Promises and Secrets

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Is Jesus God?

VIEWPOINT



The Bible never says the words "Jesus is God". However, there are several statements that do convey that meaning, as well as statements made by Jesus Himself. To deny this is to create a meaning from the Bible that is warped from its intended message.

FACT



Jesus is God.


VIEWPOINT



The discussion is metaphorical?

First off, there are hundreds of verses in the Bible that mention a unity between Jesus and God. When people look at those verses, some take them literally, some take them as symbolic, some take them as philosophic, some metaphoric, and others some combination of these. The purpose of this page is to review as many of these as we can in order to see if we can narrow the number of valid views, or find out whether each view may have its own merit, separate from the others.

List the evidence

Let's list some of the verses. I have included extra verses in each listing to show the circumstances of the statements so that the verses cannot be confused with another subject or question. We are asking whether or not the Bible says that Jesus is God:

Genesis 1:1
1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

            John 1:1-3
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

            John 8:50-59
50"I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death."

52At this they exclaimed, "Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death. 53Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?"

54Jesus replied, "If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word. 56Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad."

57"You are not yet fifty years old," they said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!"

58"Very truly I tell you," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" 59At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.


John 10:22-39
22Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon's Colonnade. 24The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly."

25Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name testify about me, 26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30I and the Father are one."

31Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?"

33"We are not stoning you for any good work," they replied, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."

34Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are "gods" '? 35If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came - and Scripture cannot be set aside - 36what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'? 37Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." 39Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
        John 14:5-11
5Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"

6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."

8Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."

9Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.

        Isaiah 7:13-14
13Then Isaiah said, "Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."


Matthew 1:22-23
22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23"The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" (which means "God with us").



Now, taking them one at a time...

Genesis 1:1 is more a blanket statement that God created the heavens and the earth. Now, just remember the fact that it clearly says that God did the creating. It comes into play in the thoughts of the next listing.

The Word was God

John 1:3 makes a statement that people have a hard time putting in the context into which it was written. They understand that the "Word" mentioned in the previous verses refers to Jesus. They understand the fact that He was with God, but they will not accept the fact that "the Word was God". Jesus was God. What else do these words mean? Don't they mean what they say? If not, then it follows that we can change any words of the Bible to mean what we need them to mean instead of what God was actually saying.

Jesus before Abraham

Now, people say that Jesus never claimed to be God. The next verses in the box seem to defy that claim. In John 8:58, Jesus said something that made the Jews mad enough to want to stone Him - it seems to be triggered by His phrase "before Abraham was born, I am". Now, in the rest of that passage, nothing was said to give the reason why they got so mad that they wanted to kill Him, but a later passage clarified that. However, to get the point, remember what God told Moses in Exodus 3:14
14God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.' "

, that He is I AM. Jesus is also I AM.

John 8:50-59 describes a conversation between the un-believing Jews and Jesus. In the beginning of the discussion, Jesus mentions that His Father is the judge, that Jesus is merely passing on His Father's will, and He makes a statement about believers not dying. They denied His words by bringing up the fact that Abraham believed in God and he died, trying to show that Jesus was demon-possessed and a liar.

Is Jesus a liar?

OK, is this last statement of theirs true? To the worldly person who sees the physical death of a person as final, it is a true statement. To one who knows Jesus and the Father, the words of Jesus are not a lie. Another point, since Jesus is referring to His Father as a third person, does this mean that Jesus is not God? To the Jews, it does. However, to believers, the name "Immanuel" in Matthew 1:22-23
22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 "The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" (which means "God with us").

("which means 'God with us' ") means to me that God came to earth in the human form of Jesus. Again, this can be taken literally, symbolically, philosophically, metaphorically, or some combination of the four. Rather than stop here to discuss it, let's go to the next verses in John 10:22-39.

Why were they so upset?

Here we see the Jews prodding Jesus for some kind of statement that clarifies His supposedly vague claim to be the Messiah. After some explanation, He says "I and the Father are one." Once again, some take the metaphorical position that these mean only that He and the Father think alike. However, the Jews did not take it that way, and clearly said so. They were going to stone Him for "claiming to be God" (John 10:33
33"We are not stoning you for any good work,"" they replied, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."

). Now, did Jesus immediately defend His position by telling them, "Hold on there, that's not what I meant!"? No, He immediately escaped their grasp and went His way, leaving them with the impact of His statement, as well as their beliefs about what He had said.

Once again, this can be taken in several ways, but we have to make sure that whatever meaning we give the words, that meaning must fit all other statements in the Bible! You can't say that one verse means that Jesus is God, but think that another one shows that He is not God, and accept both. If you try to justify that, the Bible means nothing. Many do exactly this. The Jews knew exactly what Jesus was saying, and He was surprised that they could see His works and still deny their meaning (John 10:36-39
36what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'? 37Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." 39Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.

).

"You've seen Me, so..."

John 14:5-11 relays a conversation between Jesus and some of His apostles. During that conversation, Jesus is disappointed that Philip cannot see the Father in Him. He said, "From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him." Now, a statement "If you know Me, then you know God." is somewhat vague to some people, and can be taken literally, symbolically, philosophically, or metaphorically as well as all the other, but when you see a simple theme that flows through the Bible (Isaiah 7:14
14Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel."

is Old Testament, as well as New (Matthew 1:22-23
22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23"The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" (which means "God with us").

)), it's a safe bet you can depend on it.

Summary

You may not like it, but the Bible is clear. God came to earth in human form, minus His glory, to experience our existence, suffer, and die for us as someone who knew us intimately. He did this in a way that we may never completely understand, but He did it for us as God. We know Him only as Jesus.











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