God 'determined to call together in the holy Church those who believe in Christ'

Lumen Gentium


God the Son

Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, is the centre of revelation for Catholics. In the person of Christ, they now have the fullness of truth revealed to them.

It is the Paschal Mystery, i.e. the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, that gives the title “Son of God” its full meaning. This is especially revealed at his baptism and transfiguration, where both times the voice of the Father calls Jesus his “Beloved Son”. This therefore confirms Jesus’ eternal existence and relationship with the Father, and leads to another title taken from Greek philosophy and found in St John’s Gospel, namely that of the “Word” or “Logos”. This means that the Son was involved in creation, and that he is God the Father’s communication to us.

The name “Jesus” means, “God saves”, conveying the Son’s mission while on earth as a man. He was sent to redeem us, and did this by dying for our sins on the Cross, rising from the dead and thus bringing us to new life, and by his teaching and handing on of the truth of the Catholic faith (contained in the content of divine revelation) to the Apostles. This is also signified by the title “Good Shepherd”, as he looks after his sheep and lays down his life for them.

The title “Christ” is synonymous with “Messiah”, a term that means “anointed” or “chosen”. This is inherited from the Old Covenant, where a Messiah was promised to come and save God’s people.

The Son is also given the title “Lord”, or “kyrios” in Greek. This indicates divine sovereignty, but it is a different concept of lordship from the prevailing human idea. Jesus came not to be served but to serve, and is thus rightly called the “Servant King”.

Finally the Son of God calls himself “the Way, the Truth and the Life”. Early Christians were called followers of “the Way”, since they imitated the Way himself. Jesus is the Way by which we come to know the Father and achieve eternal salvation. He is the Truth since he reveals the entire truth about existence in his Person. And he is the Life because he feeds us with himself in the Scriptures and the Eucharist.