I ran across a recent blog by Pastor Mark Driscoll that helped answered a question I was perplexed during my early youth years. I wish had the WORD of GOD armed and ready, but failed in my feeble attempts to dual a self-proclaimed atheist. This could have been one of those moments that later inspired me to enter into seminary training. Much later in life, our family moved into a new home, and 2 sisters knocked on our front door from the Jehovah Witness church, asking the same question…
So why didn’t Jesus outright say, “I AM GOD”? Instead, he frequently referred himself as the “Son of Man”. Before we can answer this, you must also recognize that we’re over 2,000 years removed from the historical and cultural context of Jesus’ time. The words and phrases written in the Bible may obstruct us from seeing what was SO OBVIOUS to the audience of that time.
SHORT ANSWER: Jesus DID emphatically, publicly, privately, and unapologetically declare that HE was GOD.
Yes, Jesus wasn’t crucified because he supposedly broke the Sabbath laws, healed the sick, perform miracles, or teach “heresies” in the eyes of the Pharisees. He was put to death because he called himself, “GOD”… “I AM”. Here are 2 passages that may help you in answering this question. There are many more, and I invite you to add them into the COMMENTS section below.
- John 10:30-33: I and the Father are one.” Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
- Matt 26:63-65: The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.
You see, pretty clear right? Do you have any other passages that can encourage and equip others to firm up their faith in knowing Jesus was God? Add them to the COMMENTS.
Thank you, Pastor Mark for helping us answer this question. WATCH HERE
Recently, I had to answer my belief statements in a doctrinal review as I prepared to teach at an established Seminary institution. It was a +20 page concisely written statements of faith regarding key biblical truths. And then I came to question #6: what did I believe in regarding Christ’s humanity. That’s an easy one, right? Believe it or not, early church Father’s needed about 3 different Council deliberations before we figured out this divine mystery. I might as well share with you my attempt to muster up a brief and accurate (hopefully) answer which took our early church 4 centuries to get cleared up.
“I believe in the complete deity (Col 2:9) and humanity of Jesus Christ (1 Tim 2:5), the incarnation of God (1 Tim 3:16). He was, is, and forever is God (John 1:1, 3:13, 3:31, 8:58). He is worthy of all our praise (Heb 1:6).
Jesus became fully human (1 John 1:1), experiencing all physical and emotional qualities (Luke 2:52), yet without sin. Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, he became man to reveal himself to his creation (John 1:18), to be an example (1 Peter 2:21), to live a life of perfect obedience, and ultimately to atone for our sins as a perfect sacrifice (Heb 10:4-5).
Out of humility and love, he lowered himself taking the role of a servant as an ultimate expression of sacrifice and love (Phil 2:6-7).”
I love diagrams, yet, they never do justice 100% of the time. But this may help you visual learners out there.