Jesus’ Divinity

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jesus divinity
Did Jesus claim to be God?

Let’s study Scripture to find out if Jesus Himself claimed to be God and how the reaction of people were when they heard that.
In John 10:30 we can read that Jesus said “I and the Father are one.” While Jesus doesn’t say the exact words “I am God”, the Jews’ reaction to His statement makes it clear. The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” John 10:33 It’s definitely clear that the Jews understood Jesus’ statement as a claim to be God. Jesus never corrected the Jews by saying “I did not claim to be God”. Instead we can read another statement of Jesus that reveals He is God. Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”  John 8:58 In this statement we can find a double claim that Jesus is God. First, Jesus indicated that He already existed before His human birth and was alive and present (as God) before Abraham; and second, the title “I am” refers to the same title used for Yahweh God in the Old Testament. God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:14 Jesus’ statement lead the Jews again to pick up stones and kill Him for blasphemy. (Leviticus 24:16) Why would they do that if Jesus had not said something they believed to be blasphemous, namely, a claim to be God?

 

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Other passages in Scripture revealing Jesus is God

Prediction of a divine Messiah in the Old Testament

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

 

The name Immanuel means “God with us”. This passage is repeated in the New Testament. “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:23

 

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The Messiah would be born a human son, but have a higher nature and even be called a Mighty God

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

 

It is clear that a mere human could never be called “Mighty God” but that only Jesus Christ could be the one to receive that title because He is indeed God.

 

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Another prediction about the Messiah’s divine nature

“I saw in the night visions,
and behold, with the clouds of heaven
    there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
    and was presented before him.
 And to him was given dominion
    and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
    should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
    which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
    that shall not be destroyed.
Daniel 7:13-14

 

This passage also reveals that the “Son of Man” which is Jesus’ title that He gave Himself has a divine nature. Only a divine being could come from the clouds of heaven. In Mark 14:62 we can read this passage again: And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

 

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The Magi worship baby Jesus

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”  Matthew 2:1-2

 

And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:11

 

The Magi saw a star in the sky that led them to the place where Jesus was born but God also told them about Jesus’ divinity because when they arrived at Jesus’ place they bowed down and worshiped Him.

 

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John reiterates the concept of Jesus’ deity

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

 

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

 

These verses by John clearly indicate that Jesus is God in the flesh.

 

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Jesus was without sin

He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 1 Peter 2:22

 

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

 

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

 

You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 1 John 3:5

 

Jesus was the only man on earth who was sinless. He even overcame Satan’s temptation in the wilderness. Luke 4:1-13 All other human beings including us are full of sins. for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23

 

The fact that Jesus was sinless confirms that He has a godly nature.

 

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His disciples declared Jesus to be God

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. Acts 20:28

 

In this verse it is written that God obtained His church with His own blood. We know that it was Jesus who bought the church with His own blood. And this same verse declares that God purchased His church with His own blood. Therefore, we can conclude that Jesus is God.

Jesus forgave sins

Mark 2:3–12 (ESV): 3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. 5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” 12 And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

 

Luke 7:47-48 (ESV): Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

 

In the mind of His Jewish audience, only God could forgive sins. Therefore, Jesus was and is God.

 

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Jesus accepted worship from His disciples

And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:32-33

 

Other passages where Jesus was worshiped are Matthew 2:11; 14:33; 28:9, 17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38

 

The Jews only worshiped the one true God and so their actions to worship Jesus meant they acknowledged Him as divine. Jesus didn’t correct them or stop them from worshiping by saying something like: “Stop worshiping me since I’m only human!” He accepted their worship because He knew that He was God in human nature.

 

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Jesus resurrected from death

 “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” Luke 24:5-7

 

No man on earth has resurrected the way Jesus did. His resurrection is an established fact of history.  Several passages in the Bible confirm that people have seen the resurrected Jesus. 1 Corinthians 15:3-7; Matthew 28:9; Luke 24:36-43; John 20:26-30, 21:1-14; Acts 1:3-6. Many other people died as martyrs for having  been witnesses of this belief like Clement of Rome and Josephus. Jesus resurrection was essential for humanity because He sacrificed Himself with His own death to save us from eternal death, the consequences of our sins, and gave us eternal life through His resurrection. This is the strongest fact of Jesus’ divinity.

 

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Thomas’ response to the resurrected Jesus

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:27-29

 

Thomas called Jesus “My Lord and my God” which is another confirmation in Scripture that Jesus is indeed God.

 

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Jesus will judge humanity

Matthew 25:31–46 (ESV): 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

 

A mere man can’t judge whole humanity. Only God can do that because He is our creator. Since Jesus is the one to judge humanity as written in Scripture, this confirms His divinity.

Paul describes Jesus as “Deity in bodily form”.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. Colossians 1:15-16

 

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, Colossians 2:9

 

waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:13-14

 

Paul’s statements in his epistles make it evident that he and the early church had a clear understanding of Jesus as the Creator and God in human form.

 

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Why is it important that Jesus is God?

Jesus must be God because if He wasn’t, He couldn’t have taken away our sins by paying the price with His death on the cross.

 

He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2

 

A mere human being is not able to pay the infinite penalty for sin against an infinite God. Only God could take away our sins and pay the penalty for our sins, die, be resurrected, and there have victory of over sin and death.

 

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

 

So the question if Jesus is God can only be answered with yes. Jesus declared Himself to be God. His disciples believed Him to be God. Salvation can only be possible if Jesus is God. Jesus is the incarnation of God, the Alpha and Omega, and God our Savior.

 

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8

 

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Revelation 22:13

 

Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: 2 Peter 1:1

 

Why was Jesus Christ’s incarnation so important?

Jesus Christ’s incarnation was essential because He came in the flesh to be the Savior for mankind. Since all of us have failed to fulfill God’s law, He sent His Son who was born “under the law”.  But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, Galatians 4:4

 

Christ came in the flesh, under the Law, to fulfill the Law on our behalf.  “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Matthew 5:17
to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. Galatians 4:5

 

It was also necessary for the Savior to shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins.
Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Hebrews 9:22

 

A blood sacrifice could only be done with a body of flesh and blood. Therefore, Christ had to incarnate in flesh and blood. Without the incarnation, Christ couldn’t have died and the cross would have been meaningless.

 

Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,
      “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
      but a body have you prepared for me;
Hebrews 10:5

 

God so loved us that He sent His only begotten Son into the world and provided us with a salvation we do not deserve. We should thank Him and praise Him for this gracious gift forever and ever. Amen.