Did Jesus Claim to be God? Part 1

Post Author: Bill Pratt 

A foundational issue for Christianity is the question of whether Jesus claimed to be God and whether his disciples understood him to be claiming he was God.  This series of posts will examine the first question and we will follow this series with the question of the disciples.

Here are the topics we will cover:

  1. Jesus Claimed to Be Yahweh.
  2. Jesus Claimed to Be Equal with God.
  3. Jesus Claimed to Be Messiah-God.
  4. Jesus Claimed to Be God by Accepting Worship.
  5. Jesus Claimed to Have Equal Authority with God.
  6. Jesus Claimed to Be God by Requesting Prayer in His Name.

We will cover passages that expound upon each of the above claims and try to build a solid basis for the deity of Jesus.

Why is this topic important?  Because it is a central teaching of Christianity, and if it is not true, then Christianity is false.  But worse than that, the deity of Christ is one of the key elements of our salvation.  If Jesus is not God, then we have no reconciliation with God.  If a mere man died on the cross and was resurrected, then our sins are not forgiven and we will perish.

The gospel that the early church taught, in its simplest form, was the deity, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  Without the deity of Jesus, there is no gospel.

I hope you’ll follow this series and be astounded at all the ways the NT claims Jesus is God.  It should be eye-opening!

  • Tye

    “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”- C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity

  • Rod Fockler

    I believe: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, created the heaven and the earth, in the beginning, God the Holy Spirit, came upon human Mary, and God the Son was born of woman, and was equal God and man on the earth for 33 years, the Man Christ Jesus, met every test and temptation man could ever experience, without ever sinning, or yielding, was human in every human way, and was man as God intended man to be, God the Son was man as God intended man to be when The Godhead created Adam,
    God the Son was the second Adam, endured all pain and agony man could ever have to suffer, was crucified, took upon himself ALL the sin, and gave up his life, was buried, and rose from the grave victorious over death, God the son ascended To God the Father, gave us God the Holy Spirit at pentecost, God the Father has put all things in God the Son’s hands, for the time being. The most important part of my belief system.

  • kay

    But isn’t there a scripture referring to Jesus that says He was in heaven with God when creation was done? Was Jesus not with God, all along, from the very beginning of time. That means before He was born here on earth. That is what I get out of the scriptures. He is God, in the form of human man. k

  • Rick Godfrey

    I have a friend that happens to be a Jehovah’s Witness. We study the bible together each Wednesday afternoon. This is a topic that we have spent much time on because he does not believe that Jesus is God. He believes Jesus is the son of God but not equal to God. Here is what I told him. 1.)Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jehovah alone is to be worshipped and no one else. Jesus said to Satan when he was being tempted that it is written, Thow shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. I showed him that throughout Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John that there were several times when different people would bow before Jesus and worship him. He never corrected them and told them to only worship the Lord God. He received the worship because he is God manifest in a human body. Emmanuelle–God with us. 2)A man sick of the palsy was brought to Jesus and Jesus said to him, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee”. The scribes nearby said that Jesus had blasphemed, that only God could forgive sins. Jesus replied,”Why reason ye these things in your heart? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee or to say, Arise and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he says to the; sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. Without coming out and saying that I am God, Jesus goes ahead and not only forgives the mans sin but heals him too. 3.)When God sent Moses to Egypt to free Israel, he asked God who shall I say sent me. God told him to say I am that I am sent me. Jesus claimed to be the I am when talking to some Jews that were claiming to be the seed of Abraham. 4.) In the book of Revelation God is described as him which is, and which was, and which is to come. This same description is used to describe Jesus and also calls him the Almighty. Jesus is God.

  • Bill Pratt

    Excellent points! I plan to incorporate all of these arguments into this series of posts. Thanks for the insights.

    God bless,

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  • 20100210.1125

    Would you like to read what I wrote about Jesus being God using the book of Revelation? Its address is http://peacecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/is-jesus-christ-true-man-and-true-man/.

    With love, your brother in Jesus,
    Aristeo Canlas Fernando, Peace Crusader and Echo of the Holy Spirit
    Motto: pro aris et focis (for the sake of, or defense of, religion and home)
    http://aristean.org/ and http://peacecrusader.wordpress.com/
    “The Internet is mightier than the sword.”

  • 20100211.1430

    Sorry. My error in the link I cited. It should be http://peacecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/is-jesus-christ-true-god-and-true-man/.

    Aristeo Canlas Fernando, Peace Crusader and Echo of the Holy Spirit

  • Crystal Roden

    In Isaiah 53 it calls Christ the “arm of the Lord” and gives a good outline of his life. Jewish people will tell you this is referring to their suffering as a nation…..however, if you look at Isaiah 51:9-10 you will see the “arm of the Lord” is identified clearly as the one who dried up the sea so Isreal could cross over……there is no mistaking who the arm of the Lord is……and in Isaiah 63:5 God said His own arm brought salvation for Him.

    When witnessing to orthodox Jews, there is no other passage nearly so effective as Isaiah……I have been told I could be killed for this teaching by two Jews…..the nation of Islam was their concern it seems…….but I think since this comes out of scripture they accept themselves it is a difficult teaching for them.

  • Crystal Roden

    oh, and off the subject, I was watching the broadcast tonight and once again the author is wrong in my opinion…….the two witnesses…….I agree one is probably Enoch, but the other cannot be Elijah……the Bible says it is given to man to die once and after that the judgement…….the spirit of Elijah was in John the Baptist who experienced death. However, John the Apostle was given a book to eat and told he would again have to prophecy to kings and nations…….therefore, I believe it must be him……..I noticed on your site, there is no record of his death and Christ was elusive about it as well, therefore he might have been transfigured……

  • Roland Tignor

    Crystal, when they mention the spirit of Elijah was in John the Baptist, it doesn’t mean the literal spirit that God gave Elijah was in John. It means that John has the same spirit i.e. a person having a character or disposition. That’s what John had. He had the character and disposition of Elijah.
    A human spirit cannot go into another human. The human spirit goes back to God.
    Ecc 12:7
    “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

  • Roland Tignor

    Rick I like your points about the JW’s. I’ve gotten them on this. When they state that Jesus is “a” god in John 1:1, I take them to their own NWT bible and show them Isa 43:10-11
    10. “YOU are my witnesses,” is the utterance of Jehovah, “even my servant whom I have chosen, in order that YOU may know and have faith in me, and that YOU may understand that I am the same One. Before me there was no God formed, and after me there continued to be none.”
    11. “I — I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no savior.”

    I then tell them that their bible is corrupt because it contradicts itself and then I tell them that our Bible is right because it says Jesus is God and there’s no contradictions about Jesus being God.