Was Jesus perfect in his human deeds?
Here are the passages and my take on Lagrange's treatment of them, which, as I said, seems insufficient.

• In regards to proclaiming an imminent Judgment Day:
Matthew 24:34 – “Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.”
Matthew 16:28 – “Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."

These passages seem to show an error in Christ’s intellect for certainly all those to whom Christ is literally speaking have died without seeing the Judgment Day.  Garrigou-Lagrange answers this in Chapter XI, Question 9, Article 2.  He treats the passages as most likely speaking of separate events.  Matthew 16:28, Garrigou-Lagrange says, is most likely alluding to the resurrection of Christ and thus there is no error in Christ’s words.  While the words, “Son of man coming in his kingdom,” do seem quite indicative of Christ’s resurrection and establishment of His kingdom in the Church, one must look at the verse before this one in which Christ says, “For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct.”  The latter part of this verse, in which the event that is being spoken of is Christ rendering to “every man according to his works,” seems to imply an eschatological and apocalyptic Christ and thus it seems as if this verse refers not to Christ’s resurrection but to his Second Coming and the Judgment Day.  And it does seem that there is not a distinction between verses 16 and 17, so that whatever event is being spoken of in 16 is the event being spoken of in 17, for which Christ says that some of those present will live to see.  Thus, it can be said that the most logical interpretation of this passage and the trouble that it presents to theologians (namely, that Christ erred in predicting the Judgment Day) is not sufficiently answered by Lagrange in this text.  Perhaps Lagrange did see either verse 16 as not implying the Judgment Day, but the resurrection as well, or, he saw two distinct events being spoken about in these last two verses of chapter 16.  Both of these speculations, however, are not mentioned in Lagrange’s treatment of this passage and thus nothing can be said of it.  Matt. 24:34 poses the same problem and cannot be explained as Christ referring to his resurrection as opposed to the Judgment Day.  Lagrange even states about this passage, “Scripture on this subject are indeed difficult to reconcile, for in this same discourse Christ spoke of both the end of Jerusalem and the end of the world, and although the first event is a figure of the second, it is difficult to detect what belongs to the first event, and what to the second.”    He gives cursory mention of Christ’s command to preach the gospel to all nations and to the fact that it seems, as in Mark 13:10, that the gospel will be preached to all nations before the Judgment Day.  “When you hear of wars and reports of wars do not be alarmed; such things must happen, but it will not yet be the end.  Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes from place to place and there will be famines….But the gospel must first be preached to all nations.”  While this particular passage does seem to show Christ saying that the whole world must be preached to before the time of the Judgment Day, it does not say how quickly or slowly Christ saw that happening.  Even if this event is one which would take some time, as it seems that it would and has taken some time, it still does not reconcile the two passages above which seem to show Christ speaking of the Judgment as being quite close at hand.  Though St. Thomas and Lagrange’s theological arguments for their theory of the knowledge of Christ are largely internally sound, these passages have not been sufficiently answered or reconciled with their theory in this text.

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Re: Was Jesus perfect in his human deeds? - by Walty - 11-25-2010, 07:29 PM

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