Who Did Jesus Claim to Be?
Back on page 13 and 14 were listed a number of contradictory beliefs for Jesus identity. Now we will look at who Jesus Himself claimed to be in the Bible:
1. Jesus Claimed to be God
In the Old Testament God calls Himself “I Am” in Exodus 3:14. In the NT Jesus uses the same name in John 8:58-59; the Jews realized what He was saying and picked up rocks to stone Him because they knew He was claiming to be God.
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Say this to the people of Israel”, “I AM has sent me to you.” Exodus 3:14.
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I Am,” so they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. John 8:58-59
2. Jesus Claimed to be the Object of Prayer
Jesus claimed to be the mediator between God and man, thus He was claiming to be God. How would you respond if I asked you to pray in my name? “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:13
3. Jesus Claimed to Forgive Sins
We can all forgive someone for sinning against us personally. But of the numerous times Jesus forgave sins, He had just met the people so they had not sinned against Him personally. He was forgiving their sins against God, something only God can do.
“Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Mark 2:5-7
4. Jesus Claimed to be Worthy of Honor Due God
The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. John 5: 22-23
5. Jesus Claimed to be the Messiah – God in the OT
The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” John 4:25-26
Caiaphas asks Jesus, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Mark 14:61-62
6. Jesus Claimed to be Equal in Authority with God
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Matt. 24:35
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matt. 28:18
7. Jesus Claimed to be Yahweh (LORD)
In the Old Testament, God is referred to in many ways. In the New Testament, the same attributes are applied to Jesus and suggest He is God in the flesh.
Old Testament Name New Testament
Psalm 23:1 Shepherd Heb. 13:20
Isa. 44:6 First & Last Rev. 1:17
Isa. 40:28 Creator Col. 1:16-17
Isa. 62:5 Bridegroom Mt. 25:1
Ps. 27:1 Light Jn. 8:12
Isa. 43:11 Savior Jn. 4:42
Isa. 42:8 God’s Glory Jn. 17:5
1 Sam. 2:6 Giver of Life Jn. 5:21
Deut. 32:4 Rock 1 Cor. 10:4
Joel 3:12 Judge 2 Cor. 5:10
Revelation tells us it is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 1:17-18 are Jesus’ words claiming to be the First and Last, an Old Testament title in Isaiah 44:6 reserved for God. He also says “I was dead and behold, I am alive forevermore,” which only fits Jesus.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” Rev. 1:17-18
8. Jesus Accepted Worship on Nine Occasions
Mother of James and John - Matt. 20:20, Possessed man - Mark 5:6, A blind man - Matt. 28:17, Doubting Thomas - Jn. 20:28, The women at the tomb - Matt. 28:9, A Canaanite woman - Matt. 15:25, His disciples - Matt. 14:33, A healed leper - Matt. 8:2, A rich young ruler - Matt. 9:18.
Jesus was also a Rabbi and the first duty of a Rabbi is to point out blasphemy. Yet Jesus never rebuked anyone who worshiped Him and even commended Thomas in John 20:29. In contrast, the apostle John tried to worship an angel in Revelation 22:9 and was rebuked. Jesus, on the other hand, accepts worship reserved for God alone. He was more than an angel.
9. Jesus Claimed to be One with God the Father
Despite the claims of many popular books today, it is clear the Jewish witnesses had no trouble figuring out Jesus was claiming to be God. They did not believe He was God, so in the end they crucified Him for blasphemy (claiming to be God, using God’s name in vain). They would have been right if He was not in fact God.
“I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” John 10:30-33
10. Why Does Jesus Call Himself the Son of Man?
In the first verse below, Daniel 7:13, “Son of Man” is the God figure in the Old Testament. In John 8:28 Jesus calls himself the Son of Man, which He does 82 times in the (ESV) version the New Testament.
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. Dan. 7:13-14
So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.” John 8:28
No matter who you or anyone else in popular culture think Jesus is, based on the evidence it’s ludicrous to say that Jesus never claimed to be God.
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