Jesus is God! – Part 3
Further, His resurrection denotes that this is a person, who transcends time and space. The Gospel accounts record many eyewitnesses to the resurrected Christ (Matt 28: 1-10; Luke 24:13-35; John 20:19-31), and all attempts to refute such accounts fall short of credibility. However, the NT goes beyond these implicit references to deity and clearly states that Christ is divine.
The demands of unabashed loyalty from His followers (Luke 9:57-62) and the claims that He will judge the world (John 5:27) sound strange, if they come from a mere man. He also claimed that He could forgive sins (Mark 2:5), and He averred that in the judgment, people would be condemned or approved according to their attitude toward the people who represent Him (Matt. 25:31-46). Scripture says that Jesus created (John 1:3) and now sustains all things (Col. 1:17). He even has the power to raise the dead (John 5:25). Angels and people worship Him (Heb. 1:6; Matt. 2:2).
He possesses equality with the persons of the Trinity (John 14:23; 2 Cor. 13: 14). Beyond these assertions, the NT provides even clearer evidence regarding the deity of Christ. He is called God in Heb. 1:8. John’s prologue (1:1-18) affirms that Jesus is from the beginning, that He is “with” (literally “face to face”) God, and that He is God. John’s intricate Greek declares Jesus to be equal in nature with God the Father, but distinct in person! Another important passage is John 5:16-29.
During a controversy with the Jews about healing a man on the Sabbath, the Jews sought to kill Him because He blasphemed in making Himself equal with God. Rather than correcting them for mistaking His identity, Jesus went on to make even further claims regarding His deity: He has power to give life to people (v. 21), all judgment is handed over to Him (v. 22), and all should honour the Son with the same honour they bestow upon the Father (v. 23).
Jesus’ preexistence as God is demonstrated in John 8:58, where He affirmed that He transcends time. Romans 9:5 reveals that Paul called Jesus God, and there is no doubt that in Phil. 2:5-11 Paul understood Jesus to be the One, who existed eternally in the form of God and on an equal nature with God. The outstanding Christological passage in Col. 1:15-23 says that Christ is the image of the invisible God; that is, He is such a reproduction or likeness of the God, Who is invisible to mortal man that to look at Christ was to see God. Clearly, the Christ of the NT is not a man deified by His disciples (the view of classic liberalism), but He is the eternal Son of God, Who voluntarily became a man to redeem lost humanity.
Teaching and Mighty Works Jesus was a Master Teacher. Crowds that claimed no loyalty to Him were forced to admit, “No man ever spoke like this” (John 7:46). At the close of His compelling Sermon on the Mount, the multitudes were amazed at how He taught (Matt. 7:29). He taught mainly about His Father and the kingdom that He had ushered in. He explained what that kingdom is like and the absolute obedience and love His followers are to have as citizens of the kingdom. His teaching often enraged the religious leaders of His day because they did not understand that He was the promised Messiah, Who appeared to usher in the kingdom, through His death, resurrection, and second coming. He stressed that the kingdom, though inaugurated at His first appearing, will find its consummation in His second coming (Matt. 24-25).
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