Mysterious Mingling of Divine and Human

Known as the hypostatic union of divine and human in the God-man Jesus, the one person two natures formula is replete with mystery. It is a doctrine that Arius could not accept. It was a doctrine that led to the exile of Athanasius. It is not due to the fact that Athanasius has a political agenda (as some have argued), but he was compelled by the Scriptures to make sene out of the Bible’s teaching that Jesus received worship, yet was limited to geographic boundaries and knowledge. In a poetic passage from Athanasius we are challenged to put the two together.

When there was a need to raise Peter’s wife’s mother, who was sick of fever, He stretched His hand humanly, but he stopped the illness divinely. And in the case of the man blind from birth, human was the spittle which He gave forth from the flesh, but divinely did He open the eyes through the clay. And in the case of Lazarus, He gave forth a human voice, as man; but divinely, as God, did He raise Lazarus from the dead. These things were so done, were so manifested because He had a body, not in appearance, but in truth; and it became the Lord, in putting on human flesh, to put it on whole with the affections proper to it; that, as we say that the body was His own, so also we may say that the affections of the body were proper to Him alone, though they did not touch Him according to His Godhead.  {Athanasius, Four Discourses Against the Arians, Discourse 3, p. 411)

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Filed under Christology, Theology

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