Doc. of Lord (Dick) n. 35

Previous Number Next Number Next Translation See Latin 

35. 6. THE LORD SUCCESSIVELY PUT OFF THE HUMAN ASSUMED FROM THE MOTHER, AND PUT ON THE HUMAN FROM THE DIVINE IN HIMSELF. THIS IS THE DIVINE HUMAN, AND THE SON OF GOD. It is known that the Lord had a Divine and a Human, a Divine from Jehovah the Father, and a Human from the Virgin Mary. Consequently, He was both God and Man, and thus had a Divine Essence and a Human Nature; the Divine Essence from the Father, and the Human Nature from the mother. Hence He was equal to the Father as to the Divine, and inferior to the Father as to the Human. Moreover, He did not transmute this Human Nature from the mother into the Divine Essence, nor did He mingle it with the Divine Essence. This is taught by the doctrine of faith, called the Athanasian Creed. For the Human Nature cannot be transmuted into the Divine Essence, nor can it be commingled with this Essence.

[2] Yet in accordance with the same Creed is our doctrine that the Divine assumed the Human, that is, united it to itself, as the soul is united to its body, so that they were not two but one Person. From this it follows that the Lord put off the Human from the mother, which in itself was like the human of any other man and consequently material, and put on the Human from the Father, which in itself was like His Divine and consequently substantial*; so that the Human also was made Divine. Hence it is that, in the Prophetical Word, the Lord is called, even as to the Human, Jehovah and God; and in the Gospels, He is called Lord, God, the Messiah or Christ, and the Son of God, on whom men must believe, and by whom they are to be saved.

[3] Now, since the Lord had from the beginning a Human from the mother, which He put off successively, therefore, while He was in the world, He had two states, called the state of humiliation or exinanition,** and the state of glorification or union with the Divine which is called the Father. He was in the state of humiliation so far as, and when, He was in the Human from the mother; and He was in the state of glorification so far as, and when, He was in the Human from the Father. In the state of humiliation He prayed to the Father as to a being distinct from Himself; but in the state of glorification He spoke with the Father as with Himself. In this latter state He said that the Father was in Him, and He in the Father, and that the Father and He were One; but in the state of humiliation He underwent temptations and suffered the cross, and prayed to the Father not to forsake Him: for the Divine could not be tempted, still less could it suffer the cross. From these considerations it is now evident that, by temptations and continual victories in them, and by the passion of the cross, which was the last of the temptations, He fully conquered the hells, and fully glorified the Human, as was shown above.

[4] That the Lord put off the Human from the mother, and put on the Human from the Divine in Himself which is called the Father, is manifest also from this circumstance that, whenever He actually spoke to the mother, He did not call her "Mother", but "Woman". There are only three occasions recorded in the Gospels when the Lord actually spoke to the mother, or mentioned her. On two of these He called her "Woman", and on the third He did not acknowledge her as His mother. He twice called her "Woman", as we read in John:

The mother of Jesus saith unto Him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. John ii [3], 4.

And in the same,

Jesus from the cross, seeing His mother and the disciple standing by whom He loved, saith unto His mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith He to the disciple, Behold thy mother! John xix 26, 27.

On one occasion He did not acknowledge her, as we read in Luke,

It was told Jesus by certain who said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee. Jesus answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these who hear the Word of God, and do it. Luke viii 20, 21; Matt. xii 46-49; Mark iii 31-35.

In other places Mary is called His mother, but not from His own mouth.

[5] This is also confirmed by the fact that He did not acknowledge Himself to be the Son of David; for we read in the Gospels:

Jesus asked the Pharisees, saying, What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is He? They say unto Him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call Him his Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If then David call Him Lord, how is He his Son? And no man was able to answer Him a word. Matt. xii 41, 46; Mark xii 35-37; Luke xx 41-44; Ps. cx 1.

From these passages it is evident that the Lord, as to His glorified Human, was the Son neither of Mary nor of David. [6] The nature of His glorified Human He showed to Peter, James and John when

He was transfigured before them; and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light; And then a voice out of the cloud said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him. Matt. xvii 1-8; Mark ix 2-8; Luke ix 28-36.

The Lord was also seen by John,

As the sun shining in his strength. Rev. i 16.

[7] That the Lord's Human was glorified is evident from what is said of His glorification in the Gospels, as from these passages:

In John:

The hour is come that the Son of Man should be glorified. He said, Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. John xii 23, 28.

Because the Lord was glorified successively, therefore it is said, "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again."

In the same Gospel:

After Judas was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. ... God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him. John xiii 31, 32

And in the same:

Jesus said, Father the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee. John xvii 1, 5

And in Luke:

Ought not Christ to have suffered this, and to enter into His glory? Luke xxiv 26.

These words are said concerning His Human.

[8] The Lord said, God is glorified in Him; and also, God will glorify Him in Himself; and, further, Glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee. These things the Lord said, because the union of the Divine with the Human, and of the Human with the Divine was reciprocal. Therefore also He had said,

I am in the Father, and the Father in me. John xiv 10, 11;

And also,

All mine are thine, and all thine are mine. John xvii 10.

Thus the union was complete. It is the same with all union: it is not complete unless it is reciprocal. Such also must be the union of the Lord with man, and of man with the Lord, as He teaches in John:

At that day ye shall know that ... ye are in me and I in you. John xiv 20

And in another place,

Abide in me, and I in you ... He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit. John xv 4, 5.

[9] Since the Lord's Human was glorified, that is, made Divine, therefore, after death He rose again on the third day with His whole body. This does not happen to any man, for man rises again only as to his spirit, and not as to his body. In order that man might know, and that no one might doubt, that the Lord rose again with His whole body, He not only declared it by the angels who were in the sepulchre, but He also showed Himself in His Human body before the disciples, saying to them, when they believed that they saw a spirit,

Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when He had thus spoken, He showed them His bands and His feet. Luke xxiv 39, 40; John xx 20.

And further:

Jesus said to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing ... Then said Thomas, My Lord and my God. John xx 27, 28.

[10] That the Lord might still further prove that He was not a spirit, but a Man, He said to the disciples,

Have ye here any meat? And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of a honeycomb. And He took it, and did eat before them. Luke xxiv 41-43.

Since His body was not now material, but Divine substantial, therefore

He came into the disciples, the doors being shut. John xx 19, 26.

And after He had been seen,

He became invisible (A.V. vanished out of their sight). Luke xxiv 31.

As the Lord was now of such a nature [that is, Divine], He was taken up, and sat on the right hand of God; for it is said in Luke:

And it came to pass while Jesus blessed the disciples, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. Luke xxiv 51;

And in Mark:

After He had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. Mark xvi 19.

To sit on the right hand of God signifies Divine Omnipotence.

[11] Since the Lord ascended into heaven and sat on the right hand of God, by which is signified Divine Omnipotence, with the Divine and the Human united into one, it follows that His Human substance or essence is as His Divine Essence. To suppose otherwise would be like thinking that His Divine was taken up into heaven and sat on the right hand of God, and not the Human at the same time. This, however, is contrary to Scripture, and also contrary to the Christian doctrine, which is, that God and Man in Christ are as the soul and the body; and to separate these would be contrary to sound reason. This union of the Father with the Son, or of the Divine with the Human, is also meant in the following passages:

I came forth from the Father and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. John xvi 28.

I go away and come unto Him that sent me. John vii 33; xvi 5, 16; xvii 11, 13; xx 17.

If then, ye shall see the Son of Man ascend up where He was before? John vi 62.

No man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven. John iii 13.

Every man who is saved does ascend into heaven, yet not of himself, but of the Lord. The Lord alone ascended of Himself. *Substantial, formed of substance, that which stands under something prior to it, and upon which the prior thing rests and manifests itself in a posterior degree. Thus the spiritual world is a substantial world, its various degrees of life being successively derived from the spiritual Sun, which is itself the manifestation of the Originating Divine. Cf. Material, formed of matter the ultimate or lowest manifestation of substance in the physical or natural world. ** Exinanition, the state during which the maternal heredity was being put off.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

© 2000-2001 The Academy of the New Church