Summary: Many other people came to recognise that Jesus was God in the New Testament.

Jesus didn`t just appear without warning. Before He was born there were some who were told to expect Him. The Angel told His Mother that she should call His Name Jesus, and that that Name means "The Saviour". Jesus came to us with a special and divine purpose, the save men from themselves.

In the beginning God made man to be His friend, but man rejected that offer. The smallest and most insignificant sin (the one we would hardly call a sin) tells God, "I don`t want your friendship. I want to go MY way, not YOURS". Yet God passionately cries out to us to come to Him, because He loves us. He loves us and wants us to experience the fullness of the way of life that He has prepared for us. But God and man became separated by the wide gulf of man`s creating.

How could reconciliation come about? It could only come about when a man said, "I am willing to obey you completely and perfectly" - and that is what the Man, Jesus, said. At the same time, it could only come about when God said, "I forgive you", and that is what Jesus came to proclaim. "God, in Christ, was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting its sin against it". He said to men, "I offer you forgiveness, free and freely"....... The gulf between men and God was too wide for men to bridge it, so God came in Christ to bridge the gulf.

Now, for a bridge to be effective it has to rest on both sides of the chasm of separation. That is why Jesus had to be totally Man and totally God. If He wasn`t both Man AND God, the bridge wouldn`t have been complete. Because Jesus Christ was totally and completely Man one end of the bridge reached to the MAN SIDE of the chasm - because He was totally and completely God, the other end of the bridge reached to the GOD SIDE of the chasm. It is only as a man walks across that bridge (the Way that Jesus opened up for us through His death on the Cross), that he can come into fellowship with the Father.

That is the way the Scriptures set it out. This was to be God`s Way of Reconciliation, God`s Way of proclaiming His forgiving love. But, NOT THIS, forgiving love can only effectively be revealed in PERSON, not by proxy. Forgiveness on the lips of a mere representative or messenger can never carry conviction, and, because this message of love could can only be conveyed in PERSON, Jesus had to be PERSONALLY GOD. Do you see then that, right at the beginning of the New Testament, Jesus is not only called "The Saviour" (which He is, He is also given the Name "Emmanuel", which means "GOD with us". (N.B. The Greek actually says, "THE God with us", showing that Jesus was regarded as being part of the Godhead). God Himself had come to earth to proclaim the message of forgiveness.

If this were just one isolated statement, we might dismiss it easily as a mistake (i.e. if we didn`t believe that Holy Scripture is divinely inspired), but right through the New Testament we see men reacting to Jesus, almost instinctively, as they would react to God.

1. They worshipped Him. When He was born shepherds came and worshipped Him. Wise men came, and, going into the house they "saw the little child with His Mother Mary. And they fell on their knees and worshipped Him". There was something in that child which caused them to fall before Him, giving Him that which is only right to give to God - the first acts of worship in a life that grew to accept worship as His right.

In Matthew ch 8 v 2 we are told that a leper knelt down before Him and worshipped Him. In chapter 9 v 18 a certain ruler comes and worships Him. It could be said that they were only greeting Him with common respect, and this might well be so, although the wording is stronger than that in the Greek. The same could not be said, however, of the Disciples, who, when threatened by death in the boat, were filled with awe when Jesus stilled the storm, and worshipped Him saying, "You really are the Son of God".

The women who were confronted by the risen Jesus had no hesitation in falling down, taking hold of His feet and worshipping Him (Matt. 28.9). Even a madman could recognise the divinity in Christ (Mark 5.6). Isn`t it strange that the mad and the sinful could recognise what the Jewish leaders consistently refused to accept!

Let us realise that, if Jesus was just a man, as the Jehovah`s Witnesses have claimed, then the Jewish leaders had no argument with Jesus - certainly not their consistent argument that He was blaspheming.

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