The Divinity of Jesus
Myth or Reality?
[read in Insights (pdf)]
The divinity of Jesus is the central truth of the Bible. It is so fundamental that Christianity stands or falls on it. If Jesus was not God in the flesh, then His sacrifice for our sins was meaningless, and we have no hope.
Satan is determined to convince Mankind that Jesus was someone other than God in the flesh. In Jesus’ own time, Satan created doubt as to His true identity.
A few recognized Him as “the Prophet” or the Messiah who had been prophesied by Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15-18 and John 6:14). But most were ambivalent about His identity. Some believed He was simply a “good man” (John 7:12). Others believed He was a reincarnation of John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or “one of the prophets” (Matthew 16:14). Some claimed He was an illegitimate child “born of fornication” (John 8:41). A few wrote Him off as “a Samaritan with a demon” (John 8:48).
The Continuing Attack
Nothing has changed after 2,000 years. The Satanic attack continues to this day. Liberal theologians tend to dismiss Him as either a good man who was self-deceived or a revolutionary who meant well but failed.
All the cults deny His supreme divinity. The Mormons claim He was the brother of Lucifer, one of thousands of minor gods created by the super-god. The Jehovah’s Witnesses identify Him as Michael the Archangel. The Spiritist groups like the Church of Christ Scientists and the Unity Church usually present Him in New Age esoteric terms, claiming He was a spirit without a body or that He was “a medium of the sixth sphere of the astroprojection.” Others argue He was just a man who was able to fully manifest the Christ spirit that is in all of us.
Hollywood presented Him in the movie, “The Last Temptation of Christ,” as a deluded soul who was wrestling with internal demons. And in “Jesus Christ Superstar” the Broadway stage presented a woman in love with Him who sang over and over, “He’s a man, He’s just a man…”
The hottest new book about Jesus, entitled The Jesus Mysteries, goes to the extreme of claiming He is nothing but a myth! Despite the fact that there are few persons in ancient history for which there is more written and eyewitness evidence, these men claim Jesus was nothing but a figment of His disciples’ imaginations.1
Incredibly, the book was endorsed by some Christian leaders like Episcopal Bishop John Spong of New Jersey.
We can be assured that as we near the time of Jesus’ return, the attacks on Him and His identity will intensify. Satan knows Bible prophecy. He can see the signs of the times that clearly point to the Lord’s imminent return. As those signs intensified throughout the 20th Century, Satan launched an all-out campaign to convince the world that Jesus is a fraud. For example, he rallied a group of so-called “New Testament scholars” who formed a discussion group known as “The Jesus Seminar.” This group proceeded to vote on the validity of all the sayings of Jesus recorded in the Gospels. Their report, called The Five Gospels, concluded that only 15 statements attributed to Jesus in the Gospels were actually spoken by Him. The title of their report comes from the fact that they decided to grant the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas equal standing with the four traditional Gospels.2
The True Message of the Attacks
Actually, there is an irony in these attacks, for they are evidence that Jesus really was God in the flesh. Why else would Satan motivate such attacks?
We don’t see similar attacks on Mohammed or Buddha or Krishna. Nor do we hear their names being used as curse words. Why is it that worldwide the name of Jesus is used as a curse word? The only explanation I can think of is a supernatural one — namely, Satan is actively involved in motivating universal hatred of Jesus because he knows that Jesus is God.
The Biblical Evidence
In 1 Peter 3:15 believers are exhorted to be prepared to make a defense of their faith and hope. Accordingly, Christians need to be acquainted with the biblical evidence of Jesus’ divinity. Let’s consider it. (Quotes throughout are from the New American Standard Version, 1977.)
A. The Witness of Bible Prophecy
- Genesis 3:15 — God tells Adam and Eve that salvation for Mankind will come through “the seed of woman,” indicating the Messiah will have a miraculous birth.
- Psalm 2:7 — David states that God has declared to His Son that He is begotten and will one day rule over all the world. This is a clear statement that the Messiah will be of the same nature as God (begotten of the Father) and will relate to the Father as His Son. It also indicates that the Son existed before He became incarnate in flesh.
- Psalm 16:10 — David states that God’s “Holy One” will not “undergo decay.” This is a prophecy that the Messiah will be resurrected from the dead. And the reference to the Messiah as God’s “Holy One” is an indication of His divinity.
- Psalm 45:6-7 — In this remarkable passage, God the Father refers to His Son as God: “Therefore God, Thy God has anointed Thee…” The writer of Hebrews quotes this passage to establish the deity of Jesus (Hebrews 1:9).
- Psalm 110:1 — David says that God the Father speaks to “my Lord” and says, “Sit at My right hand…” This is a prophecy that the Messiah will be glorified by the Father by sitting on His throne at His right hand. Note that the Messiah is referred to by David as “my Lord,” a term David uses only in reference to deity.
- Isaiah 6:1 — Isaiah says he went to the Temple and had a vision in which he saw Yahweh (the Father) “sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted.” In John 12:41 we are told that what Isaiah really saw was Jesus in a pre-incarnate appearance.
- Isaiah 7:14 — The prophet says a young woman will bear a son whose name will be called “Immanuel.” Matthew says that an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and told him this prophecy would be fulfilled in the virgin birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:18-23). The name, Immanuel, means “God is with us.”
- Isaiah 9:6 — In one of the most pointed assertions of the Messiah’s deity, Isaiah says the Messiah will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” He also adds that He will one day take the throne of David and rule “forevermore” (verse 7).
- Daniel 7:13-14 — The prophet is given a vision of the Messiah coming before God the Father and being presented all the nations of the earth as His kingdom. His dominion is declared to be “everlasting.” And the Messianic title conferred upon the Messiah is the “Son of Man.” This title indicates that the Messiah will be God in the flesh.
- Micah 5:2 — In this famous prophecy, Micah states that the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem. But what is often overlooked is the fact that he states the Messiah will be “from the days of eternity,” indicating He will be divine.
- Luke 1:32 — The angel Gabriel prophesied to Mary that her child would be “the Son of the Most High.”
B. The Witness of the Trinity
- Genesis 1:1-3 — These three verses present the Creation as the work of God the Father and the Spirit of God through the spoken word of God. In the Gospel of John, Jesus is revealed as “the Word.” And we are told in Hebrews 1:2 that God created the world through Jesus.
- Genesis 1:26 — On the sixth day of Creation, God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” The wording here clearly indicates a plurality of persons who constitute the one God.
- Genesis 11:7 — When God decided to pour out His wrath on Babel, He said, “Come, let Us go down and confuse their language…” Again, the wording indicates a plurality of persons constituting the one God.
- Exodus 3:2-6 — The “Angel of the Lord” appears to Moses in the burning bush. This term is used throughout the Hebrew Scriptures to refer to pre-incarnate appearances of Jesus when He served as a messenger of God the Father. The point, however, is that the Angel speaks to Moses and says, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” In Genesis 48:15-16 Jacob is pictured on his death bed referring to “the Angel” as “God.” And in Judges 13:18, the Angel of the Lord appears to Manoah, the father of Samson, and says that His name is “Wonderful” — the very name of deity that Isaiah later uses in Isaiah 9:6.
- Exodus 3:14 — When Moses asked what he would say when Pharaoh asked who had sent him, God replied, “Tell him I Am has sent you.” Later, in the Gospels, Jesus applies this divine name to Himself (see, for example, John 8:58).
- Deuteronomy 6:4 — This passage presents what is known as “The Shema” — “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!” The actual wording in the Hebrew is “Yahweh our Gods is Yahweh a unity.” The word for “one” in this passage is echad which refers to a plural or composite unity. For example, in Genesis 2:24 we are told that a husband and wife become “one [echad] flesh.” And in Numbers 13:23 we are informed that two of the spies who were sent into Canaan returned with “a single [echad] cluster of grapes.”
- Isaiah 43:11 — God speaks and says, “I, even I, am the Lord; and there is no savior besides Me.” Yet, in the New Testament we are told repeatedly that Jesus is Savior (see, for example, 2 Peter 1:1). Isaiah says there is one Savior and that is God. Peter says Jesus is Savior. Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other; therefore, Jesus is God.
- Isaiah 48:16 — God speaks and says, “The Lord God has sent Me and His Spirit.” In the Hebrew it says, “The Lord Yahweh (the Father) has sent Me and His Spirit.” This is a clear statement of the Trinity — Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- Isaiah 63:8-10 — The prophet gives an example of “the lovingkindness of Yahweh” (the Father) by reminding the Jews that He has often sent them His Savior, “the angel of His presence” (Jesus), to save them, but that they always “rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit.” Here again we find mention of Father, Son and Spirit.
- Zechariah 12:10 — Speaking of the day when the Jewish remnant will be saved, God prophesies: “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him [the Messiah] as one mourns for an only Son…” Notice how God the Father identifies Himself with the Son — with the One who will be “pierced.”
- Matthew 28:19 — Jesus commanded His disciples to baptize “in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
- John 15:26 — Jesus is quoted as saying, “When the Helper [the Holy Spirit] comes, whom I will send to you from the Father… He will bear witness of Me.”
- 2 Corinthians 13:14 — “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
C. The Witness of God the Father
- 2 Samuel 7:13-14 — The “Lord of hosts” promises David that He will raise up one of his descendants (the Messiah) to reign “forever” and that He “will be a father to Him and He will be a Son to Me.”
- Psalm 2:6-9 — God proclaims that He will one day install “My King” (the Messiah) upon Mt. Zion to reign over all the nations. God refers to this person as His “Son” and says He is “begotten” (that is, He and the Father have a unique, one-of-a-kind relationship).
- Psalm 45:6-7 — God the Father refers to the Messiah as God: “Therefore God, Thy God has anointed Thee…”
- Matthew 3:16-17 — At the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, God speaks and says, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” (See also Mark 1:11 and Luke 3:22.)
- Matthew 17:1-5 — At the Transfiguration of Jesus when His disciples were given a glimpse of His future glory, God again says, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased.” (See also Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-35, and 1 Peter 1:16-18.)
D. The Witness of Jesus
- His Messianic Claims
This is a very common title in the Gospels, but it is usually presented in the Greek form of Christ. It means “the Anointed One.”
- Mark 14:61-62 — When Jesus was tried before the Sanhedrin Council, the High Priest asked Him, “Are you the Christ [Messiah], the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus responded, “I am.” (See also Matthew 26:63-64.)
- John 4:25-26 — A Samaritan woman says to Jesus, “I know that the Messiah is coming…” Jesus responds, “I who speak to you am He.”
- Mark 9:41 — Jesus refers to His disciples as “followers of the Christ [Messiah].”
- Son of Man
This is the title that Jesus applied to Himself more than any other. It is the Messianic title of Daniel 7:13. This title emphasizes that Jesus was God in the flesh. The title is used in 78 verses in the Gospels. Here are some examples:
- Matthew 8:20 — “And Jesus said to him, ‘The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.'”
- Mark 8:31 — “He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected.”
- Luke 9:26 — “Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory…”
- John 12:23 — “Jesus answered them, saying, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.'”
- Son of God
This is a divine title that the Jewish leaders recognized as a claim to deity. Many people, including the Devil and his demons, refer to Jesus in the Gospels as the Son of God. Jesus often refers to Himself as “the Son,” but specifically applies the title, “Son of God” to Himself only five times.
- Luke 22:70 — “And they [the Sanhedrin Council] all said, ‘Are You the Son of God, then?’ And He said to them, ‘Yes, I am.'”
- John 3:18 — Speaking of Himself, Jesus says, “He who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
- John 5:25 — “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God…”
- John 10:36 — Jesus asks the Jewish leaders if they are accusing Him of blaspheming “because I said, ‘I am the Son of God?'”
- John 11:4 — When Jesus heard of the death of Lazarus, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”
- Son of David
This Messianic title was applied to Jesus by the Gospel writers (Matthew 1:1) and by many of the people of His time (Matthew 9:27). For example, Jesus was hailed as “the Son of David” when He made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem during the last week of His life (Matthew 21:9). The closest Jesus came to applying the title to Himself occurred in a dialogue He had with the Jewish leaders that is recorded in Matthew 22:41-45.
- e) King of the Jews
This is another Messianic title that Jesus claimed before Pilate. Matthew 27:11 states that Pilate asked Jesus, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “It is as you say.” (See also Mark 15:2 and Luke 23:3.)
- The Prophet
Speaking of the Messiah to come, Moses referred to him as “a prophet” (Deuteronomy 18:15-18). By the time of Jesus, “The Prophet” had come to be a recognized Messianic title. Thus, when John the Baptist appeared, the people asked him if he was “the Prophet.” He responded that he was not (John 1:21). Jesus applied Moses’ title to Himself in John 5:46 when He said, “If you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me.”
- Jesus’ Application of Messianic Prophecy to Himself
Jesus often asserted His divinity by applying Messianic prophecies to Himself. Examples:
- Luke 4:16-21 — Jesus stands up in the synagogue in Nazareth and reads a prophecy from Isaiah 61 about the Messiah being full of the Spirit and coming “to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” Jesus then states, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
- Luke 18:31-33 — Speaking of His approaching crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. For He will be delivered to the Gentiles… and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and on the third day He will rise again.”
- Luke 22:37 — Referring to His crucifixion, Jesus applies Isaiah 53:12 to Himself: “For I tell you, that which is written must be fulfilled in Me, ‘And He was numbered with transgressors;’ for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment.”
- Luke 24:27 — Luke says that after His resurrection, Jesus spent much time with His disciples showing them how He had fulfilled the prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures. (See also Luke 24:46-47.)
- Jesus’ Identification with God the Father
- I AM When God told Moses to confront Pharaoh, Moses asked, “Whom shall I say sent me?” The Lord replied, “Tell them I AM has sent you” (Exodus 3:13-14). Jesus applied this divine name to Himself. Examples:
- John 8:24 — Jesus says, “Unless you believe that I am, you shall die in your sins.”
- John 8:58 — Jesus told the Jewish leaders, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” The Jews immediately recognized this as a claim of divinity, and they tried to stone Him (John 8:59).
- Alpha and Omega / The First and the Last
- In Revelation 1:8 God the Father states that He is “the Alpha and the Omega.” This statement is repeated in Revelation 21:6. In Revelation 22:13, Jesus says of Himself that He is “the Alpha and Omega.” Once again, things equal to the same thing, are equal to each other.
- A variation of the title is “The First and the Last.” It is applied to God the Father in Isaiah 41:4 and 44:6. Jesus applies it to Himself in Revelation 1:17, 2:8, and 22:13.
- Common Attributes
- Revelation 1:14-16 — John sees Jesus resurrected and glorified. He presents a detailed description of Jesus, and every aspect of the description is one attributed elsewhere in Scripture to deity.
White hair — Daniel 7:9
Eyes like fire — Daniel 10:6
Feet like bronze — Daniel 10:6
Voice like waters — Ezekiel 1:24 & Daniel 10:6
Face like the sun — 2 Corinthians 4:6 & Daniel 10:6
- Revelation 2-3 — In His letters to the seven churches, Jesus attributes descriptions of deity to Himself in each letter. In one He refers to Himself as “the beginning [origin or source] of the creation of God” (Revelation 3:14).
- Revelation 10:1 — Jesus is portrayed in His Second Coming as a “mighty angel,” and the description of Him once again portrays attributes of God the Father. He is “clothed with a cloud” (the Shekinah glory), He has a rainbow on His head (God’s symbol of faithfulness), His face is like the sun, and His feet like pillars of fire.
- Luke 6:5 — Jesus says, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” Exodus 20:9-11 makes it clear that God the Father ordained the Sabbath and is Lord of it.
- I AM When God told Moses to confront Pharaoh, Moses asked, “Whom shall I say sent me?” The Lord replied, “Tell them I AM has sent you” (Exodus 3:13-14). Jesus applied this divine name to Himself. Examples:
- Jesus’ Relationship with God the Father
Jesus spoke frequently of His relationship with the Father. Examples:
- Matthew 10:40 — “He who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” (See also Mark 9:37.)
- Luke 2:49 — Jesus as a twelve year old boy refers to God as His “Father.”
- John 5:18 — The Jews sought to kill Jesus because by “calling God His own Father, He made Himself equal with God.”
- John 8:19 — “If you knew Me, you would know My Father also.”
- John 10:30 — “I and the Father are one [a unity].” The Jews responded to this statement by accusing Jesus of blasphemy, and then they added, “You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God” (10:33).
- John 12:45 — “He who beholds Me beholds the One who sent Me.” (See also John 14:9.)
- John 14:10 — “I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me.” (See also John 14:11, 20.)
- John 17:10 — Jesus speaking to the Father: “All things that are Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine.”
- John 17:11, 21 — Speaking of His disciples, Jesus says to the Father: “May they be one, even as We are.”
- His Eternal Nature
- John 8:42 — “I proceeded forth and have come from God.”
- John 8:58 — “Before Abraham was, I am.”
- John 12:45 — “He who beholds Me beholds the One who sent Me.”
- John 17:5 — Jesus says He shared God’s glory before the world was created.
- John 17:8 — Speaking to God: “I came forth from Thee.”
- John 17:24 — “Thou [the Father] didst love Me before the foundation of the world.”
- Luke 10:18 — “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.” (This fall occurred either shortly before or at the time of the creation. See Isaiah 14:12, Ezekiel 28:12-17 and Revelation 12:3-4.)
- His Forgiveness of Sins and Granting of Salvation
- John 3:16 — “For God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
- Matthew 9:2 — Speaking to a paralytic, Jesus says, “Take courage, My son, your sins are forgiven.” In Mark’s account of this incident Mark 2:7), he adds that the onlookers said, “He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?” (See also Luke 5:20 and 7:47.)
- John 6:47-48 — “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life.”
- John 7:38 — “He who believes in Me… from his inner most being shall flow rivers of living water.” The next verse (39) says Jesus was speaking of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in believers.
- John 11:25 — “Jesus said to her [Martha], ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies.'”
- John 17:3 — “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.”
- Matthew 10:32 — “Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.”
- Luke 23:43 — To a repentant thief being crucified with Him, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
- His Miracles
We are told in Acts 2:22 that the divine nature of Jesus was “attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs.” The Gospel of John records seven great miracles of Jesus:
- Changing water into wine (John 2:1-11).
- Healing of a royal official’s son at Capernaum (John 4:46-54).
- Healing of a man ill for 38 years (John 5:1-8).
- Multiplying the loaves and fishes (John 6:1-14).
- Walking on water (John 6:16-21).
- Healing of a man blind from birth (John 9:1-7).
- Raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44).
E. The Witness of Angels
- Matthew 1:20-21 — An angel to Joseph: “That which has been conceived in her [Mary] is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus.” In Hebrew, the name is Yeshua, meaning “Yahweh is salvation.”
- Luke 1:11-17 — The angel Gabriel appears to the priest Zacharias and tells him that his wife will bear a son [John the Baptist] who will serve as the forerunner of the Messiah.
- Luke 1:26-33 — Gabriel appears to Mary and tells her she will conceive the Messiah who will be named Jesus [Yeshua] and who will be called “the Son of the Most High.”
- Luke 2:8-11 — An angel announces to the Bethlehem shepherds: “Today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ [Messiah] the Lord.”
- Luke 24:6 — Two angels tell women at the tomb of Jesus: “He is not here, but He has risen.”
- Acts 1:11 — At the Ascension, “two men in white clothing” told the disciples: “This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way . . .”
- Revelation 5:9-10 — Heavenly beings are portrayed as singing, “Worthy art Thou [Jesus the Lamb]… for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue…”
- Revelation 5:12 — Heavenly beings sing: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
- Revelation 5:13 — Heavenly beings sing: “To Him who sits on the throne, and the Lamb [Jesus] be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
- Revelation 11:15 — Heavenly beings declare: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Messiah; and He will reign forever and ever.”
- Revelation 15:3-4 — Heavenly beings sing “the song of the Lamb” which declares that He is “the Lord God the Almighty… the King of the nations.”
F. The Witness of Satan and His Demons
- Matthew 4:1-11 — Satan recognizes the deity of Jesus in a backhanded way by tempting Him to prove His divinity: “If You are the Son of God [which he knew He was], command that these stones become bread” (verse 6).
- Matthew 8:28-34 — Jesus casts demons out of two men in the area of the Gadarenes. The demons cry out, “What do we have to do with You, Son of God?”
- Mark 1:23-24 — Jesus casts a demon out of a man in Capernaum and the demon cries out, “I know who You are — the Holy One of God!” (See also Mark 1:34, 3:11, 5:7 and Luke 4:34, 41.)
G. The Witness of the Apostle Peter
- Matthew 16:16 — “And Simon Peter answered and said, ‘Thou are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (See also Mark 8:29 and Luke 9:20.)
- John 6:69 — Peter says to Jesus, “We have believed and come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”
- Acts 2:11-32 — Peter says that Jesus’ resurrection was in fulfillment of Messianic prophecy.
- Acts 2:34-36 — Peter asserts that Jesus ascended to the right hand of God in fulfillment of Messianic prophecy.
- Acts 2:38 — Peter proclaims that salvation is in the name of Jesus. (See also Acts 3:16.)
- Acts 3:14-15 — Peter refers to Jesus as “the Holy and Righteous One” and as “the Prince of Life.” (See also Acts 5:31.)
- Acts 3:15 — Peter asserts the resurrection as proof that Jesus was the Messiah. (See also Acts 2:24, 32; 4:2, 10, 33; 5:30 and 1 Peter 1:3.)
- Acts 4:12 — “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
- Acts 5:42 — Peter preached “Jesus as the Christ [Messiah].”
- Acts 10:36 — “Jesus Christ is Lord of all.”
- 1 Peter 1:10-11 — The Hebrew prophets were guided in their prophecies by the “Spirit of Christ.”
- 1 Peter 1:18-19 — We are redeemed by “the blood of Christ.”
- 1 Peter 2:24 — Jesus was the fulfillment of Isaiah 53 in that He died for us and “by His wounds we are healed.”
- 1 Peter 3:22 — Jesus is now at the “right hand of God.”
- 1 Peter 4:11 — God is “glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever.”
- 2 Peter 1:1 — Jesus is “our God and Savior.”
- 2 Peter 1:3 — Jesus’ “divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness…”
- 2 Peter 1:16-19 — Peter says he was an “eyewitness of His majesty [the Transfiguration] and that he heard God declare, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.” He also states that Jesus was validated by His fulfillment of prophecy — “the prophetic word made sure.”
H. The Witness of the Apostle John
- John 1:1-2 — Jesus is “the Word” and “the Word was God.”
- John 1:18 — Jesus is “the only begotten God…”
- John 5:18 — Jesus called God His Father, “making Himself equal with God.”
- John 13:3 — Jesus “came forth from God, and is going back to God.”
- John 20:31 — John assets that he wrote his Gospel so that the reader “may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.”
- 1 John 1:1-2 — Jesus is the “Word of life” through whom we can have eternal life.
- 1 John 1:7 — “The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
- 1 John 2:1 — Jesus is the “Advocate” of the redeemed before the Father.
- 1 John 2:22 — Anyone who denies that Jesus is the Messiah has the spirit of the Antichrist. (See also 1 John 4:3 and 2 John 7.)
- 1 John 2:23 — “The one who confesses the Son has the Father also.”
- 1 John 4:9-10 — Jesus was the only begotten Son of God whom God sent to be the propitiation for our sins.
- 1 John 4:14 — The Father sent His Son “to be the Savior of the world.”
- 1 John 5:1 — “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ [Messiah] is born of God.” (See also 1 John 4:15, 5:11, and 5:13.)
- 1 John 5:20 — John proclaims that the Son of God is Jesus Christ and then adds: “This is the true God and eternal life.” (See also 2 John 3 and 9.)
I. The Witness of the Apostle Paul
- Acts 9:20 — Paul preached Jesus as “the Son of God.”
- Acts 13:23 — Paul preached Jesus as “Savior.” (See also Acts 16:31, 17:18, 20:21, 26:18; Romans 3:22, 8:3, 10:9; Galatians 2:16, 3:13, 3:29; 1 Timothy 1:15-16; 2 Timothy 2:10; and Titus 3:4-6.)
- Acts 13:30 — Paul stressed the resurrection of Jesus as validation of His divinity. (See also Romans 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Corinthians 4:14, 13:4; and 2 Timothy 2:8.)
- Acts 17:3 — Paul preached Jesus as “the Christ [Messiah].” (See also Acts 18:5, 28 and 1 Corinthians 1:23.)
- Acts 28:20 — Paul preached Jesus as “the hope of Israel.”
- Romans 2:16 — God has given all judgment to Jesus. (See also 1 Corinthians 4:5 and 2 Corinthians 5:10.)
- Romans 5:1 — “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (See also Romans 5:10-11, 17-19 and Ephesians 3:19.)
- Romans 6:23 — “The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (See also 2 Timothy 1:9-10.)
- Romans 8:34 — Jesus is the Messiah who died for us, was resurrected and who sits at the right hand of God interceding for us. (See also Ephesians 1:20.)
- Romans 14:9 — Jesus is the “Lord both of the dead and of the living.”
- 2 Corinthians 4:4 — Jesus is “the image of God.” (See also 2 Corinthians 4:6.)
- 2 Corinthians 5:19 — “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.”
- 2 Corinthians 13:14 — “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
- Ephesians 1:10 — All things are “summed up in Christ.”
- Ephesians 2:13 — We have been “brought near” to God by the blood of Christ.
- Ephesians 3:19 — To know the love of Christ is to be filled with “the fullness of God.”
- Philippians 2:6-7, 9-11 — “Although He [Jesus] existed in the form of God, [He] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant… Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow… and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…”
- Colossians 1:15-16, 17, 19 — Jesus is “the very image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation. For by Him all things were created… And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together… For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fulness of deity to dwell in Him.”
- Colossians 2:2 — “The true knowledge of God’s mystery” is to be found in “Christ Himself.”
- Colossians 2:9 — “For in Him [Jesus] all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.”
- 1 Timothy 1:1 — Paul refers to Jesus as “our hope.”
- 1 Timothy 2:5-6 — “There is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
- 1 Timothy 3:16 — Paul cites what he calls a “common confession” — namely, that God “was revealed in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, beheld by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, and taken up in glory.”
- Titus 2:13-14 — Jesus is “our great God and Savior… who gave Himself for us.”
J. The Witness of the Book of Hebrews
- Hebrews 1:2 — God “made the world” through Jesus and has appointed Him “heir of all things.”
- Hebrews 1:3 — Jesus is “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature.”
- Hebrews 1:3 — Jesus “upholds all things by the word of His power.”
- Hebrews 1:3 — Jesus “made purification of sins” and then “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (See also 8:1; 10:10, 12; and 12:1-2.)
- Hebrews 1:4-6, 13 — Jesus is greater than the angels. In fact, the angels worship Him.
- Hebrews 1:8-9 — The Father refers to Jesus as “God.” (A quote of Psalm 45:6-7.)
- Hebrews 1:10 — The Father declares the Son to be the Creator. (A quote of Psalm 102:25.)
- Hebrews 1:11-12 — The Father declares the Son to be eternal. (A quote of Psalm 102:26.)
- Hebrews 2:9 — Jesus “tasted death for everyone.”
- Hebrews 3:1 — Jesus is the “High Priest of our confession” before the throne of God, interceding for us. (See also Hebrews 4:14, 5:10, 8:1, 9:11 and 10:21.)
- Hebrews 3:2-6 — Jesus was greater than Moses because He was God’s Son.
- Hebrews 7:24 — The priesthood of Jesus is permanent because “He abides forever.”
- Hebrews 9:14 — Our salvation is through “the blood of Christ.” (See also Hebrews 13:20.)
- Hebrews 13:8 — “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.”
K. Other Witnesses of Jesus’ Divinity
- Zacharias — Proclaims that his son, John the Baptist, “will be called the prophet of the Most High” and will prepare the way for the Messiah who will give His people “the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins” (Luke 1:67-79).
- Simeon — Declares the baby Jesus to be “God’s salvation” (Luke 2:25-35).
- The Prophetess Anna — Affirmed Simeon’s declaration (Luke 2:36-38).
- The Magi from Persia — They came to Jerusalem to worship the “King of the Jews” (Matthew 2:1-6).
- John the Baptist — At the baptism of Jesus, he proclaimed: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
- Nathaniel — “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel” (John 1:49).
- Martha — “Yes, Lord, I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God…” (John 11:27).
- The People — “This is of truth the Prophet who is to come into the world” (John 6:14).
- The Jews — “He has made Himself out to be the Son of God” (John 19:7).
- Two Blind Men — “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” (Matthew 9:27). For similar occurrences, see Matthew 20: 29-34, Mark 10:47 and Luke 18:35-43.
- The Disciples — After Jesus calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee, His disciples worshiped Him, crying out, “You are certainly God’s Son!” (Matthew 14:33).
- A Canaanite Woman — “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David.” (Matthew 15:22).
- The Multitudes — As Jesus entered Jerusalem the last time, the crowds called out, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Matthew 21:9).
- Pilate — There is no evidence that Pilate believed in Jesus as Savior, but in response to one of his questions, Jesus was given the opportunity to proclaim that He was “King of the Jews” (Mark 15:2). Later, in an attempt to make fun of the Jews, “Pilate wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. And it was written, ‘Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews'” (John 19:19). Thus, working through Pilate’s hatred of the Jews, God orchestrated events so that one of Jesus’ Messianic titles would appear on the cross. (See also Mark 15:26 and Luke 23:38.)
- The Thief on the Cross — “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” (Luke 23:42).
- The Centurion at the Cross — “Truly, this was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39).
- Thomas — When confronted by Jesus after the resurrection, he cried out, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).
- Mark — He declares that his gospel is about “Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1).
- Phillip — In witnessing to the Ethiopian Eunuch, Phillip declared that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 53 (Acts 8:26-39).
- Stephen — As he was being stoned to death, he cried out: “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56).
- Jude — He ends his epistle with the words, “To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 25).
As you can see from this voluminous biblical evidence, the divinity of Jesus is not some johnny-come-lately concept that was invented by a group of First Century superstitious peasants who desired to make a god of a man they admired. It was foretold in Hebrew prophecy, affirmed in the life, teachings and miracles of Jesus, and confirmed by God the Father Himself. One would have to deny the Bible as the Word of God in order to deny the divinity of Jesus.
There is one other form of evidence that needs to be mentioned. I have in mind the hundreds of millions of lives that have been radically changed over the past two thousand years through faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Jesus came alive in their lives and gave them supernatural power to overcome the weaknesses of their flesh. Who else but God could have changed a slave trader like John Newton into a beloved pastor and inspired hymn writer when he placed his faith in Jesus?
God became man. That is the central fact of history. It is mind-boggling to conceive a God who would love us that much; but He did, and He continues to do so. Your response to that fact will determine your eternal destiny.
If you have never done so, I pray you will open your heart to the truth that Jesus was God in the flesh; that He died for your sins; that He currently serves as the High Priest of believers before the throne of God; and that one day soon He will return in glory as King of kings to resurrect the dead, judge the world, and reign over all the nations in peace, righteousness and justice.
- Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, The Jesus Mysteries: Was the ‘Original Jesus’ a Pagan God? (New York, NY: Random House, 2000).
- Robert W. Funk and Roy W. Hoover, The Five Gospels, (San Francisco, CA: Harper, reprint edition, 1997).