What did Jesus know and when


#1

We are all taught as Christians that Jesus is the son of God and that he came and was crucified for our sins. That He made the ultimate sacrifice. To die and then to rise again.

This always left me with an awfully empty feeling.

If Jesus is God, if he knew he was going to rise from the dead to live forever with his father then where is the sacrifice?

It appears to me that, in order for the passion to make sense, Jesus could not have known with a Godly certainty that he would rise, or in what form.
If, on hte other hand he did not “Know”, but had to accept on faith and trust of the father it would explain much in the passion and before. For instance the agony, where Jesus asks that the cup be taken away. Also the statements on the cross speaking to abandonment and surrender.
It is also proof of the faith he preached and lived.

My personal conviction is that he did not 'Know", but was filled with the spirit of God and thus was guided by what came to be called the Holy Spirit. Which also explains why the Holy Spirit could not come until Jesus had asended.

I am curious as to the church’s view on this. As well as any others on the boards.

Thanks in advance.

James


#2

The Passion and Sacrifice of the Lord was very real indeed. His foreknowledge of the Resurrection in no way limited his suffering or lessened the sacrifice. Knowing that something will happen and living it are two different things, after all.

For instance, when you renovate a house you live through the mess until its done or plan a wedding and go through all the hassles of getting everything ready on time or make reservations to travel and actually be on the plane taking off. You know the house will be finished and the wedding be celebrated and the vacation gone on, but until they happen they are only future events with no substance.

Jesus life experiences were very real and the atonement was dear–costing him his life’s blood, pain, the suffering of his loved ones, and the crisis of faith for his followers. It was quite real and quite efficacious even if he knew the Resurrection was coming. Hebrews 12:2 “…who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…”. The coming Resurrection only deepened Jesus’ trial. It in no way made it easier on him.

Jesus did do his works through the power of the Holy Spirit, so that we too would be able to do his work in the world as his followers. But, that did not mean he was not fully divine, as well. He merely laid aside the prerogatives of his divinity to fully embrace his humanity, making him the perfect offering for all humanity.


#3

I would say He both knew and didnt know. He knew such severe torture was going to occur to Him, and that resulted in much psychological distress, but He didnt know what it would feel like because His body had not undergone such torture before. The sacrifice is knowing He as a human would have to endure REAL torture as well as inflict psychological torture on His followers (especially His mother),** but that He went ahead and endured it**.

The Gospel’s are clear that Jesus knew well beforehand that He was going to rise again in the flesh. There was no time when He was not God.


#4

America Magazine, September 17, 2007 has an article written by William Thomson-Uberruaga, a contemporay Catholic theologiani. He has some interesting quotes:
Luke 2:52 tells us Jesus grew in Wisdom.
Ireraeus in Against Heresies wrote that the son passed through "every stage of life."
Early Church Councils found it necessary to defend Jesus’ authentic human soul, will, and vital energy against some who would deny them.

The theologian states that there would have to be a communion between the divine nature and the human nature in Jesus the person. This would involve an exchange of attributes between the two. How extensive the exchange actually was we can only speculate as the evidence is not totally one way or the other.
He ends up saying it is and remains a difficult question that we may never fully understand.


#5

Thanks,
I appreciate the input.
I’m also glad to see that others have pondered this and arrived at various forms of conclusions. I just hate the old, “Well it’s a mystery” stuff.

To Clarify,
I am not calling into question Jesus divinity, either before or after the resurection, just the way in which the Father chose to play out the plan of salvation.

For instance, was Jesus born with complete knowledge? I don’t think so. I think he was born man, but with the special gift of the wholeness of the Holy Spirit. Therefore He was able to discern things in scripture others couldn’t and was guided to where He had to be.
I find that this outlook provides a very logical flow to the Gospels and how Jesus reveals himself to his followers. It could very well be that the Father was reavealing these things to him in the same way.
This also provides a beautifully full way of looking at the passion and crusifixion. Fear, Anguish and, through it all, Complete trust and submission.

I look forward to more outlooks on this.

James


#6

Why? He was a human being in time, and He suffered as a man would.

Knowing that a certain “pain” will pass doesn’t make the pain any less “a pain”, even for us normal mortals.

His suffering was not a product of uncertainty. It was a product of his being “fully man”.

If, on hte other hand he did not “Know”, but had to accept on faith and trust of the father it would explain much in the passion and before. For instance the agony, where Jesus asks that the cup be taken away. Also the statements on the cross speaking to abandonment and surrender.
It is also proof of the faith he preached and lived.

He “knew” what He knew as God. He also “knew” what He knew as man.

He has told us what we are to know of what He knew. The magisterium informs us of this information.

All else is the mystery of the incarnation.

My personal conviction is that he did not 'Know", but was filled with the spirit of God and thus was guided by what came to be called the Holy Spirit. Which also explains why the Holy Spirit could not come until Jesus had asended.

You might want to be careful with your rationalizations of the “causality” of this mystery.

Just as we are not to know “the time of His coming”, we are not to know the “answer” to this mystery,… and to presume to “work it out” is to dabble in gnosticism.

I am curious as to the church’s view on this. As well as any others on the boards.

Thanks in advance.

James

Best to you, oh inquisitive one…! :slight_smile:

Mahalo ke Akua…!
E pili mau na pomaikai iaoe. Aloha nui.


#7

I don’t know much about gnosticism. Is that the strand that took the position that Jesus was man who became God?
I certainly don’t go that far, but I must follow where the Holy Spirit leads me, even if it gives me a headache sometimes. All is eventually made clear.
I’m just not all that clear on how much mystery God intends for us. Tis a narrow and windy road we tread, but God gave us intellect for some reason.

Thanks for your input and words of encouragement.

James


#8

Hi JRKH,

The relationship between Jesus’ divinity and humanity is something difficult to understand, indeed we call it the mystery of the Incarnation.

Of course, to Jesus as God, everything is in the present. So he knows everything, past, present and future. But God does not have experimental knowledge of human happenings or feelings. He knows about hunger, but cannot experience it. He knows about suffering but does not know what suffering is. And that applies to all his human knowledge. That is why the gospel can say that he grew in wisdom, human wisdom.

So Jesus, as God, knew everything about his future, but, experientially, as a human, he knew it only as it happened… And as a human, he could fear it to the point of sweating blood.

Verbum


#9

The meaning of “sacrifice”, in this context, doesn’t involve giving something up, though sacrifice often does involve this for us mortals, and did involve great loss and suffering for Christ. Sacrifice means “to make sacred”. Christ became sin, and died for us, so that we may be made pure.

As for whether Jesus knew this all when he as six months old, he knew it in his divine nature, but not in his human nature. It’s a mystery. But we shouldn’t stop here, as you rightly said, for mystery simply means that we cannot ever understand the reasons completely, but we can always understand them better.

I suggest reading Summa Theologica, Part 3, Question 5, Article 4 about whether Christ assumed a human intellect.

Part 3, Question 50, Article 1, about whether death was fitting for Christ.

For the crux of the matter, about whether Christ knew his own suffering, and about whether Christ, as a person, could learn anything, see Part 3, Question 9, all articles (especially article 4).

This will not give you all the answers you seek, but is a good starting point.


#10

I find the hypostatic union very difficult to think about, logically. Infinity plus any finite quantitiy is still infinity. How is Christ’s humanity in any way reconcilable with his divinity? An indirect approach to contemplation works much better for me – look at Christ through Mary’s eyes – the humanity suddenly comes into clear focus. Both the child and the man become much more real. Even if He is God, He is still the infant she held at her breast. She still sees her Son, whether a glorified risen Lord, or a suffering wretch nailed to a cross. That may be her role in the redemption – to help us better grasp and interiorize the meaning of the Passion.


#11

Gnosticism
Sycretism

The attempt to “know” something that is not for us to “know” makes people create, of find, explanations that are not “from God” but from either other people (cultures) or from other “gods” (demons/Satan/etc).

(( Meaning, ultimately, from the great deciever himself. ))

Is that the strand that took the position that Jesus was man who became God?

I certainly don’t go that far, but I must follow where the Holy Spirit leads me, even if it gives me a headache sometimes. All is eventually made clear.

One thing that Catholics rely on is that some things remain mysteries (are humanly unknowable) until the due authority, the Church, makes it “clear”. Thus, the refences to our not needing to worry about when Jesus comes, and the mystery of the Body of Christ, as examples.

The Holy Spirit never leads anyone into “solving” Christian mysteries. He leads us into immersing ourselves IN them while believing them.

I’m just not all that clear on how much mystery God intends for us. Tis a narrow and windy road we tread, but God gave us intellect for some reason.

See the catechism as concerns the subject of “mystery”.

Thanks for your input and words of encouragement.

James

Best to 'ya…!

Mahalo ke Akua…!
E pili mau na pomaikai iaoe. Aloha nui.


#12

Keikiolu,
You made the following statements recently:

Keikiolu Said to Emily_CA in: Former Catholic thread post # 136

God created man so that man would know God. It pleases God for man to know Him. It pleases God less that man chooses to know God less than he could by refusing what God has offered in it’s fullness.

Keikiolu Said to JRKH in What did Jesus know…. Post #11

*The attempt to “know” something that is not for us to “know” makes people create, of find, explanations that are not “from God” but from either other people (cultures) or from other “gods” (demons/Satan/etc).

(( Meaning, ultimately, from the great deciever himself. ))*

One thing that Catholics rely on is that some things remain mysteries (are humanly unknowable) until the due authority, the Church, makes it “clear”. Thus, the refences to our not needing to worry about when Jesus comes, and the mystery of the Body of Christ, as examples.

The Holy Spirit never leads anyone into “solving” Christian mysteries. He leads us into immersing ourselves IN them while believing them.

Pardon me if I find these just a little contradictory. On the one hand you tell me that we as Catholics must rely on and faith in the mysteries, which I gree with, yet you tell Emily that God wants us to “know Him”. I realize I am splitting hairs here, but……

If God wishes us to know Him and is unhappy if we choose to know Him less than in ways less than He has offered then we must seek Him in the fullness of our ability to understand for surely God will reveal himself to each of us as we are capable.

The Holy Spirit guides each of us in our journey if we seek Him and are attentive to Him. Of course this does not mean we we accept whatever pops into our head as being of the Holy Spirit. All things must be tested against Truth and the insights provided by those who have gone before us.

However, we must not be blind to the gifts God has provided us, or the insights he might reveal to us. My origional question was not intended to imply that I understood the mystery of the Incarnation, but rather that I had reached a limited understanding in the area of form only. This understanding has shown Jesus to me in a much more intimate way than I could ever attain by just “accepting the mystery”.

I have many MANY questions without answers and so accepting mysteries is nothing new to me. Someday I hope to be able to put together these ideas in a comprehesive way. But for now I am still studying, and learning. I hope that all my fellow believers will continue to pray with me for guidance and understanding. I hope you will continue to point things out to me as well.

My God Bless you on your journey

James


#13

One interesting point to consider is when Jesus at age 12 was found in the Temple (Luke 2:41ff) and he appeared to have some significant grasp on things to be astonishing the teachers at his answers (46f).


#14

Thank you for mentioning this. The finding in the temple is an interesting passage to be sure and many will suggest, or believe that this points to his being the 'Son of God" with all understanding that this entails. While this may be true in the deepest sense. I see it somewhat differently from the human and historical sense.

As Jesus was growing up he was subject to his earthly mother and father, and to all things human. After all the hoopla of the birth and flight into Egypt etc. Their lives settled into a normal routine. Jesus, growing from and infant had to learn to walk, talk, speak respectfully, behave appropriately, even be potty trained, just as we all must be. In other words as a child, he needed to grow in wisdom and learn all the realities of being human, and being a Jew. During this early time there was little for God to do except protect Him from disease, accident etc.

As He began learning the scriptures, the spirit of His Father began to stir in Him. I think of it as the first stirrings of the Holy Spirit in the human heart. He read the scriptures, listened as others interpreted them and wondered, just as many of us do, how they came up the that particular interpretation. I’m sure he was also struck with the inconsistancies of the official church, just as we do. So he began to question these things in his heart and study on them. No doubt his mother, blessed as she was, helped and encouraged Him.

Thus when he was 12, He had reached some conclusions of His own (or rather of his Father’s) as to where the church elders were in error. Perhaps He was even beginning to develop an understanding of how the scripture should be taught. In other words the basic beginnings of his ministry.

He began by talking to the Elders and Teachers, not at a local synagoge, but in Jeruselem. It says he “astonished them”. At this point it appears he did not Challenge them, but we are given to understand that at this point in his spiritual journey, Jesus was beginning to put it all together. He then returned home with his parents to continue his development as a human adult.

Not written is that all during this time God, through the Holy Spirit, provides Jesus protection and guidance.

In studying the mission of Jesus in salvation, I find it necessary to probe deeper than the parables and the Cross. These are all necessary and sound for us to know, but there is so much more.
If we only look at Jesus as God, we lose the greater essence of his mission to man. God could have accomplished salvation in other ways. So Why this way?

Jesus as a man taught us. Jesus as a man lived with us, laughed with us, showed us through his actions, words, and miracles what the kingdom is all about. He tells us that we can do the things that he does if we have faith. Yet how many of us can move a rock, let alone a mountain with our faith. How many can heal the sick or raise the dead. Yet Jesus promises us that we can if we believe and have faith. His life, death, and resurection must mean more than just miracles, stories and some ethereal salvation. His very life with us is what is to be emulated. This is what we must look at. How did he treat others? How did he react to provcation? How and when in his ministry did he reveal the father, and the course his mission would take?

Thinking about what the Human Jesus actually knew, and when he knew it can bring Him closer to us because we see how much he had to act on faith, just as we are asked to.

Sorry if I’ve rambled a bit.
May God Bless

James


#15

Read Matt 26:39,42,44
Jesus is practically begging the Father to take the cup from Him if possible.
He knew what was going to happen. He knew He would be beaten and killed. That just adds to the tremendous sacrifice that He made for us.


#16

I have a question about the crucifixion and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, But Jesus being fully human and fully divine. Wouldn’t his divinity not only have known about the suffering he was to endure, but since all things are at all times present to God past, present and future. Wouldn’t that suffering always be present to Jesus? Is that why we call it the eternal sacrifice of the mass? My understanding is that it was a sacrifice made once for all, but since it was made by God Himself wouldn’t it always be present to Him, or is it too horrible to think that kind of suffering would always be there, or maybe that’s part of his infinite love. My understanding is that in the sacrifice of the Mass that His Calvary is present in the Eucharist, not that He repeats it over and over, but that It’s always present since it was one eternal sacrifice? Just a Question


#17

Maybe this can help in understanding this thread, or maybe not, but here goes.

Jesus has two natures and two wills, but one person. The human nature feels pain whereas the divine nature does not since it is Spirit without nerve endings in a body. Jesus in the garden when He prayed that the passover cup be removed was accepting the method of our redemption given to Him by the Father since it was the Father’s will that was being done. God the Father chose the method of Christ’s death and was accepted by Jesus.

As for the hypostatic union, a human will even though it was Jesus’s will cannot grasp the understanding of the Trinity. Humanly that is not possible. His divine nature could.

In the Eucharist, we receive not His earthly body that feels pain, but the Glorified Body of Christ that transends pain and suffering.
This is shown in John 6:63. It is His Glorified body that is the unbloody sacrifice.

Hope this helps. mdcpensive1


#18

Thanks, That clears up alot.


#19

misslollips,
The passage you mention is indeed indicative that Jesus knew what was coming. How human this passage is, dripping with all the fear, and anguish of a man facing his ultimate test. Of knowing that he has to take this path and still hoping that he might not have to. For all that though, for all that we feel when reading it, the passage still does not indicate a full understanding of what was to come, or the results. Only a total faith.

I was trying to think of an analogy and I could only come up with a very poor one.

A person goes to the dentist. The dentist has a look and finds a great deal of work needing done. When finished the teeth will look beautiful. Take years off their appearance and improve their health. There is also going to be a lot of pain and discomfort during the process; some teeth pulled, braces, fillings, caps, plus a root canal.
Now the person getting the work “knows” the path and "knows the expected result, but still must commit to the pain and expense freely. Plus even after doing that there is no guarentee that the smile they hope for is the one they are going to get.

I wish I had a better analogy - - -

Anyway my point is, that “knowing” something in the past is simply reading history. “Knowing” something in the future still requires faith and trust. For Jesus the man, even knowing where God was leading him, and to what purpose still required of him a constant renewal of faith in his father.

Note that in 2 of the Gospels, Matthew and Mark, Jesus cries out, “Father. Father. Why have you forgotten me.” In Luke, this statement is not mentioned, rather he says, “Father into Your hands I commend my Spirit”. John simply recalls him saying, Now it is finished".

Taken together these utterances tell me that Jesus, as he was suffering, hoped for some different ending. He obviously felt far from the Father at that moment, but when death drew nearer he gave himself over completely to the Father. So this is the victory of the cross. That Jesus so loved the Father, and so trusted the Father, that he would rather give himself up to death than to ever seriously doubt, or quit the Father.

Can we go forth and do the same?

Does this make any sense?
James
(By the way I love your username)


#20

mdcpensive1,
Great post my friend. Thank you. And thank Cranster for the question. You folks are all great.

I can’t speak to the first part of your reply, beause if I think on it too much I get a headache.:smiley: I do agree with the duality of will that you point up. It is not unlike our own ID vs. CONSCIENCE dillemma we face every day. Only more so.

I really like the second paragraph. It really sums up what I was trying to get across. Jesus “human self” would be unable to fully comprehend all that the “Divine Self” would be trying to tell him.
Since Jesus was born human, we can assume he had to grow in his humanity as well as His spirituality just as we do. And that is where some of the greatest joys and lessons reside. In Jesus journey from Jesus the infant, to the risen Christ our Lord and Saviour.

Peace and Plessings on your Journey

James.


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