Is Jesus God? Let’s back up for a moment and define exactly what I mean by this question. When I say the word “God,” I am referring to the one and only divine nature (Also known as Deity). There is only one Deity and divine nature, which is known as God.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deut. 6:4).
“…there is no other God but one” (1 Cor. 8:4).
The Bible repeatedly states there is only one God (Deut. 6:4; 32:39; 2 Sam. 7:22; 1 Kgs. 8:20; Isa. 43:10; 1 Cor. 8:4, etc.). The Christian doctrine, known as the Trinity (or Godhead), teaches that there is only one divine nature, but that one divine nature exists in three distinct persons or beings known as the Father, Jesus/the Son and the Holy Spirit (Col. 2:9; Mt. 28:19).
In fact, the very first verse in the Bible speaks to this fact when the Hebrew word “Elohim” is used (Gen. 1:1). This word is plural in number (http://biblehub.com/hebrew/430.htm). So, while there is only one Godhead, there is a plurality within the Godhead. Furthermore, in passages such as Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 11:17, the Godhead is described as a “us,” not an“I.” I would go as far to say that then the Bible says there is one God, that simply means there is only one divine nature. I would further say that the one divine nature is possessed by the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
I believe sometimes we only equate God with the Father, but we must understand that God can be used to describe the Father separately, the Son/Jesus separately, the Holy Spirit separately or a combination of any of these three persons within the Godhead. The word God can also be referring to the Godhead as a whole. Context will always determine how the word God is being used.
Below are just a few scripture references that describe the Father, the Son/Jesus and the Holy Spirit as being part of and making up the one Deity/divine nature. I will make just quick references to these since our focus is on the Deity of Jesus in this article.
- Here are a few passages that teach or imply the Father is God (Phil. 1:2; Isa. 64:8; Jn. 5:21; 1 Jn. 1:3; 1 Tim. 1:1; etc.).
- Here are a few passages that teach or imply Jesus/the Son is God (Jn. 1:1, 14; Col. 2:9; Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:15-17; etc.).
- Here are a few passages that teach or imply the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4; Rom. 8:11; Psa. 139:7-10; 1 Cor. 2:10-11; 1 Pet. 1:2; 2 Cor. 13:14; Heb. 9:14; etc.).
So, with all of the above being said, let’s now look at four major points that prove Jesus is Deity.
Point 1: Jesus Claimed to be Deity.
“Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death” (Revelation 1:17-18).
In John 8:58, Jesus went so far as to use the very words by which God revealed Himself to Moses from the burning bush (Ex.3:14).
“Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” (Jn. 8:58).
In John 10:30, Jesus claimed to be God when He stated that He and the Father are one. In fact, the Jews clearly realized the claim Jesus was making to the point of condemning Him for blasphemy.
“The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God” (Jn. 10:33).
Therefore, the first reason we should believe that Jesus is God/Deity is because He claimed to be.
Point 2: Jesus Accepted Worship.
The Bible teaches that only God can accept worship (Ex. 20:4-5). In fact, in Acts 10:26, Peter denied the worship that Cornelius attempted to bring Peter. Peter explained to Cornelius that he was just a man and only God is deserving of worship. In fact, Paul even condemns worshiping angels (Col. 2:18).
“…For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve” (Mt. 4:10).
Jesus accepted worship on many occasions. From the time He was a child, until the time He was resurrected and ascended back to heaven, He received and accepted worship. He was worshiped when He was a child (Mt. 2:11). He was worshiped by His disciples (Mt. 14:33; 28:9, 17). The blind man worshiped Jesus after he was healed (Jn. 9:35-39). The disciples worshiped Jesus as He was ascending (Lk. 24:50-53).
Therefore, the second reason we should believe that Jesus is God/Deity is because He accepted worship.
Point 3: Testimonial From Others
The Father Himself testified that Jesus is God.
“But to the Son He says: ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.’ And: ‘You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands” (Heb. 1:8-10).
Many others also testified and/or recorded that Jesus is God. This includes John (Jn. 1:1-5, 14), Matthew (Mt. 1:23), Isaiah (Isiah 9:6), Peter (2 Pet. 1:1), Luke (Acts 20:28), Paul (1 Tim. 3:16; Titus 2:13), Thomas (Jn. 20:28), etc.
Therefore, the third reason we should believe that Jesus is God/Deity is because the testimonials of others.
Point 4: Jesus’ Divine Attributes and Characteristics
There are certain characteristics that are limited to Deity. Jesus exemplified and/or taught that He had these attributes. Jesus is eternal, not created (1 Tim. 6:16; Psa. 93:2; Isa. 57:15; Hab. 1:12; Mic. 5:2; Isa. 9:6; Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:16; etc.). Jesus could forgive sins (Mk. 2:7; Lk. 7:48; Mt. 9:1-8; etc.). Jesus could know and search the hearts of men (Jer. 17:10; 1 Kings 8:39; Jn. 2:23-25; Lk. 5:22; Mt. 9:4; etc.). Jesus was sinless (Rom. 6:23; Heb. 4:15; 1 Pet. 2:22; etc.).
Therefore, the fourth reason we should believe that Jesus is God/Deity is because He has attributes that only God possesses.
In conclusion, these are four strong reasons as to why we should believe the Bible teaches Jesus is God. In another article on my blog, you can dig deeper as we explore the question, “How can Jesus be both God and the Son of God?”
– Kevin Pendergrass