We begin with the traditional Christmas story as recorded by Luke when the angel appeared to Mary and told her that she would have a child who would be called the son of the Most High. Mary’s response was amazement. She was a virgin and had no intention of changing that until she was married. Listen while I read Luke 1:35-38. And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Last week we saw that Jesus often called himself the Son of Man. This seemed to be the term he preferred for himself. There is no doubt that the baby, born of Mary, was fully human and, at the same time, fully God. Jesus did not temporarily become man but his divine nature was permanently united to his human nature. He lives forever not just as the eternal Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, but also as Jesus, the man who was born of Mary, and as Christ, the Messiah and Savior of his people. Jesus became human in every respect and at the same time he is God, blessed forever. We’re going to look at several passages of Scripture that show us, without a doubt, that Jesus is God or that he is divine.
First let’s see what his disciple John had to say because…
John, in his Gospel, affirms the divinity of Jesus. We will look at two passages. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This is a very strong statement. There is absolutely no doubt that the term “Word” applies to Jesus and that the passage “the Word was God” affirms the deity of the word. In fact, in the original Greek the word order is: “God was the Word”.
Now let’s look at 1:18. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
The one who is in the bosom of the Father has made God known. But look at what John tells us about this one. This one he speaks of is the only God. There are several other passages in John that uphold the deity of Jesus. I believe these two are sufficient to show us that the Son of Man is also the Son of God in the understanding of John the disciple.
In one of many Old Testament examples written seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, Isaiah prophesied his divinity. Listen while I read Isaiah 9:6. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
There is no doubt that Isaiah was speaking of the Messiah who would come into the world. In this passage he speaks of a child being born for us. This child would be one who would bear the burden of government for the benefit of all who would put their faith and trust in him. This child was to be far more than a man. His titles include: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Jesus came into the world as the Messiah fulfilling this prophecy. The prophecy clearly asserts that he is the Mighty God! Isaiah may not have known the name Jesus but he certainly knew that when the child given for us was to be born he would be God Himself!
On the night of his birth…
The angels recognized him as God. Listen while I read Luke 2:8-11. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
In this passage is the word “Lord” is used three times. Twice, it is clearly used for God the Father and the last time the word is combined with “Christ” who is called “the Lord”. In the ancient Greek Old Testament, called the Septuagint, translated about 300 years before Jesus was born, the same Greek word we find here is used 6,814 times to translate the Hebrew word for the name of God. Luke would have clearly understood that applying the Name to the Messiah designated him as God!
There is no doubt in my mind that the angels proclaimed that the Christ, born that day in the city of David, was the same as the one promised by Isaiah. This helpless baby was the Mighty God!
Not only did the angels recognize that Jesus was God…
Even before he was born Elizabeth recognized him. Listen while I read Luke 1:39-43. In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
Perhaps we should say that the baby, just beginning his third trimester, recognized the presence of the baby who was the Mighty God! But it was Elizabeth, Mary’s relative, who is able to speak the words, “why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Again, we find the word, “Kurios”, that is the Greek word used to translate the Hebrew word for the name of God, being used. Elizabeth was the wife of a priest who was high enough in rank to have entered the holy place in the temple. Certainly she would have known the meaning of the words she spoke!
John the disciple affirmed the deity of Jesus. Isaiah, the Prince of Prophets, predicted that the one who would come as Messiah would be, “The Mighty God”! Before he was born Elizabeth realized who he was and called him “my Lord”!
John the baptizer recognized him. Listen while I read Matthew 3:1-3. In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’ ”
In verse three John is quoting Isaiah 40 verse 3 which speaks about the Lord God himself coming among his people. Yet, the context applies this passage to John’s role of preparing the way for Jesus to come. The implication is that when Jesus comes, the Lord himself will come. John knew who he was preparing the way for. And when he baptized Jesus he said I need to be baptized by you not you by me. Again the application was that Jesus was the Lord himself. John also told his disciples that Jesus was, “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world”. No doubt Jesus was recognized by John as God.
After Jesus’ crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection…
“Doubting” Thomas recognized him. Thomas had said that he would not accept the idea that Jesus had been raised from the dead unless he could see his scars and touch his body. Let’s look at the account given by John the disciple found in John 20:24-29. Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Thomas was a skeptic. He was one of those people who would not believe anything until they saw it for themselves and even then would question the truth of it. Yet, when Jesus came into their midst and stood before them he turned to Thomas and said, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas did not need to do any of those things to recognize who Jesus was. Not only did he use the word, “Lord” but he also used the word “God”! There is a religious group around who do not believe in the deity of Jesus. When confronted with this passage of Scripture they say that Thomas did not call him “God” but instead, Thomas blurted out in amazement, “O my God”. Like a person might do on Facebook when they type “OMG”. In other words, Thomas was simply expressing surprise. There is no doubt in my mind that Thomas recognized Jesus, perhaps for the first time, as the Lord God Himself.
John, the disciple, affirmed the deity of Jesus and Isaiah prophesied his divinity. Elizabeth recognized him as God and John, the baptizer, and Thomas the disciple proclaimed him to be God. Also…
Jesus himself taught that he was the Son of God. There are several passages that show us this let’s begin with Matthew 22:41-45. Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet” ’? If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” Jesus clearly identifies himself as the sovereign Lord of the Old Testament. The force of his statement, found in verse 44, is that “God the Father said to God the Son sit at my right hand…” The Pharisees knew that he was talking about himself and identified himself as one worthy of the Old Testament title “Lord”.
The Jewish religious leaders accused him of being demon possessed. Jesus’ reply caused them to challenge him even further. We find Jesus’ answer in John 8:54-58. Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” Jesus could have demonstrated his eternal existence by simply saying, “Before Abraham was, I was.” Instead he said, “before Abraham was, I am.” In this he combined two statements that, on the surface, are senseless together. He spoke of something in the present (I AM) happening before something in the past (Abraham was). But this was not nonsense to the Jewish leaders. In their eyes it was blasphemy! When Jesus said “I am” he was claiming for himself the title God used to identify himself to Moses. Jesus claimed, in this statement, that he is the eternally existing One who created the universe and always has been and always will be. So they took up stones to throw at him but Jesus hid himself and left the temple.
During Jesus’ trial he was challenged by the high priest this challenge is found in… Matthew 26:62-64. And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
There is no doubt that Jesus, during his trial, confessed to the charge that he had claimed himself to be the Son of God. Anyone who denies the deity of Jesus needs to hear the words of C. S. Lewis, taken from his book Mere Christianity: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things that Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says that he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. 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 as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising [sic] nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Jesus was who he said he was or he was either a liar or a lunatic. Not only did Jesus himself claim to be the son of God…
God the Father proclaimed him to be the Son of God. As Jesus was preparing to go to Jerusalem to be offered for our sins he went aside with three of his disciples to pray. Listen while I read Matthew 17:1-5. And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
When God presented himself to Israel and Egypt, and for 40 years in the wilderness, he was seen as a cloud of glory. Here, God the Father overshadowed Jesus in a cloud and proclaimed Jesus to be his Beloved Son with whom he was well pleased. Jesus was the heavenly, eternal Son who is equal to God himself. We don’t have to rely on words alone to understand that Jesus is the Son of God. We can look at what he did because…
Jesus’ actions showed him to be the Son of God. I want to share with you two passages that show this. The first is Matthew 8:26-27. Jesus and his disciples were in a boat on the lake of Galilee and while he was sleeping a storm came up they awaken him and he responded to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” His actions demonstrated that he was the eternal Son of God.
A little later there would be a much more powerful demonstration of who he was while he was on this earth. Listen while I read Matthew 14:16-21. Let me set the scene for you first. Jesus arrived at the lake shore and found a large crowd of people. He had compassion on them and healed their sick. Then as it came towards the evening the disciples came to him and ask him to send the crowd away because they needed to eat. But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
If they were amazed, and obviously they were, when he calmed the sea they must have been really astonished when he took a lad’s lunch of five barley loaves and two small fish and fed 5000 men as well as a large number of women and children. After that he sent them away by boat and came to them walking on the water. At that point they worshiped him saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Not only did Jesus’ actions show him to be the Son of God also…
Jesus’ knowledge showed him to be the Son of God. Jesus healed a man who had been brought to him by four friends. However, before he healed him he said to him, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” And immediately the scribes who were sitting there began to think, “This is blasphemy.” We find Jesus responding in Mark 2:8-11. And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” Please note that Jesus knew what they were thinking and responded to them accordingly. Jesus knew what they were thinking while they were thinking. This was not some kind of trick this was God showing Himself through the Son.
John records another example of this kind of knowledge when Jesus met Nathaniel. Listen while I read John 1:48-49. Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus saw Nathaniel before Philip spoke to him. But this wasn’t some kind of parlor trick he was pulling on Nathaniel. As God, Jesus knew all things that he needed to know while he was on earth. John also tells us that Jesus knew from the very beginning who it was that would betray him.
One time the Pharisees accused Jesus of exercising his power by Beelzebul, the prince of demons. Matthew tells us that Jesus knew their thoughts and responded to them in the strongest terms. He said that every kingdom divided against itself would fall. He warned them that they must not speak against the work of the Holy Spirit because those who do this will not be forgiven either in this age or the age to come.
Jesus, as the God/Man, was proclaimed to be worthy of worship. Not even the angels are to be worshiped, only God is worthy. Yet Scripture tells us that “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:9-11) Is he your Lord? I hope so, and you better hope so too! Put your trust in him!
All scripture quotes are from: The Holy Bible: English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.