Some 2,000 years ago a Jewish man walked the face of the Earth. He went by the common name of that culture, Jesus. However, this poor peasant from an obscure village called Nazareth is still the center of great controversy and great affections. Who was this man? Was He simply a moral teacher? Was He a prophet of God? Was He a created being by God? Is He, as the Christian Faith teaches, the creator of the universe, God in the flesh? Or is He really just a fictitious character who never really existed?
No one can reasonably deny the fact that Jesus Christ walked the face of the earth. The 15th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, while compiling the testimony of many different secular accounts of Jesus of Nazareth, records “These independent accounts prove that in ancient times even the opponents of Christianity never doubted the historicity of Jesus, which was disputed for the first time and on inadequate grounds by several authors at the end of the 18th, during the 19th, and at the beginning of the 20th centuries.”
It also cannot be denied this same Jesus is a very influential person. In the same edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica some 20,000 words are used in describing this person (more space was given to describing Christ then Aristotle, Alexander, Julius Caesar, Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed, or Napoleon).
Many of the world’s religions have been influenced by Jesus. Buddhists see Jesus as a spiritual teacher, Hindus see him as a wise teacher, while Muslims believe Jesus to be a prophet of God. However, as noble as these claims may appear to be, they are both inadequate and contradictory to the claims of the Jesus of the Bible.
What I want to convey is that the scriptures (the most authentic and reliable book of all books of antiquity) makes clear claims that Jesus is the eternal God. He is not God the Father, but is the second person of the trinity, and is equal with God.
The actions of Christ prove His deity. The Bible states in Genesis 1:1, “…God created the heavens and the Earth…” Yet in John 1:3 the Bible states that Christ is the creator of all things. Therefore, we logically conclude that Christ is God and is the creator of the universe.
In Mark 2:5-7 we read of Jesus forgiving the sins of the paralytic. Some of the scribes were offended because they rightly believed that only God was allowed to forgive sins. Jesus does not deny this truth, but instead states, “…the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins,” thus affirming His deity through His actions (Mark 2:10).
The attributes of Christ also prove that He is God. For example, the Lord Jesus is omnipresent or present everywhere. The Lord Jesus makes this clear in John 3:13 as He states “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” This verse amazingly reveals that the Lord Jesus Christ is both on earth and in heaven at the same time. This seemingly impossible truth reveals that Jesus is omnipresent and is therefore God the Son or the second person of the trinity.
Not only is Christ omnipresent, but He is also all knowing or omniscient. In John 2:24-25 the Bible states that Jesus did not commit Himself to those who professed to know Him as their Savior because “…He knew all men…” and “…knew what was in man…” Therefore Christ not only observes the actions of people but He knows the deep inner thoughts of a person. Thus again pointing to the deity of Christ.
The names of Jesus also prove His deity. Throughout the Bible Jesus is referred to as the Son of God (John 1:49; 3:18; 11:4). In the 4th century a false belief known as Arianism taught that Christ was a son in the sense that He was a created being, thus denying His deity. Although this teaching was declared as heresy by the church at the council of Nicaea in 325 AD, this false teaching has recently resurfaced and is taught by the self-proclaimed “Jehovah’s witnesses.”
However, this teaching is clearly exposed as false doctrine when one examines the term “Son of God” in the Jewish culture. The Jewish leaders clearly interpreted Jesus’s claims as the ‘Son of God’ to mean He was God or equal to God. We see this in John chapter 10 as the religious leaders were ready to stone Jesus. When these leaders took up stones, the Lord Jesus asked why they were going to stone Him, after all He only performed good works. The Jews answered by stating, “for a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” So we see that the Jewish leaders understood that when Christ referred to Himself as the Son of God, He was claiming equality with God the Father.
Jesus is also referred to as Lord (Acts 1:21; Romans 10:9; and 1 Cor 1:3). The Greek word for Lord is “Kurious” and is the New Testament representative of the Hebrew word “Jehovah.” In other words, Christ is the Jehovah of the Old Testament. This truth is clearly conveyed throughout the scriptures. For example Isaiah 44:6 states, “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.”
When LORD is in all capital letters it refers to the personal name of God or Jehovah. So in Isaiah 44:6 Jehovah God is the first and the last (eternal and preeminent) and He is the only true God. Yet the Lord Jesus claims these same titles in Rev 1:17 when He states, “…Fear not; I am the first and the last…” thus claiming to be Jehovah of the Old Testament.
Some falsely state that Jesus was not the one speaking in Revelation 1:17 but that God the father was the one making the claim. However, verse 18 clearly points to Christ as the one making the claim to be the “first and the last” at the speaker says, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore.” Christ lives, Christ died on the cross, and Christ was raised from the dead and is therefore the one speaking in Revelation 1:17.
Another name Christ uses to prove His deity is “I am.” In John 8:56 Jesus claimed to exist prior to the time of Abraham. The Jews were baffled by this claim and countered by stating that He wasn’t 50 years old yet and Abraham had lived many centuries before Christ. Christ responded to the Jewish leaders in verse 58 by stating, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”
I do not believe when Christ made this statement he was only claiming that He lived prior to Abraham (although that was part of the claim) but I believe it is even more poignant than that. I think when Christ claimed to be “I am” He was referring back to Exodus 3:14 with God speaking to Moses from the burning bush.
In that story God told Moses His name was “I am” which was a reference to Him being the self-sufficient and all sustaining God. In a bold proclamation Christ was stating that He is the “I am” from Exodus 3:14 thus affirming His deity. The Jewish leaders clearly understood this claim as they tried to stone Jesus for using this title (John 8:59).
This term, “I am” also expresses a very important reason for me writing this article. In John 8:24 The Lord Jesus states, “…for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” In others words, in order for a person to have their sins forgiven they must understand this truth about Jesus.
Jesus Christ is God the Son
It is not enough to believe He is a good person or a religious leader. It is not enough to believe He is a great teacher of morality or a prophet of God. In order for a person to have their sins forgiven they must understand that this Jesus is God in the flesh. A person can only find a place in heaven by putting all of their trust in Christ and Christ alone as their Savior. John 3:16 clearly articulates this truth as it states, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”