An Amazing Truth: Jesus is God
Some people think the Bible is an old and boring book. It’s true that the Bible is old – thousands of years old. But the last thing the Bible is is boring. Whether you agree or disagree with what the Bible says, any book that makes such big claims isn’t boring. Maybe the biggest claim the Bible makes is that Jesus of Nazareth was and is God.
When He walked this earth, His name was, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Today most people call this person “Jesus Christ,” and that is a wonderful and true combination of His given name (Jesus) and what is probably His most important title (Christ, which means “Messiah”). But in the days of His earthly words and work, He was knowns a Jesus of Nazareth.
The Bible makes a remarkable, non-boring claim: that this man, Jesus of Nazareth, who lived and walked among us some two thousand years ago, this man was and is God. When we say He was and is God, we don’t mean it in the way that those from New Age or Eastern religions might say that we are all gods (which is a dangerous lie – we are not gods). When the Bible says Jesus is God, it means that He is the God who created all things, that He is the second person of the Trinity, that He is God over all. Every person has the choice to believe what the Bible says about Jesus or to not believe it, but they should not deny what it says.
The Old Testament Says Jesus Is God
The Hebrew Scriptures (which we call the “Old Testament”) say many times that the promised Messiah is God. Isaiah 9:6 says it like this: For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. This Child to be born would also be the “Mighty God” – God Himself.
Daniel 7:13-14 spoke of the coming Messiah:
I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then 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 the one which shall not be destroyed.
Surely, this “Son of Man” who has “dominion and glory and a kingdom” and “an everlasting dominion” is God Himself. Other passages, such as Psalm 45:6-7 and Psalm 110:1, also tell us that the promised Messiah would be God.
The New Testament Says Jesus is God
It is important to notice that Jesus Himself claimed to be God. When Jesus said He was the Son of God it was a clear claim to be God. In the two recorded times Jesus used that title, those who heard it thought that He claimed to be God (John 5:17-18; Matthew 26:63-65). Several times Jesus took the title I AM (John 8:24, 58; 13:19), which is clearly a divine title belonging to God alone (Exodus 3:13-14; Deuteronomy 32:39; Isaiah 43:10). When Jesus said this, those who heard Him understood that He claimed to be God (John 8:58-59). Jesus also received worship (Matthew 8:2 and 14:33; John 9:38). Jesus only did this because He knew He was and is God, because only God should be worshipped. When worship was offered to men (Acts 10:25-26) or angels (Revelation 19:10) it was refused, because worship is to be given to God alone (Luke 4:8).
Those inspired apostles and prophets who God used to write the New Testament also knew that Jesus was and is God. For example, John wrote this about Jesus:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made (John 1:1-3)
The Apostle Paul also knew that Jesus was God. In Romans 9:5, Paul said that Jesus is “the eternally blessed God.” In Philippians 2:6 Paul wrote that Jesus has the very “form of God.” He spoke of our “great God and Savior Jesus Christ” in Titus 2:13.
The Apostle Peter also knew that Jesus is God and called Him “Lord and Savior” at least three times (2 Peter 1:11, 2:20, and 3:18). There are many other New Testament passages that repeat this important and audacious truth. The truth is, everything that God is, and God has, it is a fact that Jesus is those things and Jesus has those things.
What the Deity of Jesus Means
If we believe what the Bible says, we must say that Jesus is God. God has given every person the freedom to reject what He says to us, but if we will be true to God and His word, we will accept it and not reject it. Our belief that Jesus was and is God measures our trust in God and His Word.
It’s also important to say that if Jesus was not God, He could not offer Himself as a perfect and complete sacrifice for our sins. Only God can do that which is perfect and is perfectly complete. If Jesus is not God, He cannot be our Savior and our Redeemer.
Through the centuries, people have challenged and denied the truth that Jesus is God. There have been theological and philosophical attempts to reject what the Bible says about this.
In the western world today, probably the biggest mistake about the deity of Jesus aren’t these old theological and philosophical attacks (though they are still around). The biggest mistake today is thinking that Jesus was just a good man, or even a great man. Today it is commonly believed that Jesus was a sweet, kind, wise, and gentle man – that He was not God from all eternity.
The Jesus presented in the Bible is God, the creator of heaven and earth. This means that the real Jesus is God – and only the real Jesus can rescue us and give us life. Give worship to Jesus as God and take great comfort that God Himself gave His life to give you forgiveness and peace in this world and eternal life in the age to come.