March 10, 2010

How Children Enter the Kingdom

At least once in his public ministry, somewhere, Jesus said to some people: "Unless you turn around and become like little children, you won't enter the kingdom of heaven."

When Jesus himself was a little child, he did enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He sat at the Nazareth Synagogue - and while I couldn't tell you if anyone else was learning anything - Jesus learned of his Father. One of the first things Jesus learned there, as a child, was the Shema.

Brian Fulthorp has a great post about that tonight. [Update: Link fixed!] I'd better warn some of you, Brian uses the "o" word. I prefer not to use that word out loud, as often as humanly possible. But I do believe that what Brian says happens to be true. And it's very important. So go check it out.


brian said...

"o" word? you mean obey?

Bill Heroman said...



Johannes said...

Jesus' knowledge of his Father was not derived from Synagogue (Saturday?) school, his mother, or the Bible. The human nature of Jesus, not by itself but by its hypostatic union with the divine nature in the person of the Logos, had an intimate and immediate knowledge of his Father.

This was evident by the extraordinary wisdom He displayed in the Temple when He was 12 years old.

Though not in Scripture, a generalized opinion is that Jesus' soul was endowed with the beatific vision from the beginning of its existence.

One reference on the topic is The knowledge of Christ by Raymond Moloney.

Bill Heroman said...

God, in his divine wisdom, sent his Son to grow up as a Synagogue attending Jewish boy in Nazareth. However we attempt to classify Jesus' union with God - and yes, it did begin from birth - we can NOT quantify the effectiveness of that Union.

The Divine Nature, the LIFE of God, which imbued Christ's very being from right there in Bethlehem, still had to GROW. That's one thing Life likes to do. Grow. And He grew as a Man.

Jesus *used* the knowledge gained at Synagogue meetings, and everywhere else, in order to grow more closely into that which He already was. The wisdom he displayed at age 12 required some familiarity with basic rabbinic terminology. So even though Jesus was "endowed with the beatific vision" - or whatever you want to call that - it DID very much matter HOW Jesus, as a human Soul, engaged with all that God led Him into, and thus developed a practical outworking of His nature, in various ways.

Divinity AND Synagogue training.

No one else had that combination.

But He did have - and need - both.

Johannes said...

Jesus' human knowledge, as such, was in itself limited and was exercised in the historical conditions of his existence in space and time. This is why Jesus could "increase in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man," as Luke says, or in your word, GROW. This corresponded to his voluntary emptying of himself,
taking "the form of a slave" as Paul says. So I agree that He learned about temporal subjects the same way ordinary boys did
(e.g. the kraft of carpentership from Joseph).

My point was that Jesus' knowledge of the Father, of Himself as Consubstantial Son, and of divine things in general, was intimate and immediate, directly communicated to his human nature by his divine nature.

BTW, if you care about precision, the Divine Nature cannot GROW. Only the human nature can.

Bill Heroman said...

The Lord changes not. But he does seek to multiply. Life Grows.

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