Why wasn't Jesus the first Pope

Why wasn’t Jesus the first Pope??

I know this sounds like a silly question but my wife (in RCIA) and Mother in Law (strong protestant) were discussing this, and when my wife asked me I couldn’t come up with anything she felt was a good answer to stand on:confused:

even at RCIA she asked the Deacon and he couldn’t give a much better answer than I could

I looked on google and even searched the Forum, though not thoroughly but I couldn’t find anything on this subject

my answer was

the Pope is the Bishop of rome, which was ordained by his apostles, and if Jesus called himself the first Pope, and gave his seat away like a King would after a king passes and it goes to the next king, it would be like equating the Bishop of Rome to Jesus which doesn’t work because Jesus is God :rolleyes:

looking for some good , thought out answers here :thumbsup:

I would have answered the way you did: God cannot have successors.

A related question is: why did Christ appoint the first Pope while He Himself walked the earth? In other words, why two visible heads at once? To which I answer, Christ wanted visibly to establish the papacy, to make clear that it was his own institution, and not man’s. And even so, there were not two kings. The pope is not the king. He is the king’s chief steward (cf. Is. 22:22).

Jesus was (and still is) the head of the Church. His death on the Cross did nothing to change that. Jesus was “in charge” while he lived on earth, and he is still “in charge” today. Nothing has changed.

The Pope is the Vicar of Christ (that’s one of his titles, and it is the one that I usually see applied to him). The word “vicar” means “representative.” The Pope represents Jesus, but he is not Jesus.

Isaiah Chapter 22:20-25

On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah; I will clothe him with your robe, gird him with your sash, confer on him your authority. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; what he opens, no one will shut, what he shuts, no one will open. I will fix him as a peg in a firm place, a seat of honor for his ancestral house; On him shall hang all the glory of his ancestral house: descendants and offspring, all the little dishes, from bowls to jugs. On that day, says the LORD of hosts, the peg fixed in a firm place shall give way, break off and fall, and the weight that hung on it shall be done away with; for the LORD has spoken.

The Pope is the Prime Minister of Jesus … the Pope represents Jesus with authority - authority given by Jesus - just as the Prime Minister Eliakim was appointed to act authoritatively for the King - the successor of King David …

Notice that the King gives up none of his authority [nor his personal key to the kingdom] in appointing the Prime Minister … All of the Prime Minister’s authority comes from and at the permission of the King …

This we see when Jesus changed Peter’s name - Peter was given an office - he is the rock upon which Jesus built His [Jesus’ ] Church - Peter is a Father to the Church [Abba, Father, Papa, Daddy, Pope] Peter is given the Key to heaven and earth to signify his office and the authority to exercise it [what Peter binds on earth is bound in heaven and what is loosed on earth is loosed in heaven]. And the gates of hell [Satan] will never prevail against the Church.

And that is why Jesus was not the first Pope … -Jesus is the King of Kings - He is God not his mere Prime Minister

Thanks above to everyone that answered, I particularly like your answer YADA thank you

Why wasn’t God the first prophet? Is my response. :smiley:

Anyway, Jesus did his job, now the Apostles had theirs: To go in-
to the world, make disciples, baptize and preach, and sustain the
Church until the next coming of Christ.

Protestants aren’t really good on that last point.

I believe your answer was spot on. Good job! NOBODY could succede Jesus–The Son of God–on earth. There could only ever be one Jesus–true God and true man. AND, Jesus never intended for a mere human to take His place. Jesus Himself picked Peter as the rock on which He built His church. All following popes are successors of Peter–not successors of Jesus. The reason that the current pope is the Bishop of Rome is that as the 12 apostles plus Paul spread out to evangelize the entire world for Jesus, Peter’s area where he evangelized was the area in and around Rome. Infact, ultimately Peter met his martyrdom at the hands of the Romans when they crucified him upside down in Rome. In a way, that simple fact is further proof of the legitimacy of the Catholic church and the authority of the Catholic popes. The original apostles recognized Peter as having been chosen by Jesus to be “the first among equals”–ie, the final authority in His earthly church. Undoubtedly, Jesus knew that final authority here on earth must rest with one person—or His church would immediately splinter as each apostle did his own thing in different areas with different ethnic groups, which would pit church against church. Jesus didn’t pick Peter for his brilliance or his bravery or even because he was the apostle that was Jesus’ favorite. Luke was a doctor, thus probably smarter, and John is listed as the apostle that Jesus loved best. I have no idea what Jesus saw in Peter–but He obviously knew what He was doing. AND, as Catholics we believe that Jesus remains true in his promise, that His church would last until the end of the earth–by sending the Holy Spirit to preside over the College of Cardinals when they pick each pope. It’s a direct line of the torch being passed on–traceable from the “Keys to the Kingdom” being given by Jesus to St. Peter and right down a straight verifiable line to Pope Francis.:thumbsup:

What others have said…but the really short version of it is, “why would you demote Christ”?


he was the first head of the Church but he knew that he had to leave it in the hands of a human leader when he was to leave. So Christ made peter the head of the Church on Earth after his death and resurrection. We understand this as the first Pope directly founded by Christ. Christ is still the head and shepherd of the Church but his visible head on earth is the successor of Peter.

I am also reminded of the scripture where Mary Magdalen saw the risen Jesus and she wanted to cling to Him, and He said “no”.

He had to ascend to His Father, and his followers were commissioned to go out into the world and spread the Good News! He had given everything…the Eucharist, etc. Now His followers had to carry on without seeing him in the flesh.

Our pope is the servant of the servants of God.

All good answers above. I’d just like to chime in that the Church was born at Pentecost-- after Jesus’ ascension to heaven. He’d established Peter as Pope before He even went to the cross (Mt. 16:18) but the Church was made manifest at the coming of the Holy Spirit (ccc 1076). The purpose of a Pope is to have a visible head and shepherd of the visible Church. As previously stated, however, Jesus is the Head and Shepherd of the Church, the Pope is like a Prime Minister.

I would point to the parable in Luke 12:41-46 (which Jesus told specifically to St. Peter). Christ is the master of the household, the Pope is the chief steward.

I someone whose forbears (Hussites, I believe), at one point decided to elect their own Pope. They elected Jesus as Pope. I explained that from the Catholic perspective this would be blasphemous, because it is giving Jesus a demotion.

Yeah, pretty much what everyone else said.

Look at all of Jesus’ parables about rich men or kings and the stewards who ran their affairs. “Steward” is a servant’s position, albeit a very powerful one. The master of the house in almost every one of those parables is shown firing or punishing a steward for not doing the job. Wanting Jesus to be Pope is making the Master into one of His servants. (As a schoolteacher commented in one thread about whether Pope Francis is wrong to downplay the regal image of the papacy, “At my school, the man entrusted with all the keys isn’t the principal, he’s the custodian.”

It’s true that Jesus was, is, and always will be the true Head of His Body, the Church. But even so we would not add him to the list that runs from Peter to Francis, because that would imply He stopped being the Head at some point and had successors. Jesus continues to be King and Head in parallel with the line of men who have successively served Him as Pope.


You are welcome :blush: - I just try to keep it simple while illustrating the Church in action with the scriptures - in proper context -

This principal - leadership of the Church - while mis-understood because of historical angst IMHO is really straight forward - …

Remember its is God’s plan - and its a good one - though it challenges us at times because of the lens we see through from our experiences

That’s one of the most colorful posts I’ve ever seen here.

The pope is the vicar of Christ. A vicar is one who stands in the place of someone else. Dioceses have a Vicar General to stand in for the bishop should the need arise. Religious communities have a vicar (or a similar role by another name) to assist the superior and stand in for them if needed. Jesus wasn’t the first pope because he didn’t need anyone to stand in for him during his public ministry.

I think making Jesus out to be the first pope would make things worse. Since Jesus is God, it would sort of turn the papacy into a God-like office, if that makes any sense.

Jesus wasn’t the first Pope because He is God and because He ascended back to Heaven. If He were the first Pope then every other Pope that followed Him would have had to be divine as well. This was definitely not the case. All of the Popes have been sinners just like everyone else who has existed other than Jesus and Mary are sinners. For the most part the Popes were good people but they were sinners also.

Very well explained Holly! How are you doing today? hope you are well!:thumbsup:

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