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Once more: Is Jesus God?

20-09-2016 - Posted by Andre Piet

Not long ago I placed a blog titled: is Jesus God? In this blog I argued that the Scripture knows only one God, namely the Father. Jesus Christ is the SON of God. But also an Image or Ikon of God, the invisible. So who sees the Son, sees the Father.

In this blog I want to refer to an article that I recently read and I which the above is heavily contested. I precisely follow the writer from beginning to end and in between his assertions I will place my comments.

Nowhere in the Bible Jesus ever literally said: “I am God.” Yet that does not mean that He did not proclaim that He is God.

Not only didn’t Jesus anywhere claim to be God (a fatal void in the assertion!) but He did explain why he could not claim it. He addressed his Father as “the only true God” (John 17:3). And when the scribe told Jesus that there is One God and that there is no other than He, Jesus did not correct him by saying that He Himself is God also (Mark 12:32). On the contrary, Jesus even called this confession of the scribe the foremost precept of all (Mark 12:29)! His God and Father is all-knowing, but according to Himself He is not (“no one is aware…….nor the Son but the Father only”; Matt. 24:36).

For example, take Jesus’ words in John 10:30: “I and the Father, We are One”. At first sight Jesus doesn’t seem to claim He is God.

Whomever concludes that Jesus is God from John 10:30, just projects one’s own thoughts in this Bible verse. Because the fact that the Father and the Son are One, doesn’t make the Son to be God. Somewhere along the gospel of John we read that the Father, the Son and the believers together are One also (John 17:21). But are the believers therefore God as well? Is not this foolishness? Father and Son are One, because whomever sees the Son has seen the Father (John 14:9). That is Jesus’ own explanation.

But look at the response of the Jews to His statement: “For an ideal act we are not stoning you,” they answered, “but for blasphemy, and that you, being a man, are making yourself God” (John 10:33). The Jews considered Jesus’ statement as a claim that He was God. In the next verses Jesus doesn’t correct the Jews. He could have said, for example: “I absolutely didn’t say I am God.” This points out that Jesus really said that He was God when He proclaimed: “the Father and I are one” (John 10:30).

It was the unjustified conclusion of these Jews that Jesus, being a man, had made Himself to be God (John 10:33). In His response, Jesus points it out to them, that in the law, creatures are called gods (10:34,35). So, Jesus argues, why would it be blasphemous when He claims to be God’s Son (10:36)? If there would be a verse where Jesus explicitly claimed not to be God then it is in this passage in which He is accused of it!

Because of this, the Jews responded again by picking up stones to stone Jesus (John 8:59). Why would the Jews want to stone Jesus if He wouldn’t have said anything they considered blasphemy, namely, a claim that He was God?

An accusation of blasphemy is not the issue here. Jesus accused the Jews of being liars (8:55) and he declared to supersede Abraham. That is why they picked up stones.

John 1:1 reads: “and the Word was God”. John 1:14 reads: “the Word became flesh”.

The first verses of John speak of the word of God through which all came to being. The word sounded – that is, God Himself. Much later that same word of God came to Mary and she became pregnant. The word became flesh (John 1:14).

Acts 20:28 tells us: “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” Who has bought the church with His own blood? Jesus Christ (NIV). So Acts 20:28 proclaims that God bought the church with His own blood. And so Jesus is God!

How hopeless can the argumentation get, when one resorts to such a questionable Bible translation and reasoning. Acts 20:28 doesn’t handle about “his own blood” but about “the blood of his own” like most translations properly show. Hereby the argument and also the absurd thought, that the immortal God would have blood and would have died, are cancelled out.

Thomas the disciple said to Jesus: “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Jesus does not correct Him.

A few chapters earlier Jesus told Thomas (14:5-7): “If you had known me, you would have known My Father also. And henceforth you know Him and have seen Him (= the Father)”. In other words when the risen Jesus stood before Thomas… He saw the Father. Hence his exclamation.

Titus 2:13 encourages us to wait for the advent of “our God and Saviour – Jesus Christ” (also 2 Peter 1:1).

Titus 2:13 talks about “the advent of the glory of the great God AND of our Saviour Jesus Christ”. There is absolutely no need to conclude from this passage that Jesus Himself would be “the great God”.

In Hebrews 1:8 the Father says of Jesus: “Thy throne O God is for the eon of the eon and a sceptre of rectitude is the sceptre of Thy kingdom.”

God is called “the God of gods” (Deut. 10:17) and Paul says: “there are many gods and many lords” (1 Cor. 8:5). There are many gods in a relative sense (Kings, magistrates, judges, authorities) but in the absolute sense the title is reserved for only ONE God, the Father (1 Cor.8:6 “…nevertheless for us there is one God, the Father”…) If judges are called ‘gods’ in Scripture (Ex. 22:8,9), than in it is not necessarily surprising that also the Son, who’s throne is for the eon of the eon, is addressed as god.

In the book of Revelation, the apostle John was instructed by an angel to worship only god (Revelation 19:10). Several times in Biblical text Jesus is worshipped (Matthew 2:1; 14:33; 28:9,17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38) He never rebukes anyone for the fact that they worship Him. If Jesus is not God, then He would have told those people that they should not worship Him, just like the angel had said in Revelation.

The term ‘worship’ (Greek. proskuneo) is not an exclusively religious concept. As far as word structure is concerned it points to a dog that cuddles towards his master. In Matt 18:26 a slave falls down as a supplicant for his master- that is ‘proskuneo’. In Revelation 3:9 the Lord(!) makes people come and worship other people in humble recognition, Also that is called ‘proskuneo’. So it is not only indicative of the worship of God.

In addition there is something else and that is we pray, thank and worship toward God, through Jesus Christ. He is not the destination of our prayer but the channel  through which it reaches the destination (God).

… do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father, through Him. (Col 3:17)

Through Him, then, we may be offering up the sacrifice of praise to God… (Hebr. 13:15).

To the only God, our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, might and authority…..(Jude: 25)

There are many more passages in the Bible concerning Jesus’ Divinity.

Jesus is Divine. That is not the issue here. He is God’s Word that became flesh (John 1:14).  Generated in Mary by God Himself without the input of a man (Luke 1:35). But He is therefore specifically not God Himself. He is not the unseen God, but His Ikon or Image. That is his glory (Col. 1:5; 2Kor.4:4). He is not the one God but the one Mediator between God and men – the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5).

The most important reason why Jesus has to be God, is that His death would not have been sufficient to pay the price for the sins of the whole world, if He was not God (1 John 2:2). Only God can pay such an infinite debt. Only God could take the sins of the world upon himself (2 Cor. 5:21), die and rise from the death to prove his victory over sin and death.

Wat is said here, is the most important reason why Jesus is not God and also cannot be God. Can the immortal God die? Asking the question is answering it. God cannot die or be put in a grave. When Jesus was dead for three days, he needed to be resurrected by the Father (Rom. 6:4; Acts.2:24; 4:10; 10:40). A believer is someone who confesses that God raised Jesus from the dead (Rom.10:9). If Jesus Himself would be God, then this is impossible for me to confess wholeheartedly.

An article like this which defends that Jesus is God, brings to light a glaring lack of arguments. And also absurd arguments which are necessary to uphold this view. So much the more confirming the Biblical truth of ONE God, the Father and of Jesus Christ, Gods Son and Image!

nederlands HB