Is Jesus God? (Summary)

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Representation of Jesus Christ, extracted from the painting "Christ And The Rich Young Ruler" by Heinrich Hofmann (1889).

Last edited on 28/Mar/2021

Introduction

The Bible’s answer to this question is yes, Jesus is God. There are many passages in the Bible which directly call Jesus God and put him on an equal level with God. What’s important to note is that when the Bible calls Jesus God, it is not calling him the Father, but is rather saying that he is of the one nature and being with the Father and the Holy Spirit (For more on this, please see: What Is the Holy Trinity?).

The Bible Teaches That Jesus Is God

In the introduction to his Gospel, the apostle John calls Jesus the Word who was with God and who was God:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1, 14, ESVUK)

Jesus’ apostle, Thomas, called Jesus God after seeing him raised from the dead: “Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:28–29) God the Father calls Jesus God in the book of Hebrews:

But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever, the sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of your kingdom. (Hebrews 1:8)

The apostle Paul said: “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, …” (Colossians 2:9, NASB). This means that God did not simply dwell inside Jesus, as he dwells in Christians, but that the flesh-and-blood body of the man Jesus himself is deity (God) manifested in flesh.

Jesus Claimed to Be God

In the book of Revelation, Jesus appeared to John in a vision and claimed to be the First and the Last:

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, … (Revelation 1:17, ESVUK)

This is a direct claim to being God, because God is the First and the Last according to the Bible (Isaiah 44:6). In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus claimed to be the Lord of the Sabbath after defending his disciples from the Pharisees, who accused them of working on the Sabbath because they were picking ears of grain on it: “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” (Luke 6:5) This is another claim to being God, because God is the Lord of the Sabbath, since he was the one who instituted it (Genesis 2:3; Exodus 20:8–10). In his sermon on the Good Shepherd, Jesus said:

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one. (John 10:27–30)

By claiming to be one with the Father, Jesus was again claiming to be God. The context emphasises this, since he gives his sheep eternal life (something only God can do), no one can snatch his sheep out of his hand or the Father’s (which tells us that they share the same power), and because the Jews interpreted it as such (John 10:31–33).

The Bible Gives Jesus Attributes Exclusive to God

The Old Testament teaches that in the beginning, God created everything (Genesis 1:1). In the New Testament, we are told that in the beginning, Jesus, the Word (who was God), created everything (John 1:1–3). Jesus is, therefore, the Creator God of the Old Testament and was thus never created.

The Bible teaches that God alone should be worshipped (Luke 4:7–8). Though the word for worship (proskuneo) can simply mean to bow or prostrate oneself as a form of homage and respect, it can also refer to divine worship if the context permits it. The context of Matthew 14:33 (after Jesus calms the winds and seas) and Matthew 28:8–9, 17 (after Jesus was resurrected) tells us without a doubt that Jesus received and accepted divine worship from his followers.

The Bible teaches that God has no equals (Isaiah 46:5) and that he gives his glory to no other (Isaiah 42:8). However, as God, Jesus is God’s equal and shared glory with the Father before the world existed. Jesus said: “Now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I shared with you before the world was created.” (John 17:5, CEB) The Bible also says: “This infuriated them [the Jews] and made them all the more eager to devise a plan to kill him. For not only did he break their Sabbath rules, but he called God “my Father,” which made him equal to God.” (John 5:18, TPT)

Jesus Is YHWH (Yahweh)

The Bible says that God’s personal name is YHWH (the Jewish scribes never wrote it fully), which Christians pronounce as Yahweh. Sometimes the Bible applies Old Testament passages that refer to Yahweh to Jesus. For example, Romans 10 says:

… because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. … 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:9, 12–13)

In the last verse, Paul quoted Joel 2:32, which says: “everyone who calls on the name of the LORD [Yahweh] shall be saved.” (Joel 2:32) When quoting this, Paul used the Greek word “Kurios” (Lord)—the same word which he used for Jesus—instead of the Hebrew “YHWH” (LORD), because he was quoting from the Greek translation, connecting Jesus to the quote. Therefore, according to Paul’s divine commentary, when Joel was writing of people calling on Yahweh’s name for salvation, he was writing of Jesus, who is Yahweh.

Another example is in Philippians 2:10–11, where Paul writes: “so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10–11) Here, Paul is referencing Isaiah 45:23, in which Yahweh says: “To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.” (Isaiah 45:23) Thus, according to Paul’s divine commentary, Isaiah wrote of Jesus being Yahweh, to whom every knee in heaven and on earth shall bow and every tongue swear allegiance.

Conclusion

We have seen that the Bible calls Jesus God, such as when John wrote that Jesus is the Word who was God. Jesus claimed to be God, such as when he claimed to be the First and Last. Jesus has attributes that only God can have, like being the eternal Creator. The Bible also attributes Old Testament quotes referring to Yahweh to Jesus, such as Romans 10:9-13. Therefore, God’s Word, the Bible, testifies that Jesus is God in flesh, of one being with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

For a more in-depth article on Jesus’ deity, please see the below article:

For other articles on Jesus’ deity, please see the below articles:

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