I have had plenty of run ins with people who claim that Jesus was not God. They range from the well mannered Jehovah’s Witnesses and confused Christians to the crazy conspiracy theorists who watch way too many YouTube videos and think they are the only ones right and all of Christianity is deceived. I cannot judge too harshly for I explored this myself at one time. I remember sitting up until 12am and reading “christian” conspiracy websites (the surest way to see if you stumble upon one is the brightly colored rainbow text with GIANT titles and lots of exclamation
points claiming EVERYONE is wrong except them!!!!!). I can still remember the Gnostic-like feeling I would have, thinking that I was right and the whole world was in error; it played my ego and my desire to know something special. Turns out I was wrong and repented after examining the scriptures for myself (Thank God or Jesus or Both). Below are just a few things that changed my mind. There are many more arguments, I cannot cover all, but here is an exploration of at 12 reasons Jesus Christ of Nazareth is not mere man but also God. This is by no means a comprehensive list, as gigantic books are published on the subject of Christology and we are still unable to fathom His glory, but its a start. There will definitely run along someone who can pick out a verse here or there that they can debate, but the whole point is not to set up some “proof texts” but to show that the Bible does overwhelmingly support Jesus as God.
1. Jesus himself claimed to be God
– John 8:24; 8:57-59 (see Exodus 3:14)John 10:33; John14:8-9;
In Jn 8:23 Jesus says he is from above and not of this earth. Then in Jn 8:24 he says that we should believe “I AM” he (worded like in Isaiah 43:10). Jesus follows it up one more time in Jn 8:58 by directly saying before Abraham was, ”I AM.” That is not a grammatically correct phrase if he was only talking about his existence prior to Abraham (which is evidence of Godhood on its own). Instead the grammatical incoherency of this statement proves Jesus was using “I AM” also as a Name, not only a statement of his presence at the time. In Exodus 3:14: GOD says to Moses tell the people of Israel that “I AM” has sent me to you. Clearly Jesus calls himself the very exact same Name in Jn 8:58. Jesus takes the Name of God and uses it for himself. No one in the history of the world has claimed to be “I AM” without claiming to be the God of the bible incarnate. The Jews literally “picked up stones to kill him”, this proves they understood what he meant. They did not think he is just claiming to be just another child of God like all the Hebrews. The only reason they didn’t kill him is because Jesus “hid from them.”
In the book of revelation we are introduced to the name “Alpha and Omega,” meaning “first and last,” the connotation being that this Person is timeless, a divine attribute. This name is given to Jesus (Rev1:8, 17, 21:6, 22:13-16) and yet is given to God Almighty (Isa 44:6, 48:12). Jesus claims the same name as God the Father. For more info about Alpha and Omega being a divine name and referring to Jesus click here.
2. Jesus and the Father are One
– Mat 11:27; John 10:30,33, 38; John 17:22; Mark 9:37
Jn 10:30 is one of the most clear statements that Jesus is God. Jesus literally, indisputably, and explicitly said “I am God” by saying “I and the Father are One”, meaning we are the same. In case some would say Jesus meant one as in ’we are together on the same mission’ or of ‘one heart’, the Jews understood Jesus as saying He is God. They literally tried to kill him, they said we will kill you because you “make yourself God.” (John 10:33). They understood this only to mean Jesus “makes himself God” not just another man. An alternate explanation cannot be given.
3. Jesus is called God
– Isa 9:6; John 1:1,14; 20:28; Acts 20:28; Col. 1:15, 2:9; Phil 2:5-6; Titus 2:13; Rom 9:5; Heb. 1:3; Heb 1:8; 2 Peter 1:1; 1 John 5:20;
In Jn 1:1 Jesus is called God, the Word, the Logos. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have rewritten a whole bible translation just to change the passage from its very obvious climax of Jesus the Logos being God to merely Jesus as a god, with a little g. Note to everyone, this is the only translation that says this… and its neither correct nor popular (probably because its not correct).
Thomas calls Jesus “Lord and God” in Jn 20:28, in the Greek its κύριός (Lord) μου (my) καὶ (and) ὁ θεός (God) μου (my) or basically “my Lord and my God.” Some people try to make ridiculous explanations to avoid it, such as Thomas was either wrong or he spoke of two separate entities, Jesus as an earthly Lord, and God as the heavenly father that was up in the sky. Some even say Thomas spoke to Jesus as a man but in him saw God, though Jesus was not divine. Basically some people will say Thomas was speaking to two entities and thereby people gladly avoid the obvious, that Thomas said to HIM, not to THEM, Jesus is “my Lord and my God.” Col. 2:9 is very clear, the fullness of deity or God-hood/God-ness dwells in Jesus. While we have Gods spirit living in us, we cannot say the fullness of deity dwells in us. God lives in us, but his divine nature is not a part of us; Jesus on the other hand had the fullness of Gods divine nature in his body. Also see Heb 1:3.
Paul calls Jesus “God and Savior” in Titus 2:13. According to Granville Sharps Rule #1 (a rule used in interpreting Greek texts) “When the copulative kai (“and”) connects two personal nouns (“God,” “Savior”) which are singular and not proper nouns (such as names) both nouns refer to the first-named person.” Basically just in case some “brilliant guy” tries to pull a stunt and say that this refers to two separate entities, the Greek grammar does not work that way. These two nouns (God/Savior) can only refer to one entity, Jesus. You can read more in depth here.
In Heb 1:8 we see the Son of God and God used as synonyms. God the Father calls the Son, God. In Acts 20:28 we are told that the blood of Jesus was “Gods own blood.” At the end of the day we can squirm and cringe all we want but Christ is God over all, the true God, this the scriptures are clear on (Rom 9:5; 1 John 5:20).
4. Jesus is honored the same as the Father– John 5:23, 15:23, 16:15; Luke 10:16; 1 John 2:23
Often the many types or Unitarians will try to downplay Jesus by saying something to the effect that Jesus never said He was God, only the Son of God, which they mean is a regular man. However, if a man has a son, we expect his son to be a reproduction of the same DNA, have human blood, and be human. If God were to have a Son, would it not mean this Son is also God and of Divine nature? In John 5:23 we see Christ is honored EQUAL to the father. In Luke 10:16 and John 15:23 we see that rejecting Jesus is EQUAL to rejecting God and accepting one is accepting the other. Again in 1 John 2:23 again the two are honored as EQUALS. All of this is not to say that Jesus is a completely different person or a second God, but that He is of the same essence as God the Father and is One with God the Father. Moreover, Jesus often tells that all judgment is given to Him by the father and that the Father will judge no one himself but let Christ do it (John 5:22-23, 27; Mat 16:27, 25:31-34; Acts 10:42, 17:30-31; Rom 2:16; 1 Cor 4:5; 2 Cor 5:10; 2 Tim 4:1; Rev 22:12, 20-21). Yet when we look into the book of Revelation we see judgment done by God (Rev 18:8, 19:1-2, 20:11-12)
5. Jesus created everything– John 1:1-3; Col. 1:15-17
The bible is clear and explicit in saying that Jesus created everything. And all things that were or are or will be came into being through him (and for Him). It is simply childish and intellectually immature to then turn around and say this same Jesus who made everything is himself not God but a mere man or angel. Neither men nor angels can create, they can only transform by taking preexisting atoms and reformulating them into another structure. Creation physical material ‘ex nihilo’ (out of nothing) is an attribute that only God the Creator has (Isa 40:28)
6. Jesus is before all things– John 1:1-3; Col. 1:17;
There have been arguments made that Jesus is either just a man, or an archangel like Michael. Yet we are told that Jesus has existed prior to anything that was created. Men and angels all had a beginning, and none of them could in any way be preexistent before God created them. Yet Jesus existed before the angels, before the human race, and before any and all created things. This clearly means Jesus, himself, is not a man or an angel but God.
7. Jesus is prayed to– John 14:13-14; Acts 1:24, 7:55-60, 8:22, 8:24; 1 Cor. 1:2 with Psalm 116:4; 2 Cor 12:8; Eph 5:9; James 1:5,7; 1 Jn 5:14-15
Men, angels, or saints are never prayed to in the scriptures. There are plenty of verses that show people praying to Jesus which is only a divine characteristic. One does not ask another for something if he does not have power to respond. I wouldn’t ask Obama to give me eternal life, he is a man and can’t offer what he doesn’t have. Jesus on the other hand offers eternal life and answer to prayer. If you read Jn 14:13-14 you see Jesus telling humanity to pray to him and he is able to do anything in response. This is something only God can offer, a man does not answer prayers. Often people will say that the word Lord (greek: kyrios) can be a title for a human king. Yet as we see in some of the above scriptures this so-called human title of Lord is prayed to and answers prayers (Acts 1:24, 8:24, 2 Cor 12:8; James 1:5,7; Eph 5:9). This proves beyond a shadow of doubt that our Lord Jesus is not merely a human but has power to hear all prayers and answer all prayers, again showing he is God.
8. Jesus is worshiped– Matt. 2:2,11; 14:33; 28:9, 28:17; Luke 24:52; John 9:37-38; Acts 13:2 Heb. 1:6; Rev 4:10-11, 5:9-10,11-12,13-14, 15:3-4
When Jesus is led in the desert at tempted by satan Jesus quotes scripture in Matthew 4:10 telling satan that worship belongs to the Lord God. Yet we see the bible filled with scriptures where people fall down and worship Jesus Christ. Did Jesus contradict himself? Did Jesus stop believing the very scripture he quoted and change his mind to allow people to worship him? We have only one of two options: either Jesus is a liar (telling satan only God is to be worshiped yet himself getting worship) or Jesus is God. In Scripture (Acts 10:25-26, Rev 19:10, 22:8-9) we see the proper response of a mere human and then an angel to worship. Jesus did not have this response because Jesus is not mere human or angel, he is God. The book of Revelation shows this more clearly, Jesus is worshiped by all of the heavens! The very same angel that tells John “don’t worship me, worship God” is among the heavenly host who worship and sing praises to Jesus the Lamb. Rev 22:3,4-5 summarizes the grand majesty of the Lamb sitting on the throne of God where all nations and peoples will worship Him.
9. Jesus is the only one who is called Good– John 10:11,14; Luke 18:19; John 8:46; Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34; Acts 3:14; 2 Cor 5:21; Rev 3:7
Jesus at one point says “Only God is Good” then later says he is the “Good Shepherd.” Does Jesus contradict himself or lie in one of these statements? The only options we have are (1) both statements are true and Jesus is God or (2) both or one of the statements are not true and Jesus is a liar.
People can easily get confused with Luke 18:19 so let’s look at it in detail: Jesus did not say “don’t call me good” / “stop calling me good” / “I am not good.” Our minds easily can easily assume that & add it but it’s not in the text. It’s not there. We ourselves only imply that’s what Jesus meant, that he meant “don’t.” Instead of stopping the rich guy and telling him his statement was wrong, all Jesus did was ask him question “why do you do it?” Jesus made an inquiry that was intended to cause him to think about his statement and its natural conclusion. The guy called Jesus merely a human teacher, but he also used this in conjunction with the word ‘Good.’ When Jesus says “Why did you call me good” if “only God is good” he basically tells this rich young ruler that calling someone Good is the same as calling him God, and this guy did call Jesus Good and thus also called him God. Jesus wanted him to understand that. So in essence he said “Hey why do you call me this word if its only used on God? Do you get what you are saying I am?” He is the Good shepherd, and as Jesus himself said, only God is Good.
10. Jesus is omnipresent– Matt. 18:20; 28:20; 1 Jn 5:14-15; Eph 1:23; Col 3:11
There is a little confusion about how Jesus can be in different places at the same time. Many people would like to point to statements that Jesus was at one point in a particular city or town. Also when he was resurrected the bible says he ascended to the right hand of God. All of this terminology may seem to imply Jesus is like men and angels, confined to only being present in one place at one time. However, the scriptures (as we will see below) show Jesus as being present in all places at the same time. The answer to this is that Jesus was had both a divine nature and a human nature, unmixed, existing in one body (this is called the hypostatic union.) His divine nature fills the earth but his earthly body could only exist in one place at a time. Then when we see Jesus in heaven at the right hand of God, this does not prove he is only in one place (because God the Father being at the left of Christ the Son is also present everywhere else). When Jesus ascended his glorified body went into the heavens but yet his divine nature fills all things and is present everywhere. The bible says that Jesus fills all things (Eph 1:22-23, 4:10). How can a man fill all things? Scripture says Jesus is everywhere that two or three are gathered in his name (Mat 18:20, 28:20), is that possible for a man or angel to do? Never! In fact Jesus Christ also dwells in every believer and this is a core doctrine of the bible (John 14:20,23; Rom 8:10; 2 Cor 13:5; Gal 2:20; Eph 3:17; Col 1:27). Regardless of what strain of Jesus-denying heresy you ascribe to, Jesus is everywhere at the same time, no man angel or created being can do this. Jesus is God who fills all things with his presence.
11. Jesus is omnipotent-Mat 11:27, 24:30-31, 28:18, John 5:25,27, 16:15; Heb 7:25; Acts 10:36; Col 1:17; Phil :9-11; 1 Tim 6:15; Heb 1:3; 1 Pet 3:22; Rev 1:5, 3:14, 19:15-16
There have been plenty of biblical prophets who have done amazing things such as raise people from the dead or bring fire down from heaven. However, not one of them claimed this power as their own or ever said, thought, or hinted that ALL power was given over to them. Jesus on the other hand tells it plainly and clearly that ALL power in the heaven and the earth is his and solely in his control (Mat 11:27, 28:18; John 5:27). In fact, Paul in 1 Tim 6:15 names Jesus Christ, the King of Kings as Sovereign, or all-powerful.
The saints in Revelation also call the Lord (Greek: ‘kyrios’ so its Jesus) as Sovereign. Some would say they are praying to God, but they ask the sovereign Lord to start judging, and the bible says Jesus will judge not God. The scriptures are clear Jesus Christ is sovereign, he has all power, authority, dominion, rule, and everlasting supremacy; no created being has equivalent power to him. Jesus even controls the angels, and not merely as a leader of them, but instead they are called “his” angels; Jesus owns them (Mat 24:30-31).
Jesus also has the power to forgive (Luke 5:20; 7:47-48, 23:42-43, Mark 2:5,10; Mat 26:28). None of the prophets whom God used to display his power had the power to forgive, and the Hebrews clearly knew otherwise: that the power to forgive sins was only in the hands of God Himself (Mark 2:7). They called Jesus a blasphemer because he claimed the power to forgive and this was and is only reserved for God. Either Jesus is a blaspheming liar who made himself to be God, or he is God incarnate who truly has the power to forgive sins.
12. Jesus is omniscient– Acts 1:24, John 1.48, 16:30, 21:17; Col 2:3; Rev 2:23
This is the hardest one to understand at face value because there are a few scriptures in the bible where we see Jesus portraying what looks like a lack of knowledge by asking questions or not knowing the day of His return(Mat 24:36). The first part is easy, Jesus asked questions not because he did not know the answer but to expose men’s hearts and use questions to teach. As for the latter issue, Phil 2:7 tells us that Jesus “was made in the likeness of men.” This teaches that the Son of God existed before he became human, so he obviously is more than just human. From this and other scriptures we see also that Jesus has two natures that are totally separate (hypostatic union). And because his God nature and man nature are disconnected each nature retains its own attributes. That means that in his human nature, Jesus’ knowledge is restricted to what he has learned as a man, while in his divine nature he is totally omniscient, knowing all things. The Mat 24:36 passage likely refers to the separate human nature of Jesus. (We cannot use this one passage to claim Jesus is not omniscient, for the Holy Spirit is also not mentioned and is also thus would be considered not omniscient). Now the evidence in support of Christ’s omniscience:
Jesus is recorded many times as certainly knowing the future, and while the prophets of old have predicted the future they have always claimed “thus says the Lord,” Jesus knows from his own self. (Matt 12:40, 16:21, 17:9,11-12,22-23,27, 20:18-19, 21:39, 24:2, 26:2,12,21,31-34,54; Mark 8:31, 9:31, 10:32-34, 14:9,18,27-30,42,49, 26:34, 26:46; Luke 9:22,44, 11:30, 12:50, 17:25, 18:31-33, 22: 10-13, 15, 21-22, 32, 34, 37; John 2:19, 3:14, 6:64, 8:14, 10:11,15,17-18, 12:32-34, 13:18-21, 14:19, 15:13, 16:20, 18:4, 18:11, 21:18-19).
In addition Jesus knows the inner desires of men’s hearts as well as their thoughts or inclinations before they are revealed (Mark 2:8, 3:1-5; Luke 6:8, 9:47; Mat 9:4, 22:18, John 5:25, John 10:13). The scriptures say that only God knows and searches men’s hearts, a human cannot do this. In my childhood I remember hearing many debates about whether the devil can read our minds, and the answer always ended up being “no, that only God being omniscient can read minds, even satan cannot because he is only a fallen angel.” Yet the scriptures say Jesus can read minds and knows hearts of men (John 1:47, 2:24-25, 4:29). Furthermore the bible says Jesus knows everything that everyone has ever thought or done (John 5:22; Acts 1:24; 10:42; 2 Cor 5:10; 2 Tim 4:1; Rev 22:12-13). How is this ever possible for a human being? It is not! Only God can know the hearts of all men and be able to judge every last human being for every thought, intention, deed, and action. No man or angel could know every single humans thought, feeling, contemplation, motive, and deed from the beginning to the end of time; only He who is Alpha and Omega, our Lord and God Jesus knows this.