Is Jesus God? This question has some of the most important implications of any we could ever ask. It tumbles through each age and pokes its head up to challenge each new generation of thinkers. Is Jesus more than a man? Is Jesus God? If so, was He aware of His divinity while He was here? In a progressively godless culture, it is essential for us to know and be certain of our beliefs in this critical area. The deity of Christ gives us confidence in the authority of the bible and in the intimacy of a personal relationship with Jesus.
The simple answer is YES, Jesus was, is, and always will be God. There is none like Him. One God eternally existing in three persons – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There is none beside Him. He alone is God.
The follow-up question would naturally be, “How can we know for sure?” It is easy to say that He is divine and, in fact, many others have made this claim as well. The belief in the deity of Jesus, however, carries much more weight. If these claims were true, you would expect to find evidence throughout history and woven into creation itself. I believe that is exactly what you find when you begin to examine what the Bible has to say about Jesus.
Here you will find 9 undeniable truths that will point you to Jesus and bolster your faith in His divine nature:
1. The First Disciples Believed that Jesus was God
There is a myth that has popularized in recent generations that the original disciples just followed Jesus as a good man and great teacher and that the stories of His Godhead developed later in the history of the church. This is simply not true. From the foundations of the very first church, led and taught by the first disciples, they knew and believed Jesus was God Himself.
Right after the resurrection, most of the disciples had seen Jesus with one big exception. Thomas had not been present. He is probably most famous for his initial doubt, but Thomas exercises incredible faith. Jesus offers to let him physically touch the wounds so that Thomas would have everything he needed to believe. Thomas, however, needed no more proof. In an incredibly powerful statement of that faith, he proclaims:
Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” – John 20:28
In the introduction to Peter’s second letter, he is very clear about the message he has spent his life preaching. In this one verse, he equates the man that walked with them and became their Savior on the cross with the eternal God.
Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: – 2 Peter 1:1
2. Paul’s Message to the Gentiles Affirmed that Jesus is God
Paul continues the same message taught by the Apostles. In Romans 9, he describes the depth of his concern for his countrymen. At the end of his description of the nation of Israel, he says:
whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. – Rom 9:5
Israel was solidly monotheistic. Throughout their history, they had been defined by that characteristic even as all the nations surrounding them served many gods. When Paul says that Jesus is God blessed forever, he is making a clear statement that Jesus was the same God worshipped by their ancestors.
In his letter to Titus, Paul provides encouragement to the young preacher. In chapter two, he gives us a great perspective to live our lives. We should deny ungodliness, live righteously, and look forward to the return of Jesus, our great God and Savior.
looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, – Titus 2:13
3. Prophecy Points to Messiah as God
The proof of prophecy is overwhelming. Approximately one-third of the bible was prophetic at the time of writing. Since then, we have seen so many of those prophecies fulfilled. It is such a loud argument for the authenticity of the bible and one that is hard to ignore. We pay special attention to two of these prophecies around Christmas time as we celebrate the birth of Jesus:
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6
Isaiah heralds the coming of the Messiah. From his point of view, calling anyone else God, but God, would be blasphemy and completely counter to his character. To him, the coming Messiah was God Himself. Matthew continues the same line of thought right after he describes the genealogy of Jesus:
” behold , the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son , and they shall call his name Immanuel ,” which translated means, ” God with us .” – Matt 1:23
God with us. He did not just want to be God up there somewhere, instead, He wanted us to know He was present. Jesus walked among us and allowed us to know Him.
4. Jesus Called Himself God with Several Different Titles
One of the other myths that creeps up from time to time is that Jesus achieved divinity instead of intrinsically possessing it. The Bible never describes Jesus as obtaining or qualifying as God. Instead, it shows a consistent theme that Jesus existed before His incarnation and has eternally been divine.
Son of Man
Reinforcing that consistent theme, Jesus refers to Himself with a title that conveys the message of His divinity. One of Jesus’ favorite titles for Himself is the phrase “Son of Man”. At first glance, this seems to emphasize His humanity. To the original hearer, however, it was a declaration of His divine nature.
Everyone that heard Him use that phrase would have been incredibly familiar with the writings of Daniel.
“I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed. – Daniel 7-13-14
He is the same God from Daniel’s visions and the same God from the fiery furnace.
Son of God
In the same fashion, He used the title Son of God. We have to step for a moment into the culture of the New Testament. As He says this, He is making a direct claim that He not just connected to God, but that He is God. Those who heard it had the exact same impression:
For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. – John 5:18
The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.” – John 19:7
Jesus claimed that He and the Father were one and that if we saw Him we would have seen the Father (John 14:8).
One of the most conclusive pieces of evidence of the perspective of Jesus comes in His use of the Name – I AM.
In the Old Testament, when Moses asks God who he should say sent him to deliver Israel from Egypt, God tells him:
God said to Moses, ” I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” Exodus 3:14
In John 8, Jesus connects the dots for His listeners. He is the same God from before Abraham to the end of time.
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” – John 8:58
5. Jesus is the Word – The Word is God
In the beginning of the Gospel of John, John makes his theology very clear to the reader from the very first sentence.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – John 1:1
As John walks through the first chapter, he stops at this doctrinal point one more time for emphasis.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14
Throughout the rest of the book of John, the deity of Christ takes center stage. His life was radically transformed by the presence of Jesus and he did not take that lightly.
6. Jesus Accepted Worship
God alone deserves our worship. The Ten Commandments teach us that God is superior to all and there are to be no other gods before Him. Jesus, in character with His divinity, accepts worship from those around Him. We have the example above of Thomas and we also have the example of the disciples after Peter walks out to Jesus on the water. Peter asks to join Jesus as He walks on the water during a storm, but get scared and starts to sink. Jesus pulls him up and when they return to the boat the disciples respond in worship to what they had just seen.
And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!” – Matthew 14:33
If Jesus were just a good man or a good teacher, He would have redirected this praise to God. Since they were in the presence of God, however, their worship was well placed.
7. The Church Belongs to God Who Shed His Blood
The church is close to the heart of God. His love and forgiveness are free to us, but they are not cheap. He paid the debt of our sin with His own blood on the cross. Acts 20 gives us direct confirmation of the significance of that act.
Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. – Acts 20:28
8. Creation Proclaims Jesus is God.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. – Gen 1:1
Most people could quote Genesis 1:1 if asked. Time began for us at the moment God created the heavens and the earth. So many people struggle with the meaning of life. Why am I here? The first chapter of Colossians shows us the role of Jesus in the creation story and also gives us a distinct purpose for our existence.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been created through Him and for Him. – Col 1:15-16
Life is not a series of random events. There is an overarching significance to all of history. All of this is designed to point us toward Jesus. Only in Him can we find our place in the vastness of creation.
9. Jesus Separates the True From the False
The subject of the nature of Jesus is the watershed issue between the true and the false. Every major cult that acknowledges Jesus as a figurehead, takes the biblical view of Jesus and twists it into something inferior. Do not settle for less than the truth about God.
And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. – I John 5:20
It Takes Faith
While it takes faith to truly believe the nature of Jesus, it is not a blind faith. We stand on the shoulders of so many believers who have gone on before us. From the very first disciples until today, we preach the same message, Jesus is the Christ!