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Who Is Jesus Christ?

Divine Revelation

The Catholic Church considers Jesus to be the source of divine revelation, and his teachings as recorded in the Gospels are considered the foundation of Catholic belief. We believe that Jesus founded the Church on earth and that he continues to guide and protect the Church through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus is central to our faith, and his life, death, and resurrection are considered to be the cornerstone of Catholic belief and worship.

A Person in the Holy Trinity

Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the second person of the Holy Trinity. He is both fully human and fully divine, and is revered as the Savior of the world and the source of salvation for all humanity.

According to our Creed, Jesus Christ is True God and True Man. He is a person in the Holy Trinity and cannot be fully understood outside of relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus is the model and metaphor for all of creation being drawn into this infinite flow of love.

Fr. Richard Rohr

He shares our human nature and calls us into the divine relationship of God. Through Him we are adopted into the family of God.

It is important to understand that Jesus has two natures. As God, he has the divine nature. As a man, he has the human nature. He is fully both at the same time. This is a mystery of our faith.

Jesus Christ Was Born into History

According to Catholic teaching, Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary and lived a sinless life on earth. He performed many miracles, taught the people about God, and ultimately died on the cross to atone for the sins of humanity. After three days, he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, where he now sits at the right hand of the Father.

By his incarnation, Jesus arrives as a helpless baby in a world dominated by the great Caesar. Bishop Robert Barron, in his book Catholicism, encourages us to contrast and compare:

  • Caesar is in a palace while Jesus arrives in a stable
  • Jesus is bound tight in swaddling clothes, a foreshadowing of the burial cloths, while Caesar is probably has more freedom than anyone at that time.
  • He is laid in a feeding trough for animals. Caesar feasts nightly.
  • His arrival coincides with an army of angels appearing to the shepherds. Caesar has the greatest army of the time.

While a fully human person born on the earth, Jesus Christ is truly God. We are all sons and daughters of God, but Jesus Christ is God the Son. And while Jesus (or Joshua) is his name, Christ is a title. It means he is the Messiah, or the Anointed One.

Priest, Prophet, and King

A priest is one who serves the mission of God on earth. He makes offerings to God. Jesus whole life was in service of his mission to reveal God to us. And he himself was sacrificed in service of that mission.

A prophet is one who speaks the word of God, and speaks it boldly even when it is not popular. A prophet directs those around him to the truth, no matter what the consequences. Jesus certainly did this while he walked the earth. It was his teachings which so inflamed the leaders at the time that they sought to have him executed.

A king is a ruler and judge, a person of authority. We hear many times in the gospels how the people were amazed at how he spoke with authority. Jesus is not like earthly rulers who seek power and riches for themselves. He gave us his vision for the Kingdom of God. As Christians, we welcome his kingship and follow him.

At our baptisms, we are also anointed priests, prophets, and kings. We serve God in the universal priesthood. We bring the word of God to the world. And we serve as kings when we act with justice and lead others to God.

Our Teacher

This is just a brief introduction to who Jesus Christ is. There is so much more. He is here to teach us and show us how to live. And he teaches with authority. Read more about the Divine Authority of Jesus.

Our lives are a journey on the path of discipleship. As we walk with Jesus, and talk with him in prayer, we become closer and closer to him. And we come to understand God the Father and God the Spirit through him.

Jesus, A Pilgrimage

Fr. James Martin, SJ, a popular Catholic author and Editor-at-Large of America Magazine brings the story of Jesus to life through modern scholarship and a faithful reading of the Gospels. Through this book, Fr. Martin gives us a way to understand who Jesus Christ is.

Who is Jesus?

Bishop Robert Barron explains that Jesus is both human and divine. In scripture, Jesus the man also clearly claims to be God.

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