Why did Mary and Jesus feel pain and suffering?

Why did Jesus and Mary get hungry, have to work, feel sorrow, pain, and suffering? The cause of all that isoriginal sin . Help.

Although born without sin, Mary is truly human. So was Jesus. They could not be fully human and not feel what we feel.

I have always seriously doubted that old theory that Mary delivered Jesus without any labor pains because she was free of all sin. In the first place, if she didn’t experience labor like any other woman, she would have been walking down a street when the baby fell out between her legs, dangling there by His umbilical cord until she noticed! I think that she went through labor just like any other woman. Moreover, Jesus certainly suffered at His crucifixion and I imagine if when He was a little boy He fell down and scraped His knee, that hurt too! I don’t think either Jesus or Mary were spared the experience of pain on this earth. To have been spared it would have negated the crucifixion to an extent. and in addition, I doubt Jesus would have agonized as He did in Gethsemanee the night before He died if he was aware that what would happen to Him on Good Friday was going to be a walk in the park!

The book of Hebrews has some nice things to say about Jesus’s humanity being beneficial to us; in particular, 4:15 says "15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. " (ESV) God is not remote and uncaring, but has partaken of our sorrows and suffering.

Sin has affected our world so much that the affects of it can affect those who have no sin.

Our Lord didn’t have to suffer; he chose to. St. Thomas addresses this in detail in the Summa Theologica, Part III, Questions 14 & 15. I offer some key excerpts here, but to understand fully what he’s saying it is helpful to read the whole answers, linked below.

From Question 14:

It was fitting for the body assumed by the Son of God to be subject to human infirmities and defects; and especially for three reasons.

First, because it was in order to satisfy for the sin of the human race that the Son of God, having taken flesh, came into the world. … death, hunger, thirst, and the like, are the punishment of sin … Hence it was useful for the end of Incarnation that He should assume these penalties in our flesh and in our stead, according to Isaiah 53:4, “Surely He hath borne our infirmities.”

Secondly, in order to cause belief in Incarnation. For since human nature is known to men only as it is subject to these defects, if the Son of God had assumed human nature without these defects, He would not have seemed to be true man, nor to have true, but imaginary, flesh, as the Manicheans held. …]

Thirdly, in order to show us an example of patience by valiantly bearing up against human passibility and defects. Hence it is said (Hebrews 12:3) that He “endured such opposition from sinners against Himself, that you be not wearied. fainting in your minds.”

From Question 15:

by Divine dispensation the joy of contemplation remained in Christ’s mind so as not to overflow into the sensitive powers, and thereby shut out sensible pain. …] And hence, as there could be true pain in Christ, so too could there be true sorrow. …]

As to our Lady, I suppose it has to do with her role as co-redemptrix, but I don’t have any authorities to quote off the top of my head.

It is not our original sin that causes those things on an individual level.

It is that humanity as a whole fell from the state we were in. As such, to be human is to have those experiences. Jesus and Mary were human, therefore they too had those experiences.

Adam and Eve’s sin caused a fundamental change in the human race. Regardless of individual sin, humans are just different now.

Bottom line–I still think that God allowed Mary to feel labor pains. Perhaps it was a short labor, but just as Jesus felt His crucifixion, I doubt seriously that Mary didn’t feel labor. And whether she did or didn’t doesn’t change her esteemed position in the slightest. Her heart also obviously broke when Jesus was crucified! So Mary knew pain as did Jesus!

Mary was a human 100%, so I think she felt pain like anyone else would, but when giving birth to Jesus, Id imagine it was a bit different than just another normal human birth…thats only logical though, she was giving birth to God himself!

I dont know whether Jesus felt pain and suffering like a normal human though, I tend to think not, as he was not entirely human, so that would imply there is a definite difference, I mean, he was the creator of EVERYTHING, including pain and suffering, so I dont see how its possible for him to have felt everything like a human would,just not possible imo.

but so was adam and eve 100% human and they did not experience these things, so the church teaches.

the Son of God did assume human nature without these defects, such as human weakness or sin. so how is it that He is true human then?

That’s not what the church teaches.

The churches teaches he was FULLY God and FULLY man.

Key word fully. He felt every bit of pain of the cross and everything else.

I dont see how that is possible…100% God + 100% human= 200%…???

IMO, this is more likely…80% God + 20% human= Jesus

Jesus had to retain SOME of his Godly nature, as he still had Godly ‘duties’ to look after and perform while on earth as Jesus. See what Im saying?

No it is a miracle of God. He was completely God and completely man. You are in extreme error in this. Many early heretics held views like yours and were anathamatized so I’d encourage more study .

Start with the catechism.


464 **The unique and altogether singular event of the Incarnation of the Son of God does not mean that Jesus Christ is part God and part man, nor does it imply that he is the result of a confused mixture of the divine and the human. He became truly man while remaining truly God. Jesus Christ is true God and true man. **

During the first centuries, the Church had to defend and clarify this truth of faith against the heresies that falsified it.

465 The first heresies denied not so much Christ’s divinity as his true humanity (Gnostic Docetism). From apostolic times the Christian faith has insisted on the true incarnation of God’s Son “come in the flesh”.87 But already in the third century, the Church in a council at Antioch had to affirm against Paul of Samosata that Jesus Christ is Son of God by nature and not by adoption. The first ecumenical council of Nicaea in 325 confessed in its Creed that the Son of God is “begotten, not made, of the same substance (homoousios) as the Father”, and condemned Arius, who had affirmed that the Son of God “came to be from things that were not” and that he was “from another substance” than that of the Father.88

466 The Nestorian heresy regarded Christ as a human person joined to the divine person of God’s Son. Opposing this heresy, St. Cyril of Alexandria and the third ecumenical council, at Ephesus in 431, confessed "that the Word, uniting to himself in his person the flesh animated by a rational soul, became man."89 Christ’s humanity has no other subject than the divine person of the Son of God, who assumed it and made it his own, from his conception. For this reason the Council of Ephesus proclaimed in 431 that Mary truly became the Mother of God by the human conception of the Son of God in her womb: "Mother of God, not that the nature of the Word or his divinity received the beginning of its existence from the holy Virgin, but that, since the holy body, animated by a rational soul, which the Word of God united to himself according to the hypostasis, was born from her, the Word is said to be born according to the flesh."90

467 The Monophysites affirmed that the human nature had ceased to exist as such in Christ when the divine person of God’s Son assumed it. Faced with this heresy, the fourth ecumenical council, at Chalcedon in 451, confessed:

**Following the holy Fathers, we unanimously teach and confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man, composed of rational soul and body; consubstantial with the Father as to his divinity and consubstantial with us as to his humanity; “like us in all things but sin”. He was begotten from the Father before all ages as to his divinity and in these last days, for us and for our salvation, was born as to his humanity of the virgin Mary, the Mother of God.91
We confess that one and the same Christ, Lord, and only-begotten Son, is to be acknowledged in two natures without confusion, change, division or separation. The distinction between the natures was never abolished by their union, but rather the character proper to each of the two natures was preserved as they came together in one person (prosopon) and one hypostasis.92 **

468 After the Council of Chalcedon, some made of Christ’s human nature a kind of personal subject. Against them, the fifth ecumenical council, at Constantinople in 553, confessed that "there is but one hypostasis [or person], which is our Lord Jesus Christ, one of the Trinity."93 Thus everything in Christ’s human nature is to be attributed to his divine person as its proper subject, not only his miracles but also his sufferings and even his death: "He who was crucified in the flesh, our Lord Jesus Christ, is true God, Lord of glory, and one of the Holy Trinity."94

469 The Church thus confesses that Jesus is inseparably true God and true man. He is truly the Son of God who, without ceasing to be God and Lord, became a man and our brother:

“What he was, he remained and what he was not, he assumed”, sings the Roman Liturgy.95 And the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom proclaims and sings: "O only-begotten Son and Word of God, immortal being, you who deigned for our salvation to become incarnate of the holy Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary, you who without change became man and were crucified, O Christ our God, you who by your death have crushed death, you who are one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us!"96

And further;

(Really read this whole chapter)


479 At the time appointed by God, the only Son of the Father, the eternal Word, that is, the Word and substantial Image of the Father, became incarnate; without losing his divine nature he has assumed human nature.

480 **Jesus Christ is true God and true man, **in the unity of his divine person; for this reason he is the one and only mediator between God and men.

481 Jesus Christ possesses two natures, one divine and the other human, not confused, but united in the one person of God’s Son.

482 **Christ, being true God and true man, has a human intellect and will, perfectly attuned and subject to his divine intellect and divine will, **which he has in common with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

483 The Incarnation is therefore the mystery of the wonderful union of the divine and human natures in the one person of the Word.

Jesus was tempted to sin just as we are.

The Temptation of Jesus.
1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
2 He fasted for forty days and forty nights,* and afterwards he was hungry.
3 The tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.”
4 He said in reply, “It is written:
‘One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple,
6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written:
‘He will command his angels concerning you’
and ‘with their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus answered him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’"
8 Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence,
9 and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”
10 At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written:
‘The Lord, your God, shall you worship
and him alone shall you serve.’”
11 Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.

He had free will, but since His will was fully aligned with God’s, He did not sin but always acted as God desired. If we were fully holy we would always follow God’s desire too!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.