Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Profession of Faith 151 III. J esus and I srael ’ s F aith in the O ne G od and S avior 587 If the Law and the Jerusalem Temple could be occasions of opposition to Jesus by Israel’s religious authorities, his role in the redemption of sins, the divine work par excellence, was the true stumbling-block for them. 363 588 Jesus scandalized the Pharisees by eating with tax collec- tors and sinners as familiarly as with themselves. 364 Against those among them “who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others,” Jesus affirmed: “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” 365 He went further by pro- claiming before the Pharisees that, since sin is universal, those who pretend not to need salvation are blind to themselves. 366 589 Jesus gave scandal above all when he identified his merci­ ful conduct toward sinners with God’s own attitude toward them. 367 He went so far as to hint that by sharing the table of sinners he was admitting them to the messianic banquet. 368 But it was most especially by forgiving sins that Jesus placed the religious authori­ ties of Israel on the horns of a dilemma. Were they not entitled to demand in consternation, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 369 By forgiving sins Jesus either is blaspheming as a man who made himself God’s equal or is speaking the truth, and his person really does make present and reveal God’s name. 370 590 Only the divine identity of Jesus’ person can justify so absolute a claim as “He who is not with me is against me”; and his saying that there was in him “something greater than Jonah, . . . greater than Solomon,” something “greater than the Temple”; his reminder that David had called the Messiah his Lord, 371 and his affirmations, “Before Abraham was, I Am ”; and even “I and the Father are one.” 372 363 Cf. Lk 2:34; 20:17-18; Ps 118:22. 364 Cf. Lk 5:30; 7:36; 11:37; 14:1. 365 Lk 18:9; 5:32; cf. Jn 7:49; 9:34. 366 Cf. Jn 8:33-36; 9:40-41. 367 Cf. Mt 9:13; Hos 6:6. 368 Cf. Lk 15:1-2, 22-32. 369 Mk 2:7. 370 Cf. Jn 5:18; 10:33; 17:6, 26. 371 Cf. Mt 12:6, 30, 36, 37, 41-42. 372 Jn 8:58; 10:30. 545 431, 1441 432 253