Jesus � Was He God?
Jesus: Was He God?
Many times Jesus referred to His own deity, both directly and indirectly. Although Jesus confirmed that He was the Messiah (Mark 14:62,63), He did not use the term Messiah to refer to Himself, perhaps to differentiate His deity from the widespread expectation of a human Messiah. Jesus used the terms Son of Man and Son of God often. Both referred to His divine nature (Daniel 7:13,14; Matthew 26:63,64). Jesus also used the specific words I am (Ego eimi in Greek, Ani bu in Hebrew) on several occasions (e.g., John 8:56-58). God used these same words to describe Himself to Moses. Jesus also states specifically that He and God are one (John 10:30), meaning, the same substance, nature and essence. (Greek word: homoosious, translated: "of the same substance.
And Jesus clearly indicated He had authority over issues controlled only by God, such as forgiveness of sin (Mark 2:5-10), the timeless power of His words (Matthew 24:35), and reception of glory (John 17:5). Perhaps as significant was Jesus' acceptance of worship (Luke 5:8; John 20:28). The intense monotheistic foundation of the Jews would absolutely forbid any worship of anything but the one true God. Overall analysis of Jesus' life, His compassionate miracles, His perfect lifestyle, and His love, indicate that His claims alone are trustworthy, and perhaps the strongest evidence of His divinity.
Did Other People Consider Jesus to Be God?
The disciples clearly came to view Jesus as God in human flesh, and they worshiped Him as such (Luke 5:8; John 20:28). Certainly, the witnessing of the resurrection and the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-5) provided irrefutable evidence to them. New Testament writers and early Christian writing define Jesus to be God our Lord here on earth (1 Corinthians 8:6, 1 Timothy 2:5).
Is There Other Evidence of Deity?
Many people say that Jesus' miracles are evidence of deity. But miracles have been recorded as being performed by other individuals (in the Bible and elsewhere). The Bible states that perfect fulfillment of prophecy proves God's intervention (Deuteronomy 18:21,22). The odds of all Old Testament prophecies about Jesus coming true in any one man is beyond statistical possibility without divine intervention. And Jesus prophesied with perfect accuracy regarding such things as the precise timing of His death, the detailed manner of His death, His resurrection, and His later appearance in Galilee. Prophetic perfection combined with a claim to be God verifies Jesus' deity.
Why Do People Reject Jesus?
The evidence regarding Jesus is so overwhelming that it seems incredible that many people still reject Him. After all, the promises of inner peace and joy on earth and eternal life in heaven are not bad promises and they're easy and free. Rejection of the Messiah, however, should not be surprising. It was often prophesied (Isaiah 53:1-3; Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21:42-46; Luke 16:19-31).
Ignorance - Perhaps the greatest reason for nonbelief in Jesus is ignorance. Most people take far too little time to investigate their religious beliefs. As a result, world opinion often becomes the basis for the most important issue in life. Views about Jesus may come from a family belief, friends, or a dominant church in the community. People sometimes think a church is teaching biblical Christianity when it's not. We are individually responsible for comparing teaching to the Bible. In the end, it doesn't matter what the reason is, if you are wrong. Nor does sincerity matter. As history has shown too often, people can be very sincere, yet sincerely wrong.
Apathy - Many times people have a false sense of security that God will take care of everyone. This idea is sometimes accompanied with the thought that hell doesn't exist, or that God will send everyone who tries to be good to heaven anyway. The Bible reveals that God's promises are reserved for His people, and there are many reasons why others don't hear (Matthew 13:11-43). The reality and horror of hell is clearly stated, including the narrow path to get to heaven, which is available to all (Matthew 7:13).
Fear - Some people fear that becoming a Christian means giving up fun or living a strange, secluded life without friends. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we must start a dull life and turn away from having parties with other people. It says the opposite. The Bible promises that knowing Jesus will let us live life to the fullest (John 10:10). And not only will such freedom draw us to have fun with friends, the Bible says even the angels in heaven throw a party when we accept Jesus as Lord (Luke 15:10).
Tradition - This reason for rejecting Jesus is often the strongest. But we are each accountable for our own actions. Even society doesn't send parents to jail for their children's crimes. Jesus knew He would, at times, cause people to break away from traditional family beliefs (Matthew 10:21,22).
Some people think that believing in Jesus and being good are the secret to heaven. The Bible says otherwise. It says that religion, speaking in Jesus' name, and being good are of no value if Jesus doesn't know us (see Mathew 7:21-23). Knowing Jesus is more than just a belief about Jesus. It means repenting and accepting Jesus' sacrifice and His claims to be God.
Jesus Shows God's Love for Us
We are all separated from God by imperfection. Even the most righteous people have had unholy thoughts considered sinful by God (see Matthew 5:28). Since God is perfect and holy, His requirement for an eternal, heavenly relationship with Him is perfection that no human can ever offer. So God provided an alternative method to rejoin us with Himself through one perfect sacrifice, forgiving all of our imperfections. The only way for God to have such a perfect sacrifice was for God to fulfill it Himself. By sending His Spirit into Mary (Luke 1:35), God essentially came to earth in human form as Jesus, to be sacrificed and who His love for mankind (see John 3:16). To fully appreciate God's love, we need to be aware of the excruciating pain and humility Jesus willingly suffered for many who hated (or now hate) Him.
Rejecting Jesus Shows Our Disdain for God
Jesus can be rejected in two ways: 1) by a decision to reject Him or 2) by simply not accepting Him. Knowing about Jesus, even believing the gospel story, is not accepting Him nor showing love for God. Even demons and Satan believe the gospel (see Mark 5:6-17). Love for God means acceptance of Jesus. It means turning our lives completely to Him for guidance. The Greek word used in the Bible for believe (as in John 3:16) is pisteuo, which literally means to trust, or have faith in. This means more than intellectual knowledge. Imagine the disdain we show God by not accepting His very precious and loving sacrifice.
God's Unaccepted Gift?
Imagine sending your only child to deliver a gift to show forgiveness to an adversary. Imagine knowing that your child would die painfully while delivering it. Now suppose that person never opened the gift, never accepting forgiveness. Would you choose to be with him forever?