The Church Fathers on Jesus as the God-Man

According to the God-breathed Scriptures our Lord had asked his Jewish interlocutors how could the Messiah be the Son of David when the latter worshiped him as his very own Lord by revelation from the Holy Spirit:

“While the Pharisees were assembled, Jesus asked them, ‘What do you think of the Christ? Whose Son is He?’ They said to Him, ‘The Son of David.’ He said to them, ‘How then does David in the Spirit call Him “Lord,” saying: “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies Your footstool’”? If David then calls Him “Lord,” how is He his Son?’ No one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare to ask Him any more questions.” Matthew 22:41-46 – Cf. Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44

Here are some excerpts some of Christianity’s greatest minds which answer the question posed by our risen Lord, which the Jews did not know how to answer:

CHRIST IS DAVID’S LORD AS WELL AS DAVID’S SON. CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA: How, therefore, is the Son of David David’s Lord and seated also at the right hand of God the Father, and on the throne of Deity? Or is it not altogether according to the unerring word of the mystery, that the Word, being God, and sprung from the very substance of God the Father and being in his likeness and on an equality with him, became flesh, that is, man, perfectly so, and yet without departing from the incomparable excellence of the divine dignities, continuing rather in that estate in which he had ever been and still being God, though he had become flesh and “in the form like to us”? He is David Lord’s, therefore, according to that which belongs to his divine glory and nature and sovereignty, but David’s son according to the flesh. HOMILIES ON THE GOSPEL OF LUKE 137. (We Believe in One Lord Jesus Christ, edited by John Anthony McGuckin [InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL 2009], Volume 2, p. 65; italicized and underline emphasis mine)

THE FORM OF GOD AND THE FORM OF A SERVANT. THEODORE OF MOPSUESTIA: He is not merely God, nor is he merely man, but in truth he is both by nature, God and man. He is God the Word, the one who assumed; and he is the man who was assumed. He who is “in the form God” assumed “the form of a servant,” and the form of a servant is not the form of God. In the form of God, he is one who is God by nature and one who assumed the form of a servant, while the form of a servant is one who is man by nature and who was assumed for our salvation. He who assumed is not the same as he who was assumed. The one who assumed is God, while the one who was assumed is man. The one who assumed is by nature the same as God the Father, for he is God with God…. But he who was assumed is by nature the same as David and Abraham, whose son he is and from whom he is descended. Hence he is both the Lord of David and his son. ON THE NICENE CREED 8.1. (Ibid., p. 103; italicized and underline emphasis mine)

5. If then thou hear the Gospel saying, The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham Matthew 1:1, understand “according to the flesh.” For He is the Son of David at the end of the ages Hebrews 9:26, but the Son of God Before All Ages, without beginning. The one, which before He had not, He received; but the other, which He has, He has eternally as begotten of the Father. Two fathers He has: one, David, according to the flesh, and one, God, His Father in a Divine manner. As the Son of David, He is subject to time, and to handling, and to genealogical descent: but as Son according to the Godhead , He is subject neither to time nor to place, nor to genealogical descent: for His generation who shall declare ? God is a Spirit John 4:24; He who is a Spirit has spiritually begotten, as being incorporeal, an inscrutable and incomprehensible generation. The Son Himself says of the Father, The Lord said to Me, You are My Son, today have I begotten You. Now this today is not recent, but eternal: a timeless today, before all agesFrom the womb, before the morning star, have I begotten You. (Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 11; bold emphasis mine)

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