Church Fathers, Day Forty-Two: St. John of Damascus explains the right hand of the Father

Church Fathers, Day Forty-Two: St. John of Damascus explains the right hand of the Father September 1, 2014

st_john_of_damascus_1What we mean by “the right hand of the Father”

St. John of Damascus, traditionally the last of the Church Fathers, explains what we mean when we say that Christ sits “at the right hand of the Father”: not that God the Father has literal hands, but that God the Son shares the Father’s glory.

We also believe that Christ sits in the body at the right hand of God the Father. But we do not believe that “the right hand of the Father” is actually a place. For how could he who is infinite have a right hand limited by place? Right hands and left hands belong to what is finite.

But we understand the right hand of the Father to be the glory and honor of the Godhead in which the Son of God, who existed as God before the ages, and is of one being with the Father, and in the end became flesh, has a seat in the body, his flesh sharing in the glory. For he along with his flesh is adored with one adoration by all creation.

St. John of Damascus, Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 4.2


When I recite the Creed, how often do I really think about the words I’m saying?


Glory to him who could never be measured by us! Our heart is too small for him, and our mind is too feeble. He makes foolish our littleness by the riches of his Wisdom. Glory to him, who lowered himself, and asked questions, so that he might hear what he already knew; that he might by his questions reveal the treasure of his helpful graces!

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