It may be odd – at least on the surface – to ask the question “do Catholics believe in Jesus”, but once we dig a little bit deeper in this quick guide you’ll have a better understanding of why that might be a more engaging and interesting question than you thought initially.
To get this out of the way straight out of the gate, yes, Catholics not only believe in Jesus but also know him to be the Son of God and the man that sacrificed himself to spare humanity.
Below we get a little more into what Catholics believe about Jesus, how that differs from other faiths, and more!
Why Catholics Believe In Jesus
Absolutely! Catholics believe in Jesus.
Jesus Christ is a hugely important part of the Catholic Church, that he is God Almighty and God on Earth, and the foundation that the entirety of Christianity is built on top of.
Catholics know that there is just one God, but believe that he manifests in three persons – The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.
Do we have evidence of this deep and abiding faith in Jesus Christ?
Once again, absolutely!
In John 1:1 it is written that “Jesus is God”. A little later in John (1:14) we also learn that “Jesus God became flesh”. Philippians also has a passage that states “he emptied himself of his divinity for our sake”.
This shows not only a very concrete belief in Jesus and his importance to the faith and the church, but that the divine person that was Jesus took on human nature and was not two separate beings but instead a divine entity – human and divine – that came down to earth to save our souls.
Catholic Jesus Beliefs (An Overview)
While there are a multitude of Catholic beliefs throughout this faith, far too many to break down in just one single guide, there are some core tenants of the Catholic faith that are believed universally.
For starters, Catholics believe in God’s existence – and they believe that there is but one true God who sent his son down to earth to be sacrificed in order to save us from our sins.
Secondly, Catholics believe that you can interact and commune with God through the power of prayer.
Third, Catholics are steadfast in their belief in the Holy Trinity as well as in the divinity of Jesus Christ himself.
Finally, it’s important to remember and really internalize that Catholics believe in the immortality of the human soul. There’s a deep and abiding belief in resurrection, in heaven and hell – and even purgatory – but there’s also a firm belief in the fact that everyone is accountable for their own actions and that they will be judged upon their passing.
Understanding the Differences Between Catholicism and Christianity
There are a number of major distinctions between Catholicism and Christianity, as well as how they view Jesus Christ. The same can be said of the Jewish faith who believe that Jesus Christ did exist, but do not believe that he is the Son of God.
One of the major differences between Catholicism and Christianity in general is that Catholicism focuses on seven rites. Christianity, especially Protestantism, focuses and embraces only two.
Another big difference between Catholicism and Christianity is one that is often misunderstood by those of a Christian faith outside of Catholicism.
Outsiders believe that Catholics pray to the saints instead of directly to God himself, but that’s not really what Catholics are doing. Instead, Catholics are merely asking for the blessing of saints while also praying for the saints themselves – not necessarily to them.
It might look like a minor distinction, but it’s a distinction all the same and really changes the relationship that Catholics have with their saints.
Catholics also believe the Pope to be their spiritual leader, the head of the church, and a hugely influential member of their faithful community. Christians at large do not share that same belief.
Lastly, Catholics embrace the idea of Mary as a saint and also believe her to be holy. Christians don’t necessarily believe that Mary was a saint, though they do believe that she was embraced by the divine.
So there you have it – Jesus Christ is a foundational part of the Catholic faith, hugely influential in all aspects of the church, and a major part of the lives of true believers.
Other faiths have different relationships with Jesus, but there’s no uncertainty about who Jesus was, what he did coming to earth, and how important his sacrifice was for the world when it comes to Catholics.