I’ve become convinced that its important for the Church to inoculate our young people with a healthy dose of catechesis before we ship them off to college, just enough so that when they first hear about Nietzsche or really study Darwin they won’t freak out and presume that what the Church taught them in 6th grade confirmation is the only wisdom the Church has to offer.
I’ve been working on writing a catechism, a distillation of the faith into concise questions and answers with brief supporting scriptures that could be the starting point for a conversation.
You can find the previous posts here.
III. The Son
3. Is Jesus a Human Being?
Not like you or me even though he’s every bit like you or me.
Jesus is the union of humanity and divinity.
He is the ‘God-Man’ as the early Christians put it; in other words, the two natures- human and divine- share, in Jesus, one substance. The two natures are not discrete properties which for a time share the same real estate in Jesus. They share same existence.
To bring the distinction into still greater focus:
Jesus has no existence of his own apart from his existence in the Word.
There is no mortal, historical person called Jesus of Nazareth who still would have existed had there been no incarnation. Apart from his existence in the Word, Jesus has no existence as a human being. The human Jesus exists only also as the eternal Son.
So, yes, Jesus has an authentic human existence, as human as you or me, but Jesus’ human existence is only by virtue of his existence in God.
Unlike you and me.
Whereas we get our human existence from God, the human Jesus exists in God. The very existence of the human Jesus is God’s existence.
So, no, Jesus is not just a human being because Jesus is never not of one Being with the Father.
“He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being…”
– Hebrews 1.3