Did Jesus Say He Is God?

Yay! You’re back for more in this series based on Josh’s best-selling apologetics classic: More Than a Carpenter. We’re continuing to look at Jesus, to answer the question, “Who is He?” A teacher? A crazy person? Or actually God?  

Everything about Jesus seems confounding! At least until we begin to really look at Him, getting clear on the facts of what He did, what He taught, and what He said about Himself. Many Christians, if they are honest, struggle with the humility of the cross. Surely, if Jesus is God, He needn’t have entered and exited this world a lowly servant and sacrificial lamb! How does that represent a mighty God?

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Jesus, Are You God?

Did Jesus say He is God? Many argue that Jesus didn’t give a definitive answer. But maybe He did! Let’s look at Jesus’ own words, as they are recorded in the Bible.

In John 5:16-18, there’s a confrontation between Jesus and a group of Jewish leaders. It’s triggered when Jesus cures a lame man on the Sabbath, the day on which Jews are forbidden to work. The Jewish leaders begin harassing Jesus. He replies, “My father is always working, and so am I.” Jesus could have said, “Our father,” but He didn’t. He said, “MY Father.” By the rules of the Jewish language, Jesus makes a claim the Jews can’t misinterpret. And in choosing this phrase, Jesus clearly places His own activity on an equal plane with God’s.

Jesus then adds fuel to the fire by declaring, “The Father and I are one” (John 10:30). A.T. Robertson, an esteemed Greek scholar, explains that the Greek word “one” in this passage doesn’t indicate one in person or purpose, but rather one in essence or nature. Jesus’ claim stirs the Jewish leaders to uncontrollable anger. They pick up stones to kill Him. Jesus responds, “At my Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?” (John 10:31-42).

Jesus also boldly asserts, “If you knew me, you would also know my Father” (John 8:19). And adds, “For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me” (John 12:45), and “Anyone who hates me also hates my Father” (John 15:23), and “Everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent Him” (John 5:23). In Mark 2, as Jesus heals a paralytic man, He says, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” “What is He saying?” cry the Jews. “This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!”

It didn’t take long for people who knew Jesus to realize that this carpenter from Nazareth was making astounding claims about himself, notes Josh. “It became clear that these claims were identifying Him as more than a profit or teacher. He was obviously making claims to deity. He was presenting Himself as the only avenue to salvation and the only source of forgiveness of sins — things they knew only God could claim.”

Under oath at His trial, Jesus is asked point-blank, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the blessed God?” Jesus replies, “I am, and you will see me, the Son of Man, sitting at God’s right hand in the place of power and coming back on the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:60-62). By His own words, Jesus incriminates Himself, setting into motion the crucifixion that forever covers believers in God’s amazing grace. Jesus didn’t come to impress us with God’s might, but to bowl us over with

His loving sacrifice. Sure, Jesus could have saved Himself the anguish and torture of the cross. But that would have been the easy way out for the Creator of the universe.

In most trials, adds Josh, the accused are tried for what they are alleged to have done. Jesus was tried for who He claimed to be. How blind were His accusers! As Jesus suffered in excruciating agony on the cross, the Jewish leaders mocked Him with His own words. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but He can’t save Himself! So He is the King of Israel, is He? Let Him come down now, and we will believe in Him! He trusted God, so let God rescue Him now if He wants Him. For He said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” 

So God really exists? Yes. And Jesus is really God? Yes! Stay with us in this series. We have a lot more to tell you about the Savior of the world!

Jesus: He’s More Than a Carpenter!

> FREE download: Read the first chapter of Josh’s bestseller, More Than a Carpenter. You can buy the book here.

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