Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Deity of Jesus

Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7).

The New Testament presents many arguments for the full deity of Jesus Christ. Today let’s look at a few of them. One of the most important is that Jesus forgave sins, and this is something only God can do. In Mark 2 we read that Jesus said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” The Jews knew that this meant He was claiming to be God, and Jesus did not dispute them: “The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” He said (Mark 2:5–10).

Shortly thereafter Jesus claimed to be Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:28). Since the Sabbath was an ordinance set up by God at creation (Genesis 2:1–3), only God Himself could be Lord of the Sabbath. One of the most important lines of evidence for the deity of Jesus is that He accepted worship. The Jews were extremely careful not to give worship to anything or anyone except God, and in the Ten Commandments, all forms of idolatry were strictly prohibited. When Thomas saw the risen Christ, however, he cried “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). Jesus did not rebuke him, but accepted his worship.

Angels also worship Jesus Christ. The author of Hebrews says that Jesus is the Son of the Father (Hebrews 1:5), and then writes this: “And again, when God brings His Firstborn into the world, He says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship Him’ ” (v. 6). The worship Jesus receives is in complete contrast to the angels, of whom it is said, “He makes His angels winds, His servants flames of fire,” because “are not all angels ministering spirits?” (Hebrews 1:7, 14). Angels are servants, but the Son is God Himself.

Finally for today, consider what we find in John 8:58–59: “ ‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’ At this, they picked up stones to stone Him.” Jesus was using the Old Testament name of God: I AM THAT I AM. Each time in John’s gospel that Jesus said, “I am,” He was claiming to be God.

The gospel of John has the most specific references to Christ’s diety—every chapter attests to it. Mark as many as you can in your Bible.