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.
In the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), I referenced only the first time an event occurred or a saying was made.
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).
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).
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.
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.
Matthew shows how Jesus exercised divine authority (or claims to) in Matthew 5, 9, 10, 12, 21, and 22.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Somehow God the Son’s divine glory was revealed while he was on the earth in the flesh.
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.
Jesus is God, has a unique intimate relationship with God the Father, and has revealed the Father to us.
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 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.
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!
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 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 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.
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.
Jesus had the (derived) authority to give eternal life.
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.
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.
Jesus claimed to have the same power as God the Father, and he claimed to be using it.
Jesus claimed to have the power to raise himself from the dead and claimed that he would actually do so.
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.
Jesus deserves the same honor as God the Father deserves. Jesus rules with divine authority.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Jesus will defeat the devil and draw everyone to himself through his death and Resurrection. Only a divine being could accomplish this.
Jesus had the divine authority to give a new commandment.
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.
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.
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.
To ask in Christ’s name is to ask with Christ’s authority. Because he is God, Christ can authorize the answer to prayer.
If Jesus is promising that our prayers will be answered if we abide in him, then he is claiming to be divine.
If the Father and Son can come and make their home with each of us, they must be omnipresent.
“Peace I leave with you” (John 14:27). As a divine person, Christ left peace with his followers—and continues leaving peace with us.
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.
For Christ to claim that we can do nothing apart from him is a claim to be God himself.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jesus Christ, who came as a Jewish man, is said to be God himself—the Supreme Being, God over all.
Christ worked through Paul by the power of the Spirit.
Jesus left the glory of heaven to identify with us. Jesus is preexistent and has an exalted position.
Jesus must be omnipresent and omnipotent to work powerfully among his people.
Jesus must be omnipresent to live in each of us.
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.
The Lord is Jesus who still works mightily in our lives as a divine person, just as he did on his earthly mission.
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.
Someday Christ will use his divine power to transform our bodies into bodies like his own body.
As the one who perfectly represents all the attributes of the Father, Jesus has the preeminence over creation.
Everything was created by Jesus and for Jesus. That is why he is preeminent. He holds everything in the universe together.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).”
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.
This speaks of Christ’s eternality and immutability, and therefore his deity.
Jesus is Eternal Life, and was revealed to the disciples as Eternal Life. If Jesus is Eternal Life, he is God.
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.’”
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.
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.