Cross Examination (1) – Did Jesus claim to be God?

The first to speak in court sounds right until the cross-examination begins. (Proverbs 18:17)

Every now and then I am referred to videos like the one shown below. These are videos where Christians (or Muslim plants pretending to be Christian) ask a simple question and then a Muslim Scholar will get an extended time to show that “Christian” why they are completely wrong. For argument’s sake I am going to put aside all my reasonable skepticism at the claim and assume that “Dr Matthew” who “works” at Creation.com (formerly Answers in Genesis) really is who he claims. Let’s watch:

Dr Matthew says: “Being an American doctor, I came here because I am very much interested in peace and as you mentioned, peace is both internal and external. Now personally, when I and millions of other people have found how to be convicted of our sin and having repenting of it that… and having accepting and believed that Jesus Christ the sinless man paid the full price for my sins, He took my shame and guilt on the cross and died for me. Because of it I have peace and that peace is something that passes understanding. I want to know, would you like to take away that peace which I have, which is a peace that passes understanding? Can you answer that? Thank you.”

The speaker then makes a challenge for Doctor Matthew to point out a single unambiguous verse where Jesus claims he is God.

OK. John 8:58 “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was, I AM.”

Here Jesus uses the very same name for Himself (I AM) that God gave to Moses when Moses at the burning bush asked God what his name was.  The Jews, as soon as they heard this immediately picked up stones to kill him for blasphemy. They unambiguously knew exactly what he was saying.

Two chapters later, they tried to kill him again when Jesus said unambiguously, “The Father and I are one.” (John 10:30)  Others might try to rationalize and explain this away but the Jews at that time wanted to kill him because they said, “You, a mere man, claim to be God.”

There are also the seven I AM statements in John where Jesus takes on divine prerogatives and which are in essence Jesus saying, “I am God, and this is what God is like”
I am the Bread of Life (John 6:35)
I am the Light of the World (John 8:12)
I am the Door (John 10:9)
I am the Good Shepherd (John 10:11) note also Psalm 23:1 – YHWH is my Shepherd…
I am the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25-26)
I am the Way, Truth, and Life (John 14:6)
I am the Vine (John 15:1)

And then of course, when Jesus was on trial right before His crucifixion the High Priest says, “Tell us plainly. Are you the Messiah, the Son of God?”

Jesus replied, “You have said it. And in the future you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand[i] and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:64)

This here was a very clear, unambiguous reference to Daniel:
As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14) 

The High Priest and all his cronies knew this scripture and ended the trial immediately. They knew that Jesus had just claimed all authority and power and that He claimed they had a responsibility to worship Him. Since this was something they were not willing to do, they crucified Him instead.

But that is not the end of the story. Three days later Jesus rose from the grave. He had appeared to some of the disciples but not yet to Thomas who had his doubts. When Thomas finally sees him, Thomas cried out, “My Lord and my God.” Jesus does not rebuke him for this but rather blesses those who would believe without having to see.

Thomas is not the only disciple who lived and ate and learned from Jesus for years to call Jesus God. John does it (John 1:1-2,14) Peter did it while Jesus was alive (Luke 9:20) and after the resurrection (2 Peter 1:1). Of course Paul calls him God many times (Romans 9:5, Titus 2:13-15, etc) The author of Hebrews quotes God the Father as calling Jesus God (Hebrews 1:8)

Lets wrap this up with one more quote from Jesus Himself. In case there remains any doubt, Jesus Himself said, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”

So to sum this up:
Did God the Father believe Jesus was God? Yes.
Did Jesus the Son believe He was God? Yes.
Did the apostles believe He was God? Yes.
Did the early church followers believe He was God? Yes.
Do I believe He is God? Yes.
Do you?

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14 thoughts on “Cross Examination (1) – Did Jesus claim to be God?

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  1. I was wondering where you were going. You ended up in the right place. Yes, Jesus the Christ is the Second Person of the Trinity and thereby God. (No, I can’t fully explain the Trinity, but I will understand better, by and by.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have taught English using the Bible as a textbook to 6000 Muslims over the internet since 2010. I explain it this way (since their Qur’an says God spoke to Moses in a burning tree): When God spoke from the burning tree, did that then make two Gods, one in heaven and one in the tree? When you speak into a tape recorder, does that make two of you, one in your body and one in the tape recorder? When God’s Word is put on paper, does that make two Gods, one in heaven and one in the paper? No to all. So, when God put his Word in a human body, that did not make two Gods (or a second “person”). That was God speaking in Jesus’ body.

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  3. Miss Katheryn, without doubt a ‘real’ theologian could criticize your comment on some technical ground. I find it a very useful explanatory comparison. It may not work in all cases, but certainly performs well in the situation you present. I shall remember.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, this is an excellent way to lay out the proof that Jesus did claim to be God, and IS, in fact, God. I’ve always been very surprised when people suggest that Jesus never said that. Thank you for gathering together all the verses which show He did.

    I’ve always believed that God is a trinity of mind, spirit and form — not three “entities” or persons. And that we are too. In life, we either serve Truth, or we serve Falsehood. And we have the ability choose to Love or to Hate. And we each have a Form where our mind and our spirit (or heart) dwell. If the Devil is Falsehood and Hatred, then isn’t God Truth and Love? The mind of God being Truth, His Spirit Love, and does He not have a form (a body) all His very own? Jesus is that Form. Truth and Love made visible in bodily form. Not God’s ‘son’ as in an offspring. But Son meaning form — God’s body. His one and ONLY form! The immortal God putting on mortal flesh, come, crucified, and risen immortal once again.

    There is only one God, and His name is Jesus!

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  5. Naik the snake is wanting that jesus said that “I am God”. Most angry rogue Muslim provoke us with this argument – they do not understand the Hebrew language I am -YHWH- the bread of life. There are, as you say many “I Am”s .Every time when Jesus told his hearers I Am.” ” they knew exactly what he meant

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