Episode 2: Did Jesus Claim to be God?
Created By Elliot Lui
We know that Christians believe that Jesus is God. There have been videos that say that Jesus actually never claimed to be God and that it is made up by the Church. So did Jesus claim to be God?
For each of these videos, I would also include some additional materials or writings that was not included in the video to supplement the topic of the video. Here are the supplements for this episode:
(A REMINDER: THIS EPISODE IS ABOUT WHETHER JESUS CLAIMED TO BE GOD, NOT WHETHER HE IS GOD)
1. Other points that show that Jesus claimed to be God
Obviously there are other pieces of evidence that shows that Jesus actually claimed to be God. Even with this blog here, I know that I will not know all or write all the points in the world about this. However, having a great number of points show that this is an obvious truth and that we should take Jesus’ claim of divinity into consideration.
The points that were made from the video:
-Immediate followers believe that He is God.
-Used the same names and titles as God. (Example: I AM, Lord of the Sabbath)
-Used representative items that described God to Himself.
-Saw Himself to be equal to God
-Jesus accepted worship
-Jesus forgave mankind’s sins.
-The Jews’ understanding and reaction to Jesus’ claim.
Here are other points to add to the list:
-Having authority in Himself, both in action and teachings (Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 28:18)
-Being able to change someone’s name in Jewish context (John 1:42)
-Claim to be sinless (John 8:46; 2 Corinthians 5:21)
-His miracles to show His power
Again, there are probably others, and I’m sure you can find this information if you take a look around, but the point is, it’s very clear that Jesus claimed to be God.
2. Son of God, Son of Man, and Son of David
I mentioned in the video that Jesus used these three names to describe himself, and I will explain how these three names are used to display Himself as divine.
Son of God
This title does not mean that God literally have a son. This just describes that it is God in flesh. The Jewish community understood at that time that He is claiming himself to be divine. That is why He is accused for blasphemy. I read this somewhere that gave a really good point that “Son of God” does not mean literally a son of God. In John 17:12, Judas was described as the “son of destruction.” Does this mean that he was literally a son of destruction (That sounds like he was born from an explosion or a crash or something)? No. It means that his life is identified as a life of destruction or ruin. In the same way, the Son of God does not literally mean a son of God, but that it is God manifested in human form.
Son of Man
Son of Man can just mean a human or a son of a man, which is Jesus, but it is also a title of a deity. This is a reference to Daniel 7. Here is the reference:
“I saw in the night visions,
and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13-14)
The vision here is talking about “one like a son of man.” The description of the Son of Man is described to be one with God-like attributes. He “was given dominion and glory and a kingdom”, “all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him”, “his dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away”, and “his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.” Jesus constantly refer to Himself as the Son of Man, and much of what He claims about Himself is consistent with what is described in Daniel. Therefore, this title that Jesus owns is to say that He is God.
Son of David
Now we know that the Jewish community believes in the coming Messiah. The majority believed that the Messiah would not be divine. Jesus gave an interesting point when talking about the Messiah, the Son of David. He was pointing to one of David’s Psalms in Psalm 110. This Psalm started with “The Lord said to my Lord.” It is known that the “my Lord” is the Son of David or the Messiah. This is what Jesus pointed out in the Gospel of Matthew:
“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?” And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. (Matthew 22:41-46)
This is such an interesting point! So interesting that no one seem to have a rebuttal against Him. David called Him LORD. This person is sitting on the right hand of the Father. This is to show equality with God. So Jesus is pointing out through the Old Testament that the Messiah that the Jews are waiting for is divine.
3. Possible reasons that people make this claim
It’s interesting that Muslims and Nontrintarians are the majority of people who make this claim. It’s interesting because they don’t go in and say that Jesus was wrong when He claimed to be God, but they went even further and said that Jesus never made such statements. Now, it may just because they really think that Jesus never made the claim that He is God, but I think there are some people who make this claim so that it would seem that it is the Christians who got it wrong, and not Jesus. Most people see Jesus as a great guy and a wise teacher. There are even other religions who see Jesus as a prophet, but they do not believe that Jesus was God. If they were to say that He is wrong, it would make it seem like a prophet was wrong, meaning that He was a false prophet. Because of this, they would say that Jesus never said such things in order to prevent Him from looking wrong. To these people, I say that we should not let these motives prevent us from looking at the facts and the claims and be honest on what they mean.
Oh, and to the Muslim lecturers on YouTube, please don’t say that we need to read our Bible “more clearly,” for it is people who studied the Bible that realizes that Jesus made the claim that He is God. This is why CS Lewis said that you cannot say that Jesus is JUST a good teacher, but you must decide whether He is “Liar, Lunatic, or Lord” from His claim that He is God.
So there you have it. Jesus claimed to be God. Sooo….now what? Well, He claims to be God, but is it true? Look into it yourself, and see if what He said was true. I’ll be making a video sometime in the future addressing this issue.
Until next episode,
An Asian Believer, Elliot
Tagged: Aletheuo apologetics, apologetics, Christology, divine, God, Jesus, theology