity. His Soul did not exist before the Incarnation.


Thank you for the clarification. I was trying to reconcile that with the verse Mannyfit75 shared.

Thank you both,

Ryan :slight_smile:


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