“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.” – John 1:10-11.
Who makes the world? We know that it is God, so why don’t we know Him? He came to his own and they rejected him? Isn’t everyone His own? Wait He came to earth? Somebody, please give me a sign.
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel” – Isaiah 7:14.
Surely a woman, let alone a virgin, does not have a seed, so whose Son is He? And why does His name translate to ‘With Us is God’?
Contention in the deity of Jesus Christ is not a new thing. During the time of Jesus, there was no doubt that He was a good man, a good Rabbi, probably the best prophet but people found it hard to believe that He was divine. Jesus, although not always interested in what people thought of him, was interested to know who the people say He is.
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” – Mathew 16:13-20.
Keep in mind
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” – Deuteronomy 6:4.
Moses commanded the children of Israel to recite this verse all to their children and all their lives. However, this is one of the most misunderstood verses in the bible; the Jews themselves place their hand over their eyes as they recite this verse. Where is the confusion in this verse? Although Moses told the Jews God is one He used a plural word to refer to God, ‘Elohim’. This was not to mean there are many ‘gods’, there is one God. The Jews under Moses in the desert were known for their one God, all the Israelites in the desert worshiped one God, if so, why did Mosses opt to use a strong word, ‘Shema’ which means to pay close attention as he told them God is One? The Jews although worshiped the true God, that is One, did not have a revelation of who God was. However, God will reveal himself to Israel in the feature and this verse will be understood.
“And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them”– Exodus 6:2-3.
Although there is no such thing as the trinity, Christians use the word ‘trinity just as Moses used the plural word ‘Elohim’ granting both believe in One God. This, as the scriptures say, is the mystery of the Godhead. With that in mind, here are 5 reasons why people believe that Jesus is divine and what the scriptures have to say.
1. Where did Jesus say ‘I AM’ God?
Most people that ask this question usually do not understand the countless times that Jesus claimed to be God; in fact, He was crucified for this very reason.
Jesus lived in the second temple era and at this time the Jews were determined to follow the Law of Moses to the letter. This meant that at this time the Jews were very sensitive to the teachings of Moses and most definitely they would have known this verse by heart;
“And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, what is his name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you” – Exodus 3:13-14
The Jews associated the Hebrew name ‘Ehye’ translated to the English name I Am to be the name of God, the God of the forefathers of the children of Israel.
Jesus at the temple teaches he is the light of the world that will save mankind including the Jews from sin. The Pharisees accuse Him of bearing witness of Himself and in response, He accuses them of being slaves to sin and children of the devil.
“They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham” – John 8: 39
Jesus testifies to them that He is the Light of the world and whoever believes in Him will never see death.
“Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?”- John 8: 53
Although they claimed to be Abraham’s seed, Jesus claimed to be greater than Abraham yet they sought to kill him because they had the lust of their father, the devil, which is murder.
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad” – John 8:56
The Jews could not understand how this was possible simply because Abraham died way before Jesus was born yet He claimed He was before Abraham. When they asked him, Jesus simply pointed that He is God, of the forefathers of the Israelites, by calling Himself the personal name of God, which God told Moses, I AM.
“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.” – John 8:58
And they cried “blasphemy!” There are other instances that Jesus referred to Himself as ‘I Am’ for example, during His betrayal and arrest when they asked Him if He is Jesus of Nazareth, He instead replied, ‘I Am’ which is not the Hebrew word translated to English to mean I am.
2. Where did John say Jesus is God?
John the Baptist is the one most important figure in the revelation of Jesus Christ. Some of the Jews in Jesus’s time believed that Jesus is the messiah not because of what He said nor what He did but who John the Baptist said He was. So where did John the Baptist say Jesus was 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 anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men” – John 1:1-4.
Jesus claimed to be this light that shines in the darkness and the word that gives life, of which John the Baptist was talking about.
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” – John 8:12.
“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life” – John 6:68.
Why should you believe John? Is it because some of the Jews in Jesus’ time believed him? It is important to note that John was not an ordinary man. The prophet Isaiah prophesied about him as a forerunner that will prepare a way for God.
“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it” – Isaiah 40:1-5.
Did you catch it? Isaiah was prophesying about one from the wilderness sent to prepare the Israelites for the coming of the God of Israel, in the flesh and every eye will see it (Jesus is the glory of God referenced here, Hebrews 1:3). Another thing to note is that the prophecy of God’s coming is linked to the comfort of Jerusalem whose sins will be taken away although they deserve judgment. Here is something to remember, God promised the children of Israel that He will live and walk among them.
“My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be My people” – Ezekiel 37:27.
In John 1:23, we know that John is the one sent to prepare a way for God. This was bringing the children of Israel to repentance.
“This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.’” – Matthew 3:3.
Jesus himself testifies that John the Baptist is the one who was foretold by the prophet Isaiah.
“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 1:14.
Here John, just as Isaiah’s prophecy proclaimed, writes that the word which was God, which was with God and which was the glory of God became flesh meaning He took human form and dwelt with sinful man. And later on, just like Isaiah prophesied comfort and the remission of iniquity. John also pointing at Jesus proclaimed;
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” -John 1:20.
The next verse proves that John was talking about a visible God, and even more so, it proves the mystery of the Godhead. For it is ‘The Word’, that was made visible.
“No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” – John 1:18.
John 1:18 is a beautiful ending to an awesome chapter. Although this verse can be interpreted differently by different people, John is saying that through Jesus we see God. Here again, arises the mystery of the Godhead. However, the best explanation is within the scriptures and even more, the words of Jesus himself;
“Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, “have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” – John 14-8-9.
Here is the testimony of the Jews that believed what John the Baptist said He was.
“And many resorted unto him, and said, John, did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true. And many believed on him there” – John 10:41-42.
3. Coming with the clouds
When I was a child I loved cartoons, however, I used to wonder why God was an old man with white beards always riding on the clouds. As a grown-up, that perception has not changed much, although I do know, for a fact, that God is not old, aging is a sign of the fall or the corruption of man by sin but God is perfect, full of life, and eternal. God does not get old.
An interesting fact to take note of in the Old Testament is that whenever Moses saw God descending from heaven He would usually come in a cloud.
“As Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and remain at the entrance, and the LORD would speak with Moses” – Exodus 33:9.
The children of Israel associated the cloud with God’s presence. In the desert, God in form of a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day would lead them through.
“The Lord said to Moses, “See, I will come to you in a thick cloud. So the people may hear when I speak with you and may believe you forever.” Then Moses told the Lord what the people had said.” –Exodus 19:9
Here are more scriptures to back it up.
“The Lord said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he shall not enter at any time into the holy place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, or he will die; for I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat” -Leviticus 16:2.
“The Lord is slow to anger and great in power and the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. In whirlwind and storm is His way, and clouds are the dust beneath His feet” -Nahum 1:3.
“It happened that when the priests came from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that He would dwell in the thick cloud” – 1 Kings 8:10-12.
Before Jesus is crucified, the Pharisees arrange a plot in the night and bring Jesus to the temple courts to be questioned.
The bible says that the high priest heard of the accusers of Jesus and because their accusations were not consistent. The high priest decided to ask Jesus if Indeed He was the Son of God, which by itself is a claim that Jesus is divine. However, Jesus’ answer was more radicle. He outright before all the Pharisees and the high priest claimed to be God.
“Jesus said, “I am! And you will see the Son of Man seated on the right side of the All-powerful God. You will see Him coming again in the clouds of the sky” – Mark 14:62.
The religious leaders could not stand the audacity of Jesus Christ claiming that He is God. The high priest, Caiaphas tore his rope perceiving Jesus to be blaspheming.
“Then the head religious leader tore his clothes apart. He said, “Do we need other people to speak against Him? You have heard Him speak as if He were God! What do you think?” They all said He was guilty of death. Some began to spit on Him. They covered Jesus’ face, and they hit Him. They said, “Tell us what is going to happen.” Soldiers hit Him with their hands” – Mark 14:63-65
4. The divine messiah
The book of Isaiah 61 is a prophecy concerning the messiah. The Jews were waiting for years of the coming messiah, some are still waiting today.
An interesting fact to note about the messiah is that He is not to be an ordinary man but one that lasts forever. Some scriptures link the messiah to the ancient of days, which is God.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old from ancient times.”- Micah 5:2
The messiah although comes from the lineage of Kings does not have an earthly father, God is to be His Father, which makes Him God.
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” – Isaiah 7:14.
Messiah in the Hebrew bible is referred to as ‘Emanuel’. The Hebrew title of the messiah, ‘Emmanuel’ is translated as ‘with us is God’.
The messiah’s genealogy through Abraham, a man considered the first Jew, was supernatural from the start. Serah conceived at age 90 (Gen 17-18). The Messiah coming to earth would be preceded by a messenger. The messiah will take away the sins of his people, all these scriptures highlight that the messiah was not to be a normal man.
“Why does this Man talk like this? He is speaking as if He is God! Who can forgive sins? Only One can forgive sins and that is God!”– Mark 2:7
At the time of Jesus, the scriptures say it was during the Sabbath and it was the time to read Isaiah 61 which was assigned to Jesus’ family and since He was the firstborn in His earthly family, He went to the synagogue to read this portion of scripture.
However, when he had finished reading the scriptures he sat down, and all the people’s eyes were fastened on Him. Their eyes were fastened on him because He sat on the seat of David. Which was a seat placed in front of the synagogue, as the Jews believed that, when the messiah, who is the seed of David comes, He will sit on the seat of David. His words are also proof that Jesus claimed to be God.
“Jesus closed the book. Then He gave it back to the leader and sat down. All those in the Jewish place of worship kept their eyes on Him. Then He began to say to them, “The Holy Writings you have just heard have been completed today” –Luke 4:19.
In the book of Hosea 11:1, we read the following scripture concerning Jesus,
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son”
and it is fulfilled through the birth of Jesus in Matthew 2:13-15,
“When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night, and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Elijah was to be sent before the coming of the Lord, referring to the coming messiah.
“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes” Malachi 4:5.
John the Baptist was sent before the coming of Jesus the Messiah, who is Lord.
“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you” – Mathew 11:10.
John was the Elijah sent to prepare a highway for God.
“For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come” – Matthew 11:13.
During the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Jesus knowing He is the messiah enters Jerusalem, before the Passover, riding on a donkey to fulfill this scripture as the messiah that was to come.
“Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” –Zachariah 9:9.
The King of Israel is God himself who comes to Jerusalem riding on a donkey as the above prophecy proclaims.
“Saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey”– Matthew 2:2-5.
Jesus fulfills the prophecy as the Lord on a donkey, as the King of Israel.
Who can Kill God?
Surely it is impossible to kill God, but how comes Jesus died if he was God? Let’s remember that the prophet Isaiah saw the throne of God and He that sat on the throne (Isaiah 6).
In the book of John, we know that the throne we saw was the glory of Jesus Christ.
“Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him” – John 12:41.
The truth is Jesus was not murdered but He gave His life. Nobody had the power to kill him.
“No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father” – John 10:18
On the cross, we learn that He rested His head and gave up His spirit. No man can withstand the torment and punishment Jesus went through, on His way of suffering to the cross, without dying but He endured to the end. He was the suffering servant Isaiah wrote about in Isaiah 53.
“Jesus took the sour wine and said, “It is finished.” He put His head down and gave up His spirit and died” – John 19:30.
He came to offer His eternal life through the shedding of his blood as a ransom for many.
The good news is that Jesus resurrected from the grave, Isaiah wrote that the suffering servant would raise again from the dead. Who can rise from the dead unless He is God? Truly Jesus has the power to take back again His life. He is coming again in the clouds, riding on a horse, with great power and glory in the company of many angels for He is the Lord of Hosts.
“Pilate said to Him, “So You are a King?” Jesus said, “You are right when you say that I am a King. I was born for this reason. I came into the world for this reason. I came to speak about the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” – John 18:37.