Jesus Christ is More Than Just a Man
Many people could easily identify Jesus as a man who lived 2000 years ago in the nation of Israel. World religions describe Him as an influential teacher, a godly man, or even a prophet. However, when the subject of His deity arises, some will debate that He is anything more than mortal. But a careful study of the Bible reveals that in addition to these things, He is so much more!
In the book Mere Christianity, author C.S. Lewis wrote the following about Jesus Christ: “I am trying here to prevent anyone from 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 Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with a man who says 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 up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to.”
Jesus Christ is God the Son
“Before Abraham was, I AM.” – In the Old Testament account of Moses at the burning bush, God spoke to Moses and appointed him to approach the King of Egypt demanding the release of the Israelites from slavery. When Moses asked in whose name he should present himself to the Hebrews, God replied, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He added, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:14)
In the Gospel of John in the New Testament, Jesus is asked by the Jews if He considers Himself greater than Abraham, the patriarch of their religion who had been dead for many years. “Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’” (John 8:58) Because I AM was the name by which God was known to them, these Jews pronounced Him guilty of blasphemy and planned to kill Him. (John 8:59) With intentional clarity, Jesus had identified Himself as God.
”I and My Father are one.” – During the Feast of Dedication, as Jesus walked in the temple, the Jews there surrounded Him and insisted that He declare plainly if He was indeed the Christ. In His response, He said, “I and My Father are one.” (John 10:30) While today’s reader may not see this statement as a claim to be God, the Jews of the day recognized it as that very thing. And it incensed them severely enough that they wanted to stone him to death, replying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a man, make Yourself God.” (John 10:33) Since Jesus did not challenge their assertion that He made Himself God, it is clear from the text that He declared Himself to be divine.
Jesus Christ is God in the Flesh
Isaiah declared the deity of Jesus when he prophesied of the birth of the Messiah.
“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Old Testament passages avow that Jesus is God.
”Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” (Psalm 45:6-7)
In his Gospel, John wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) The Greek word “logos” translated here as “Word” refers to Jesus, the Christ. Continuing in verse 2, the text reads, “He was in the beginning with God.” And later in the chapter, John explained, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” (John 1:14) referring to the fact that Jesus is God incarnate. God the Son took on the physical body of a human male and literally lived on earth among men.
Other disciples also acknowledged Jesus as God. After Jesus was crucified and buried, God resurrected Him and He appeared to His believers. Thomas recognized the risen Christ and identified Him as, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28) And in Peter’s second epistle, he identifies himself as an apostle of “our God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (II Peter 1:1) Both Thomas and Peter knew Jesus personally, followed Him as He traveled and taught, and knew Him as God the Son. Had their proclamations been in error, Jesus would have corrected them. In addition, Paul, the apostle, wrote in Titus 2:13 of “our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Jesus Christ is More Than a Great Teacher
As C.S. Lewis pointed out, limiting Jesus to a mere teacher simply is not an option. Christ proclaimed Himself to be God and left no room for doubt. If He is not God, then He is a liar and as such could not be considered godly or good. When modern philosophers discount the truths Jesus spoke about Himself, they directly contradict the Bible’s teachings. Jesus taught mankind while He walked among them, and God later sent the Holy Spirit to help men understand and remember those teachings. (John 14:26)
Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Only Way to God
- If Jesus is not God, then His death could not sufficiently atone for the sins of all mankind. (I John 2:2)
- Only the sinless God is capable of paying such an enormous debt. (Romans 5:8) (II Corinthians 5:21)
- Jesus is the Christ, the only path to salvation. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Jesus Christ is the Perfect Atonement for Our Sins
God’s absolute holiness cannot abide sin. Because Adam sinned against God, his actions separated him from God and consequently doomed all of mankind. In Old Testament times, God had instituted the practice of animal sacrifices whereby the shed blood covered man’s sin for a while. When Jesus Christ, as God the Son, gave up His life on the cross at Calvary, mankind’s personal relationship with God was restored. No lesser sacrifice could sufficiently atone for sin and bring men back into the presence of God.