9 Pieces of Evidence for the Deity of Jesus
I once had a guy tell me that he follows the teachings of Jesus, but he doesn’t believe in a transcendent God. I asked him how he follows the statements Jesus said about His belief in God and His own deity. He told me that he doesn’t think that Jesus ever stated that he was God. It’s interesting that the very same people who reject the Bible as authoritative use the Bible to back up their views. I got this list from a textbook I’m studying on the topic of Christology. I’ll attempt to break each point down for you. Comments are welcome.
1. He possesses attributes of deity
An attribute is a quality or feature regarded as an inherent part of someone or something. Some examples of Gods attributes are His Eternity, His wisdom, His love and His self-existence. Colossians 1:16-17 tells us of Jesus self-existence, “In Him all was made…” The fact that Jesus existed before His arrival on the scene of the earth is shown in His blasphemous statements to the Jews in John 8, “Before Abraham was born, I Am.”
2. He holds the office of deity and does things only God can do
Jesus holds the office of creator, upholder and sustainer of all things (Col. 1:16-17; 1 Cor. 8:6; Hebrews 1:10). This role is reserved for God alone. Not only that but in His earthly ministry He constantly does things that only God can do. He forgives sin (Matthew 9:2). We see in the story of Lazarus that He restores life (John 11). In two places in the book of John, Jesus declares Himself the only way to eternal life (John 3:36; 14:6).
3. The Bible identifies Jesus with deity
This would seem like an obvious statement, but I have had people try to argue with me that the Bible doesn’t say anything about Jesus being God. A simple look at a few chapters and these people are up the creek without a paddle on that one. “Statements in the Old Testament referring to Jehovah (God) are quoted in the New and assigned to Jesus.” Isaiah 9:6-7 says “unto us a son is given…and He shall be called…the Mighty God.”
4. He is given divine names
I’ve already said that Jesus labelled Himself ‘I am’ (John 8:58). John the Baptist declared of Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). Peter says of Jesus, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16) If these things were said of Him and He was not God, then he would have told these people that they were wrong to give him these names (unless He were severely deluded). Instead, He commends Peter for correctly identifying Him.
5. Jesus is related equally with the other persons of the Trinity
The Bible teaches that God exists eternally in three persons: The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is identified in Scripture as being “the Son” in that list. Jesus tells His disciples that once they have seen him they have seen the Father (John 14:9). The book of Hebrews corroborates this by stating that Jesus is the express image of His (God’s) likeness (Hebrews 1:3)
6. Divine worship is rendered to Him and accepted by Him
I don’t know about you, but if someone just bowed down in front of me and started worshipping me I would stop them! If you look at instances in the Bible where angels or mere men are mistakenly worshipped, they do just that (Revelation 22:8-9; Acts 10:26)! After Jesus calms the storm, “those who were in the boat worshipped Him saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God’” (Matthew 14:33)
7. Jesus consciously claimed to be deity
This is where the rubber meets the road. If people thought He was God and said it they could have just been mistaken, but if Jesus himself claimed deity, that can’t be ignored. You don’t have to look very far to find these claims. Jesus says, in John 10:30, “I and the Father are One.” This verse is nearby many similar statements that could not possibly be taken out of context. Jesus put His claims out there for the world to see.
8. The apostles confirm the deity of Christ
Some hold that Jesus didn’t become a god until many years after His death, in the writings of His followers. These same people reject the book of John because it has so much evidence packed into it. The reality is that John states it as his purpose, “But these are written to you so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” Did John have an agenda? Yes. His purpose was to make very clear to future generations that Jesus is the Son of God. He does this not to foist a lie onto us, but to make the truth clear. Every one of the New Testament writers clearly confirm Jesus as God. Many of the apostles died gruesome deaths defending this doctrine. If they knew it wasn’t true, why would they die for it.
9. The Life of Christ validates His deity
Even if all of the other points weren’t written and I just had point 9, it would suffice. Just read the accounts of Jesus life and ministry, every chapter screams divinity. The way He spoke with authority. The way he commanded the weather and performed healing miracles everywhere he went. This was no mere man, He was the sinless Messiah.
I challenge you to read the New Testament. Start with one of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) and go from there. You will find yourself at a fork in the road. Either you reject Scripture as a whole or you acknowledge the divinity of Christ. Most people reject scripture because they don’t want to have to deal with a god, not because they have studied it and found it to be false.