Opinions on faith and life

Did Jesus claim to be God?

2005-09-01

Frequently we hear the mantra that Jesus never claimed to be God, but what are the facts? Here are some quotes from the Bible, by the prophets, by Jesus and by those who were personally instructed by Him.

Isaiah 9:6 For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us. He shoulders responsibility and is called: Extraordinary Strategist, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Philippians 2:5 You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, 2:6 who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, 2:7 but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature. 2:8 He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross! 2:9 As a result God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 2:10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow— heaven and on earth and under the earth— 2:11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

Colossians 1:13 He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves, 1:14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation,

1:16 for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him— all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers— all things were created through him and for him.

1:17 He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him.

1:18 He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that he himself may become first in all things.

1:19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in the Son

1:20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross— through him, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people. 2:12 It trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 2:13 as we wait for the happy fulfillment of our hope in the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 2:14 He gave himself for us to set us free from every kind of lawlessness and to purify for himself a people who are truly his, who are eager to do good.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. 1:2 The Word was with God in the beginning. 1:3 All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. 1:4 In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. 1:5 And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.

1:6 A man came, sent from God, whose name was John. 1:7 He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that everyone might believe through him. 1:8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. 1:9 The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was created by him, but the world did not recognize him. 1:11 He came to what was his own, but his own people did not receive him. 1:12 But to all who have received him— those who believe in his name— he has given the right to become God’s children 1:13 — children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband’s decision, but by God.

1:14 Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory— the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father. 1:15 John testified about him and shouted out, This one was the one about whom I said, ’He who comes after me is greater than I am, because he existed before me.’

14:8 Philip said, Lord, show us the Father, and we will be content. 14:9 Jesus replied, Have I been with you for so long, and you have not known me, Philip? The person who has seen me has seen the Father! How can you say, Show us the Father? 14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you, I do not speak on my own initiative, but the Father residing in me performs his miraculous deeds. 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me, but if you do not believe me, believe because of the miraculous deeds themselves. 14:12 I tell you the solemn truth, the person who believes in me will perform the miraculous deeds that I am doing, and will perform greater deeds than these, because I am going to the Father. 14:13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

8:52 Then the Judeans responded, Now we know you’re possessed by a demon! Both Abraham and the prophets died, and yet you say, If anyone obeys my teaching, he will never experience death. 8:53 You aren’t greater than our father Abraham who died, are you? And the prophets died too! Who do you claim to be? 8:54 Jesus replied, If I glorify myself, my glory is worthless. The one who glorifies me is my Father, about whom you people say, He is our God. 8:55 Yet you do not know him, but I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him, and I obey his teaching. 8:56 Your father Abraham was overjoyed to see my day, and he saw it and was glad.

8:57 Then the Judeans replied, You are not yet fifty years old! Have you seen Abraham? 8:58 Jesus said to them, I tell you the solemn truth, before Abraham came into existence, I am! 8:59 Then they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out from the temple area.

17:1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he looked upward to heaven and said, Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you— 17:2 just as you have given him authority over all humanity, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him. 17:3 Now this is eternal life— that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent. 17:4 I glorified you on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 17:5 And now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory I had with you before the world was created.

We see, then, that Jesus is clearly equated with God. He is part of God and therefore fully divine, yet also fully human. In Isaiah we saw that the Son is also called the Father! He is the creative Agent, the sustaining force of the universe, yet not equated with the universe. The prophets foretold his divinity, the apostles knew he claimed to be God, and even his enemies understood he claimed to be God. It is, after all, the crime of blasphemy that the Jews used to get him condemned to death.

The only way anyone can claim Jesus didn’t say he was God is if they assert that Jesus’ words in the Bible are not his but a corruption. But the matter of Biblical accuracy is firmly established, especially compared to other religious writings (see other articles here). Without that assertion, there is no way anyone can argue that Jesus never claimed to be God.

We also see in these scriptures that Jesus, while co-equal with God, is not merely an extension or manifestation of God, and certainly not just a prophet. He is a unique Person of God, as is also the Father and the Holy Spirit. It is only by denying the Bible’s many statements about these Names that anyone can deny the teaching of the Trinity. People do this for only one reason: they refuse to believe Jesus is God.

But Truth is Truth no matter what anyone does or does not choose to believe. The fact remains that Jesus did claim to be God, a fact agreed to by the prophets and apostles.

the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace"!