Jesus Is God
Throughout history much of the world has wanted, in the same way, to speak highly of Jesus without recognizing His deity and lordship.
- Pontius Pilate said, “I find no guilt in this man” (Luke 23:4).
- Napoleon said, “I know men, and Jesus was no mere man.”
- Strauss, the German rationalist, said Jesus was the “highest model of religion.”
- John Stuart Mill said Jesus was “the guide of humanity.”
- The French atheist Renanas said Jesus was “the greatest among the sons of men.”
- Theodore Parker said Jesus was “a youth with God in his heart.”
- Robert Owens said Jesus was “the irreproachable one.”
But all of these descriptions and titles fall short of identifying Jesus as He fully is—the Messiah, God in human flesh.
People are still confused about Jesus to this day. In fact, more people profess faith in Jesus, without really knowing who He is, than ever before. We all must come to grips with the same questions that Pilate faced, “What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” (Matthew 27:22).
C.S. Lewis wrote, “You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool; you can spit at Him and kill Him for a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Jesus is part of the Trinity.
Jesus never became God. He was God before He was born, and He remained God after He became man. His deity was pre-human, pre-Bethlehem, and pre-Mary.
Once on earth, Jesus never laid aside His deity; He only veiled His deity for a time. We know this because Jesus momentarily revealed His glory in transfiguration on the mount with Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:1–5). At that time, He shone like the sun. (The real miracle was that He didn’t shine all of the time!)
“Infinite and an infant. Eternal, and yet born of a woman. Almighty, and yet hanging on a woman’s breast. Supporting a universe, and yet needing to be carried in a mother’s arm. King of angels, and yet the reputed son of Joseph. Heir of all things, and yet the carpenter’s son.”
Jesus was virgin-born.
The Virgin Birth is not an optional belief; rather it is essential to a relationship with God and belief in His Word.
It would, no doubt, have been possible for God to send Jesus to earth as a complete, yet sinless, human being without parents. But it would have been hard for us to see how Jesus could be fully human. On the other hand, it would have been possible for God to have Jesus come into the world with two human parents, with His full divine nature somehow united to His human nature. But then it would be hard for us to believe Jesus was indeed God.
Those who say that the Virgin Birth is impossible are essentially denying God’s Word and God’s ability to do miracles when and where He chooses.
Jesus forgave sins.
Forgiveness of sins is reserved for God alone. In Luke 5, a crippled man is lowered through the roof before Jesus; and He says, “Your sins are forgiven you.” (Luke 5:20). After seeing this, the Pharisees rightly asserted, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (They got no argument from Jesus).
Jesus replied, “Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But so you may know that the Son of Man has power to forgive sins, [He said to the crippled man] Arise, take up your bed and go to your house'” (Luke 5:23).
Jesus made a clear claim to deity.
Jesus said, “Unless you believe that ‘I AM’…you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). If we believe that He is God in human form, then we must also accept the process God used to bring Him to us. Jesus claimed to be God on many occasions. For instance, we know that Jesus, on many occasions, accepted worship. But Jesus also said that worship was reserved for God alone (Matthew 4:10).
Scripture also tells us that the Pharisees “sought to kill Him because He…said God was His father, continually making Himself equal with God” (John 5:18). So without a doubt, Jesus claimed to be and was God.
Although He was God, Jesus accepted all the limitations of humanity, except sin itself. Jesus came from the presence of angels to a cave filled with animals, from the throne of Heaven to a “feeding trough.” He who was larger than the universe became an embryo. He who sustains the world with a word chose to be dependent upon the nourishment of a young girl. Jesus entered this world as a helpless human baby unable to do more than lay still, stare, wriggle, and coo. He needed to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child.
Jesus Was Human
It is difficult for us to comprehend that Jesus, who possessed divine attributes such as omniscience and omnipotence, still went through normal human development. Imagine Jesus learning to read and write! He had the limitations of humanity, but not the limitations that sin brings in one’s life.
As a man, Jesus became tired, hungry, and lonely. We are told that when He went to Samaria, ultimately to meet the woman at the well, He was weary (John 4:6). When on the cross, no doubt extremely dehydrated, He said, “I thirst!” (John 19:28). After He fasted for forty days in the wilderness, we read that He was hungry (Matthew 4:2).
Jesus experienced physical weakness.
When He was on the way to Calvary, bearing His cross, He fell beneath its weight. A man named Simon from Cyrene had the great privilege of carrying it a short distance for Him (Matthew 27:32). Finally Christ died like a man in the sense that His body ceased to function just as ours does when we die.
Jesus had a human mind.
From the Bible, it appears that He went through a learning process. “And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him…And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men…They found Him in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions” (Luke 2:40, 52, 46).
Jesus experienced human emotions.
Shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus said, “Now my soul is troubled…” (John 12:27). In the story of Lazarus, we see Jesus express a broad range of human emotion. “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. ‘Where have you laid him?’ He asked. ‘Come and see, Lord,’ they replied. Jesus wept” (John 11:33–35).
We are called to resemble Christ in our actions (Philippians 2:5). To have Christ’s attitude is not some mystical, unreachable goal. It is profoundly practical and applicable. We must simply seek the will of God above everything else. We must keep God’s will foremost in our lives. Christians must empty themselves, laying aside ambition and personal glory to find God’s formula for true success!