Sunday, 28 May 2017 20:18

What does the Bible say about Jesus, is He God?

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When Jesus was ministering here on Earth, people were already asking this question. Who is Jesus? Some said "John the Baptist: but some [said], Elijah; and others, One of the prophets." (Mark 8:28). More importantly, Jesus asked the disciples what they thought: "But who say you that I am? And Peter answered and said unto him, You are the Christ." (Mark 8:29).

The word 'Christ' is a title. It's not Jesus' last name. It comes from the Greek Christos, and it means "anointed one" or "chosen one". The name Jesus also has an important meaning, but before we look into that, let's look at some of the names that were used to refer to Jesus, even before we knew Him as Jesus.

Before our planet was created, the Bible tells us war broke out in Heaven (Revelation 12:7-9). Lucifer, also referred to as the serpent, dragon, and Satan (Revelation 12:9), had raised false accusations against God. This war was not a physical one. It was a battle for the minds of God's created beings. Lucifer wanted to be God: "For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the farthest sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High." (Isaiah 14:13-14). Satan wanted to be like God.

The Bible says that when the war broke out in Heaven, Michael went out to "fight against the dragon" (Revelation 12:7). Michael is mentioned a few times in the Bible. He is the leader of God's Heavenly army (Revelation 12:7), and is described as the archangel (Jude 1:9), one of the chief princes (Daniel 10:13), a prince (Daniel 10:21), and "the great prince which stands for the children of your people" (Daniel 12:1). The word archangel means the 'chief messenger', or the 'leader of the messengers'. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 tells us an important information about Jesus's Second Coming: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first". In this verse, we see that Jesus is the one with the voice of the archangel. He is the leader of the angelic host.

The name Michael comes from the Hebrew Mikha'el, which means 'who is like God'. Now we see that Michael is not only the leader of the angels, He is also like God. Unlike Lucifer, who wanted to be like a God, Michael actually IS like God. The name Michael and the name Christ are titles, indicating a function. As we mentioned before, the name Jesus is also significant: in Hebrew, it comes from Joshua, which means 'God is Salvation'. In Greek, it has the same meaning, as the angel had said to Joseph: "take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." (Mathew 1:20,21). At that point, Jesus' position as Son of God was established. That was not the only name referring to the Messiah. Jesus has many names. One of them is Emmanuel, and it means 'God with us' (Matthew 1:23). Emmanuel is the name Mary and Joseph were told the people would call Jesus.

The names Jesus has tell us the story of salvation. A story of self-sacrifice for the sake of His followers, whom He loves immeasurably. Through all His names we can see the roles Jesus has, starting in Heaven: The One Who Is Like God, became human, the Son of God, through the Holy Spirit; He could represent the Father on Earth as God With Us, the Chosen One, Anointed to become the Savior of mankind.

Jesus was the child to be born among us. Jesus was to be known as Mighty God, Eternal Father and Prince of Peace: "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). This verse in Isaiah is very clear about the divinity of Christ. No created being in the Bible is called Mighty God. Calling anyone else, other than God, Mighty God would go against God's own rule: "You shall have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:3). Only God can be called God.

Many Bible texts describe God and Jesus the same way. Let's look at some of these verses.

*** God is the First and the Last - Jesus is the First and the Last ***

- Isaiah 44:6 - "This is what the LORD says -- Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God."

- Revelation 1:17-18 - "When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades."

*** God is the Redeemer (Savior) - Jesus is the Redeemer and God ***

- Isaiah 44:6- "This is what the LORD says -- Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God."

- 2 Peter 1:1 - "Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours".

 

Jesus was present with the Father, during the eternity past. He is the "First and the Last". Paul writes in Colossians 1:16-19 that by Jesus "were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things are held together. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell".

If, as the verse says, all things were created by Jesus, then Jesus Himself cannot be a created being. When Earth had its beginnings, Jesus was also there, and the Bible says Jesus is God: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness overcame it not. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on his name: Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:1-5,10-14).

In the beginning, Jesus was called the Word, the Word creating planet Earth. On the first day, God said: "Let there be light: and there was light." (Genesis 1:3). Elements sprung into action at His Word. "The Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). In order for Jesus to dwell among us, as one of us, "the Word was made flesh" (John 1:14). The One Who was Like God had now become like man. Jesus was the only being whom God had, through the Holy Spirit, made into flesh in order to redeem those who believe in Him. And that is why we read that Jesus is the only begotten of the Father (John 1:14; John 3:16,18; 1: John 4:9). There is no Other Savior sent down from Heaven. Jesus is the only One.

Hebrews 1:5-8 is very clear about the supremacy of Jesus: "For unto which of the angels said he at any time, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he brings the first begotten into the world, he says, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he says, Who makes his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he says, Your throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom." The Father is referring to the Son as "Oh God" (Hebrews 1:8). Jesus was made lower than the angels, only in the quality of his human nature, which He acquired when He was born as a baby on Earth. Jesus' divine nature is equated to the divine nature of the Father.

Some people may say that Jesus is not God because the Father is the One who gave Jesus all authority (Matthew 11:27; Matthew 28:18; John 3:35; John 13:3; John 17:2; Ephesians 2:20,21). As we read before, Jesus was there with the Father from the beginning (John 1:1). When Jesus became flesh, He came to this Earth under the authority of the Father. Jesus was man and God at the same time. As a man, He was given the authority to show the Father to the people of the Earth. Jesus had the authority to Judge nations (Matthew 25:31-46), raise the dead (John 5:25-29), and to forgive sins (Mark 2:5-7). These are things that only God can do (I Samuel 2:6; Isaiah 43:25).

Acts 20:28 tells us, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.” Jesus is the one who actually died on the cross and shed His blood for our sins. This verse says that God bought us with His own blood. Once again, the Bible is clear, saying that Jesus is God.

The Bible teach us that Jesus is God, not just like God. Titus 2:13 says: "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ". Thomas, in the presence of Jesus, said as he touched Him: "And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God." (John 20:28). Thomas was not using the expression "My God" casually, as some may say. He was calling Jesus His Lord and his God. Jesus did not correct Thomas at that moment. In fact, Jesus never corrected anyone from falling at His feet and worshiping Him. God's messengers, on the other hand, were always quick to correct those who attempted to worship them: "And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.Then he said unto me, See you do it not: for I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of them who keep the words of this book: worship God." (Revelation 22:8,9. See also Acts 10:25,26).

God is the only one we should worship. The Bible teaches "[...] Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment has come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." (Revelation 14:7). We just read in Colossians 1:16-19 that all things were created by Jesus. We have now another evidence that the Bible is teaching us to worship not only the Father but also the Son.

What did Jesus say about His own divinity? In John 10:30 Jesus said: "I and the Father are one". There is a very important conversation Jesus had with His disciples that can help clarify who Jesus is, and whose power He used while on Earth. This is what we read in John 14:5-14: "Thomas said unto him, Lord, we know not where you go; and how can we know the way? Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also: and from henceforth you know him, and have seen him. Philip said unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it will satisfy us. Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long a time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? He that has seen me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father? Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you shall ask anything in my name, I will do it."

The verses in John 14:5-14 tells us that the power that Jesus used on Earth was granted by the Father. Jesus needed to show the disciples, and us today, that we have access to the same power He used. If He had used His own power, then it would be much harder for us to understand how we, being mere mortals, could have the power to do greater works than what Jesus did. The apostles believed in the power God was offering them. Like Jesus, they cured the sick (Acts 3:6), and they raised the dead (Acts 20:9-11).

Moses once asked who God was. God had introduced Himself to Moses in the Old Testament, as "I Am" (Exodus 3:14). Jesus was faced with the same question. His answer not only tells us that Jesus is the God of the Old Testament, it also tells us another reason why He used the power granted by the Father. "Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honors me; of whom you say, that he is your God" (John 8:54). "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am." (John 8:58). In other words, Jesus told them that He was the God "I Am" Moses knew.

Jesus came to this world with a human nature. He became 100% human. But He was also 100% God. If Jesus was not God, He would not be able to forgive sins. If He was not God, His death would not be able to fulfill the law that God established, dealing with sin: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23). This law was given to Adam and Eve, warning them even before sin entered this world. God told them if they sinned, they would "surely die" (Genesis 2:17). Only with the death of the One who had established that law, the sentence that it carries could be served. No other human being or created being could possibly pay this price for another. Only God has this power.

Jesus became a man to show us the Father; to reveal the extent of the Father's love. Jesus and the Father have different functions, they are separate individuals, but they are one unit. One group. One - as Jesus Himself said it (John 10:30. See also 1 John 5:7,8). As a human being, Jesus became lower than the angels. As God, His blood has the power to save.

More in this category: « The War in Heaven and My Choice
   
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