THE PROMISE OF THE MESSIAH
In the days of the Old Testament, God promised His chosen people that He would come and dwell with them on the earth. He said,
"See, I am sending My messenger to prepare the way before Me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to His Temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight - indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts." [Mal. 3:1]
Centuries earlier, the great prophet Isaiah had foretold that God's messenger, John the Baptist, [Lk. 3:2-3](CCC # 535) would prepare the way of the Messiah in the wilderness. God had told the prophet Isaiah,
"The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: (would say) 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his path straight... And all flesh shall see the salvation of God." [Is. 40:3-5; Lk. 3:4-6]
Who was the Messiah, the Anointed One of God? The Holy Bible tells us that it was Jesus! Andrew knew this truth. When Andrew found his brother Simon Peter, he said to him,
"We have found the Messiah" (which is translated Anointed). Then, he brought Simon to Jesus..." [Jn. 1:41-2]
On another occasion when Jesus was talking to a Samaritan woman, she said to Him,
"'I know that Messiah is coming' (who is called Christ). 'When He comes, He will proclaim all things to us.' Jesus said to her, 'I am He, the One who is speaking to you.'" [Jn. 4:25](CCC. # 439) Jesus clearly identified Himself as the Messiah, the Anointed One of God.
THE BIRTH OF THE MESSIAH
"In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you." But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.
Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God." [Lk. 1:26-36](CCC. # 497)
"All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 'Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,' which means, 'God is with us.'" [Mt. 1:22-3](CCC. # 497, 744)
Diagram 12: The natures of Jesus.
Note: In Diagram 12, we see that Jesus had more than one nature. He enjoyed the human nature through His physical body by being born of the Virgin Mary. His Spirit and Soul were of Divine nature. Because Jesus enjoyed the Divine nature, God truly dwelled with man. "Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit." [Mt. 1:18]
"When the time of the birth of Jesus arrived, God sent an angel to shepherds who were keeping their flock. The angel of the Lord said, "Do not be afraid; for see - I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord." [Lk. 2:10-1](CCC. # 333, 437)
And so it was that the arrival of the Messiah in the world was by physical birth.
THE HUMAN NATURE OF JESUS
Jesus, also known as "Emmanuel," the name meaning "God is with us," [Mt. 1:22-3](CCC. # 744) enjoyed a real physical body like every other human beings on earth, having flesh and blood. [Heb. 2:14](CCC. # 464, 469) And the Word became flesh and lived among us." [Jn. 1:14](CCC. # 423) Over and above enjoying a real physical body, [Mt. 26:12] Jesus also enjoyed a Soul [Jn. 12:27] and a Spirit [Lk. 23:46](CCC. # 730, 2605) just like every other human being. He received His Spirit at the time of conception when the Holy Spirit came upon the Virgin Mary. [Lk. 1:35](CCC. # 437, 484)
Diagram 13: Jesus had a body, Spirit and Soul.
Note: In Diagram 13, we see that Jesus had a physical body, a Spirit and a Soul like every human being.
The genealogy of Jesus, the Messiah, was of the seed of King David. [Mt. 1:1-16; Heb. 7:14](CCC. # 437)
In every way, Jesus was like every other human beings. He got hungry. [Mt. 4:2] He got thirsty and asked for water. [Jn. 4:7] He got tired and rested. [Jn. 4:6] And He slept. [Mt. 8:24]
Like every child, Jesus grew and became strong. [Lk. 2:40] He asked questions. [Lk. 2:46] He increased in wisdom. [Lk. 2:52] And He learned to obey. [Heb. 5:8]
Jesus worked as a carpenter. [Mk. 6:3] He was tempted. [Mt. 4:1-11] He loved others. [Mk. 10:21; Jn. 11:36] He had compassion. [Mt. 9:36] He was amazed. [Lk. 7:9] He got angry and overturned the tables in the Temple. [Mt. 21:12] He wept over Jerusalem [Lk. 19:41] and the death of Lazarus. [Jn. 11:33] He had loud cries and tears. [Heb. 5:7] He was disturbed in Spirit. [Jn. 11:33] He prayed, [Mt. 14:23] suffered [Heb. 2:18] and in every respect, He was tested as everyone is. [Heb. 4:15]
Every human being is called to die because of the inherited sinful nature. While Jesus also died [Rom. 5:6] and was buried, [Lk. 23:52-56] He did not die because of sin since He was sinless. He did not have the inherited sinful nature of man. His death was for the remission of the sins of mankind.
THE DIVINE NATURE OF JESUS
Jesus, the eternal Word of God, is God. [Jn. 1:1-2](CCC. # 241)
"All things came into being through Him, and without Him not one thing came into being." [Jn. 1:3](CCC. # 291)
Through Jesus, the invisible Heavenly Father manifested Himself in bodily form. Jesus was the incarnation of God on earth, God dwelling among men. "For in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily." [Col. 2:9]
"For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him God was pleased to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in Heaven, by making peace through the blood of His cross." [Col. 1:19-20]
Although Jesus was the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, [Col. 1:15] God manifesting Himself in bodily form, Jesus was not God the Father. As One of the three Divine Presences of the Holy Trinity of God, Jesus was granted by God the Father to have life in Himself as the Father has life in Himself. [Jn. 5:26]
Jesus is equal to the Father. He said, "The Father and I are One." [Jn. 10:30] He is the eternal Word of God who was in the beginning, being with God and being God. [Jn. 1:1]
As the living Word of God, Jesus not only has the power to create, He also has the power to separate the soul from the human spirit.
"Indeed, the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit..." [Heb. 4:12]
By the grace of God the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit, through the Word of Jesus, those who are baptized receive their newly created human spirit through the Church Sacrament of Baptism. At that moment, Jesus separates the soul from its human spirit that was received at birth so the old human spirit may die in its sin. He then blesses the newly baptized christian, a new child of God, with a new human spirit (creation) of the godly seed. No human power can achieve this result of separating the soul from the spirit.
JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD
Jesus is the Son of God. Even the demons recognized this truth when they said,
"What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?" [Mt. 8:29; Lk. 4:41, 8:28; Mk. 5:7]
The relationship of Jesus as the Son of God is echoed in the words of King David in Psalm 110,
"The Lord says to my Lord, 'Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.'" [Ps. 110:1; Mt. 22:42-5; Mk. 12:36-7; Lk. 20:41-4] (CCC. # 659)
How could the Lord say something to the Lord when there is only One God? By becoming a man, a descendant of King David, the Almighty Lord God was truly the Lord God while being a Son of David at the same time. Through the previously mentioned Old Testament words, the coming of Jesus was announced as the only begotten Son of God.
THE MISSION OF JESUS
What was the mission of Jesus? Jesus came into the world to show everyone the way, the truth and the life so all may go to the Father through Him. [Jn. 14:6-7](CCC. # 459, 1698, 2614)
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him." [Jn. 3:16-7](CCC. # 458, 679) Those who believed in His Name were given the power to become children of God, born of God. [Jn. 1:12-3] (CCC. # 706)
"God sent His Son into the world so we might live through Him." [1 Jn. 4:9](CCC. # 458)
Jesus also came into the world to announce and establish the invisible earthly Kingdom of God. For it is the Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. [Lk. 12:32](CCC. # 764) Jesus came on earth for the Name of the Father to be glorified, that His Kingdom come on earth, that His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. [Mt. 6:10](CCC. # 2632)
When will the spiritual Kingdom of God arrive on earth? It arrived in the days of Jesus. For Jesus said,
"But truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God." [Mt. 16:28; Mk. 9:1; Lk. 9:27]
The Kingdom of God on earth arrived during the life of some of those who were living in the days of Jesus.
It is sad that many, deceived by Satan, are still waiting for the coming of a physical Kingdom of God. They are waiting for Jesus to physically descend from Heaven with a visible Kingdom and a myriad of angels. Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God was coming, and He answered,
"The Kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There it is!' For, in fact, the Kingdom of God is among you." [Lk. 17:20-1]
(The Latin Vulgate says, "The Kingdom of God is within you.")
It is no wonder that Jesus said to His disciples,
"To you it has been given to know the secrets of the Kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given." [Mt. 13:11; Lk. 8:10]
Jesus also said,
"Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the Kingdom of God!" [Lk. 14:15]
Bread is physical, not spiritual as prayer or love. Those who eat the physical bread in the Kingdom of God are those who participate in the celebration of the Holy Mass and who receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. They are eating the promised bread in the spiritual Kingdom of God! Jesus said,
"I am the Bread of life." [Jn. 6:35]
Through the Church Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the righteousness of the soul is maintained, assuring the participant's salvation and eternal life in the Kingdom of God.
THE DEATH OF JESUS
In abounding Divine love for mankind, Jesus died for our sins.
"In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His only begotten Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins," [1 Jn. 4:10](CCC. # 604, 1428)
"and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world." [1 Jn. 2:2](CCC. # 402, 605)
When the Spirit of Jesus literally left His physical body, [Lk. 23:46](CCC. # 730, 2605) He died once, being offered for all time as a single sacrifice for sins. [Rom. 6:10; Heb. 9:26, 10:12](CCC. # 571) "For the body without its human spirit is dead." [Jas. 2:26] Christ, having been raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. [Rom. 6:9](CCC. # 1987)
THE PAST WORK OF JESUS
"All things came into being." [Jn. 1:3] "He created the worlds." [Heb. 1:2, 10] "He Himself is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." [Col. 1:17](CCC. # 291)
He came into the world and revealed the Father to those He chose to reveal Him. [Mt. 11:27; Lk. 10:22; Jn. 1:18](CCC. # 2779) He revealed the Father through Himself as
"the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being." [Heb. 1:3](CCC. # 479)
The greatest work of Jesus was His obedience to the Heavenly Father who sent Him, Jesus giving Himself up for us. [Gal. 2:20](CCC. # 478, 616, 1380) Having died for us,
"through Him God was pleased to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in Heaven, by making peace through the blood of His cross. Jesus has now reconciled in His fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before Him - provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under Heaven." [Col. 1:20, 22-3]
THE PRESENT WORK OF JESUS
At present, Jesus
"is the Head of the Body, the Church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything." [Col. 1:18](CCC. # 792)
When reference is made to Jesus as being the "firstborn" from the dead, this word represents that He is the first to resurrect from the dead and to enter the Kingdom of God. All the other saints of the chosen people of God, Abraham, Moses, etc... could not have entered the Kingdom of God until such time as Jesus who is the King of kings had entered first. While the saints of the Church, past and present, enjoy the presence of God through their soul and human spirit, they have yet to enjoy the resurrection of their bodies at which time they will enjoy the fullness of the image and likeness of God as God had originally planned for His children. [Rom. 8:29; Heb. 1:6; Rev. 1:5](CCC. # 686)
The Divine work of Jesus is to destroy the work of Satan who is the prince of the physical world so all who answer their calling may receive the gift of eternal life in the Most Holy Name of Jesus. [Jn. 20:31](CCC. # 514, 550)
At present, Jesus has the authority to judge. The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. Anyone who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him. [Jn. 5:22-3](CCC. # 679)
"The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in His hands." [Jn. 3:35]
Jesus is the eternal High Priest. He did not glorify Himself in becoming the eternal High Priest, but was appointed by the Father. [Heb. 4:14, 5:5]
Those who love Jesus as their Lord and God, obeying Him in humility, servitude and submission, enjoy a special daily communion with Him in many wonderful ways. To them, Jesus, over and above being the Lord of lords, is a Brother [Mt. 12:50], a Friend [Jn. 15:14], a Teacher [Mk. 14:14] and the King of kings.
THE GLORY OF JESUS IN THE FATHER
Jesus is superior to all the creations in Heaven and earth. In all things, Jesus obeyed the Heavenly Father. Jesus asked the Heavenly Father to glorify Him so He may in return glorify the Father. [Jn. 17:1]
From Heaven, in the presence of the Heavenly Father, Jesus answers prayers that are asked in His Holy Name so the Father may be glorified in the Son. [Jn. 14:13]
THE SUPERIORITY OF JESUS
"When Jesus had made purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the Holy Name He inherited that is more excellent than theirs." [Heb. 1:4]
In consideration of the greatness of His Most Holy Name, the Heavenly Father commanded the angels to worship Jesus. For never has God the Father ever called any of His angels His sons. [Heb. 1:5]
THE FUTURE WORK OF JESUS
"Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in Heaven, saying, "The Kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah, and He will reign forever and ever." [Rev. 11:15]
"Then comes the end, when Jesus hands over the Kingdom to God the Father, after He has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For God has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when it says, 'All things are put in subjection,' it is plain that this does not include the One who put all things in subjection under Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subjected to the One who put all things in subjection under Him, so that God may be all in all." [1 Cor. 15:24-8](CCC. # 2855)
"Then Jesus will reign over the house of Jacob and His Kingdom will have no end." [Lk. 1:33]
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