Summary: Is Jesus really God?
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A GOOD MAN OR THE GOD-MAN?
No one is more loved and hated than Jesus Christ.
• “Jesus” (Greek) is equivalent to “JOSHUA” (Hebrew) and means “the LORD SAVES.”
“You are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
• “Christ” (Greek) is equivalent to “MESSIAH” (Hebrew) and means “the ANOINTED One.”
It seems everyone has an opinion about Jesus:
• John Lennon: “We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first—rock and roll or Christianity.”
• Mikhail Gorbachev: “Jesus was the first socialist, the first to seek a better life for mankind.”
• Oprah Winfrey: “Jesus cannot be the only way to God.”
• Liberal “Christians”: Jesus was a good man, but he was not the God-man.
• Islam: Jesus was merely a man and a prophet and was inferior to Muhammad.
• Judaism: Jesus was a false messiah.
• Mormonism: Jesus was only a man who became one of many gods.
• Jehovah’s Witnesses: Before Jesus lived on earth, he was Michael the archangel.
• The Da Vinci Code: The deity of Jesus is an idea the church created later. (What about the Gospel of Thomas? If Thomas had written a biography of Jesus, it probably would have been included in the NT. But the Gospel of Thomas was not written by Thomas.)
• Jesus’ enemies: “…you, a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33).
• The Apostle John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
• The Apostle Paul: “…Christ, who is God over all, forever praised!” (Romans 9:5).
• The Apostle Thomas: “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).
How the Bible presents Jesus Christ:
• Jesus is fully GOD and fully MAN in one person.
• Jesus is God the SON.
There is only one God, and this one God exists as three distinct Persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit).
• Jesus was always GOD.
• Jesus was not always HUMAN.
Back in 1995, Joan Osborne won a Grammy Award for her song “One of Us.” The chorus goes:
What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home
Obviously, I don’t believe Jesus was a “slob.” But God the Son did become “one of us.” About two thousand years ago, He was born as a human baby in Bethlehem.
Jesus declared, “I have come down from heaven” (John 6:38).
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).
“But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman” (Galatians 4:4).
“In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9).
Two amazing facts: (1) God became human and (2) God died for us.
WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT HIMSELF
Everyone seems to have an opinion about Jesus, but what did Jesus say about Himself?
Jesus repeatedly claimed to be God. His enemies, of course, didn’t believe Him and accused Him of blasphemy.
Jesus was not killed for His good deeds or pithy parables, but for claiming to be God.
1. Jesus said He is ETERNAL.
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds (John 8:58-59).
By naming Himself “I am,” Jesus was declaring Himself to be the same God who revealed Himself by the name “I am” some fourteen hundred years earlier when He spoke to Moses through the burning bush (Exodus 3:14).
2. Jesus said He is SINLESS.
The old saying goes, “Nobody is perfect.” But Jesus claimed to be perfect.
“Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?” (John 8:46a).
Even Jesus’ followers believed He was sinless. They lived with Him for three years and never (How many wives would say their husbands are sinless? None.)
3. Jesus said He can FORGIVE sin.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:5-7).
4. Jesus said He has power over DEATH.
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple [body], and I will raise it again in three days” (John 2:19, cf. vv. 21-22).
5. Jesus said He is the SON OF MAN.
In the Gospels, Jesus refers to Himself as “the Son of Man” over eighty times. This title was taken from the book of Daniel.