Why do you think that Jesus was more than divine, in other words that He was a deity or God?

Email Received:

I have been studying the Bible for a while now trying to make sense of the Trinity doctrine. Your commentary (Was Jesus God?) mentions Matthew 7:21. I can see how this explains His divinity, but how does it prove His deity? Psalm 110:1 also confirms His divinity and the fact that He was the Messiah, but I do not see how it establishes His deification.

Ted's Response:

In Matthew 7:21, Jesus was implying that He was God two ways:

  1. By saying that people would call Him "Lord, Lord," He was making a claim to be God.
  2. By saying "my Father who is in heaven," He was claiming to be the Son of God, thus making an assertion of His personal deity, since He was the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16).
Many have difficulty understanding how God can be both single and multiple at once. In my Who Is God? commentary, the singular and multiple section might be of some help.

It is true that in Psalm 110:1, God is speaking to the Messiah. If you believe that Jesus was/is the Messiah, then maybe what you are questioning is the deity of the Messiah.

In Isaiah 9:6, the terms "Wonderful," "Counselor" (or "Wonderful Counselor"), and "Prince of Peace" are accepted terms for the Messiah. But He also is called "the mighty God." This reinforces my belief that the child who was born, Jesus, was/is God.

In addition, Isaiah even referred to the Messiah (Jesus) as "the everlasting Father." That is one step beyond saying that Jesus is God and going so far as to say that, somehow, He is equivalent to or comparable with the Father. I have heard arguments asserting this means that Jesus is the "Father" of Creation or the "Father" of the world or the "Father" of salvation.

Yet, I consider Jesus' statement, "I and the [or my] Father are one" (John 10:30), as well as, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (14:9). I don't know how that can happen, but I accept that it can. I look at Revelation 5:1-7, for instance. Initially, we see the scroll in the right hand of whoever is on the throne (5:1), presumably the Father.

Next, though, we see the Lamb standing in the middle of that same throne (Revelation 5:6), and it even describes Him as the sevenfold Spirit of God. Therefore, it would seem that, somehow, it is possible for Jesus and the Holy Spirit to occupy the same space, at the same time, with the Father. Finally, we see the Lamb taking the scroll from the right hand of Him, presumably the Father, who is sitting on the throne (5:7).

It would seem, then, that Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father, at will, can be One; or they can dissociate into Two or Three whenever they wish to do so. How they do it is a mystery to us. That they do it, though, is not something that tests my faith. I simply accept it; and in a comprehension that I am unable to put into words, it makes complete sense to me.

I also look at how John, in describing "the Word," noted how the Word not only was with God in the beginning but, of even greater significance, the Word was God (John 1:1,2). The multiple and single aspects of God are depicted in these two verses.

Furthermore, by this Word, all things were made, and nothing was made without Him (John 1:3). Thus, the Word is the Creator, and we know that the Creator is God. Finally, John stated that the Word became flesh (that is, Jesus, the bodily manifestion of God) and dwelled among us (1:14). Clearly, John was stating that the Word was Jesus and that Jesus, the Word, was and is God.

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