Jesus as God has been neglected in the over-emphasis of Christ the man argues Dr Emile Coufalik MD
THE SECOND Divine Person, the Son of God and Man, incorporates the Divinity and Humanity of the Triune God. But, are we always aware of the identity between the Father and the Son, and, do we always understand the subordinance of the Son to the Father which has a very deep meaning?
Jesus Christ, Our Lord is introduced to us often as a human being with less emphasis on His Divinity, ie the Divinity of Our Lord is stressed.less and His Humanity more, and not in an equilibrium. This may create several logical inaccuracies to the layman.
The reasons why God decided to become man, living among us as Jesus Christ were discussed well and as far as by St Athanasius of Alexandria. Jesus Christ is therefore God Himself, the Second Divine Person of the Triune God, and this is therefore the best acknowledgement honouring Our Lord.
The statement, Jesus Christ is "God made Man" expresses the fact that He is the real, genuine, and true picture of' God, who incorporated man into His Son, but it does not state clearly that Jesus Christ equals God.
Another statement "the Son of God" is equally correct, but may be understood as a smaller grade, ie the Father is more than His Son, a senior to a junior less experienced and therefore not equal. And now, the dilemma may start. The following episode is explanatory.
Thinking about the Second Divine Person of the Holy Trinity or the Triune God seemed to have caused difficulties to the thirteen plus old boys of an RC school a year ago. The Second Divine Person, Our Lord Jesus Christ, was correctly recognised as the Son of God by them.
In view of His Sonship, their interpretation of the Trinity was rather unusual. God the Father was understood as the Commander-in-Chief, God the Son as the Second-in-Command because of His subordinance to the Father, and the Holy Spirit the God's love proceeding from both, as the Third-inCommand. The conclusion represented their logical thinking.
This episode signifies that something went wrong in the interpretation of the Dogma of the Holy Trinity by teachers of the RE, particularly that of the Second Divine Person.
The boys cannot be blamed as the sources of their knowledge were also the St. Mark's obligatory readings from the gospel, the "Sunday Bulletin" presented by the parishes, the
journals Universe and Catholic Herald, the Sunday homilies, and the Missals for the Sunday Masses. They had no time left for further references.
The rationale of this genuine episode is, that teachers are mentioning only the humanity of Jesus Christ and his subordinance to the Father, and underestimate the teaching of His Divinity; verbatim, Jesus Christ will remain a worldly man, and Mary, only a mother of a certain historical Jesus, instead of The Mother of God.
This may create another chaos in thinking, as the Christians will not differ from the monotheistic religions of Jews and Muslims. It has to be kept in mind that Judaism and Islam rejected Jesus Christ as God.
He is nobody to them, perhaps a criminal rabbi or a crucified prophet, perhaps a man a part of ancient history. The Christians are followers of Christ; Our Lord, both, the visible God and Divine Man, who through His visible human being shows the invisible face of Our Father in Heaven.
The Father and Son relationship has a far deeper meaning than a layman can understand. It is therefore essential to the catechets to teach that God the Father is the invisible, omnipotent, etc., God Himself. He wanted to make Himself visible, human-like, to be better understood.
Men on earth were given the picture of the invisible God in the likeliness of Jesus Christ.. God became Man that men can sanctify themselves and become also a picture of God, and be able to adore God and His honourable servants in a honourable and respectable way, as God wishes so.
Reciprocally, men and women of goodwill may have the privilege to grow to their individual, spiritual greatness and sanctity to which they have been called on this earth. Everybody created on this planet has to fulfil the task given to him by His Creator long before his or hers conception, and bring accounts of the work done.
"Gnothi seauton"; know thyself; find yourself — an oracle at Delphi expressed the wisdom of our ancestors. In interpretation it means a warning such as: "remember man that you are human only", do not sock something in vain beyond your abilities, do not build a tower of Babel. The ancient gods were jealous and disliked any insult".
Dr Emile Coufalik MD is a general practitioner in north London and a Knight of St Columba.