One of the most difficult concepts.

The most difficult concept is the divinty of Christ -I don't mean to sound offensive. Why I am saying this is because of how his weakness, represents his power and strength. My servants (God bless them all) and abouna told me that the reason why he was weak in the flesh is because he took our form, all of it but sin. My question was in respects to when Christ cried on the rock, and I was wondering how can God pray to Himself? I am still confused (even though their answers were excellent), I still can't grasp the concept. Please pray for me. God bless everyone.


  • Best explained in this:,_Jersey_City,_NJ/omonogeneis_english_oliver_youssef.1840.mp3

    "O only begotten Son, the eternal and immortal Word of God; who for our salvation did will to be incarnate of the holy Theotokos (and ever Virgin Mary)<sup>2</sup>.

    Who without change became man and was crucified, the Christ God. Trampled down death by death. One of the Holy Trinity, who is glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us.

    Holy God, who being God, for our sake, became man without change.

    Holy Mighty, who by weakness showed forth what is greater than power.

    Holy Immortal, who was crucified for our sake, and endured death in His flesh, the Eternal and Immortal.

    O Holy Trinity, have mercy on us."
  • Thank you, God bless. Please pray for me.
  • Dear friend,
    Your thoughts are correct

    If Jesus was praying for God he can not be god
    the only answer will be "Jesus is not God"
    Don't try to fool yourself with nonsense

  • I'm not a theologian, but my two cents worth is that Jesus was not praying to Himself, but to God the Father. It's important to differentiate between the three hypostases of the Trinity - at this point in time, God the Son had assumed human form and taken upon Himself all the weaknesses (but none of the faults) of man. Fear and anxiety is one of those weaknesses - the natural human reaction (at least for those who believe in God) to potentially painful situations is to pray! There's nothing illogical about God the Son, while carrying out His mission on Earth, seeking guidance and comfort from God the Father during a difficult time.

    Pray for me
  • [quote author=Muslim link=topic=9109.msg113537#msg113537 date=1271682421]
    Dear friend,
    Your thoughts are correct

    If Jesus was praying for God he can not be god
    the only answer will be "Jesus is not God"
    Don't try to fool yourself with nonsense

    so you just ignore the rest of the Scripture and concluded that "Jesus is not God"?!!
  • It is necessary for us to have some joined up thinking when it comes to theology. What we believe and confess to be true in one area of our faith will have consequences and implications for what we believe in some other area.

    Therefore we cannot consider the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ without considering the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. We believe that our God is a trinity in unity. This means that there are three distinct divine identities, persons or hypostases, and these three divine persons share entirely and completely one divine nature. Therefore the Father is eternal, the Son is eternal and the Holy Spirit is eternal. The Father is omnipotent, the Son is omnipotent and the Holy Spirit is omnipotent. And these are not three Gods, but one God who is three divine persons.

    St Severus teaches us that the Holy Trinity dwells outside of time, and therefore does not exist within a process of history such as we do. We spend time as a baby, then as a child, during which we are a son, and then we marry and have children of our own and become a father. But it is not like this for God. He is known to us as Father because He is eternally the Father of the Son. Father and Son must share the same nature, therefore outside of all time the divine Father begets the divine Son of the same eternal divine nature.

    Indeed the only difference between these three divine Persons is that the Father begets the Son, the Son is begotten of the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. We do not know what these words mean in the reality of the nature of God, the inner existence of the Holy Trinity is beyond explanation. But we do receive these words as markers and distinguishing characteristics. Everything the Father is and has is shared with the Son and with the Holy Spirit, save that the Father begets, the Son is begotten and the Holy Spirit proceeds. They are the same divine nature, the same God the Holy Trinity, but they are three Persons.

    The Gospel of St John begins, 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and the Word was with God'. Again, St Severus reminds us that the relation of a word to the one who speaks it has some faint echo of the reality of the relation of the Word of God to the Father. And indeed the Holy Spirit to the Father. The Word is spoken by the Father, and is a perfect expression of the divine mind of the Father. He both represents the Father as a perfect image, and is of the Father as being his own Word. St John expresses the understanding of the Church from the beginning - any other interpretation of the Scriptures and of the Fathers is simple revisionism based on a misunderstanding of the Christian Faith.

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God.

    Is there any need to say anything else? Scripture teaches us over and over again that Jesus Christ himself considered himself to be God, and his disciples came to see also that he was God. Think of the confession of St Thomas, 'My Lord and my God!'. Or the confession of St Peter, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!'.

    Or the words of Christ himself, 'I am the Father are one'. And when he says..

    'All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him'.

    Or when God the Father Himself recognised Jesus Christ as His Son..

    'And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased'.

    There are many, many other passages in the Gospels, let alone in the rest of the New Testament. It is clear that the writers of the Gospels, who were eyewitnesses of what they described, had lived with a man who believed himself to be the Son of God, who believed that He had come from heaven and was returning to heaven, and whose life filled with miracles and more than human perception, convinced them, and especially and finally by his resurrection, that he was who he said he was - the Son of God.

    Now as I reported St Severus as saying earlier, God is not subject to time. He does not become the Father after not being the Father. If he is the Father of the Son then He has always been the Father of the Son.

    Who else walks upon the water by his own power? Who else stills the storms? Who else heals the sick and raises the dead by his own authority? Who else suffers silently, asks that his persecutors be forgiven, dies, is buried and rises again by his divine power? None other than the divine Son of God who is the Word of God.  

    There are only so many choices. Either Jesus Christ was mad, bad or God. He cannot be anything else. Do his words sound like those of a mad man? They don't to me, nor to countless millions of others who have trusted in Christ as God and Lord and Saviour. He teaches a life of holiness, gentleness, service and sacrifice. As was said to him, 'You have the words of eternal life'.

    If he was bad then we would expect him to have gained something from his ministry. Yet he rejected earthly power or wealth, He did not sweep across the land at the head of an army. He rode into Jerusalem, meek and on a donkey. It is said of him that no-one could find anything to accuse him of. He was sinless. Everything he said and did was the opposite of being bad.

    He cannot be a prophet. If he was a prophet then he would be a lying one, because he clearly did insist that he was the Son of God, and his disciples came to believe this. When the Greeks thought that Paul and Barnabas were gods, the Apostles were horrified and tried to stop them worshipping them. But when the disciples worshipped Christ he said that the truth that he was God had been revealed to them by the Father. If he was a prophet of sorts then he was mad or bad he could not be a true prophet. And nothing he said leads us to believe he was mad or bad.

    Therefore he must be who he said he was, 'I and the Father are one'.

    How then does Christ pray to the Father. There are two main reasons. In the first place, the incarnate Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, is a distinct divine Person from the Father. There is, within the Holy Trinity, an eternal conversation of love between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We can remember the words from the Agpeya - the Father chose you, the Holy Spirit overshadowed you, and the Son condescended and took flesh from you. These are three distinct activities united in one divine will and purpose. We can and must imagine that an unknowable divine conversation has proceeded within the Holy and Consubstantial Trinity. Indeed we can turn to Hebrews, where we find the words, 'Behold, I have come to do thy will'. And this is a record of the eternal submission of the Son to the divine will. This is the eternal 'yes' of Word of God spoken to God the Father.

    We can also find this divine conversation in Genesis, where we find God speaking as a plurality of persons, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness'.

    If it is no surprise that the divine persons of the Holy Trinity should be engaged in an eternal conversation then we should not be surprised that when the Word of God became incarnate, that is became a man without ceasing to be God, he should also continue that conversation. If Our Lord did not pray then it would mean that there was no Father to hear him. But he does pray and constantly addresses God as Father, as His own Father. And the Father addresses him as his own Son. We see in these instances of prayer the expression of the Trinity, not the denial of it. How else should God the Son incarnate address his own Divine Father.

    But it is also the case that as a man, truly man without sin, while remaining God, he wishes to teach us and show us how as men and women we should relate to God, by whom we usually mean God the Father, who is the source of all being. We are taught to call him 'our Father'. He is not a capricious God to be satisfied with blood sacrifices, and who must be constantly kept in a good humour. He is our Father. And the Son of God has become man so that as we are united with him in his humanity, that is in a divine relationship of love and life, so we may also address him as our Father. He makes us his brothers and children of God.

    If Jesus was praying to God it was because the doctrine of the Holy Trinity teaches us that God is not eternally alone and distant and other from us all, but he is eternally a source of love between divine persons. When our Lord addresses his Father and our Father in prayer, it is because he is truly the eternal Son of the divine Father.

    The Jesus of Islam is not the Jesus of the Gospels or the Church. Unfortunately Mohammed was in touch with an heretical Christian priest who taught him the Nestorian doctrine that Jesus is not truly God. But this was never the teaching of the Church, and from the Gospel writers, through St Paul, and into the first generations of Christians, we find a uniformity of confession that Christ is God, and that God is a Holy Trinity.

    Jesus was not praying to Himself, he was praying to His Father. Yet the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are the same God, but distinct divine persons. It is not possible for someone who denies the reality of our Christian faith to understand our Christian faith. The one who says 'Jesus is not God' has nothing to say about God since if we deny that Jesus is God then we make him out to be mad or bad, and we accuse the Father of lying when he says, 'this is my beloved Son'.

    Do please respond and I am sure that many here can and will open up the teachings of Christ and of the Church in this regard.

    The Lord bless you and keep you safe.

    Father Peter
  • [quote author=peterfarrington link=topic=9109.msg113544#msg113544 date=1271686814]
    There are only so many choices. Either Jesus Christ was mad, bad or God.

    haha, nice one!

    Thank you for enlightening us Abouna!!
  • It is true Abouna, Glory to the Lord

    The problem with muslims is that they do not consider the whole picture

    they look at 1/20th of a picture and say the paint is smudged, though if they see the whole picture they would know that it is actually as it is supposed to be....

    May the Lord Jesus Bless you Brothers and Sisters, and lead muslim brother to the Lord who is the Only Way, Truth and Life.

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