Who Is Jesus?
Unlike the question, "Does God exist?" very few people question whether Jesus Christ existed. It is generally accepted that Jesus was truly a man who walked on the earth in Israel 2000 years ago. The debate begins when the subject of Jesus' full identity is discussed. Almost every Major religion teaches that Jesus was a prophet or a good moral teacher or a godly man. The problem is that the Bible tells us that Jesus was infinitely more.
C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity writes the following: "I am trying to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [Jesus Christ] 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a good moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God.' That is one thing we must not say. He would either be a lunatic - on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him or kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with patronizing non-sense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to."
So, who did Jesus claim to be? Who does the Bible say He is? There is no more important question than that. First, lets look at Jesus words in John 10:30, "I and the Father are one." At first glance, this might not seem to be a claim to be God. However, look at the Jews reaction to His statement, "We are not stoning you for any of these,' replied the Jews, 'but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God" (John 10:33). The Jews understood Jesus' claim to be God and He never corrected them saying, "I didn't claim to be God." That indicates Jesus was truly saying He was God by declaring, "I and the Father are one." Again, in response, the Jews took up stones in attempt to stone Jesus (John 8:59). Jesus' announcing His identity as "I am" is a direct application of the Old Testament name for God (Exodus 3:14). Why would the Jews again want to stone Jesus if He said something they believed was blasphemous, namely, a claim to be God?
John 1:1 says, "The Word was God." John 1:14 says, "The Word became flesh." This clearly indicates that Jesus is God in the flesh. Thomas the disciple who was doubtful, even declared, "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28). Jesus does not correct him. The Apostle Paul describes Him as, "... Our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13) The Apostle Peter describes Him as,"... Our God and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:1). God the Father is witness of Jesus' full identity as well, "But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom." Old Testament prophecies of Christ announce His deity, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, prince of peace" (Isaiah 9:6).
So, as C.S. Lewis observed, Believing Jesus to be only a good teacher is not a option. Jesus clearly and undeniably claimed to be God. If he is not God, than he is a liar, and therefore not a prophet, good teacher or godly man.
Why is the question over Jesus' true identity so important? Why does it matter whether or not Jesus is God? The most important reason that Jesus is God is that if He is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Only God could pay such an infinite penalty (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus had to be God so that He could pay our Debt. Jesus had to be a man so He could die. Salvation is available only through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus deity is why He is the only way of salvation. Jesus' deity is why He proclaimed, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).
Jesus is the Savior of the World. He is your way to God, He is your friend, He is waiting for each one of us to accept His gift of Love for us personally. Those who seek Him with all of their heart are guaranteed to see Him revealed in their lives.
Be encouraged today! Talk to the Lord like a Friend.
If you have any questions please contact us. We would consider it a privilege to walk with you as you begin a journey to know more about Jesus.