In the last session, we began to look at seven key pieces of evidence that Jesus claimed to be God. To recap:
So, let’s look at the next three:
5. Jesus claimed a divine relationship with the Father.
- Matthew 10:32: “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.”
- Matthew 11:27: “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
- John 6:40: “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life,and I will raise them up at the last day.”
- John 8:16: “But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me.”
6. Jesus Manifested God’s Divine Attributes
- Omniscience (John 18:4): He knew all that was going to happen to Him
- Eternally Existent (John 8:58): Before Abraham was, I am.”
- Omnipotence (Matthew 8:23-27): “…Even the wind and waves obey Him!”
- Omnipresence (Matthew 18:20)
- Immutability (Hebrews 13:8)
- Worshiped by men (Mt. 14:31-33) and angels (Hebrews 1:6)
- Prayed to (Acts 7:59)
- Forgave Sins (Mark 2:7,10)
- Called the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:17)
- Creator (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17)
- Savior (Romans 10:9)
- God (John 1:1; 20:28; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8)
7. Jesus claimed divine titles.
- When John the Baptist was asked who he was, he said, “I am the voice of one crying, “In the wilderness prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” He was referencing Isaiah 40:3; which contains both the names “The Lord” ( YHWH, the unspeakable name of God), and “God” (Elohim)
- When the woman at the well said to Jesus, “I know the Messiah is coming,” Jesus responded, “I who speak to you am He.” (John 4:26)
- When Peter called Him “The Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt. 16:16); Jesus didn’t correct him. He affirmed the response.
- Jesus prayer in John 17:1-3 is perhaps the most powerful statement Jesus made about Himself:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
Jesus gives Himself the title of Messiah.
Some Problem Passages…
- Why did Jesus Himself warn the disciples to tell no one that He was the Messiah (Matthew 16:20; 17:9)?
- Notice that the rest of 17:9 says, “Until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.”
- After the resurrection, Jesus tells His disciples to tell everybody! (Mt. 28:18-19)
- In other words, Jesus wasn’t trying to deny the truth, but to reveal the truth at the right time.
- When Caiphas asked Jesus, if He was the Messiah, all Jesus said was “You have said so” (Mt. 26:63). Isn’t that a little weak?
- We hear that in English and think He is saying something like “Those are your words, not mine.” But in Greek, the meaning is more along the lines of “From your own mouth you have testified to the truth.”
- Note that in the parallel account in Mark’s gospel, Jesus’ response is, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds in heaven” (Mark 14:62). This was enough for Caiphas to charge Him with blasphemy.
- Jesus called Himself “Son of Man” more often than “Son of God.” Which was He?
- Some skeptics would challenge the God Claim by pointing out that “Son of Man” was used throughout the Old Testament to refer to human beings:
- However, in the Gospels, Son of God and Son of Man are used interchangeably. As you can see in Luke 22:67-70, the Sanhedrin did not make a distinction between Jesus’ phrase “The Son of Man” and their phrase, “Son of God.”
This doesn’t mean the New Testament contradicts or is inconsistent with the Old Testament. Daniel, writing hundreds of years before Jesus, establishes the link between “Son of Man” and the Messiah:
13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man,[a] coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
Greg Koukl notes that this phrase meant something very significant in ancient Israel. When Jesus used the phrase, the Jews picked up stones to stone Him, because “You, a mere man, are making yourself out to be God.”
Jesus referred to Himself as the “Son of Man” more than any other title. But you can’t use this to argue that Jesus didn’t claim to be God. Look at how Jesus used that title:
- “Son of God” doesn’t necessarily set Jesus apart. Aren’t we all “children of God?”
- Jesus is not using these terms the way we would talk about human beings as “children of God.” Jesus said this to Nicodemus in John 3:16-18:
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
In other words, He is the unique, and and only begotten Son of God!
My Favorite Title For Jesus: “I AM”
56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” 57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” 58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. (John 8:56-59)
They weren’t stoning Him for bad grammar!
- John 10:30: I and the Father are One. Not the same person, but the same nature. The same essence.
- John 18:4-6: When Jesus asked the Roman soldiers, “Whom do you seek,” and they responded “Jesus of Nazareth,” Jesus didn’t say, “That’s Me.” He said, “I am.”
These Are Claims… Where’s the Proof?
- The proof of miracles: “That you may know the son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”–He said to the paralytic–“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” (See Mark 2:5-12)
- See also what Jesus said about doing the works of the Father in John 10:24-26; John 10:37-38.
- The Proof of Witnesses (Dt. 19:15) In John 5:31, Jesus said that “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid.” So he proceeds to list all the witnesses that testify to His claims. And He doesn’t stop with three!
- John the Baptist (John 5:33)
- The works of Jesus (John 5:36)
- God the Father (John 5:37)
- Moses (John 5:46)
- All Scripture (John 5:39)
- The Holy Spirit (John 15:26)
- His followers (John 15:27)
- The Resurrection (The Greatest Proof)
Answers to “Quote/Unquote” section on page 74 of the Study Guide:
- He spoke as if God were not only His Father, but… as if He had this relationship with God that was intimate.
- He called Himself the Alpha and the Omega.
- Jesus calls Himself Son of God. That’s no big deal; we’re all children of God, correct? No.
- “Son of Man” became equated to Messiah and Son of God.
- Jesus was not saying “I and the Father are the same person.” He is saying, “I and the Father are the same thing. We’re one in essence.”
- They picked up stones to stone Him not because He got His grammar wrong.
- He says, “I am,” and all the soldiers can do is fall to the ground.“
- You and I are called to be witnesses to who Jesus is, and the final proof is the greatest proof, and that’s the Resurrection.
Next week: Is Jesus Really the Only Way?