At a certain juncture in the ministry of Jesus, he asked his disciples: “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13). They told him some were saying he is John the Baptist, some say he is Elijah and others say he is Jeremiah or one of the prophets. He then asked them: “What about you? Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15).
It is imperative to know precisely who Jesus is because eternal life is the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. (John 17:3). When Peter answered declaring Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God; Jesus replied: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” (Matthew 16:17-18).
When we know exactly who Jesus is, we are built on a rock and become impregnable. When we know who he is, we enter into his rest. When we know who he is, we are confident he is more than able to be the shepherd and bishop of our souls. When we know who he is, we are sure he is able to do: “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20).
Jesus Is God
The scriptures leave us in no doubt that Jesus is God. John identifies him as the Word of God and says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1). “Great is the mystery of godliness,” says Paul, “God was manifested in the flesh.” (1 Timothy 3:16). He calls Jesus: “Our great God.” (Titus 2:13). Isaiah also refers to him as: “Mighty God.” (Isaiah 9:6).
Hebrews recalls that God the Father referred to his Son Jesus as God: “To the Son he says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.” (Hebrews 1:8). Isaiah’s messianic prophecy (Isaiah 7:14) recalled in Matthew, also identifies Jesus as God: “‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ – which means, ‘God with us.’” (Matthew 1:23).
God requires man to worship only him: “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Exodus 34:14). When the devil asked Jesus to worship him, he refused saying: “‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” (Matthew 4:10).
However, Jesus himself accepted worship time and again, showing that he himself is God. When he walked on water: “Those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’” (Matthew 14:33). When he rose from the dead, some women came to his tomb looking for him: “Suddenly Jesus met them. ‘Greetings,’ he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.” (Matthew 28:9).
Creator of Heaven and Earth
The bible starts with this affirmation: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1). According to scripture, Jesus is the God who created the heavens and the earth.
Hebrews says it was through Jesus that God made the universe. (Hebrews 1:2). John says: “All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:3). “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.” (John 1:10).
If nothing was created without Jesus, then Jesus himself could not have been created because he could not have created himself.
God the Father confirms that Jesus created the world. He says to Jesus: “In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.” (Hebrews 1:10). Paul also affirms this: “For by (Jesus) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16).
Indeed, Genesis confirms that God the Father did not create man all by himself: “God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.’” (Genesis 1:26). Here, God the Father is obviously talking to his Son, Jesus.
Divinity of Jesus
Everything about Jesus identifies him as divine. The scriptures recognise God as one who is “from everlasting to everlasting.” (Nehemiah 9:5). So also is Jesus. Micah prophesies about him: “You, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2).
Isaiah says Jesus is our Everlasting Father: “The government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6). Although Jesus is a man born of a woman, Paul also maintains: “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17).
God says in Malachi: “I the Lord do not change.” (Malachi 3:6). The same is said of Jesus: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8). God affirms his exclusive status as saviour in the scriptures: “I, even I, am the Lord, and besides me there is no saviour.” (Isaiah 43:11). But then this exclusive status is then ascribed to Jesus, showing that he is God. Announcing his birth, the angels told some shepherds: “There is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11).
Jesus is the God the prophets foretold. Isaiah spoke of “the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.’” (Isaiah 40:3). This voice turned out to be that of John the Baptist and the God for whom he was preparing a way turned out to be Jesus. (Matthew 3:1-3).
Jesus himself declares his divinity loud and clear. He says for example: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20). This makes him omnipresent. He says to his disciples: “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (John 14:14). These are not the words of someone who considers himself a mere man.
He also says to them: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20). These words are unambiguous. They are the words of one who claims without equivocation to be God. As a matter of fact, Jesus reveals he is the God who sent all the prophets, including Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. He says: “Indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city.” (Matthew 23:34).
Invite Jesus into your life. Believe in him and he will readily be your Lord and your God. (John 20:28).
...to be continued.
About the Author:
Femi Aribisala is a scholar and international affairs expert. He is currently an iconoclastic church pastor in Lagos. He is also a syndicated essayist for a handful publications in Nigeria. firstname.lastname@example.org
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