There are a number of things to look at with regards to Christ’s divinity. We will see in the verses to follow Jesus as God both by His proclamation and that of others and we will see attributes that are God’s being attributed to Jesus
1) Jn 8:58-59 - The “I Am” verse from LXX of Exodus where Jesus uses a statement that refers to Himself as God did in Exodus 3:11-16. Can see the furor it caused in those that heard
Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am." So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
2) Jn10:30-33 - Shows people believed Jesus believed what he said
I and the Father are one." The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?" The Jews answered him, "It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God."
- Jesus was either: Hallucinating, was deceived, was deluded, was insane, or He was God
3) Matt 9:2-3 – Jesus forgives sins, of which only God can and in V3 the scribes claim he is blaspheming showing how they viewed His claim.
And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven." And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This man is blaspheming."
- Mark 2:5-7 is a parallel passage and in V7 we see the reference to God alone forgiving sin
“And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"”
4) Luke 7:48-49 - We see Jesus again forgiving sin and the response of the people.
“And he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, "Who is this, who even forgives sins?"
5) Matt 23:34 – Jesus refers to his sending of “prophets and wise men and scribes.” The sending of prophets is not an act of man but of God.
“Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,”
6) Mark 10:18 – Jesus in saying no one is good but God is not saying He is not good but is claiming to be God.
“And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”
7) Revelation 1:7-8 and 22:11-13 speak of one coming who is the first and last, Alpha and Omega.
“Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."” ~ Rev 1:7-8
“Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy." "Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."” ~ Rev 22:11-13
a. In V7 it speaks of one who was pierced, Jesus, and refers to Him as Lord God as well as being the First and Last.
b. In Rev 22:11-13 it speaks of coming quickly and being the first and last but if we look down to V20 we see the reference to this person being Jesus
“He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” ~ Rev 22:20
c. All of this needs to be seen in light of verses such as: Isaiah 44:6 which speak of God as “the first and last as well as in Isaiah 48:12
“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: "I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.” ~ Is 44:6
“"Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he; I am the first, and I am the last” ~ Is 48:12
d. If that is not enough, Jesus refers to Himself as the first and last in Rev 1:12-18
“Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”
8) Another section of scripture where Jesus is shown as God is in Heb 1:1-10 and the corresponding verses from Psalms 102:25 which show that the reference is to Jesus being God.
- In Heb 1:6 it says that all angels are to worship Jesus
- However in Luke 4:8 Jesus tells the devil that one is only to worship God
- And in Heb 1:5-8 the Father calls the Son God
9) On Jesus’ appearance to Thomas in John 20:28 Thomas referred to Jesus as follows and was not rebuked by Jesus for it:
“Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"”
10) In Matt 21:14-16 the people speak of Christ as the “Son of David” and Jesus does not question it when asked about it by the Chief priests and scribes in V16
“And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" they were indignant, and they said to him, "Do you hear what these are saying?" And Jesus said to them, "Yes; have you never read, "'Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise'?"”
11) All of this does not even touch on the most obvious verses which are John 1:1-5
“ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
- While Jehovah’s Witnesses will say the verse reads “a” God the correct translation is “G”od, with a capital “G”
- The Jehovah Witness translation of the bible (New World translation) is a mistranslation and not consistent even with other translations of verses within its own bible that have the same grammatical configurations such as: Matt 5:9; John 1:6; John 1:18
- The rule that allows for the “G” in God to be capital without the definite article being directly attached is called the “Colwell Rule.” This is a standard rule of translation that allows for translating a word as if the definite article was present as in John 1:1.
- Thus there does not have to be a definite article to be able to use one, context and structure decide the translation.
12) We can also see from other passages Christ’s deity
- Paul in Titus 2:13 refers to Jesus as “our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”
“waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,”
- John uses an OT reference in Matt 3:3 referring to his preparing the way for Jesus but is quoting Is 40:3 which is referring to the Lord Yahweh
“For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.'"” ~ Matt 3:3
“A voice cries: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” ~ Is 40:3
- Jesus in Matt 22:44 speaks in a way about Psalms 110:1 that leads the Pharisees to understand Jesus claming to be the Lord God.
"'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet'?” ~ Matt 22:44
“A Psalm of David. The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool."” ~ Psalm 110:1
- Jesus’ claims to being the “son of man” as a reference to deity is seen as such by the council in Matt 26:64-66
“Jesus said to him, "You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven." Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your judgment?" They answered, "He deserves death."”
Other evidence that Jesus possessed attributes of Deity
Jesus showed His omnipotence in calming the seas in Matt 8:26-27
o As well as multiplying the loaves and fish in Matt 14:19
o Also in making water into wine in John 2:1-11
Jesus’ omniscience is shown in such passages as MK 2:8; Jn 1:48 & 6:64 & 16:30
“And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you question these things in your hearts?” ~ Mk 2:8
“Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."” ~ Jn 1:48
“But there are some of you who do not believe." (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)” ~ Jn 6:64
“Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God."” ~ Jn 16:30
Paul in Phil 2:9-11 speaks to the worship of Christ as only God deserves
"Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every toungue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
From all of the above we can see clearly from scripture that Jesus Christ is God.
In the next part of this study on the Trinity we will look a there being only one God.
Doctrine of the Trinity Series:
Sermon Series on The Doctrine of the Trinity: Part 1 and Part 2
(all verses used are from the ESV unless stated otherwise)