Man has always been on a quest for knowledge. Ever since Adam and Eve’s fall to Satan’s temptation to “know good and evil” and to be “wise” (Gen 3), the knowledge quest has drawn men into sin. The Enlightenment failed because it sought to build knowledge through rational thought and the rejection of God. More recently, Marx (economics), Nietzsche (power) and Freud (sex) all proposed new knowledge that would bring man fulfillment. The dismal post-modern idea that there is no sure knowledge, seeks to deconstruct civilization into an atheistic, pluralistic and relativistic pool of confusion. The Internet has provided easy access to most human knowledge and experience including the promotion of darkest human perversion, just a click away. Politicians, media kings/queens and activists promote hyper-partisan opinions, gaining power/wealth, while dividing people into armed camps. Man’s use of the exploding levels of secular knowledge has not led to peace or joy.
The Powerful Knowledge of Jesus Christ
In Luke 13:31-35, Jesus responds to the warning by the Pharisees to run from Herod:
31 At that very hour some Pharisees came, and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” 32 And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. 33 Nevertheless I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’ 34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! 35 Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
What exactly is a prophet? The Catechism defines a prophet as “One sent by God to form the people of the Old Covenant in the hope of salvation.” The Greek word prophetes means one who is “an interpreter, spokesman…and an inspired preacher or teacher.”
Is Jesus just another “prophet” or is He “THE Prophet”? Consider:
- When Jesus speaks, He is constantly referring to the fulfillment of the Old Testament: when He calls Herod a “fox”, it is both a reference to Herod’s slyness but also to a someone who is seeking to oppose God’s Kingdom on earth: “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards” (Song 2:15). A prophet reveals the truth.
- Jesus casts out demons and performs cures; Elijah in the Old Testament did this too.
- The prophets from the Old Testament were killed in Jerusalem (for example, Isaiah is thought to be sawn in half).
So, is Jesus just another prophet?
No, Jesus is the Son of God, who is all things Divine, including offering prophecy and Truth:
- Jesus speaks of three days in this passage, a reference to the three days between the Crucifixion and Resurrection. This comes true.
- He speaks of His own death and that He will “finish my course”, which is a reference to His Resurrection.
- Jesus uses the imagery of a hen protecting her chicks, a phrase that harkens back to various Old Testament imagery of God’s protection of those who come to Him (Psalm 17:8, 61:3-4).
- What is particularly poignant and amazing is that it is He, Jesus Christ who was with the Father from the beginning (John 1:1), who sent all the Old Testament prophets, who were killed, and who now is coming Himself, offering prophecy (both revelation of the future events and the Truth of God’s loving mercy and wish to draw all to Him).
- His comment, “Behold your house is forsaken” is perhaps a prophecy of the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Christ is offering a prophetic warning.
- Jesus’ last phrase is a bit enigmatic: “you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Jesus is Lord and His own name means “Yahweh (God) saves.” This may be another prophecy of Christ’s second coming.
Prophets come and go. False prophets often find followers.
There is no “prophet” who can compare to THE Prophet, for Jesus Christ is God Himself. Only Jesus, THE Divine Prophet, can reveal the fullness of Truth.
The Gospel from today’s Mass (John 15:18-21) recount Jesus’ prophesy that faithful Christians would persecuted:
 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you  If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  Remember the word that I said to you, `A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.  But all this they will do to you on my account, because they do not know him who sent me.”
Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, is Truth. As Truth, Jesus Christ knows all things across time, for He is eternal. Consider:
- Christ’s words are fulfilled beginning immediately after His own Crucifixion; every one of the Apostles except John will be martyred.
- In the following centuries, Christians will be burned to death, used as human torches and torn apart by wild beasts.
- Today, wild beasts still attack Christians (see the picture above).
Persecution is occurring in less violent ways in the United States, even today. And many are convinced that the persecution will intensify.
But the Lord of Truth assures us that we too must stand up when persecuted, for “A servant is not greater than his master.”
Pray for those in our country who hate Jesus Christ. Pray for the poor souls in the picture above, that they might find Jesus Christ and love Him.
Each will meet Jesus Christ in judgment. And woe to those who persecuted Christians.
Father Jonathan Kelly taught at CatholicManNight on April 20, 2012. Here is an outline of Father’s address on the Knowledge of Jesus Christ:
Jesus Christ speaks from who He is and what He knows, not from what He has learned or what He believes.
- In the history of the Church, counsels arise to determine answers to what is being questioned at the time.
- First heresy was that Jesus only appeared human because of the amazing things He did. It is called – Docetism (from the Greek word meaning “appear.”
- Then the pendulum swung the other way, Arius said that Jesus Christ was created by the Father. “Was not before he was.”
- Council of Nicaea in 325 settles it:
- Jesus Christ is of the same essence of the Father, co-eternal, begotten not made (our Creed comes from Nicaea)
- Fully God and fully man, true God from true God
- Next question was, how is He both God and man?
- Council of Chalcedon in 451 answered, “Without mixture, without confusion.”
- Divine nature penetrates the human nature without changing it