Lesson 15: Jesus Christ, true God and true man

The New Testament

Catholic Lessons

Jesus Christ is true God and true man

"Again the high priest asked Him, and said to Him:  Art Thou the Christ the Son of the blessed God?  And Jesus said to him:  I am.  And you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming with the clouds of Heaven.  Then the high priest rending his garments, saith:  What need we any further witnesses?  You have heard the blasphemy.  What think you?  Who all condemned Him to be guilty of death."  (Mark 14:61-64)

Who is Jesus Christ?

Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, true God and true man.

"But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent His Son, made of a woman, made under the law:  That He might redeem them who were under the law:  That we might receive the adoption of sons."    (Galatians 4:4-5)

Is Jesus Christ really God?

Yes.  He is equal to God the Father and equal to God the Holy Ghost.

"And lo, the Heavens were opened to Him:  And He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him.  And behold a voice from Heaven, saying:  'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'"    (Matthew 3:16-17)

"Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."    (Matthew 28:19)

Did Jesus Christ say that He was God?

Yes.  He said this to the Apostles and to the people and also while under oath in the Sanhedrin court.

"I and the Father are one."    (John 10:30)

"Jesus saith to them:  But whom do you say that I am?  Simon Peter answered and said:  Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God."    (Matthew 16:15-16)

How did Jesus prove that He is God?

Chiefly, by His miracles. "If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not.  But if I do, though you will not believe Me, believe the works:  That you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father."    (John 10:37-38)

What is a miracle?

In general, a miracle is an unusual event which is contrary to or beyond the laws of nature and which cannot be explained except through the power of God.

"The works themselves, which I do, give testimony of Me, that the Father hath sent Me."    (John 5:36)

Could science in years to come explain away miracles?

Never, because only through the power of God could blindness be cured instantly or the dead come back to life just by the sound of a voice.

"From the beginning of the world it hath not been heard, that any man hath opened the eyes of one born blind.  Unless this man were of God, he could not do any thing."    (John 9:32-33)

How do miracles prove a statement to be true?

A miracle can be performed only by the power of God, and God could not perform a miracle in favor of a lie.

"For the works which the Father hath given Me to perfect; the works themselves, which I do, give testimony of Me, that the Father hath sent Me.  And the Father Himself who hath sent Me, hath given testimony of Me."    (John 5:36-37)

What were some of the miracles of Jesus?

He cured six blind men, eleven lepers, two paralytics, a deaf mute, raised three people from the dead, cast the devil out of many, changed water into wine, calmed a storm, walked on the waters of the sea, twice fed thousands of people with a few loaves of bread and a few fish -- a word, a look, a gesture, a simple touch, and all nature obeyed Him as its Master.

"Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of His disciples, which are not written in this book.  But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God:  And that believing, you may have life in His name."    (John 20:30-31)

What was the greatest miracle of Jesus?

His resurrection from the dead, as He had foretold. "To whom also he shewed Himself alive after His passion, by many proofs, for forty days appearing to them, and speaking of the kingdom of God." (Acts 1:3)

In what other ways did Jesus prove that He was God?

By the holiness of His life, by the perfection of His teaching, by His prophecies and by fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Testament.

What is a prophecy?

A sure foretelling of a future event which cannot be naturally foreseen, except through the power of God. Were the prophecies of the Old Testament fulfilled in Jesus?

Yes, some of them were about His origin, nationality, tribe, divinity, time and place of birth, the virginity of His Mother, His flight into Egypt, His betrayal, and practically all the details of His Passion and death, agony, scourging, mockery, Crucifixion, burial and Resurrection.

What are some of the prophecies made by Jesus?

The following have already been fulfilled:  Those about His Passion, death, Resurrection, denial by Peter, betrayal of Judas, the coming of the Holy Ghost, the persecution of His followers, the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem and the preaching of the Gospel throughout the whole world.

What value do these prophecies have?

Like the miracles, they prove that Jesus was telling the truth when He said He was God. "The works that I do in the name of My Father, these give testimony of Me."    (John 10:25)

Is Jesus a real man?

Yes, because He has a body and a soul.

Is Jesus a human person?

No, He is a divine Person, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.  Jesus Christ has two natures, a human nature and a divine nature, and yet He is only one Person.

Is Jesus Christ both God and man?

Yes, He is God from all eternity, but He became man some two thousand years ago. "For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead corporeally."    (Colossians 2:9)

Why did God become man?

To save man from his sins and to open again the gates of Heaven. "Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners."    (1 Timothy 1:15)

How did Jesus save man?

By His death on the Cross. "Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things as gold or silver, from your vain conversation of the tradition of your fathers:  but with the precious blood of Christ."    (1 Peter 1:18-19)

Are you automatically saved by the death of Jesus?

No, because His death merely makes it possible for you to be saved. "With fear and trembling work out your salvation."    (Philippians 2:12)

What is necessary to be saved?

You have to be baptized, belong to the Church established by Jesus Christ, obey the Ten Commandments, receive the Sacraments, pray, do good works and die with Sanctifying Grace in your soul, that is you have to die in the state of grace.