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I don’t see why Mary had to be sinless to pass on a sinless human nature to Christ.

Full Question

I don’t see why Mary had to be sinless to pass on a sinless human nature to Christ.

Answer

Mary’s sinlessness derives from the fact that she is the human vessel through which God himself became man. It was from her flesh that Christ received his human nature.

Because Christ is God, it’s fitting that he took his humanity from a sinless human nature, although it wasn’t strictly necessary that his mother be sinless for him to receive from her a sinless human nature. God could have done it another way.

Nor was it absolutely necessary that Christ be born of a virgin. He could have come into the world via the normal route. The fact that Mary was a virgin and conceived Christ isn’t so much a statement about Mary as it is about the dignity of the child she carried in her womb.

Likewise (and ultimately) the Immaculate Conception isn’t so much a statement about the dignity of Mary as it is a statement about the dignity of her son. It points out who he is–God incarnate.










18 comments

  1. alejandro Reply

    Mary have to be sinless to be a mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. she is the help of all human race from the beginning and anyone who seek her intercession will be saved from sin. she is the gate of heaven and through her all souls dead or alive will enter to the kingdom of heaven.
    Thats the miracle of the her divinity with her son Jesus Christ, our Lord, with God the Father, and Holy Spirit, in One. Amen

  2. Brenda Bautista Pabandero Reply

    Jesus had a pre human existence, He was in Heaven with his Father Jehovah God. Mary was favoured by God Jehovah so by means of THE HOLY SPIRIT, GOD transferred the life of the WORD into the womb of Mary and so Jesus was sinless, he did not inherit the Sin that was passed on to all human by ADAM

    1. Mario Simonelli Reply

      No Brenda, Jesus came as a man, He took our place, He suffered temptations, He resisted temptation so much so that His sweat become drops of blood. He became flesh, therefore He was made sin, for the flesh and sin are one and the same.

      1. Pedro Dagandagan Reply

        Jesus Christ, the Person
        – by Gerard M. Gaskin

        1. Who is Jesus?
        Often today, when asked the question “Who is Jesus?” Catholics reply: “Jesus is the son of God”. While such a statement is true as far as it goes, it does not explain fully enough who Jesus really is. The problem is that we are all sons and daughters of God yet we are not God. So, while Jesus is the son of God, He is also God the Son. It is the second part of the statement “…God the Son…” which gives the real clue to understanding the person of Jesus. Unfortunately, some theologians today have downplayed Jesus’ divinity. They stress His human qualities; His compassion, love, justice, social conscience and so on. In doing so they deny the fact that Jesus was not just a good man, not just someone chosen by God to do a special mission in Palestine. In fact, Jesus is God Himself.

        The name Jesus means in Hebrew “God saves”. The name Christ is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word “Messiah” which means “Anointed”. Saint John tells us that this is the divine name which alone brings salvation (John 3:5). Kings, priests and prophets were anointed as a sign of their special calling. Jesus was unique in that he was at one and the same time priest, prophet and king. Jesus is a member of the Holy Trinity, truly God. St. Irenaeus of Lyons would say: “…in the name of Christ is understood he who anoints, he who has been anointed, and the anointing itself by which he has been anointed: He who anoints in the Father, he who has been anointed is the Son, and he has been anointed in the Spirit, who is the anointing.” (Adv. Haer, III,18,3)

        2. Jesus Christ is True God and True Man

        This teaching is, to our human minds, impossible. It is a mystery of the Faith, one which we will never fully understand. Nevertheless, through His Church, Jesus has taught us about this profound mystery.

        The Church teaches that Jesus Christ is one person having two natures. This, itself, is contrary to our human experience. We see everything around us as having a nature, but only one nature: the tree has the nature of a tree, the man has the nature of a human being, a rock has the nature of a rock. The nature of a thing indicates the kind of thing it is. Logically, every created thing has one nature, its own particular nature. No created thing has two natures or it would be two things at one time, which is impossible.

        Accordingly, the tree does not have the nature of a man, nor the man a rock’s. Nevertheless, we are taught by the Church that Jesus has two distinct natures in one person. We are taught that Jesus Christ has a Divine nature, as God; and a human nature as man. Just as the tree is not a rock, so the natures of man and God are distinct, not blurred together. Yet the Church teaches that in one person, in all time, since His conception in the womb of a human mother, these natures are united by being in the person of Jesus Christ. Because Jesus possesses fully the nature of God and the nature of man we can describe Him as true God and true man.

        Because Jesus possesses fully the nature of a man, He has a human body and soul. Furthermore, His human soul, like ours, has intellect and will. (He is like man in all things but sin). But Jesus has the infinite intellect and will of God as well as the intellect and will of a man. He is one divine person having two natures, the human and the divine. As the fifth century Athanasian Creed put it:

        “He is perfect God; and He is perfect man, with a rational soul and human flesh. He is equal to the Father in His divinity but he is inferior to the Father in His humanity. Although He is God and man, He is not two but one Christ.And He is one, not because His divinity was changed into flesh, but because His humanity was assumed into God. He is one, not at all because of a mingling of substances, but because He is one person.”

        In the gospels we see Jesus demonstrating that He possesses the divine knowledge and will of God when He said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58). Yet He shows His human will when, in agony in the garden of Gethsemene, He cries, “Not my will but thine be done.” Luke 22:43)

        In the year 553 AD, the Second General Council of Constantinople decreed:

        “We think that God the Word was united to the flesh, each of the two natures remaining what it is. This is why Christ is one, God and man; the same, consubstantial (homoousios) with the father as to the divinity and consubstantial with us as to the humanity.” (D.S. 430, N.D.620/8).

        It is intriguing to consider that one letter in a word can make a great difference. Arianism, one of the most devastating heresies to befall the Church, focussed on the difference of one letter in one word. As can be seen from the above quotation the Greek word homoousios means that Jesus is “one in substance (i.e. nature)” with the Father; clearly being God as the Father is God. The Arian heretics, on the other hand, wanted the word homoiousios. By inserting the mere letter “i” into the word, its Greek meaning became “similar in substance” with the Father (homo = same, homoi = similar). This denied the certainty of Christ’s divinity.

        Incidentally, the Arian heresy, that Jesus was not eternal God, but only a creature made out of nothing, swept through the entire Church in the fourth century, affecting in one way or another almost every Catholic, lay, priest and Bishop. The Council of Nicea (325), attended by some 220 bishops, condemned this heresy and gave us the creed which is now called the Nicene Creed.

        3. Did Jesus Know He was God?

        A belief which is occasionally challenged, even today, is that Jesus knew that He was God. Some argue that Jesus grew in the knowledge that He was God, but was not born knowing this. As can be seen from the argument above about Jesus being truly and fully God from His conception, since Jesus was truly God knowing all things, He must have been born knowing all things, including that He is God. If He were born not knowing this, then He could not be God.

        The only real objection to this belief is based on the human idea that a baby is born knowing virtually nothing. How, people ask, could Jesus be a baby and yet know that He is God? The answer is that it is just as easy for God to be a baby as it is for Him to be an adult man. In each case, the infinite God takes on a limited, weak human nature at the same time that He is infinite God.

        Pope Pius XII taught, in his Encyclical Mystici Corporis (“The Mystical Body” – 1943): “By means of the Beatific Vision (the sight of God in Heaven), which He enjoyed from the time when he was received into the womb of the Mother of God, He has for ever and continuously had present to Him all the members of His mystical Body, and embraced them with His saving love.” (N.D. 661).

        In other words Jesus possessed, in His human soul, the same immediate vision of God which all the saints and angels in heaven have. This means that Jesus was, at the same time, both a pilgrim on earth like us and a possessor of the immediate vision of God. Even His human nature is endowed with an abundance of supernatural gifts. He knows all things – past, present and future.

        Jesus, throughout the Gospels, claimed to be the Son of God. When He spoke of His relation to God He said “My Father” (Matthew 25:34 and 26:29; Luke 2:49 and 24:49; John 20:17.) When He spoke of the disciples’ relation to God, He said “Your Father”. Even when teaching the “Our Father”, He told the disciples how they were to pray to the Father (Matthew 6:9).

        Jesus knew that He was sublime over all creatures, men and angels.

        He transcends the Prophets and Kings of the Old Testament (Matthew 12:41).

        The angels are His servants. They appear and minister to Him (Matthew 4:11, Mark 1:13).

        In Matthew 23:34 and Luke 11:49, He asserts of Himself what in the Old Testament is said of Yahweh, making Himself equal to God.

        He describes Himself as the “Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8, Mark 2:28, Luke 6:5)

        There can be no doubt, from a reading of the gospels and study of the Church’s interpretation of these passages. Jesus clearly claims to be God.

        4. Jesus claims to be God:

        Mt16:13ff “Who do, people say I am?….Who do you say I am? Blessed are you…..”

        Mt 26:63ff ” Caiaphas: “I adjure you by the Living God that you tell us if you are the Christ the Son of God. Jesus said: Thou hast said it…. and you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the power of God.”

        Jn 19:7 The Jews said: “He ought to die because He made himself the Son of God.”

        Lk 10:22 He claimed equality with God. “All things are given to me by my father; no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom He chooses to reveal Him.”

        Mt 25:31 He claimed to sit in judgement on all mankind. “The son of Man will come in His majesty and all the angels with Him … and all the nations shall be gathered together before Him, and He shall separate them one from another.”

        Mt 5:22 “You have heard it said … but now I say to you.”

        Jn. 10:30-33 “I and the Father are one” The Jews were about to stone Him because “being a Man He made Himself God.”

        Jn 5:17-21 “He said God was His Father, making himself equal to God.”

        Jn 5:18 to Nicodemus. “He who does not believe, believes not in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

        5. A Deeper Understanding

        When we understand the two natures of Jesus we can come to a deeper personal understanding of Him and commitment to Him in prayer and sacrifice. We can see how God could truly die for us, the greatest act of self-giving any person can make. Yet we know that God cannot die; that it was only after becoming man that Christ was able to die. In fact it was in order to die for us that God did become man.

        On the other hand, it is as God that Jesus is also the Creator of the Universe. He is the unique personal union (Hypostatic Union) of God and man intimately bound supernaturally and mystically. The perfect man upon whom to base our lives. Yet He is a real person who experienced human life, suffering and death and is thus able to share our human pain and worries.

        Listening to a cassette tape about the Blessed Eucharist recently I was struck by the story told by a American speaker. He asked his audience what they would do if they heard on the six o’clock news that Jesus was going to come to their neighbourhood that night. He would actually be out in the street just down from their home. Naturally they would race out to enjoy the privilege of seeing Him and talking to Him.

        We who believe in the divinity of Christ have that unique privilege. We know that although Christ is spiritually present as God everywhere around us, He is also physically present nearby in His Body and Blood, God and man. In every tabernacle in every Catholic Church in the world, this same infinite, eternal, omnipotent and all-loving God/man is really physically present just as He was after the Resurrection. He is available to us. We can enter His physical presence and be as close to him as the Apostles were during His life. Whereas they saw Him with their eyes, we can see Him with the eyes of faith. We need only enter a Catholic Church and we enter the physical presence of the mighty king, Lord of the Universe who lived as a humble village carpenter, suffered, died and rose again for us.

        Perhaps we could visit Him more often.

        Taken from “The Catholic (Universal) Catechism”, # 5: Jesus Christ, the Person, by Gerard Gaskin, Diocesan Director of Religious Education, Diocese of Wagga Wagga, Australia

        @Brenda Bautista Pabandero, @Mario Simonelli

  3. Visuca Mazo Reply

    god is INCOMPATIBLE with sin. I think ultimately we all feel profoundly revolted by sin (despite how ‘tempting’ evil may make it momentarily appear). God could NOT, not even for a fraction of a second be in contact with sin therefore His Mother was IMMACULATE. Oh, I am SO HAPPY about this! – “Thank You, my OMNIPOTENT GOD, for organising things the way You do”.

    1. Mario Simonelli Reply

      Visuca Mazo, Jesus came as a man, He took our place, He suffered temptations, He resisted temptation so much so that His sweat became drops of blood. He became flesh, therefore He was made sin, for the flesh and sin are one and the same. So if Jesus was made flesh and therefore sin, how could Mary His mother be immaculate?

  4. lindy nards Reply

    I know Mary conceived our lord Jesus without sin by the power of the holy spirit. Please I have a question. If our Mother Mary was conceived as well without sin, does it mean her own mother had immaculate conception ? did the holy spirit also over shadow the mother of Mary to conceive Mary ?

  5. Tom Reply

    Mary was sunless or had to be? Romans 3:23Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

    23 for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; God says ‘for all’, not ‘for all’ except.Mary As for Jesus Christ and only Him alone. Heb. 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Heb. 9:28 so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto those who look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin, unto salvation. Mary nor anyone else is equal to Christ – that’s the glory we all, living and dead, fall short of at this time

  6. Isaac Ponder Reply

    Seriously guys? Mary wasn’t sinless the same way Adam, Abraham, Noah, Abraham, etc… God simply found favor in her, yes she was a virgin, no she did not remain a virgin after Christ was born. All this stuff is right there in the word I’m not sure what the confusion is.

    1. Mario Simonelli Reply

      @Issac Ponder, the confusion is that some centuries ago one pope decided to invent the immaculate conception, in order to rise a woman equal to Jesus. I am sure that Mary herself is crying drops of blood for what they (the popes) have done in her name.
      God has not spared her from the original sin: the truth is that God has preserved the seed of all woman from being implanted with the sin of covet (or lust.) We all know that her seed (or egg) is released every month without lust; on the other hand the man’s seed is implanted with lust. It is all there in Genesis 3:15. Blessed be the pope who sees the error and puts it right.

      1. Luke Reply

        I am very sure that if you asked that Pope if Mary were the equal of Our Lord, he would laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and then ask if you had a serious question. The Immaculate Conception (nor the Assumption, nor the Virgin Birth, nor anything else regarding our Blessed Mother) does nothing that brings her to something that even resembles equality with Christ.

        Everything that is special about Mary is special because of who her son is, what her role was in bringing him into this world, and what he was here to do. If Mary is anguished over what “they have done in her name” she has a strange way of showing it. Did you know that Pope St. John Paul II attributes his miraculous survival and recovery from an assassination attempt to the intercession of Mary?

        I don’t see how you connect Genesis 3:15 with God preserving “the seed of all women from being implanted with the sin of covet (or lust.)” It sounds like you are implying that women do not suffer lustful temptations, which is wrong, or that the only way conception occurs is through lust (which is also wrong).

  7. Daniel Parker Reply

    Joseph was married before had children those are his brothers and sisters mary remain a Mary motherwas pure too according to the lost gospel forgotten

  8. Judy Cashen Reply

    God did not have to have His Son conceived in a spotless vessel, but He could and He did. This is not the invention of a Pope and the Church has never claimed that it elevates Christ’s mother to His level. The early Church Fathers taught this from the very beginning. It only became necessary to define the Immaculate Conception after the protestant revolution, because it began to be challenged. Before that, Mary’s sinlessness was believed by Christians. Also, God did not create man sinful. Flesh and sin are not “one and the same” and to state that “Jesus was made sin” is not correct. He was not sin and he never committed sin. Christ took on our sin…He was not sin!!!

    1. Mario Simonelli Reply

      @Judy Casher, Jesus took our flesh therefore He took on our sin and sins. Or He was made flesh, therefore He was made sin. That is why it is written: “Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its corrupts passions and desires.” Jesus is our only saviour, He is our advocate, He is our intercessor, He is our God. The Catholic church has replaced the positions of our Lord with his mother. The Catholic church depict Jesus as a child in His mothers arms: therefore He has less power than His mother. Why… Why… Why? I was educated a Catholic and I find Jesus more than sufficient, to venerate Mary and call her the mother of God is to raise her above God.
      For your information Mary is a blessed person she is the mother of our Lord; she is not the mother of God; I am certain that you do not know the difference between the Lord and God, and why Jesus prayed to God. The following is an article in my book “the Way God Told It” It explain why Jesus had to come and die sinless.
      THE WILL OF GOD AND THAT OF THE HIGH PRIEST

      We ought to know the difference between the foreknowledge of an event and the actual will of God: for we read in Matthew 26:42: “He went away again a second time and prayed saying, ‘My father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Thy will be done.’”

      As we read the above verse we can be forgiven if we think that God’s will was for Jesus to be executed, and if we think that, then the high priest was only doing God’s will, and if that is so we should also be screaming, “Crucify, crucify Him!” Therefore it is in the interest and integrity of our faith to understand God’s will from the high priest’s will, because those two wills appear to be intertwined but in fact they are separate and distinct.

      The important thing to understand for the sake of our holy faith is that God’s foreknowledge allowed Him to use the evil deed of the high priest for his own purpose, but He (God) had nothing to do with bringing it about, otherwise the high priest would no longer be acting alone or by his own free will.

      We all know that the high priest’s will was to have Jesus put to death by execution, for we read in John 11:48-50: “’If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.’ But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for us that one man should die, and that the whole nation should not perish.’”

      The above verses make the reasoning and intention of the high priest clear. He is mainly afraid that his influential position and the Jewish religion will be abolished by the Romans because they all thought that if Jesus was not stopped, eventually the entire congregation would believe in Him and there would be no longer any need for their office and their religion (or nation.) In a nutshell we can confidently say that the high priest had Jesus put to death so that his influential office and the Jewish religion could continue its existence.

      By that knowledge alone we now understand that Jesus’ execution was solely the will of the high priest and his associates and God had nothing to do with that decision. Nevertheless, He did not interfere to save His Son or alleviate His sufferings. At this point we all should ask ourselves, why Jesus had to pay for our sins with His life? The answer is found in Matthew 5:17, for Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfil.”
      We know that all the prophecies that were written about Him in the Old Testament were fulfilled as His life unfolded. But how could Jesus fulfil the law? I believe that in order to fulfil the law He had to die sinless. For we read in Hebrews 9:27: “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.” It stands to reason that only after death can the judgement be final, because only then men can no longer sin.
      We know that Adam could not keep one simple law (Genesis 2:17) and as a consequence mankind had to die. But Jesus, a type of Adam, kept all of the law, despite the temptation within Himself to escape death, as well as the temptation to respond to those who inflicted on Him excruciating pain and verbal abuses. Yet in all that agonising time He did not utter one single complaint or accusing word, but blessed them by forgiving them. Because of that He fulfilled the law (or accomplished God’s will). In consequence He reversed what Adam did, therefore now the entire human race has justification of life.
      We should know that much more than justification of life awaits the believers who, through the spirit of Christ, become the adopted sons and daughters of God for we read in Acts 2:33, 38 and 41: ‘”Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear’… And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let each of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’… So then, those who had received his word were baptised; and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” So, through the Holy Spirit that was given to us, we know that the fulfilment of the law is the true irreversible outcome of His sacrificial mission, for we also read in 1Corinthians 2:10: “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.”

      The following allegorical illustration should clarify God’s will regarding the mission given to Jesus. It will also clearly define Jesus’ sacrificial mission of love.

      Let us imagine that during wartime there are many missions to be carried out against the enemy and all of them contain some risk of possible loss of some of those who are taking part in the mission. At other times the mission is so risky that they call for volunteers; the mission is such that the probability of survival is nil, but it has to be done. In this case the commander is sacrificing a small, willing number of men for the greater good of the cause.
      The question we should ask ourselves is this: Is it the commander’s will to have those men killed? Or is it the commander’s will that the mission be accomplished? If your answer is what I think it is, now apply the same formula to God’s will regarding the mission given to Jesus.
      John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave sacrificed His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” So God willingly sacrificed His Son for the greater good of humanity. Our thanks must go to God and to Jesus who successfully carried out the sacrificial mission of fulfilling the law. Hence, our believing in His life and in His triumph over the temptation of sinful flesh now saves us. Furthermore, we have been fully assured that He has gracefully donated to us His triumph over sin in the flesh through the gift of His Holy Spirit, so that we now can also resist temptation and live holy lives.
      Certainly we can now live holy lives! It is confirmed in Luke 1:73-75, where we read: “The oath, which He swore to Abraham our father, to grant us that we, being delivered from the power of sin might serve Him without fear. In holiness and righteousness before Him all of our days.”
      The understanding of the above scripture is a trustworthy rendering as we read in 1Corinthians 15:56: “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.” So we can now confidently say that Jesus, by dying sinless, fulfilled the law and consequently stripped sin (our enemy) of its power.
      Glory to God

      1. hilary Reply

        Are u sure u were educated as a cath and the told u that u should exalt Mary more than jesus, just say the truth and it shall set u free. Now ur taught suggest that jesus oneness with God is not true. Basically ur taught in refuting the ttrinity is a believe from the Muslim and the Dan Brown, u r acute description of Mary Carrying jesus as depicting that Mary is portrayed as above jesus is the most lame thing iv ever heard considering that even the Bible tells Joseph to carry the child (jesus) and his wife should have strike ur lavished ignorance, u left where u were supposed to read the Bible and understand to where u read the Bible and twist. In other to even understand ur state of mind and help u understand what you are portraying, is jesus Christ God. Pls help answer the question then we continue from there. I want to pick on u one by one .ur enormous write up is not deep but one of those Protestant wash wash noise, hoping to read from u soon Pls.

  9. Joe Mwangi Reply

    The dogma of Immaculate conception is in contradiction with scripture , according to Romans 3:10 “None is righteous , no , not one”-this includes Mary as well.If Mary was without original sin , does this mean that Mary’s mother was also without sin so that she does not pass the stain of original sin to Mary ? What about her grandmother who gave birth to her mother ?

    1. Luke Reply

      By your interpretation, that would suggest that Christ is also not righteous, would it not? And that, then, Paul is refuting all of Scripture concerning righteousness:

      Psalm 106:3 “Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!”

      1 John 3:7 “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.”

      Proverbs 13:6 “Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless, but sin overthrows the wicked.”

      just to name a few.

      You need to take a look at the context of Paul’s letter her. He is weighing in on a debate between Christians of Jewish and Gentile origin. He is letting them know that the Jewish Christians did not have the advantage over the Gentile Christians that they were claiming to have. The point is to prove that the Jews hadn’t always followed the law given to them, either. Paul is not proving universal unrighteousness.

  10. Natcisa Marwuez Reply

    Jesus is the Way,the Truth and the Life , I must thanked the Heavenly Father for Jesus is his Son ! Mary led me to Jesus because I am a Catholic and we venerate Mary but I know some non Catholic enjoying same Salvation as I may , just believing like me that Jesus is the Way,Truth and Life . To believed to Jesus is a Universal , to have Mary is being Catholic ! Glory to God !

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