(Fr. Vince’s notes from the parish discussion he led the evening of Tuesday, November 14, 2017)
Who is Jesus? Who is Christ? Why should you care in what the difference is?
***Derivation: Hebrew would be: ‘Joshua, the anointed one’
Joshua means: ‘God’s salvation’, is common in Israel
‘Jesus the Christ’: is Greek and it stuck in translation
Christ was sent to die for our sins: Similar Catholic & Protestant theology
Redemption/Salvation is ‘one man dies for the sin of another—Adam’
The Original Sin…..still ‘removed’ in the baptism ritual
Creed & Doctrines skip over the life of Jesus of Nazareth
……from ‘born of the virgin Mary’ to ‘crucified, died, and raised’
Jesus was sent to lead us to the kingdom: Newer Catholic scriptural theology. Jesus shows us how to live….even unto death for his cause! Salvation comes through ‘committed life’ to ‘willingness to give up his life’ to ‘raised up by the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit’.
Who are we speaking about when we say ‘Christ’?
***it is not Jesus’ last name! lol
(fill in discussion page) [The Conflict of Christ’s Divinity – included at end of these notes]
When was all this decided?: Jesus’ time or Gospel time or 325 a.d.
Yes, 325 a.d. thru 380 a.d.
Done through Emperor Constantine who was not baptized until before his death and didn’t seem to know or care about the ‘choices’, just choose one!
The apostles (contemporaneous to Jesus) would not assume that Jesus the Christ was God. (or St. Paul either)
The Gospel writers (70 – 110 a.d.) who are responding to the oral stories about Jesus…and who he is….put to paper the belief that the Power of God raised Jesus from the dead…and ascended to God’s right hand.
That Jesus is the messiah that was foretold. And therefore, he is “Jesus of Nazareth, who is proclaimed as the messiah—Christ”.
The Doctrine of the Trinity says that the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit are jointly eternal. Three persons in one God.
Enough of that………let’s switch gears to “Who is Jesus?”
**go to back of worksheet** [at end of notes]
For centuries, it was the divine Christ….Jesus as the anointed divine Son of God that was most up front in our theology.
What happened with theologians in the late 18th/ early 19th century….and then happened to the rest of us in the 1950’s onward?
Answer: We started serious Catholic scripture scholarship that broke into the public in the 1950’s onward that we can read the bible!
We identified Jesus Christ more with Jesus the human more than simply Jesus as the Christ….no matter how much they may be connected.
A rough estimate of how much the Bible Talk about the divinity of Jesus is from the Gospels’ growing understanding of Jesus that is written back into the Gospels is lowest in St. Paul, then Mark, then Matthew, then Luke, then John.
All are inspired writings…..but their intent is not always to portray the human Jesus and what he said and did.
The later Gospel’s intent was to show who Jesus was to the people of John’s time. The resurrected Son of God who knew he was divine from all time.
This is many people’s favorite Gospel………………but it is less and less the favorite in favor of?????? Jesus as a person whose humanness is much like ours.
THEREIN IS MY TITLE: “Why should we care…to know the difference?”
The latest in Catholic scriptural scholarship proposes this:
Agree to the understanding of the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, and how the NT stories are interpreted later……
But the HISTORICAL JESUS is key to understanding the plan of God. By the way, an historical Jesus that is somewhat hard to figure out.
God is already God and can show God’s self in any way imaginable…
Could send us an email, a text, a manual, that is absolute…but God is already absolute.
So something else is going on. WHAT IS IT?
The main underlying theology that supersedes all else:
Divinity becomes one of us, in all things….but sin
The mystery of God comes to the poor…born of the poor
Like us, Jesus must grow in his understanding of who he is and what is his mission
He takes 30 years (middle age) to come out into the public
He walks to the Jordan River for a baptism of repentance
And walks away with a clearer enthusiasm
Yet must undergo the temptation to be less, to act less, to walk away, to fail
His message is solidified ‘on the fly’
He and his apostles, and followers and the experiences of his life help him understand his mission
He sees his call as a direct expression of the desire of God for him
He speeds up in the urgency of his mission…to bring about the kingdom of God
He is on a path to destiny
He does not desire to be destroyed, but walks forward into danger
He does have the ‘free will’ to retreat
Is willing to pay the ultimate price if that is what it takes
His murder is more senseless than portrayed
He goes to his death believing it is for God’s sake, but has feelings of abandonment
That’s just like us!
It is from this death that Jesus is awakened to exclaim: HOLY GOD!!
It is from our death that we are awakened to exclaim: For Christ’s sake, what just happened!! AMEN!
The Conflict of Christ’s Divinity
Check the ones you like:
____Christ was a man
____Jesus was a man
____Christ is God
____Jesus is God
____Jesus, the human form of Christ was God appearing to be human
____Jesus is a human, but not God
____Christ becomes a human and is God
____Jesus became ‘the Christ’ and declared Son of God
____Jesus, the Christ (the anointed one, the messiah) doesn’t need to be God
____The Son was created by the Father (that’s how Father / Son works)
____The Son existed before all time (with the Father)
____The Holy Spirit is the one that is made up as part of the Trinity
Who is Jesus?
What story(s) of Jesus is most meaningful to you? Why?
When you pray and connect Jesus to the present, do you bring forth an image of the human Jesus / divine Jesus / they are simply the same?
Is it Jesus’ humanness that is most important or his divinity most important?