That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
~1st John 1:1-6~
Jesus once asked his disciples in Matthew 16 “who do you say that I am?” This is a foundational question for understanding what Christianity is. Upon this question is the rise and fall of the Biblical record in terms of who Christ is and what God has revealed through Him. This is question upon which the identity of religions is founded. Is Jesus the only begotten Son of God? Is Jesus God? Is he more than a good moral example and figurehead for correct behavior? True Christianity asserts that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is God in the flesh. This is what the Bible reveals Christ to be. Indeed, in 1st John 1, the “beloved disciple” teaches us that a proper view of who Christ is a test to see if one truly belongs to the Christian faith. He concludes chapter 1 by stating that:
God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
While the dichotomy of light and darkness is often used to speak of sin and righteousness, it has more connotations. In this particular context, John is speaking about Christ coming in the flesh and what Christ proclaimed about Himself while on ministering here on Earth. John sums it up and basically states if you hold to a view of Christ that is not biblical, you do not belong to the Christian faith and you have no fellowship (relationship) with God (in terms of salvation). So, what does the Bible teach about this Jesus of Nazareth?
I. Scriptures claim that Christ is God
- The famous Immanuel passage in Isaiah 9:6 clearly states that the coming Messiah (Christ) would be called “Might God.”
- John 1:1, 18 clearly point to the fact that Jesus was God.
- Thomas (who is famous for his doubting) claimed in John 20:28 that Jesus was both his “Lord and God.”
- Hebrews 1:8 shows a declaration from the Father to the Son stating that “your throne, o God, is forever and ever…”
- Romans 9:5 states that Christ is God over all.
- Luke 2:11 states that Christ is the “Lord.” (this title is often used to denote superiors, roughly a sign of respect; yet in this sense, it denotes deity).
- In Matthew 3:3 states that John the Baptist came to “prepare the way of the Lord.” In this verse, John is quoting Isaiah 40:3 which speaks of God Himself coming among His people.
- Jesus stated Himself that he was the great “I Am” in John 8:58 (this was a designation given to Moses by God during the Exodus).
- Jesus describes Himself as the “Alpha and Omega” in Revelation 22:13; this is the same descriptor used of the Father in Revelation 1:8.
- Colossians 2:9 states that in Christ the fullness of deity dwells.
- Hebrews 13:8 tells us that Christ does not change (this is the same immutability describing God in Malachi 3:6).
- Colossians 1:15-17 tells us that Christ created all things.
II. Evidence during Jesus’ life that can only be ascribed to deity
- During the fish and loaves even recorded in Matthew 14, the turning of water into wine in John 2, and the stilling of the storm in Matthew 8, we see the evidence that Christ was omnipotent. He possessed all power, the same as the Creator God.
- Several times during His earthly ministry, Jesus demonstrated His omniscience. It is recorded that He knew who would betray Him (John 6:64) & that He knew the thoughts of the people He ministered to (Mark 2:8).
- The fact that Jesus had authority to forgive sins also gives us evidence that He possessed the sovereignty of God (Mark 2:5-7).
- He arose from the grave (Luke 24:1-12).
The Biblical record is very clear, Jesus Christ of Nazareth is God in the flesh. The Creator of all known reality descended from His throne to walk the dusty ground around Israel. He lived a perfectly sinless life in order to satisfy the Law of God (His own Law) in order to redeem those who had not and could not. He manifested who He was while on Earth, He has risen from the grave and ascended to His throne in Heaven as victorious King. He is not “a” god, He is the One True God.
Now the consideration is this, “Do I live my life as if Jesus is a good role model, or as the King of all the Earth?” When John stated that those who live like God has not revealed who He is and what the work of Christ has done, they are in darkness. Truly the question that Jesus asked His disciples rings true still today… “Who do you say that I am?” Our lives reveal (perhaps betray) our thoughts of Christ and what we really think of Him. What does yours say?