The Divinity of Jesus Revealed in the New Testament

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Abstract

Introduction

I’ve heard many people, especially Jehovah’s Witnesses, say that the Bible does not teach that Jesus is God. In response to that claim, I took a deep dive into Scripture, particularly the New Testament, to see how much evidence there really is for the deity of Jesus. What I found was astounding. There is overwhelming evidence that the NT authors intended to present Jesus as God come in the flesh. In this “article,” I’m providing a resource for you to use next time someone challenges you on this issue.

I go through the books or sections of the New Testament noting different times that Jesus is revealed as God. Though this is not an exhaustive list, I have identified more than 120 verses or passages that express the divinity of Jesus in some way. Some of the verses taken by themselves are not absolute proof of his divinity, but when viewed along with the many other passages on the subject, they strengthen the case for the deity of Christ.

Jesus is either claiming to be God, accepting or demanding worship, claiming to possess attributes that only God can possess, claiming to do things that only God can do (and then doing miracles to prove it), or others are making these claims about Jesus.

The Synoptic Gospels

In the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), I referenced only the first time an event occurred or a saying was made.

Jesus Is Called “God with Us”

His name is to be called Emmanuel, which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). “Emmanuel” describes the concept of the incarnation—God becoming man. Jesus being called “God with us” is consistent with John 1, which refers to Jesus as the Word who was with God, and who was God, and who became flesh (John 1:1, 14).

Jesus Is Identified with Yahweh

John the Baptist fulfills Isaiah 40 as he preaches the kingdom. “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord’” (Matthew 3:3). The one who was coming would be God himself. We can deduce that Jesus is Yahweh because John the Baptist, as the forerunner of Jesus, fulfills the Old Testament prediction that he would prepare the way for Yahweh (Isaiah 40:3).

Jesus Healed or Performed Other Miracles

In the gospels, we see that Jesus healed many people and demonstrated power over nature in other ways. The question is whether Jesus acted as God or simply as a prophet requesting the Father to perform the works. The words of Jesus and the reaction of those impacted by these miracles suggest that Jesus was acting as God and not simply as a prophet.

  • He healed the demon possessed, epileptics, and paralytics (Matthew 4:23–24).The healings had to be accomplished with divine power.
  • A leper came to worship Jesus, saying, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Jesus healed the leper by touching him and saying, “I will; be clean” (Matthew 8:3). Jesus did not refuse the worship of the leper; this means he must either be God or ungodly. His healing of the leper demonstrated that he was not ungodly, and it helped to prove that he is God himself.
  • He healed many more who were sick, and cast out demons with a word (Matthew 8:5–17).
  • On a stormy night at sea, Jesus appears walking on the water toward the disciples’ boat. Peter asked Jesus if he could come meet him. Jesus said, “Come.” and Peter walked on the water until he began to be afraid. As he was sinking, he cried, “Lord, save me.” Jesus caught him and rebuked him for doubting (Matthew 14:22–31). Peter had enough faith in Jesus as “Lord” to be empowered to walk on water!
  • When they got into the boat, the wind ceased (Matthew 14:32). The response of the disciples was that they worshipped him, calling him the Son of God (verse 33). They treated him as God because he acted as God.
  • At Gennesaret, the men brought all who were sick, and they begged Jesus that they might only touch the hem of his garment. And as many as touched his garment were made well (Matthew 14:36). Here was divine power exuding from Jesus.
  • When the woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus, he immediately knew “in himself that power had gone out from him” (Mark 5:30). Jesus sensed his divine energy being used, and the woman was healed of her disease.
  • When Jesus healed the great multitude, “power came out from him and healed them all” (Luke 6:19). Jesus can be said to have healed because power went out from him to do the work.

Raised the Dead

Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead (Matt. 9:23-26), showing he had divine power over death. He also raised from the dead the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:14): another demonstration of his power over death.

Showed Uniqueness in Wisdom and Divine Authority

Matthew shows how Jesus exercised divine authority (or claims to) in Matthew 5, 9, 10, 12, 21, and 22.

  • Jesus taught the beatitudes in Matthew 5. He said that he came not to destroy the law but fulfill it. He taught that murder and adultery begin in the heart. He taught that marriage is sacred and binding. In doing so, he forbade oaths, said to go the second mile and to love your enemies (Matthew 5). Jesus clarified the law, emphasizing that it must be kept in the heart. The divine authority to do this is assumed.
  • He called his disciples and gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness, and all kinds of disease (Matthew 10:1). He had the divine authority to give his disciples power over unclean spirits and disease.
  • Jesus went into the temple, driving out the money changers. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’” (Matthew 21:13). He certainly acted with authority here. Was he even suggesting that the temple was his house?
  • Jesus silenced the Sadducees by the way he answered the question about the Resurrection (Matthew 22:23–33). Again we see the unique wisdom and authority of Jesus.
  • No one could answer him, and from that day no one dared to question him anymore (Matthew 22:46). Jesus made a distinct impression on them as the authoritative Son of God.
  • Jesus taught in the synagogue of his own country and the people there were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works?” (Matthew 13:54). Jesus was unique in his wisdom and in his miracles.
  • The Pharisees marveled at the way Jesus responded to their question about paying taxes to Caesar (Matthew 22:21). Jesus was unique in his wisdom and authority.

This was also demonstrated in Mark. Jesus went into the synagogue and taught. “And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes” (Mark 1:22). The authority he spoke with was unique.

Claims Authority over Sabbath

He said that he, the Son of Man, is lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8). As God, he exercised continual lordship over the Sabbath. He was in control.

Demons Were Afraid

A man in the synagogue had an unclean spirit, who cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24). The demons realized that Jesus lived and operated as God; they were afraid he was going to use his power to destroy them.

The demon-possessed men coming out of the tombs said to Jesus, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” (Matthew 8:28–34). The demons recognized someone who could cause them agony with his divine power.

Jesus Forgives Sins

Matthew 9 is a powerful chapter that conclusively shows that Jesus is God, and that he operated as God while on earth. Jesus told someone his sins were forgiven. Then to prove that he had the divine authority to forgive sins, he performed a physical miracle. The miracle would have needed to be from the same source as the forgiveness, if it was going to confirm Christ’s authority to forgive. Jesus would not have acted in his divine nature to forgive and then heal the paralytic as merely an anointed human. The healing demonstrated his divine power to heal and forgive.

  • According to this passage, Jesus told a paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven” (Matthew 9:2). Only God can forgive sins. Jesus must be acting as God here.
  • The scribes said within themselves, “This man is blaspheming” (Matthew 9:3). The scribes knew that forgiving sins was a divine activity.
  • Jesus knew their thoughts (Matthew 9:4). Jesus being aware of what people are thinking seems to point to his omniscience, which is affirmed elsewhere.
  • Jesus said to them that he was going to prove that the Son of man had power on earth to forgive sins. Then he healed the paralytic (Matthew 9:2). Jesus proved that he had the power to forgive sins by exercising power to heal. The two actions had to go together for one to be proof of the other. Both had to flow from Christ’s own essence as God the Son.

Jesus also forgave the sins of the woman who anointed him with oil. In reaction to his pronouncement, the people at the table said, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” (Luke 7:49). The observers marveled at Christ’s divine authority to forgive.

Accepted Worship

Jesus accepted worship, after saying that only God is worthy of worship (Matthew 4:10). If he was a holy man who was not divine, he would have stopped people from worshipping him. Of course, it’s possible for someone to accept worship as a pretender, but Jesus backed up his own claims of deity, as pointed out many times in this article.

  • A ruler came to worship him (Matthew 9:18–26). Since Jesus accepted this, he must have viewed himself as God.
  • After Jesus walked on water, those in the boat came and worshipped him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God” (Matthew 14:33). Their worship of him as God was an acknowledgement that he was acting as God in his miracles.
  • While the women were on their way to tell the disciples that Jesus had risen from the dead, Jesus himself met them, saying “Greetings!” So they came and took hold of his feet and worshipped him (Matthew 28:9). Jesus was worshipped—as God. There’s no indication here that he tried to stop his worshippers from honoring him as God. Instead, he told them not to be afraid and asked them to go tell the disciples to meet up with him.
  • When the disciples later saw Jesus, they worshipped him (Matthew 28:17). Again, Jesus received worship. In fact, he declared at that point that all authority in heaven and earth had been given to him (vs. 18).

Jesus Showed Amazing Knowledge

  • Jesus rebuked the cities in which he had done his mighty works, saying, “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes” (Matthew 11:21). Jesus showed that he had access to divine omniscience by knowing how people would have responded under different conditions.
  • Jesus knew thoughts (Matthew 12:25), a divine action.
  • Jesus told two of his disciples, “Go into the village in front of you and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to Me.” (Matthew 21:1–3). Jesus knew where the donkeys were.
  • Jesus helped his disciples catch a huge load of fish by telling them to let down their nets for a catch (Luke 5:1–7). Jesus’ supernatural knowledge and power is active here.
  • Jesus told one of the criminals he was crucified beside, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). Jesus was able to understand the heart of the criminal, give him the assurance of his salvation, and predict his future.

Jesus Predicted the Future

Though the ability to accurately predict the future is not by itself proof of Jesus’ deity (God sometimes revealed the future to prophets who were mere humans), this knowledge of the future is what you would expect of someone who claimed to be God and backed it up with his miracles. If he were God, he would be able to predict the future.

  • Jesus predicted to his disciples that he would go to Jerusalem, suffer at the hand of the Jewish leaders, be killed, and rise from the dead the third day (Matthew 16:21). Jesus knew the future.
  • Jesus said that some would not die before they saw the Son of Man coming in his kingdom (Matthew 16:28). Jesus knew the future and predicted his glorification, or transfiguration.
  • Again Jesus predicted his arrest, beatings, death, and Resurrection (Matthew 20:18). Jesus knew about these events beforehand.
  • Jesus warned about false Christs and false prophets that would come. The true Son of Man would appear again like the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west (Matthew 24:3–28).
  • Jesus predicted a tribulation after which the Son of Man would come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Jesus said that at that time he would send his angels with the great sound of a trumpet and gather in the elect (Matthew 24:29–31). Not only did Jesus know what is going to happen in the future, but he also had the authority to send his angels and gather in the elect. The only one with that kind of authority would be God.
  • At the Last Supper, Jesus accurately predicted that Judas would betray him (Matthew 26:20–25).
  • Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him three times that night (Matthew 26:30–35). It happened as Jesus had predicted.
  • Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem and the great tribulation (Mark 13:2).

Though God can reveal the future to anyone, in the case of Jesus, his foreknowledge does seem to point to his own possession of divine omniscience, in light of his claim to deity, along with the accuracy of the fulfillment of his prophecies.

Claimed Equality with Father

He told his disciples, “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, him I also will deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32–33). Jesus puts himself on the same level as the Father. He is speaking as God.

Claimed a Unique Relationship with the Father

He said that no one knows the Son except the Father and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son decides to reveal him (Matthew 11:27). This indicates a unique relationship that the Father has with the Son. It also shows the authority that the Son possesses to reveal the Father to others.

Claimed the Ability to Give Rest to Anyone

Jesus invited anyone who is weary to come to him, and he would give them rest (Matthew 11:28). Only as a divine being could he give rest to all who come to him. Jesus had the ability to embrace anyone and everyone simultaneously.

Claimed That He Could Be Blasphemed Against

Jesus said that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit would not be forgiven, though blasphemy against the Son of Man could be (Matthew 12:31-32). The Son of Man could be blasphemed, which indicates his deity.

Required Submission

Jesus told his disciples that if anyone wanted to come after him, he had to deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Jesus (Matthew 16:24). Jesus required others to submit to him as Lord of their lives.

Jesus Seen in His Glory as God the Son

Jesus was transfigured on the high mountain, while Peter, James, and John looked on. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Moses and Elijah appeared and talked to Jesus. While they were talking, a bright cloud came over them, and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him” (Matthew 17:5). Jesus is seen in his glory as God the Son, as distinct from the Father, and he is identified as God’s Son by God the Father himself.

Indicated That He Can Be in Multiple Locations Simultaneously

He said, “For where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I among them” (Matthew 18:20). Jesus indicated that he was omnipresent while on the earth. He could be anywhere where people were gathered in his name.

He also said, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20)—a claim to omnipresence. Jesus could not be with his disciples after he left the earth, unless he was also omnipresent in his deity.

Claimed to Be Lord

Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet?’” (Matthew 22:41–45)

Jesus referred to himself as the Lord of David, as well as the Son of David. This is an indication of both Christ’s humanity and deity.

Claimed to Be Messiah, a Divine Person

When asked at the trial, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” (Mark 14:61), Jesus answered in the affirmative in several ways. He said, “I am.” He then referred to himself as the Son of Man and said he would return in the clouds of heaven. He also said that he would be sitting on the right hand of the Power, indicating he would have the authority to rule the world. These claims allude to Daniel 7:13–14, a clear messianic passage. The high priest considered Jesus’ response blasphemy and condemned him to death!

John

Jesus Called God

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

The Word is not just with God; he is God. So who is the Word? Verse 14 makes it clear that the Word is Jesus: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). God had become man in the person of Jesus.

The Son’s Divine Glory Revealed

We have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Somehow God the Son’s divine glory was revealed while he was on the earth in the flesh.

Miracles Manifested Divine Glory

At the wedding of Cana, Jesus turned the water into wine. “This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And His disciples believed in him” (John 2:11). Christ’s miracles demonstrated his glory—as the only begotten Son of God.

Said to Have Unique Relationship with the Father

No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. (John 1:18)

Jesus is God, has a unique intimate relationship with God the Father, and has revealed the Father to us.

John the Baptist Said Jesus Forgives Sin

John the Baptist declared of Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Jesus is the Savior, who takes away our sin.

Jesus Forgave Sin

Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, “Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more” (John 8:11–12). Jesus was asserting the divine authority to forgive sins.

Evidenced Omnipresence and Omniscience

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” 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.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God!” (John 1:47–51)

This passage seems to point to Jesus’ omniscience and omnipresence. Nathaniel’s response to Jesus’ amazing knowledge was appropriate. Jesus is the Son of God!

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man. (John 2:23–25)

Jesus knew the hearts of men, an indication of Christ’s omniscience.

Jesus told the woman (he had not met before) that she had had five husbands in addition to the man she was living with at the time (John 4:18). Jesus knew details about the woman’s life that he could not have known without access to divine omniscience. The woman said that Messiah would “tell us all things” when he comes. Jesus said that he was that Messiah. The Samaritan woman said to the men of the city, “Come, see a man who told me all things that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” (John 4:29). The woman thought that Jesus knew everything about her because he was Messiah.

Jesus answered the disciples, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil” (John 6:70). Jesus knew the heart of Judas.

Jesus knew that Lazarus was dead before he heard the news (John 11:11–14). This suggests omniscience at work.

His disciples said to him, “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” (John 16:30). Jesus’ disciples affirmed Christ’s omniscience, acknowledging that he came from God.

After the Resurrection, Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” And Peter answered, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you” (John 21:15–19). Peter affirmed Jesus’ omniscience. Then Jesus predicted how Peter was going to be killed (John 21:18). Out of his foreknowledge, Jesus accurately predicted Peter’s future.

John the Baptist Said Jesus Is Above All

John the Baptist said of Jesus, “He who comes from above is above all” (John 3:31). Jesus is above all. He must have been God—while he was on the earth, he was above all.

Jesus Was the Giver of Living Water

Jesus told the Samaritan woman, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water” (John 4:10). Christ, as God, was able to give the woman living water, spiritually.

Claimed to Give Eternal Life

Jesus said that “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13–14). Only God could give eternal life.

Since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him (John 17:2).

Jesus had the (derived) authority to give eternal life.

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish (John 10:28).

Jesus claimed to be giving his followers eternal life. Only God could do this. This is a present-tense activity. Jesus is constantly exercising his divinity in giving spiritual life to his followers.

Did What the Father Does

Jesus said, “’My Father is working until now, and I am working.’ This is why the Jews were seeking to kill him because not only was he breaking (their man-made regulations added to) the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:17). Jesus’ statement was construed as a claim to deity. God the Father was working and God the Son was working—while Christ was on the earth.

Claimed to Have the Same Life-Giving Power as the Father

For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He will (John 5:21).

Jesus claimed to have the same power as God the Father, and he claimed to be using it.

Claimed Power to Raise Himself

I lay down my life that I may take it up again. . . . I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again (John 10:18).

Jesus claimed to have the power to raise himself from the dead and claimed that he would actually do so.

Claimed That He Would Raise Himself from the Dead

Jesus predicted, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). According to verse 21, Jesus was referring to his body. So according to this passage, Jesus predicted that he would raise himself from the dead.

Must Be Honored with the Same Honor That Is Given to the Father

For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. (John 5:22–23)

Jesus deserves the same honor as God the Father deserves. Jesus rules with divine authority.

Son Has Life in Himself

For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. (John 5:26)

It is by the Father that the Son has life, yet the Son has life in himself, not in the way that we have life.

Claimed to Be the Light of the World

After forgiving the woman caught in adultery, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:11–12).

Before Jesus healed the man blind from birth, Jesus said, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Then Jesus gives sight to the man (John 9:5). A claim to be the light of the world is a very high claim. Jesus was claiming to be the ultimate source of spiritual knowledge. And he backed up this claim by miraculously opening someone’s physical eyes.

Claimed to Know All His Followers

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (John 10:3–4)

I know my own, and my own know me (John 10:14).

Only as a divine person could Jesus know each person who belongs to him. These statements also show the ownership of the flock by the divine Shepherd.

Claimed to Be Equal to the Father

Immediately after saying that no one could pluck his sheep out of his Father’s hand, Jesus said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:29–30). He identified himself completely with God the Father. He claimed to be of the same nature as the Father. The Jews considered what he said blasphemy since they understood him to be making himself God. They tried to kill him (John 10:31–33).

Jesus continued to make his case that he was equal to God the Father, saying, “The Father is in me, and I am in the Father” (John 10:38). This is another way Jesus stated his equality with God the Father. He relates to God as only one who was also God himself could. The Jews again tried to kill him for what they thought was blasphemy, but Jesus, possibly using divine powers, escaped from their hands (John 10:39).

Jesus Is the Resurrection and the Life

Jesus told Martha that Lazarus would rise again. Martha indicated that she believed Lazarus would rise in the Resurrection in the last day. Jesus responded, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:23–25). Christ possessed the inherent power to raise the dead, both spiritually and physically.

After Jesus wept over Lazarus and then went to the tomb, he had the stone taken away and prayed, for the sake of those who stood by (John 11:33–39). Then Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” And he came out of the grave (John 11:43–44). Jesus, using his power as the Resurrection and the Life, raised Lazarus from the dead.

Claimed Ability to Defeat the Devil and Draw Everyone to Himself

Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself. (John 12:31–32)

Jesus will defeat the devil and draw everyone to himself through his death and Resurrection. Only a divine being could accomplish this.

Showed Divine Authority to Give Commandments

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. (John 13:34)

Jesus had the divine authority to give a new commandment.

Said We Must Believe in Him as We Do the Father

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. (John 14:1)

Jesus put himself on the same level as God the Father; if we believe in the Father, we must believe in Jesus as well. If his disciples were to trust in him as they were to trust in God the Father, then Jesus is also God.

Revealed the Father

If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen Him. (John 14:7)

Because Jesus is God manifested in the flesh, he was able to reveal God the Father to his disciples. To know Jesus is to know the Father since Jesus is of the same nature as the Father, and Jesus reveals the heart of the Father through his own words and actions.

Claimed Ability to Answer Prayer

Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. (John 14:13–14)

Jesus is inviting us to pray to him, saying that he will answer prayer. We pray to Jesus and expect him to answer because he is God.

Authorized Answers to Prayer

Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:24)

To ask in Christ’s name is to ask with Christ’s authority. Because he is God, Christ can authorize the answer to prayer.

Promised That Our Prayers Will Be Answered If We Abide in Him

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7)

If Jesus is promising that our prayers will be answered if we abide in him, then he is claiming to be divine.

Claimed the Ability to Live Where His Followers Live

If anyone loves me, he will keep my word; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23)

If the Father and Son can come and make their home with each of us, they must be omnipresent.

Gave Peace

“Peace I leave with you” (John 14:27). As a divine person, Christ left peace with his followers—and continues leaving peace with us.

Claimed to Be Someone That All of Us Can Abide In

Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (John 15:4)

For us not to be able to bear fruit unless we abide in Jesus must mean that he is divine. Notice he says this even before his Resurrection. He was enabling his followers to bear fruit while he was on the earth.

Claimed That We Can Do Nothing Apart from Him

I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

For Christ to claim that we can do nothing apart from him is a claim to be God himself.

Called Lord and God

When Thomas saw Jesus and heard him speak for the first time after the Resurrection, he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). Thomas acknowledged that Jesus is Lord and God. Then Jesus mildly rebukes Thomas for not believing in him sooner (John 20:29). Instead of rejecting the ascription of deity, Jesus accepted Thomas’ declaration by saying he should have believed sooner.

Acts

Authority to Heal

Being called into question for raising the lame man, Peter answered, “Let it be known to all of you. . . that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him this man stands here before you well” (Acts 4:10). This verse teaches that God the Father raised Jesus from the dead, yet it is through the authority of Jesus that a healing took place. This shows that Jesus is God as well.

Others Heal by Jesus’ Power

Peter finds a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed, and said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose. (Acts 9:33–34). Peter said that Jesus was the one healing Aeneas. This suggests a continuity between the healings that Jesus performed as God during his earthly ministry and the healings that the apostles did; they were all through Christ’s divine power.

Spoke in Visions to Followers

Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord. . . then the Lord spoke to Paul one night in a vision: “Do not be afraid . . . for I am with you.” (Acts 18:8–10)

The Lord is Jesus, who appeared to Paul in another vision. This activity of Jesus is consistent with his divine role while on his earthly mission.

Romans

Said to Be over All, God Blessed Forever

To [the Jews] belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 9:5)

Jesus Christ, who came as a Jewish man, is said to be God himself—the Supreme Being, God over all.

Worked Miracles Through Paul

I have whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God. (Romans 15:18–19)

Christ worked through Paul by the power of the Spirit.

2 Corinthians

Was Preexistent in Exalted Position

You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)

Jesus left the glory of heaven to identify with us. Jesus is preexistent and has an exalted position.

Still Works Mightily in Us

Since you seek proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. (2 Corinthians 13:3)

Jesus must be omnipresent and omnipotent to work powerfully among his people.

Is in Us

Do you not realize . . . that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Jesus must be omnipresent to live in each of us.

Ephesians

Fills All in All

And [the Father] put all things under [Christ’s] feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:22–23)

The Father gave the Son authority over all, and the Son fills all in all. This indicates that Jesus is divine. If he fills all in all, he is omnipresent.

Gives Us Strength

Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. (Ephesians 6:10)

The Lord is Jesus who still works mightily in our lives as a divine person, just as he did on his earthly mission.

Philippians

Equal with the Father

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 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 tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5–11)

This is a key passage on the incarnation. Though in the form of God and equal with God the Father, Jesus humbled himself to become a man and die (without ceasing to be God). Through the Father’s exaltation of him, ultimately everyone will confess that he is Lord.

Will Transform Our Bodies

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Philippians 3:20–21)

Someday Christ will use his divine power to transform our bodies into bodies like his own body.

Colossians

The Image of the Father, Preeminent

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. (Colossians 1:15)

As the one who perfectly represents all the attributes of the Father, Jesus has the preeminence over creation.

Created All Things, Holds All Things Together

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16–17).

Everything was created by Jesus and for Jesus. That is why he is preeminent. He holds everything in the universe together.

All the Fullness of God Dwells in Him; He Is Preeminent

“And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things. (Colossians 1:18–20)

Jesus is preeminent over all because of the power of the Resurrection. It pleased God the Father that all the fullness of God should dwell in God the Son. It also pleased God the Father that he should reconcile everything to himself by God the Son.

Works Mightily in Us

To [the saints] God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. (Colossians 1:27–29)

Christ was in Paul, working mightily. He can work in us as well. Christ must be God to be present in each of us, and to work mightily in us.

All the Fullness of God Dwells in Him, Head of All Authorities

For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority (Colossians 2:10)

If the whole fullness of deity dwells in Jesus, he is God. If he is the head of all rule and authority, then he is God.

Hebrews

He Made the World, He Is the Brightness of the Father’s Glory, Upholds All Things, Purged Our Sins

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. (Hebrews 1:1–3)

There are several statements in this passage that indicate Christ’s deity. It was through the Son that the Father created the world. He is the brightness of the Father’s glory, the exact imprint of his nature. The Son upholds all things by his power. He purged our sins and sat down on the right hand of God the Father. Jesus is certainly put here on the same level as the Father.

Worshipped by Angels, Called God

Having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, ‘I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son’? And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, ‘Let all God's angels worship him.’ Of the angels he says, ‘He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.’ But of the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”(Hebrews 1:4–13)

Jesus is better than the angels. He is God the Son. He is worshipped by the angels. He is addressed as God (“Your throne, O God, is forever”). The idea that Jesus is God is implicit in “Therefore God, even thy God, has anointed thee.” It could be translated, “Therefore, God the Father, the God of God the Son, has anointed thee (with God the Holy Spirit).”

Saves Us to the Uttermost

[Christ] holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. (Hebrews 7:24–27)

Because he himself is God and will always make intercession, Jesus is able to save to the uttermost those that come to God the Father by him. Our high priest, Jesus, became one of us, yet he was sinless and therefore did not have to atone for his own sin. Since he is God, he was able to make a full and sufficient sacrifice for our sins.

Jesus Is Eternal, Immutable

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

This speaks of Christ’s eternality and immutability, and therefore his deity.

1 John

He Is Eternal

The life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us (1 John 1:2).

Jesus is Eternal Life, and was revealed to the disciples as Eternal Life. If Jesus is Eternal Life, he is God.

Revelation

Jesus Says He Is the Alpha and Omega and the First and the Last: These Are Titles for Jehovah

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches. . . .” 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.” (Revelation 1:10–18)

The one who was dead and now lives again is obviously Jesus, who says that he is the First and the Last. This is a clear identification with the “first and the last” of Isaiah 44:6, a reference to Yahweh: “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.’”

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end . . . I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. . . . He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:12–17, 20)

Notice the “first and the last” also calls himself “Alpha and Omega.” In Revelation 1:8, it is the “Lord God” who calls himself Alpha and Omega. So “Lord God,” “first and last,” and “Alpha and Omega” all refer to the same being. In Revelation 22, the Alpha and Omega said he was coming soon. Who is the one coming? It is Jesus. “Come, Lord Jesus!” And the speaking “Alpha and Omega” actually refers to himself as Jesus in Revelation 22:16.

Conclusion

The deity of Christ is clearly seen in the New Testament. It is no wonder that the church has always taught that Christ is of the same nature as God the Father. As the Nicene Creed states,

I believe. . . . in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God . . . God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father.

Answers in Depth

2017 Volume 12

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