Was Jesus God?
Some believe that Jesus was God, and others believe that He was merely a man. Many believe that He was both. These views have been debated for centuries by theologians and scholars. It is important to look at what the Bible—the Word of God—says about the matter.
questioning Jesus’ claim to be God
Many people believe that Jesus never actually claimed to be God. Personally, I feel that most people who believe this simply do not want to believe that Jesus was/is God; and they use the invalid statement, “Jesus never claimed to be God,” as alleged “support” for their lack of belief (and lack of a careful study of the Gospel accounts).
Firstly, as the Messiah or Servant appointed by the Father to accomplish His Plan of salvation for mankind
Secondly, the enemies of Jesus recognized, through many of His statements, that He claimed to be God. Certain people are our enemies because they vehemently disagree with what we represent or espouse. That is why Jesus’ enemies hated Him, not even realizing—or, rather, refusing to take the time to comprehend—that He had something to offer them which would have eternally and infinitely positive benefits.
Son of God
There are, in fact, numerous accounts in the Gospels where Jesus asserted that He was God or the Messiah (Christ); or He claimed to be the Son of God, thereby alluding to His own status of deity. In a number of other places, many people—including His enemies—acknowledged that Jesus was God, that He was the Son of God, or that He professed to be God or God’s Son.
In this statement, Jesus implied that He was the Lord (God) and that He was the Son of God, the Father:
Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7:21).When many were about to stone Jesus for “blasphemy”
Other claims by Jesus to be the authoritative, revealing Son of God are,
Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heavenand,
All things have been committed 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 the Son chooses to reveal himGod (the Father) referred to the Son as “God”:
But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom”John made some strong but vital statements about our relationship with God the Father through God the Son:
No one who denies the Son [Jesus] has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. ... And this is the testimony: God has given us [believers] eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have lifeThe only way to attain eternal Life in the presence of God, the Father, is through Jesus, the Son.
Son of Man
Jesus’ favorite term for Himself was the “Son of Man”
When Jesus was led before the council of the elders of the people
Once, a paralytic man was presented before Jesus for healing
“Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins....” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home” (Luke 5:22-24).At this, the man “...stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God” (5:25). The skeptics of Jesus were right: Only God can forgive sins. What they were wrong about is that Jesus was not committing blasphemy by implying that He was God, since He truly was God.
The expression, “son of man,” was used in the Old Testament by Daniel as the term for the Messiah Who, at His second descent to earth at the end of this age, will come “...with the clouds of heaven”
I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one “like a son of man” with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand
the Messiah (Christ)
Once, a Samaritan woman had a unique experience with Jesus, the Messiah/Christ
Another statement by Jesus was, “Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me” (John 6:45). He was asserting that the Father points to Him, Jesus, as the intermediary (Messiah or Christ) between people and the Father.
Even as Jesus hung on the cross, many people who stood watching said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ [Messiah] of God, the Chosen One” (Luke 23:35). This confirmed that they understood Jesus to have professed to be the Messiah.
Rather than save Himself, Jesus forfeited His own personal “human rights” so that others could be saved. How many people today are willing to give up their “human rights” voluntarily on the behalf of others? The number seems to dwindle more every day.
Messiah, Son, and God in one
It was at Chanukah (Hanukkah), the Jewish feast of the dedication of the temple, that many gathered around Jesus, and He spoke things that made them want to stone Him
They picked up stones to stone Him (John 10:31). They told Him that they were not going to stone Him for performing miracles but, rather, “...for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God” (10:33). Many today know that Jesus was claiming to be God, but they refuse to acknowledge His claim.
The apostle Paul wrote of the great mystery of how Jesus was God in flesh. Speaking of God, he said this:
Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He [God] appeared in a body [or in the flesh], was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in gloryThe prophet Isaiah wrote this about the Lord God:
This is what the LORD says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no GodThe eternal God is “the first and the last” because He always has existed, and always will exist, “from everlasting to everlasting”
the “I AM”
A name of God, who appeared to Moses in a burning bush, is “I AM”
Once, when Jesus’ disciples were rowing across the Sea of Galilee, a storm arose; Jesus walked out a few miles on the surface of the water to where they were in their boat
To another group of people, Jesus twice affirmed that He was the “I AM”
At the Last Supper, Jesus implied that all who ate with Him were clean, other than the one (Judas) who would betray him
While Jesus and His disciples were in an olive grove, Jesus knew that He soon would be betrayed
Finally, when Jesus was being falsely accused and interrogated by the high priest, chief priests, elders, and teachers of the law
truth or lie
There should be no question as to whether or not Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God, and even God, the “I AM.” He did, and He was/is. As has been shown, many recognized His affirmations to be these things. Many believed and agreed
Paul said that Jesus “...through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:4). Though Jesus is the Son of God and was resurrected from the dead, many still are willing to take a chance—a very costly risk—and not accept these facts.
I believe, without any doubt, that
Also, Jesus retained God’s Authority, during His life on earth, which the Father had given Him
John said, “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God”
A unique event occurred at one point during Jesus’ earthly life, which unquestionably confirmed His divinity. On a high mountain, with Peter, James and John as witnesses, Jesus was transformed or transfigured
For a few moments, Jesus essentially pulled back His flesh and revealed the radiant glory of God (see “Shekinah Glory”) within, further demonstrating that He was God in flesh while He walked the earth. The Father acknowledged Him as the Son of God during this awesome event.
Incidentally, while Moses was leading the Israelites through the desert, God told him to speak to a rock so that water would pour out of it for everyone to drink
However, it seems that Moses was given a second opportunity to speak to the “Rock” when he and Elijah spoke with Jesus at His transfiguration
It seems that human nature requires an idol, a physical form or image of a god, to worship. Of course, all idols crafted by people are worthless
Jesus also is the Word—the spoken representation of God the Father (see “the Word of God”). John explained how Jesus is the personification of God’s Word and how He always had been present with God the Father from eternity past:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He [Jesus, the Word] was with God in the beginning. ... The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen his [Jesus, the Word’s] glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truthPeter stated that “...long ago by God’s Word [Jesus] the heavens existed and the earth was formed...”
In concluding his section describing Jesus Christ as the Word, John stated this:
No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only [Begotten], who is at the Father’s side, has made him knownJesus was the only begotten Son of God. But John goes one step further and calls God Himself the “One and Only [Begotten].” This is because Jesus, who is God personified, was and is the physical manifestation of the One and Only God.
Furthermore, Jesus is the One who “wrote” the Bible by impressing His Word into the minds and hearts of all the human authors of the books of the Bible. Valuable information about Him and all that He has done, as God, can be found throughout the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.
The Father, the Source and perfect Giver of all things and the “Mind” of God, conceived of the design of the universe and everything in it. Then He used His “hands,” Jesus, Who in turn utilized the Power of the Holy Spirit, to create all things. Jesus was the direct agent used by the Father to bring the universe, and everything in it, into existence out of nothing:
It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hostsPaul, recognizing Jesus as the entity through Whom the Father created everything and by Whom everything continues to be sustained (held together), said
He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together
Once, when Jesus was in a boat with His disciples
John said, referring to Jesus, the Word, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made”
...has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heavenIndeed, without the creative ability of Jesus, nothing other than God Himself would exist. And, without the sustaining capacity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, everything that has been created simply would disintegrate. The Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, collectively, are God. He exists as a unified single entity, as well as in multiple forms or facets. God is both singular and multiple at the same time.
Christ’s self “compass”
bridegroom and bride
To better understand the significance of Jesus’ relationship with us, let us first look at the Jewish engagement and marriage customs at the time of Jesus. The bridegroom had to approach his chosen bride with a contract or covenant of marriage (the Shitre Erusin); he then paid a price (often high) to the bride’s father. At the signing of the contract, the groom would drink a toast with the bride; her partaking of the wine committed herself to this man, agreeing to follow the contract that now was a legal document. At this time, they would be called husband and wife, although their status actually was that of being pledged or betrothed rather than being fully married
Next, the bridegroom would tell the bride that he was going to prepare a place for her. He would return to his father’s house, where he would build a bridal chamber (or chadar or “little mansion”), the place of their eventual honeymoon. The bride—who was bought for a price, consecrated for marriage, and set apart—would stay at home. She wore a veil, emphasizing her purity and modesty and showing all other men that she already belonged to someone else. She knew the general time that her intended husband would come for her but not the exact day; therefore, she always was ready and watching for his return. The bridegroom would take his father’s advice about the price paid for the bride, the suitability of the honeymoon chamber, as well as the best time to go and get his bride.
Finally, the long-awaited day would come when the groom and his two groomsmen (the two witnesses required for a Jewish wedding) would slip unexpectedly over to the bride’s home. A quick shout and trumpet sound would be given to announce the groom’s arrival, and the bride and her attendants would rush out quickly to meet her bridegroom before he even reached her home. Everyone in the bridal party would return with the bridegroom to his father’s home. There would be an official ceremony (the Kedushin) with a second contract (the Ketubah) containing the promises that the groom pledged to his wife. The celebration would last from one to seven days, depending on the wealth of the groom’s family.
Bridegroom and Bride
Jesus brought with Him a new covenant
...Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless
At the Last Supper, Jesus offered a cup to His disciples
Jesus told His disciples,
In my Father’s house are many rooms [mansions or chambers]; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for youFollowing Jesus’ death and resurrection, and His physical appearance to people for forty days
While on earth, Jesus indicated that nobody knew the exact day or hour of His return; only the Father possessed this knowledge
At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: “Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.” “No,” they replied, “there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.” But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. “Sir! Sir!” they said. “Open the door for us!” But he replied, “I tell you the truth, I don't know you.” Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hourNotice how Jesus indicated that He, the Bridegroom, would arrive at midnight. This very well could correspond to a Mid-tribulation Rapture in the middle of the 70th Week, when only a select few “firstfruits” of His Bride will be transformed and then removed (thus avoiding the dreaded Great Tribulation period).
I suspect that the “wedding supper of the Lamb”
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”
Jesus was a good man and a great prophet. However, he was infinitely greater than the most important man or prophet of any other religion. This is because Jesus Himself actually created and constructed the entire universe, and He is the One holding it altogether
Christianity actually is not so much a religion as it is a relationship with the Sovereign, Almighty God. In all other religions, mankind strives to reach God—to be “good enough” to attain His approval and mercy. Unfortunately, no one ever can be good enough to earn eternal life. In no other religion was God, the Creator of the universe, humiliated, even unto death on a cross. Jesus, God incarnate, humbled Himself to the level of being insulted, flogged, beaten, and ultimately crucified for the sins of the world.
Why did Jesus, the Son of God, have to die? All people have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God
The only perfect man who ever lived was Jesus; He was guilty of no sin or crime. Just as the blood of innocent Passover lambs had to be shed to atone for the sins of the ancient Israelites
On the third day after His crucifixion, Jesus rose from the dead—the firstfruits of those who also will rise from the dead and never die again
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life
Ted’s Bible Commentaries
|Summary of Commentaries|
|Who Is God?|
|The Rapture||The Endtimes|
|The Final Battles||The Beasts||The Creation|
|God’s Covenant: with Israel or the Church?|
|My Beliefs and Faith|
|Bible Question Emails
and Ted’s Responses
|The Holy Bible
(a novel by Ted)
of the Human Eye
Comments or questions? Email Me.
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV®
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.