Did Jesus claim to be God?
by J.B. Nicholson, Jr.
Christianity stands apart from all the religions of the world. One important reason is that its founder, Jesus Christ, claimed to be fully God. Buddha did not claim to be God; Moses never said that he was Jehovah; Mohammed did not say he was Allah; and Zoroaster never claimed to be Ahura Mazda. Yet the lowly Carpenter from Nazareth declared that whoever had truly seen Him (Jesus) had seen His Father (John 14:9). Christ said He existed before Abraham: "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews to Him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham? Jesus said to them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:56-58).
Christ said that He was equal to the Father: "But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working."Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God" (John 5:17-18).
Jesus also declared, "For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son" (John 5:21-22). He not only claimed to be God, He proved Himself to be God by raising people from the dead!
Christ said that He could forgive sins. In Mark 2:5-7, we read, "When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven you." And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, "Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" (Mark 2:5-7). The power to forgive sins against God is something which the Bible clearly teaches only God can do. The Hebrew prophet Isaiah records God as saying, "I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins" (Isaiah 43:25).
Christ's claims are unmistakable. When Christ asked the religious authorities why they wanted to stone Him, they replied, "For a good work we stone Thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God" (John 10:33). The Jews understood what He was claiming for Himself even if modern skeptics do not.
The New Testament teaches that Christ is the Creator of the universe. "All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:3). He continues to hold all things together. "And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist" (Colossians 1:17). Paul says Christ was God manifest in human flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). The apostle John refers to Christ as "the Word" and says "the Word was God" (John 1:1).
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