Why is it important who Jesus is? Because there is only one Jesus who has the authority and power to saves. Jesus warned many would claim to be him, many would claim another Jesus to be the true messiah. Even if these claims are backed up with miraculous signs, we are to believe only the gospel already given to his disciples. The word of God is our unchanging foundation. Be warned about signs, wonders and modern prophets claiming new revelations.
… he [Jesus] asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
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, … because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.
Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many.
For the above scripture to be of any value, there must be a absolute, established truth about it. If not, how does the Muslim convince the Mormon, or the Mormon convince the Jehovah’s Witness when they all have their own prophets claiming a different Jesus?
Jesus established his authority and his disciples recorded it. Further so called revelation by men who neither knew Jesus or anyone who did, it erroneous and untrustworthy.
If Christ’s own words were corrupted after only 40 or 60 years after Christ died, then what claim of truth can the Mormon tradition have 200 years after Smiths dream or vision?
There must be a standard of truth, and that unchanging truth is Jesus who is called the word of God [John 1:1] who came to earth to live it and proclaim it. God has not left his plan of salvation for humanity in man’s hands, it is firmly and safely in Gods hands.
Uniqueness of Jesus
It is Jesus who sets Christianity apart from the rest of the world’s religions, even other Christian sects. The earliest and most authoritative writings about Jesus are those contained in the Christian New Testament. They are considered authoritative because they are all written within the 1st century AD, by those who know Jesus or know those who knew Jesus.
Muslim, Mormon and J.W. writings were by men who lived from 600 to 1,700 years after Jesus time, didn’t live where Jesus lived and didn’t know anyone Jesus knew. Yet, we are asked to trust their truth over the apostles who lived with, were taught by and died for Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
The four minute video clip below is the PhD New Testament scholar Gary Habermas who is the foremost expert on the empty tomb. He discusses the state of skeptical New Testament scholarship today. Professor Habermas monitors and catalogs peer reviewed papers on New Testament manuscript textual criticism, so he current on the views of skeptical biblical scholars.
These books professor Habermas is talking about are important for several reasons in relation to Jesus Deity. First, they establish the authenticity of the writings. Second, they predate the writings of other religions and third, they discuss the Deity of Jesus.
Birth of Worlds Major Religions
Jehovah’s Witnesses [19th Century AD]
- Jesus was God’s first created effort. He is also known as Michael the archangel, Jesus is not to receive worship because he is a created being, not God.
- For more information, read my blog posts
Mormons [19th Century AD]
- Everyone is divine and can one day become equal to God. [lds.org]
Another revelation [of Joseph Smith the prophet] soon confirmed that “the saints shall be filled with his glory, and receive their inheritance and be made equal with him [God].
- Jesus is the spirit brother of Satan and is therefore a created being [lds.org].
…the prophets affirm that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are indeed offspring of our Heavenly Father and, therefore, spirit brothers… But as the Firstborn of the Father, Jesus was Lucifer’s older brother.
- Jesus’ deity is not special to the Mormon as every one of them will become God.
Muslims [7th century AD]
- Earliest surviving manuscript is from the 1000 AD. Writings represent Islamic history from the Jewish patriarch Abraham to Muhammad’s death in the 700’s AD.
- Jesus is revered to some extent but not divine, and the resurrection is a myth. Not divine. [Islam guide.com]
- Thousands of deity’s. Conflicts with Jesus being the only way to heaven.
Christians [1st century]
- New Testament: 5,800 manuscripts dating from the 1st century AD. The Codex Sinaiticus is the oldest complete New Testament in existence today and is dated between 325 AD and 360 AD. Predates the other major religious writings from 650 to 1,500 years.
- All other religions depicting Jesus are derivatives of Christian New Testament writings, and written long afterwords.
Jesus Claims About Himself and Behaviors
- Accepts worship from disciples, angels and those he healed when the third commandment say worship God alone
- Accepts being called God and is called God in several books
- Claims he is the giver of life
- Has all authority in heaven and on earth
- Claims equality with God
- Instructs believers to obey his commands to live
- Forgives sins
- Is the Son of God
- Had knowledge of the future
- Had knowledge of the thoughts and intentions of people
- Could see activities beyond his eyesight
- Pre-existed all creation
Other’s Claims and Teachings About Jesus
- Referred to as God
- Instructed to worship him
- He is the savior
- The only door to heaven
- He is God’s own Son
- At his name every knee will bow and every tongue confess he is King of kings and Lord of lords
It is clear in scripture that there is only one God and that believers are to worship only God, yet Jesus accepted worship and being called God.
Exodus 20:3, 4,
You must not have any other god but me
you must not bow down to them [gods or anyone] or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.
For a commentary on Jesus claims and other’s claims about him with scriptural references and quotes, click my other blog posts below;