Where in the Bible Does Jesus Claim to be God?
By: Dr. John Ankerberg
Jesus Christ is so foundational to Christianity, shouldn’t we know what He claimed?
When we consider all the great religious teachers, leaders, and prophets who have ever lived, who is the equal of Jesus? Not Moses, Confucius, Buddha, or Lao Tse (Taoism), who never claimed to be anything other than sinful men. Not Muhammad, Joseph Smith, Zoroaster or Guru Nanak (Sikhism) who never gave any proof they were true prophets of God. Not Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, or Krishna who were only myths. If we examine the specific claims of such individuals, we find none of them claims what Jesus does.
Jesus claimed to be God.
Jesus is absolutely unique in the claims He makes for Himself. He says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). How many other men have ever said that? Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). How many other men have ever said that? As we saw, Jesus even claimed that 1500 years before His birth, Moses wrote about Him and further, that the entire Old Testament bore witness to Him (John 6:46-47; Luke 24:27, 44).
Jesus claimed that to know Him is to know God.
Jesus said that God the Holy Spirit would bear witness of Him and glorify Him (John 16:14). Whoever made such a claim? Jesus said that to know Him was to know God (John 14:7). To receive Him was to receive God (Matt. 10:40). To honor Him was to honor God (John 5:23). To believe in Him was to believe in God (John 12:44-45; 14:1). To see Him was to see God (John 8:19; 14:7). To deny Him was to deny God (1 John 2:23). To hate Him was to hate God (John 15:23). Did any other men in history ever make such statements?
Jesus claimed He could forgive sins.
In Mark 2, Jesus claimed He could forgive sins–something all religions concede is reserved to God alone. In John 10:28 and 11:25, He said He could give all who believed on Him eternal life. How can a mere man, indeed anyone less than God–give eternal life to creatures who die? Yet Jesus raised the dead even in front of His enemies–not in some dark alley, but before scores of eyewitnesses (Luke 7:11-15; 8:41-42, 49-56; John 11:43-44). Who else ever did that? He did other miracles that amazed those who saw them.
Jesus claimed that He Himself would judge every person who ever lived.
“We have never seen anything like this!” (Mark 2:12). “Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind.” (John 9:32) In Matthew 25, He said that He would actually return at the end of the world and that He Himself would judge every person who ever lived; that He would personally raise all the dead of history and that all the nations would be gathered before Him! Who ever said that? He would sit on His throne of glory and judge and separate men from one another as a shepherd does the sheep from the goats (Matt. 25:31-46, cf. John 5:25-34). Just as clearly, Jesus taught that every person’s eternal destiny depended upon how they treated Him (John 8:24; Matt. 10:32). Jesus said, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world” (John 8:23). All these statements and many more like them, leave us little choice. Either Jesus was who He said He was–God incarnate–or else He was absolutely crazy. But who can believe that?
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Dr. John Ankerberg
Dr. John Ankerberg is founder and president of The John Ankerberg Show, the most-watched Christian worldview show in America. His television and radio programs are broadcast into 106 million American homes and are available in more than 200 nations in 12 languages. Author, co-author, or contributor of 158 books and study guides in 20 languages, his writings have sold more than 3 million copies and reach millions of readers each year online.