There isn’t a more important question you need to answer than who is Jesus, and just as important is the question, which Jesus are you following? Jesus is the demarcation line between eternal life and eternal separation from God. If you are following any Christ other than the one clearly revealed in the bible, then you are following a false Christ that Jesus warned about so long ago.
The major religions all hold Jesus Christ in esteem. He was a prophet, a good teacher or a great man, but only Christianity sees him as the savior of the world.
The other major religions say he was a prophet/teacher. What do prophets / teachers do? They point others to someone greater than them. No prophet or teacher ever claimed to be the savior of the world. No prophet ever claimed equality with God. The historical Jesus Christ of the Holy Bible is either who he says he is, or his is a liar, or he is delusional. He can’t be just a good teacher or prophet if the claims he made about himself are true.
Scripture is quite clear about who Jesus is. To hold a different theology, you would have to rewrite the bible, which is what the other major religions have done.
JESUS’ CLAIMS ABOUT HIMSELF
The words in red are Jesus words.
JESUS CLAIMS TO BE THE ONE AND ONLY MESSIAH
John 8:12; Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
Luke 24:25-27; Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
John 8:23;24; Jesus continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You belong to this world; I do not. That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I AM who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.”
John 8:31,32; Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Mark 14:60-64; Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”Jesus said, “I AM. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Why do we need other witnesses? You have all heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?” “Guilty!” they all cried. “He deserves to die!”
Matthew 16:15-17; Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.”
In John 8:24 when Jesus said “I AM”, that was a clear declaration that he and the Father are one. You may remember that when Moses asked God who should he should say to the Israelite’s when they ask him who sent him, God said, tell them I AM sent you.
JESUS CLAIMS HE IS THE ONLY WAY
John 14:6,7; Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”
JESUS ACCEPTED WORSHIP
Who is to be worshiped in scripture? All through the Old Testament we are told worship God alone and Jesus himself is quoted saying this but no where in scripture do we read that Jesus rejected or corrected anyone who worshiped him. Satan told Jesus that if he would bend his knew and worship him (Satan) that he would give him (Jesus) all the kingdoms of the world. Jesus did correct him.
Luke 4:8; Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God
and serve only him.”
Matthew 4:8-10; Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.
So clearly Jesus understands worship is for God alone. We see in Revelation when John falls to his knees to worship an angel.
Revelation 19:10; Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers and sisters who testify about their faith in Jesus. Worship only God. For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.
Here an angel in heaven is giving clear direction about worshiping anyone but God himself and states that the word of God is to reveal Jesus. Does this sound like the authority given to a mere prophet or good teacher?
Revelation 22:8,9; I, John, am the one who heard and saw all these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me. But he said, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers the prophets, as well as all who obey what is written in this book. Worship only God!”
We also learn in Revelation that Jesus, the Lamb of God is indeed worshiped. Incredibly he accepts worshiped in the presence of God the Father and the 24 elders in his throne room.
Revelation 5:13,14; And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang: “Blessing and honor and glory and power
belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever.” And the four living beings said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped the Lamb.
Matthew 28:9,10; And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”
John 9:35-39; When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.” “You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!” “Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus. Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.”
Matthew 28:16,17; Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!
Matthew 14:32,33; When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
Jesus is clearly accepting worship from others. Worship that is reserved for God alone. He even declared so himself when talking with Satan. A decision must be made. Is Jesus who he claims or is he a liar, or delusional?
And if there was any doubt at all, we read what God the Father says about Jesus in Hebrews. In a future blog we will see what others said about Jesus but I think it is important to see this statement by God commanding his angels to worship Jesus, his Son.
Hebrews 1:5,6; For God never said to any angel what he said to Jesus: “You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.” God also said, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son.” And when he brought his supreme Son into the world, God said,
“Let all of God’s angels worship him.”
JESUS CLAIMS THE AUTHORITY OF GOD
John 14:15; “If you love me, obey my commandments.”
Here Jesus teaches his disciples to pray to him and he will answer their prayers.
John 14:13; “You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it,…”
John 14:21; “Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”
Matthew 28:18-20; Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Mark 2:6-12; But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!”
Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers.
JESUS CLAIMS TO BE EQUAL TO GOD HIMSELF
There are two places where Christianity and every other religion part ways. One is, Jesus is the messiah, the only way to heaven through the forgiveness of sins. Jesus death on the cross and resurrection payed for each of our sins. If we trust in him and put our faith in Jesus, then only will we be saved.
Romans 10:9; “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.”
Second, Jesus is God, not another God, but one with God. Although scripture does not teach directly about the Trinity (One God in three persons) it does quite clearly express this truth. Read more about his in “The Mystery of the Trinity”, which will be posted shortly after this one. If you are interested why Christians believe this and how scripture clearly defines the trinity, you will be interested in the blog.
Other religions say he was just a good man, teacher or prophet but, if he claimed to be equal with God, how can they square that with those beliefs? The only way is to rewrite scripture and deny Jesus’ claims. But, his claims are there and can not be ignored.
We have already seen that Jesus accepted worship which is reserved for God alone. This is his first claim he is equal to God.
Another passive claim is when Thomas (doubting Thomas) said he would not believe Jesus was raised from the dead unless he put his hand in his side and his fingers in the holes in Jesus’ hands. Thomas calls Jesus God and Jesus does not correct him.
John 20:28,29; “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
Jesus made the claim he preexisted his birth. He claimed to preexist Abraham. He also said he was from above where everyone else is from down here on earth. This can be where some religions try to say that Jesus is an angel or was an angel in his preexistence but scripture does not support that at all. Again, that is where rewrites come in to conform to human theology.
John 8:23; Jesus continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You belong to this world; I do not.”
John 8:57-59; The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!” At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.
John 17:3-5; “And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.”
Again we see here the “I AM” claim. The religious leaders who were well versed in scripture knew exactly that he was claiming to be God and that is why they picked up stones to kill him.
John 10:33; They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.”
John 5:17,18; But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.”So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.
John 8:24; That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I AM who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.”
In addition to the claims of Jesus himself, there is a multitude of statements from others about who they believed Jesus to be as well. Not the least of which is what we are told God the Father said in Hebrews and what John says at the beginning of his book. There will be more in posts in this series “Who is Jesus”.
John 1:1-3; In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.
Hebrews 1:8-14; But to the Son he (God) says,“Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice. You love justice and hate evil. Therefore, O God, your God has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.” He also says to the Son, “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands. They will perish, but you remain forever. They will wear out like old clothing. You will fold them up like a cloak and discard them like old clothing. But you are always the same; you will live forever.” And God never said to any of the angels, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.”
Therefore, angels are only servants—spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation.
There can be no dispute who Jesus claimed to be. You don’t have to believe it, but you can’t say he did not make them, unless your rewrite the bible. His claims are not only the foundation of the Christian faith but also the keys to real power. A false Christ does not give you access to the power to change, the power to overcome this world, death, sin and the grave. Jesus clearly states that those who do not believe he is who he claims to be, will die in their sins and be forever separated from God.
- Jesus claimed to be the Messiah
- Jesus claimed and demonstrated the authority of God
- Jesus claimed to be God’s own Son
- Jesus accepted worship reserved for God alone
- Jesus claimed to be the only way to heaven
- Jesus claimed preexistence before the earth was made.
- What did others claim about Jesus?
Visit my next blog and see what others claimed about Jesus..