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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23 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.)

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  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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    1. Sorry Wendy, do you believe then every person who answers the phone or a call with “I am” that he or she is God?
      Nowhere Jesus ever claimed to be God, nor did God claim to be that son of man. The Bible is very clear on both their position, One being an Eternal Omniscient Omnipresent Spirit Being, the other a not everything knowing human being of flesh and blood, who was seen by many (man cannot see God and live) was being tempted (God cannot be tempted), did not want to do his own will , but wanted to do the Will of God (when he would be God than he did always his own will). Jesus also really died whilst man can do God nothing and God cannot die.

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      1. Christadelphians, did you not bother to read this entire article? You can’t just make a blanket statement of “Nowhere did Jesus claim to be God” on a post that shows you the evidence directly from Scripture that you are incorrect. Your decision to ignore said evidence does in NO way invalidate it. Whether you choose to believe or acknowledge it has no bearing on its truth. And asking people to just repeat what has already been written down and explained because you don’t like the Truth shows that you love Falsehood the Devil more than you love God, who is Truth.

        “Do you believe then every person who answers the phone or a call with “I am” that he or she is God?” Of course not. That’s a ridiculous statement. But you forget — there is only ONE person identified in the Bible as the “I Am”, and that was God Himself. In the Old Testament, God calls HIMSELF the Great I Am. So in this passage, not only is Jesus referring to Himself as THE I Am, but He’s also saying that He existed BEFORE the time of Abraham. “Jesus” was “born” well after Abraham lived. He was only 30 years old when He said this. So if Jesus existed thousands of years before He was “born” through the virgin, I think that would make Him something more than just a man.

        “The Father and I are one.”

        “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

        Isaiah 48:12 says “Listen to me, O Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am He; I am the First and I am the Last. My own hand laid the foundations of the earth,
        and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together.” This is Old Testament — this is the LORD God Almighty speaking about Himself. Then in Revelation 1:17-18, JESUS says, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” No mere man will EVER hold the keys of death and Hades, and here we have Jesus calling Himself the First and the Last — just like the LORD God Almighty called Himself in the Old Testament.

        Also, Jesus never succumbed to temptation. That’s the whole point of the story of Jesus and Satan in the desert. And yes, He wanted to do the will of God — but first, what is God? Truth and Love. And ask yourself then, what is the will of Truth and Love? That no man be lost. Because THAT alone reflects the love of God. And do you think that even God Himself WANTED to have to come to us in mortal flesh? To be tortured and crucified and killed? Do you think anyone would WANT to do that? But He did it anyway. Because the Truth doesn’t want anyone to perish, because the Spirit of Truth is Love, and He knew that if we were judged by the law alone, we’d all be condemned to death because no man can keep the law, and no man is without sin.

        “…the other a not everything knowing human being of flesh and blood”. Where does the Bible indicate that Jesus didn’t know everything? Also, no where does the Bible ever refer to Jesus as “human”. Mortal and human are not interchangeable words. God is immortal, but that doesn’t mean He’s incapable of taking on mortal form. You said that Jesus really did die and that God can’t die. But you’re focusing only on the crucifixion, and that’s only half of the story of Jesus. The second half is much more important. They killed Jesus’s mortal body, but then what happened? He rose from the dead. Only His flesh died. And when He came back to life, His body was immortal again. Buddha never came back to life. Or Krishna. Or anyone else. Only God Himself (Jesus) did that.

        The Old Testament makes mention of numerous times that God Himself took on a physical form and was seen by men. Who walked with Adam in the cool of the Garden? Who wrestled with Jacob? Who was Melchizedek? When Jesus came through the virgin 2000 years ago, don’t think that was the only time God was seen in a physical body. Jesus’s body existed long before He was born in Bethlehem. But when He came this time, He took off His immortality and clothed Himself in mortality so that He COULD be killed, and so that He COULD fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament in order to prove that He was, indeed, God Himself. Not a concept, not an idea, not a wisp of smoke, but a real living entity.

        I’m sorry, but not one of your arguments has any validity, and they are most certainly not rooted in the truths of the Bible. As I said earlier, your denying the Truth doesn’t make it any less true. And you can reiterate your views over and over again. But there is no evidence to support them, and they contradict everything that’s written in the Bible. And your opinion will never trump the Word of God.

        Liked by 1 person

  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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  6. In John 8:58 Jesus tells us that he was before Abraham, not meaning he did exist already before Abraham but also like we are before Abraham written in the book of life and death. Never did Jesus claim to be the I Am that I Am, the Only One True God. When we say “I am” that does not mean we are God. (We do hope you not think you are God when you replay with “I am”!) Jesus clearly told others he could not do anything without his heavenly Father, the God of Abraham to whom he prayed and also learned others to pray to.

    Jehovah God never said Jesus would be Him. The opposite He declared Jesus to be His only begotten beloved son. Your conclusion that the Father would believe Jesus was or is God is totally wrong and umbilical..
    Never did Jesus the Son believe He was God, neither did the apostles believe He was God?
    also the real followers of Jeshua (Jesus Christ) knew very well that Jesus was a man of flesh, bones and blood who was no spirit and as such the the early church followers never believed Jesus would be the omniscient God, because they also knew that Jesus did not know everything (he even did not know who would be seated next to him in the kingdom or when he would be coming back)

    That you believe He is God, clearly shows how you became a victim too of the human doctrine of the Trinity. We do hope you shall come to know that Jesus is the Way to God and that he is now the mediator between God and man.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is easy for us two thousand years later living in a different culture and speaking a different language to try and rationalize away what Jesus said so that we might be more comfortable in our unbelief. However, when you look at the immediate reaction of those who actually heard what Jesus said our rationalizations fall away. As soon as Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM” those listening picked up stones to kill him for blasphemy. If he was trying to say what you are trying to make him say, their reaction would have been much different. I am sorry that the truth is not as you wish it so, but clearly over and over again Jesus declared precisely who he is. Trying to rationalize away just one of these instances, even if successful which you are not even close to being, does not take away the weight of scripture.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It is not because you are anybody else says “I Am” that he would be God or even a god.
    Jesus never claimed to be God and very well knew he could not do anything without God, Who declared Jesus to be His only begotten beloved son.

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  8. To the writer of this blog: Are you the writer of “Kingdoms Collide”.
    Are you the person who believes because Jesus says “i am” he is God?

    Because you probably answered twice “I am” your readers, in your way of thinking have to understand and accept that you are God.

    Like Jesus replied “I am” to normal questions to which any other person also could say “I am” this does not make him to be God . You also seem to forget that God is “The i Am that I Am” or “The I am that is” which Jesus never said.

    You also seem to forget that Jesus very well knew that his heavenly Father who has sent Jesus is greater than him.

    “27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. 28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, 31 but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. “Come now; let us leave.” (Joh 14:27-31 NIV)

    By telling people Jesus is God you make them to believe God is a liar, because God tells us that He is an eternal Spirit Who cannot be seen by man and them staying alive. God also tells us He is omniscient, which mean He knows everything, though Jesus tells his disciples he does not know who shall be seated next to him and worse he says them that he does not know when he shall return, though when he would be God he does know that and keeps that very important information away from us, which makes him a very cruel God also because he lets us suffer still though he has faked his temptation and his death so called to safe us.

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    1. I really hope you are being deliberately obtuse and that you are not truly so ignorant as to see that there is no difference between saying “I am the author of Kingdom’s Collide” and saying “I am the Bread of Life”. The first is a casual statement of fact. The second would be, for me, blasphemy. There is a huge difference between answering the phone, “Yes, I am John Doe” and saying, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”. When Jesus said to his Jewish audience, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” They knew exactly who He was talking about. In fact, they immediately picked up stones to kill Him. He was making the statement “I am who I am”. You might rationalize it all you want, “Hey, Jesus was just answering the phone” but anyone willing to look at the evidence cannot honestly deny that Jesus claimed He was God. Over and over and over again, Jesus claimed He was God.

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      1. The expression “Before Abraham was, I AM.” is still valuable as today’s expression “He has seen Abraham”. That does not expresses the person has literally seen Abraham, but means he is wise or he is older than 50. Jesus was already written down in the book of life long before Abraham was born, just like you and others are already written down in that book long before Abraham was born and long before you were born, though you were already in God’s mind. For Jesus it is even more special because he was also promised by God to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, so many centuries before Abraham was born.
        Jesus was not like you indicate making the statement “I am who I am”., but gave a signal that he was the one spoken of long before Abraham.
        The Bible is also clear that he is “the Way to God”, nowhere is it saying it is the way to himself him being God. Nowhere and at no time ever Jesus claimed to be God. He was very clear that he could not do anything without God to Whom he also said he wanted to do His (God’s Will) instead of doing his own will. In case Jesus is God than he always did his own will. When Jesus is God than he also lied to his pupils telling them he did not know when he would return or who would be seated next to him, because God knows everything.
        In case Jesus is God than the Word of God tells lies as well because in the Bible is written that Jesus is the sent one from God. Nowhere does it say it is God Himself.

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      2. First rule of exegesis: scripture interprets scripture. Rather than reading your own interpretation into scripture, you must first allow scripture to explain itself. When Jesus said “Before Abraham was, I AM.” Immediately the Jews tried to stone him for claiming He was God. Jesus didn’t rebuke them for misunderstanding as he would on other occasions. He simply left. When Thomas calls him God Jesus doesn’t rebuke Thomas but rather blesses those who do not see and yet believe the same. I have given dozens of examples of how Jesus knew, and how those who knew Him best knew, that He was God. Your attempt to grab hold of one or two and rationalize them away is more than just poor exegesis. It is ungodly.

        In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.
        Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God he Father.

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