Is Jesus Christ God?
Is Jesus Christ God? This question has been asked ever since Jesus walked the earth. First, are we sure that Jesus claimed to be God, or is that something His followers came up with? From Scripture, we find that Jesus Christ did unequivocally proclaim himself to be God, and though the Bible does not record Him ever saying "Yes, I'm God!" there are plenty of examples of Jesus identifying Himself as equal to Yahweh. One very good instance of this is John 10:30, where Jesus said "I and the Father are one." If this statement leaves any room for doubt, the reaction of the Pharisees (the Jewish religious leaders) to this statement obliterates that doubt. They were so enraged by His words "I and the Father are one" that they were ready to stone Him, saying "… you, a mere man, claim to be God" (John 10:33 NIV). The Jews understood exactly what Jesus was claiming—deity.
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Furthermore, even when he sees they plan to harm Him for His statement, Jesus does not deny His claim, or tell them He mis-spoke. He doesn't say "No, wait! You don't understand my meaning." Instead, He takes it a step further. He tells them again in John 8:58, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am." The Pharisees again respond with death threats because when Jesus said "I am" He was using the name and nature of Yahweh to describe Himself (Exodus 3:14). This, had it not been true, was the worst kind of blasphemy a Jew could commit, and the Mosaic Law commanded the Pharisees to stone any person who committed that offense (Leviticus 24:15). Since that is what they were planning to do to Jesus when He said "before Abraham was, I am", we can see that Jesus was clearly claiming deity.
John, Jesus' disciple also claims Jesus' deity when in his Gospel he says "the Word was God" and "the Word became flesh" (John 1:1, 14). The Word is another name for Jesus. John makes this clear John 1:14-15. John would not have claimed his Master's deity unless Jesus himself had clearly claimed it first. These verses clearly indicate that Jesus is God in the flesh. Because of the trinity, Jesus did not claim to be "the Father" but that He was equal to the Father in essence and nature. In His wisdom, this must have been the best way to show us finite creatures that God could be sovereign and on His throne in heaven while still reaching out, in human form, to save mankind.
There are other verses in Scripture that give us a clear answer to the question "Is Jesus Christ God?" For example, Acts 20:28 (NIV) tells us, "Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood." We know who bought the church—the church of God—with His own blood. It was Jesus Christ. Since Acts 20:28 declares that God purchased His church with His own blood, Jesus is God. Another example comes from the disciple, Thomas, who addressed Jesus as "my Lord and my God" in John 20:28. A third example comes from the book of Titus, which exhorts believers to wait patiently for the coming of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). Another beautiful example occurs in Hebrews 1:8, "But of the Son he says, 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.'" In this passage, the Father refers to Jesus as "O God" indicating that Jesus is indeed God, and that they are equal.
Jesus' identity as God is the cornerstone of the gospel message. Had He simply been a man, just a good teacher or a prophet, His death on the cross would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2), and those who hope in Him are deceived and pitiable (1 Corinthians 15:19). Thankfully, there is ample evidence, both from the mouth of Jesus Himself, and from other accounts in Scripture, to prove to us that Jesus Christ is indeed God.
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