Orthodox Thought for the Day


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On the two natures of Christ

We sometimes try to distinguish between the divine and human aspects of Christ.  We say that in the desert his divine nature restrained his appetites and desires, while his human nature felt hungry and weary.  His divine nature healed people and performed numerous miracles; his human nature felt power go out of him at every miracle.  His divine nature redeemed humanity on the cross; his human nature endured the most terrible agony.  Yet is such a distinction between divinity and humanity valid?  Can we actually see two quite distinct elements in the person of Christ?  When we look at ourselves we can distinguish between the physical and spiritual aspects of our nature.  We know that at times life becomes a battlefield as the spiritual and the physical aspects struggle for supremacy.  Yet it would be wrong to say that the spiritual aspect should defeat and destroy the physical; rather we want harmony between the two. Our physical wants and desires should not be suppressed or ignored; rather they should be satisfied within the framework of morality which the spirit dictates.  We should understand Christ in a similar way.  It is not a question of his divine nature conquering and destroying his human nature; rather he revealed how human flesh and blood can live in perfect harmony with God. 

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