Jesus, as discussed in a past entry, is the most influential person in all of human history. No other has had such an impact upon the entire world that Jesus has. New Agers think he is an enlightened master, Mormons think Jesus was born as the first and the greatest "spirit child" of the Heavenly Father and alleged "Heavenly Mother," and his spirit-brother Lucifer. Jehovah's Witnesses believe Jesus was created by the Father billions of years ago as the Archangel Michael, and is in their eyes not God. (Photo credit to: Newmarket Films, Mel Gibson, "Passion of the Christ," 2004, starring James Caviezel as Jesus Christ)
Others view Jesus as a mere historical figure, a "great teacher," a "moral teacher." Was He anything more... or was here merely a crazed man who had delusions of godhood? In this entry, we will attempt to show that Jesus Christ truly is God, and even if you do not agree, I entreat you to continue reading. Some people question that Jesus was an actual person. yet his historicity is a generally accepted fact - it is what he did during his life and who he was where people divide. For example, there were many historians who referred to or gave accounts on Jesus within less than 200 years. Phlegan, Thallus, Pliay the Younger, (Roman governor of Bithyuia), Mara Ben-Serapion, Cornelius Tacticians, Lucian of Samosata, Suetonius (Roman historian and court official under emperor Hadrian), Trajan, Hadrian himself, Antonius Pius, Marcus Aurelius, Josephus ben Matthais (also known as Flavius Josephus), and a number of other historians, philosophers, governors, and emperors all attested to and believed Jesus Christ to be a historical figure.
The question probably began with a question Jesus himself asked his disciples, the infamous question, "Who do you say that I am?" (Matthew 16:15) Jesus claimed many times that he was God the Son, and that His Father was God. He also claimed that "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30) He also stated, "He who has seen me has seen the Father." (John 14:9, for more on this, see entry, "Has Man Ever Seen God?") Even the Pharisees knew he was claiming to be God. Jesus said, "'I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?' 'We are not stoning you for any good work,' they replied, 'but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.'" (John 10:32-33) Jesus also claimed to have the ability to forgive sins. As Mark 2:7 states, "...who can forgive sins but God alone?" He claimed to be the only way. "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
Christian author and apologist C.S. Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia series, Screwtape Letters, etc) eloquently put it this way: "I am trying to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would be either a lunatic - on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a mad man or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon, or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." (From: Mere Christianity, 1952)
If this is so, what if Jesus was a liar, or a con-man? Josh McDowell, in The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, says the following: "If Jesus was a liar, a con man, and therefore an evil, foolish man, then how can we explain the fact that He left us with the most profound moral instruction and powerful moral example that anyone has ever left? Could such a deceiver - an imposter of monstrous proportions - teach unselfish ethical truths and live such a morally exemplary life as Jesus did? The very notion is incredulous." Indeed. His resurrection can also be attested to as well, though this will be covered in a later entry.
Just as the angel said, "He is not here, for he is risen, just as he said." (Matthew 28:6) If Christ was some lunatic, he would not have led the kind of life that the Bible and history show him to have. Let us, however, examine a few points about Jesus. Jesus has the names of God, which can only be attributed to Him. For example, Jesus is Yahweh, which means "Lord." Yahweh is used of God the Father many times in the Hebrew Bible, and is consequently used of Christ in the New Testament.
The "angel" of the Lord (angel means messenger, or he who is sent) in Exodus 3 appears to Moses in the Burning Bush. It is not God the Father who is speaking to Moses here, as Exodus tells us - it is someone called "the angel of the Lord," who speaks as God. He claims to be God. Yet God himself, the Father, cannot be seen. (Exodus 33:18-23, John 1:18) Jesus tells a crowd, "...before Abraham was born, I AM." (John 8:58) Jesus is Kurios, which also means Lord. (Romans 10:9) Jesus is Elohim - Elohim is used of God in the Hebrew Bible 2,570 times, and used of Jesus many times in the New Testament. He is also recognized as both Yahweh and Elohim in the prophecy in Isaiah 40:3, and in Isaiah 9:6, which says, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Jesus is also referred to as Theos. Theos is the New Testament word (in Greek) for God. Theos is the Greek equivalent, or parallel, of the Hebrew Elohim. Jesus is addressed as such several times. For example, John 20:28, "My Lord and my God. [Theos]" Jesus is called Theos throughout the remainder of the New Testament. (Another example is Acts 16:31) But what about the other attributes of God? If Jesus is God, we would expect him to be eternal, all-knowing, ever-present, sovereign, sinless, and able to control Creation.
Jesus is eternal, (John 1:1, Hebrews 1:8-11) he is self-existent (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:2), being "before all things," and in Him all things have been made (Colossians 1:17). Jesus is also ever present (Matthew 18:20, 28:20; Ephesians 1:23, 4:10; Colossians 3:11), He is all knowing. Jesus knew exactly where fish were in the water while the men on the boat, who had been fishing for a long time, could not catch anything. (Luke 5:4, 6; John 21:6-11), He knew which fish contained the coin he had sent Peter to retrieve (Matthew 17:27), He knew the future (John 11:11, 18:4) - and details about that future (Matthew 21:2-4), He knew, even from a distance, that Lazarus had died (John 11:14). He knows the Father as the Father knows Him. (Matthew 11:27; John 7:29, 8:55, 10:15, 17:25)
Also, Jesus is called sovereign. (1st Peter 3:22, Revelation 19:16) Jesus is also sinless. (John 8:46; 2nd Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 1:9, 4:15, 7:26) Jesus is also worshiped as God - and accepted worship each time. He accepted worship from Thomas in John 20:28, the angels (Hebrews 1:6), from wise men (Matthew 2:11), from a leper (Matthew 8:2), from a ruler (Matthew 9:18), a blind man (John 9:38), an unknown woman (Matthew 15:25), Mary Magdalene, and his disciples. (Matthew 28:9, 17) We know that anything can be worshiped by man - but both man and angels worship God - who is Jesus. (Exodus 34:14, Deuteronomy 6:13, Matthew 4:10)
But if Jesus was truly God, would he not demonstrate a control over His Creation? Indeed he did. He performed the Works of God. For example, he walked on water (John 2:7-8), demonstrated control of weather as he calmed the sea, fed over 5,000 men and their families, rose people from the dead, caused his disciples to catch a great many number of fish - and his Transfiguration showed his glory. (For more on his miracles, see series, "The Miracles of Jesus)
We also need to understand that it is only God who saves. (Isaiah 43:11) Jesus is referred to as "our great God and savior." (Titus 2:13) God asserts in Isaiah 44:24, "I am the Lord, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself." Jesus Christ claimed that He created "all things." (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:2) The early Church Fathers once asked, if Jesus was God, would we not expect to find Him in the Hebrew Bible? For individuals such as St. Augustine of Hippo, we do, He appears many times, as does the Holy Spirit, or, "Spirit of the Lord." For Augustine, Jesus made pre-incarnate appearances as "the angel of the Lord," he also appeared several times in Daniel, (Daniel 3:25, 7:13-14, 9:25-26) He is referred to all throughout prophecy, is with the Trinity at Creation and at Babel, the like. Jesus performed similar ministries while he was incarnate as when he was the "[messenger] of the Lord." But He was never the archangel Michael (as taught by Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-Day Adventists; See also, "Who Is The Angel of The Lord?")
|James Caviezel as Jesus Christ|
Some claim that the Bible does not confirm the Trinity. On the contrary, it surely does. Scripture tells us that there is one True God (Deuteronomy 6:4, 32:39; Psalm 86:10, Isaiah 44:6), but we have many indications of the Trinity earlier on - with the Holy Spirit, or "Spirit of the Lord," appearing in the second verse of the Bible! (Genesis 1:2, indications of the Trinity in Genesis 1:26, 3:22, 11:27; Isaiah 6:8, 48:16) God's oneness is also emphasized throughout the New Testament. (Romans 3:29-30; 1st Corinthians 8:4; Galatians 3:20; 1st Thessalonians 1:9; 1st Timothy 1:17, 2:5; James 2:19; Jude 25)
Why did God not reveal his triune nature in the beginning? It is because as history has unfolded, God revealed more and more about himself, so that we may better understand him over time. (Matthew 28:19) The Father is called God, the Son (Jesus) is called God, and the Spirit is called God. (Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:8, Acts 5:3-4). Some claim that because Jesus is also called "The Son of God" that he must be lesser than the Father. Among ancients, however, a meaning of the phrase "son of" is meant as "one who has the same nature as." Jesus, as the Son of God, also has the very nature of God. (See John 5:18, 10:30, 19:7) Jesus is not lesser, nor is he a lesser God, nor an angel who became higher. He is God. He was positionally lower than the Father from the aspect that he became a servant by taking on a human likeness (Philippians 2:6-11) but he remains God. Others argue that he cannot be God because he is called "the firstborn of creation." (Colossians 1:15) They believe that he is a created being, and is therefore not God. However, biblically speaking, Jesus was not created but is the Creator himself. (Colossians 1:16, John 1:3) The term firstborn, biblically, means "first in rank, preeminent," over the creation that God brought into existence.
Still yet others argue that because Jesus said that no one but the Father knows the day nor the hour of His return that he is not all-knowing and therefore could not be God. (Mark 13:32) We need to understand that, at the time when Jesus said this, it was speaking from the limited perspective of His own humanity. (Philippians 2:5-11) Had Jesus been speaking from His divinity, He would not have said this. As God, Jesus knows all things. (Matthew 17:27; Luke 5:4-6; John 2:25, 16:30, 21:17) The Father likely kept this from Jesus while he was on Earth, but not before nor after.
Jesus knows when He will return, it is merely that He is willing to "tarry," to wait for even one more person to be saved. That is why. Author and psychologist said about Christ, "Jesus didn't just claim to be God - he backed it up with amazing feats of healing, with astounding demonstrations of power over nature, with transcendent and unprecedented teaching, with divine insights into people, and ultimately with his own resurrection from the dead, which absolutely nobody else has been able to duplicate. So when Jesus claimed to be God, it wasn't crazy. It was the truth." (From: The Case for Christ)
Jesus Christ is certainly God. He is God the Son. He created both Adam - and Eve, the first humans, who were made in His image. Jesus is the Creator of the Universe: The Intelligent Designer. "Through him all things were made, and without him nothing was made that has been made." (John 1:3) This includes the entire universe: stars, planets, the Earth, the sky, birds, creatures of the sea, land animals, plants, all of it: even angels. (Colossians 1:15-17) As author Paul S. Taylor puts it:
"The exciting truth is that Jesus is now also a man, and will remain so for all eternity. He humbled himself to become like one of his own creations. He chose to become a man to help us in an extremely important way. This amazing event happened about 2-thousand years ago. The results have changed the world forever. The part of God that is called the Holy Spirit created God's human body inside of a woman named Mary (Matthew 1:20). God went into this human body that grew inside of Mary. The baby was born and grew into a man. At various times in the past, Jesus had appeared to people in human form. One example is when he appeared to Abraham just before the judgment of the evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. But now, for the first time in history, God did not simply appear as man, he became fully human. Yet, he is still God. He is both God and man. One huge difference between this man and every other man and woman, or boy and girl, is that Jesus was (and still is) sinless. We humans are full of sin. We sin every day. Jesus never did anything wrong, not even once. No matter what temptations came to him, he refused to sin. He has always remained pure and perfect."
Taylor continues on to say, "As a man, God experienced the same temptations that we feel (Hebrews 2:18). He suffered the same kind of physical pains that we suffer with. He also experienced emotional pain. He even wept about the city of Jerusalem (John 11:35). He was ignored, unappreciated, unloved, misunderstood, and even despised—even though he did nothing wrong, and always loved everyone (1 Peter 2:23). Not only is Jesus Christ the greatest man that ever lived; he is our Creator. He deserved all glory and honor! I am sure that you have heard what people did to him. It was horribly painful and terribly unjust. He had the power to stop their torture and taunting at any time. His power is awesome beyond anything we can understand. Yet, he did not defend himself. He let himself be like a perfect, innocent little lamb that hurt no one, and was sacrificed for the sins of the people. He did this for us, because he loves us.
 Hastings, Kirk. "What Is Truth?". 1st ed. Publish America. 2009. 94-104.
[2, 3] Ham, Ken and Dr. Ron Rhodes. The New Answers Book 2. 5th ed. 2. Master Books, 2008. 185-193.
 Taylor, Paul. "Is Jesus Christ a man, or is he God?" Web. 06 Jan 11. < http://christiananswers.net/kids/ednk-jesusgodorman.html >