As I perused the Internet I found an interesting comment made by a man who said, “Jesus never claimed to be God.” I realized then that I have heard this argument before. Several times actually. You see not all people accept the fact that Jesus was not only the Son of God and Son of Man, but also God in the flesh. Other religions believe Jesus was a man of history, but not a deity. Not God. Muslims believe him to be a prophet, Jews believe he was a false messiah, Jehovahs Witness believe he was “Son of God,” but not “God,” and Mormons also deny Christ as God. Are you beginning to see why it is very important to understand what you believe as far as who Jesus was? 1 Peter 3: 15 says, “15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” So this is what I will try to do on this blog. My goal is to give an answer with gentleness and respect. I plan to break up my blog posts on this subject to make them more understandable/readable. Not too much information at one time. I hope that it helps fellow believers understand who Christ, and the Bible, say he was. Keep in mind that each of the verses I use in his blog have had entire dissertations on them, but I am going to try and simplify as much as I possibly can for understanding. So, here we go…
I wondered where to start in this blog and then it came to me, in the beginning. Genesis 1:26, ” And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” It is easy to read over the word “our” here because in our Christian minds we all know that there is but one God (Isaiah 45:5, ” am the LORD, and there is no other, there is no God beside Me”), but it is a word that shouldn’t for a second be ignored. There are several explanations, but I believe a very clear picture can be found in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Now, how can the Word be “with” God and also BE God? John 1 goes on to say in vs 14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” So in this verse we get another hint. The Word, the one who was with God and WAS God, became flesh and dwelt among us. In John 1:2 it says that this Word made everything and that without him nothing was made. So, this is a pretty important piece of the puzzle. This “Word” created the world! He then became flesh and dwelt among us. Wow, that’s powerful. So here we have tied in Old and New Testament and see a clear picture as to who the “our” is in Genesis 1:26. The only one that John would be speaking of who put on flesh and dwelt with men would be Jesus. So, the Word must be Jesus. This would mean that Jesus was there in the beginning. So, we can now substitute “the word” for Jesus in John 1 and we see Jesus was with God and he WAS God. It is difficult to understand but Jesus did give us a few answers, thus the reason the Jews executed Him, and we will get into that next.
The argument is that Jesus never claimed to be God. So, did he or didn’t he? The answer is overwhelmingly yes, he did, but YOU need to know the verses that point to this truth. If you are speaking to a Mormon, a Jehovahs witness, a Muslim, etc. they will try to convince you that Jesus really wasn’t making that point. The obvious question would then be, “well why did the Jews execute him for blasphemy then?” but we will get into that. When proposing a few questions to a friend I was asked, “so there is a difference between Jesus being the son of God and saying he was God?” Yes and no. Both point to being God/full deity, but when speaking to people of other religions they will tell you that son of God does NOT point to full deity/being God. Anyway, here are the facts:
Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Some obviously argue that Jesus was NOT this man. Jesus said he WAS this man. What do you believe? Let’s consider a few points:
***In Mark 14:61-64 the high priest asked Jesus, “…..Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked.64 “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”They all condemned him as worthy of death.”
In the above verse we see a few things. Jesus CLEARLY admitted with the words, “I am” to the claim that he was the Messiah, the Son of God, and the Son of Man. He was then executed for blasphemy (calling himself God) as instructed by the Law of the Jews in Leviticus 24:16. The high priest actually ripped his garments at this admission by Jesus. So, it was abundantly clear to the Jews at this point that Jesus was claiming deity. The Jewish law stated that when a high priest was acting as judge the high priest was to rip his garment if he heard any blasphemy (McDowell, Evidence For Christianity, 354). The “Son of Man” statement was also a very clear message to the Jews that Jesus would have power over the world and would sit at the right hand side of God. This was according to the prophecy in Daniel 7:13-14, “13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man,[a]coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” Interesting that Jesus was saying he would be worshipped and have dominion over nations! No wonder this made the Jews so angry! Jesus was saying these Jews, who had him on trial for blasphemy mind you, would one day bow down and worship him. That would make me angry as well if I thought this man was nothing but a blasphemer and a liar. He certainly wasn’t someone to be worshipped in their eyes. The point, however, is Jesus’ admission. Also note the “I Am” in which holds the title for my blog. Jesus calls himself “I Am” several times in the New Testament. So why is this important?
In Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses, “I Am that I Am” when Moses asked what to call Him. Jesus then claims to be “I Am” in the New Testament. John 8:58 is one such example, ““Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” When the Jews heard this they picked up stones to kill him. Again Lev 24:16 was the law that they followed, they saw this claim as blasphemy, and at this point they were going to take the law into their own hands and kill him. Jesus was not only saying that he was “I Am” as God did in Exodus, but he was also telling them that he existed before Abraham! In the previous verses Jesus explained, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” 57The Jews therefore said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” This would only make since if John 1 were correct, that Jesus (the Word) existed from the beginning. Otherwise there would be no way someone of Jesus’ age would know Abraham. We have now come full circle so I will end here for now.
The next post will include Jesus making himself equal with God, asking for worship as God, accepting worship as God, forgiving sins as only God can do, and more clarification to the titles given to him (Son of God, Son of Man).
6 thoughts on ““I Am””
Although this is standard apologetics I am afraid it seemed a little simplistic to me. You might equally have chosen verses like: “Why do you call me good? Only my Father in Heaven is good” Yet I fear the problem is deeper than that. There are about as many concepts of God as there are religions and to say Jesus is the same as God would surely depend on what you mean as God. The JW one? the Mormon one, the Unitarian one, the Catholic one, which??? For example if you took the John definition of God is Love – and put it together with the Paul definition of Love which is strictly in human terms – ie love is patient, love is kind…love keeps no score of wrongs etc etc then there is no argument. If on the other hand you are saying Jesus is the same as the mysterious creation forces of the Universe – and can make a Universe from a single big bang type particle then this has virtually nothing to do with the God (s) portrayed in the Bible – many of which are contradictory anyway. It also makes nonsense of the crucifixion. What sort of sacrifice is it if he knows he can simply come back – and if necessary create another universe or two while he is doing it. If he really could do this and had such wonderful powers then he was a fraud!!! Is tis what you were trying to say?Even worse it would then seem you are setting yourself up as an authority on things that the wisest scientist and smartest theologian might only have the haziest notions about.
Peddiebill, thank you for commenting. I appreciate your time. I have a few points and I’ll just bullet them to make everything simple:
*When I began this blog post I stated that my intention was to make these Bible verses as simple as I could. So thank you for saying it was simplistic, that was my goal.
*At the end of my blog I mentioned I would follow up with several other posts. I did not want to throw every verse pertaining to the deity of Christ into one blog.
*There is only one God. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As I stated the Bible says in Isaiah 45:5, “I am the LORD, and there is no other, there is no God beside Me.” I realize there are other religions, but there is only one God. Draw your own conclusions here.
*The Bible’s account of creation keeps standing up while the the theories of evolution keep getting debunked. I am not sure what you mean “many of which are contradictory anyway?” If you have questions on creationism I suggest the following web site: http://www.answersingenesis.org
*My entire blog was to say that YES Jesus IS the same essence as God. The God head exists in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The Bible teaches in John 1 that through “the Word” everything was made. I think I made it pretty clear that “the Word” was Jesus.
*It does not make nonsense of the crucifixion at all! If anything it shows God’s/Jesus’ extreme love for mankind! Mankind needed a savior and Jesus was the one God sent. God sent his only son- John 3:16. I am not sure why you would say he is a fraud because he died on the cross and rose again on the third day? How many men do you know of that rise up from the dead on their own after being brutally wounded, hung, stabbed through, and proven dead? I recommend a book to you: “Evidence of Christianity” by Josh McDowell.
*I do not claim to have any authority, but the God of the universe does. I use my simple mind to read what was given to me in the Bible and understand it the best I can. The authority, however, comes from God. I wrote His words. My words are simply my understanding of Biblical teaching.
Thanks for the detailed reply.
I cant honestly say I feel my points have been answered in a form that convinces me.
Josh McDowell’s book is not exactly state of the art Bible Scholarship and since I spent three years studying the Creation Evolution debate for my PhD, telling me that the Creationists have the answers and that the Theory of Evolution doesn’t stand up doesn’t in any way square with what I discovered.
Rather than assuming I know nothing, as you appear to have done, why not take a quick look at my website – or Google “Biblical Literalism The Shaping of God”
I did not assume you know nothing, but then again I do not know you at all. All I know of you is that you brought up points that were not specifically addressed in this blog post, so I tried to answer them without writing a thesis. I’ll check out your page for sure. It was clear to me from your first message that you do not hold the Bible as 100% true, so I figured I would point you in other directions for answers. I look forward to seeing what you have to say on the matter. Possibly in later posts I too will delve further into Creation Science, but I felt I first needed to define who I believe the Bible says Jesus was.
No one has seen god at any time. So as you can see there are three witnesses to this fact in scripture.
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he(God) hath declared him.
1 John 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
John 5:37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. (If Jesus is God you have seen God)
Jesus is not God he is the son of God. In the simplist…….
Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
Matthew 16:14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
Matthew 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Hmmmmmm pretty simple isnt it? Why would anyone want to mess or not believe this statement? Jesus says who he is in the most simple way he can himself. Dont you believe what he says?
You have been polluted by the Trinity doctrine which is a doctrine of men and is not mentioned in the Bible anywhere.
In Genesis what is the scripture right after the one you quoted?
So God made man in his own image. Singular, Singular, Singular!!
NOT plural. The angels were there with him and they look like God also. You are making an assumption. Jesus never makes a statement confirming your belief nor anyone else in the whole Bible. So you see that makes that belief a doctrine of man.
John 1:1 Correct translation from the greek.
en archee een ho logos kai ho logos een pros
IN BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, AND THE WORD WAS TOWARD
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ton theon kai theos een ho logos
THE GOD, AND GOD WAS THE WORD.
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houtos een en archee pros ton theon
THIS WAS IN BEGINNING TOWARD THE GOD.
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panta di autou egeneto kai chwris autou
ALL (THINGS) THROUGH HIM CAME TO BE, AND APART FROM HIM
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egeneto oude hen
CAME TO BE NOT BUT ONE (THING).
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WHICH HAS COME TO BE
This statement is just describing God and that through his word nothing that has been done has not been done except through his word or what he speaks. Example?
Genesis 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Genesis 1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
Genesis 1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
Genesis 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
Genesis 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
Genesis 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
Genesis 1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
What is the common denominator in all these statements? Very simple….(And God said).
Yes it is that simple.
Can God Tell a lie? lets look at some statements that Jesus says that if he is God makes him a blantant liar.
JN 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. A blantant lie if this is God Almighty.
JN 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If God says this he is a blantant liar. Not true though. Jesus is his son.
JN 8:17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.
JN 8:18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. There are two. God and his son. Two witnesses. Couldn’t get any plainer.
JN 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. God does not give himself commandments.
JN 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. What? Jesus states that the words that you hear are not his. This would be a blantant lie if he is almighty God. Jesus is not the God of the old testament but he is the Son of the God of the old testament.
I hope you come to the truth on this matter because Satan is the author of confusion and the Trinity is a doctrine of confusion that preachers cant even explain themselfes like it is some big mystery. What a lie!!! What the scripture says plainly is that Jesus is the Son Of God and all scriptures therin agree.
Marcus it’s funny because my dad calls himself Maximus Dadimus, or similar variation based on the movie Gladiator. It seems you have similar personalities. I read your argument a few times and I just have a few points to discuss. Please keep in mind that I see this as a learning experience and I am coming at this fully open minded. I never used the word “trinity” because that is a “churchism.” I am simply trying to explain things the way I understand them through my own reading, not from “churchisms.”
I must say I agree with you in that Jesus was his own entity (or essence as the Greek indicates), but there are also other scriptures that we have to deal with. We can’t look at scriptures individually and make a case.We must look at the entire book. So in order for you to prove a point you must first negate my points and state your own case. You did this with some of my points -although I have counter argument- but not all. So why was Jesus crucified? From what I understand it was Blasphemy, what say you? Jesus said, “I Am,” and to me -and to the Jews based on their reaction picking up stones to stone him- this meant he was God. What say you? In Isaiah 6 My King James Bible says, ““For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” So how do you explain the “mighty God, everlasting father references?”
Ok, so those are the questions I have based on previous topics I brought up. I mentioned at the end of my post I would bring more arguments. I will be posting more soon, but just to keep things “simple” I’ll address the arguments you brought for now. I hope you don’t mind if I bullet them. It just helps me stay on track:
*Have you seen your soul? You do believe that the soul is what will live on for eternity right? Not our physical body. So to say that you have seen a physical body doesn’t mean you’ve seen the soul. So this spirit put on flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14), but we didn’t see the spirit. We haven’t seen “God” because God isn’t a body. He has to take on some sort of physical form (like the fire in the bush), but we don’t/can’t/have not actually seen/see him. Just as we can’t see our souls. So we’ve seen a physical body that Jesus took on himself, but not God. Colossians 1:15-17
*I don’t negate your point here. I believe Jesus’ teaching in that he was “Son of God,” but he also said he was “Son of Man,” and he also said, “I Am” which was understood to be saying, “He was God.” Then in points that I wanted to bring up in future blogs he also 1. Says, “I and My Father are One” in John 10:25-33. 2. Says in John 8:58, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” 3. Allowed worship as God in several verses but in a key verse Thomas calls him “My Lord and My God” and he didn’t rip his garments or tell Thomas NOT to call him “God” as the angels did (Rev 19:10). 4. Forgave sin (Mark 2:5-7) 5. Is called God by John in 1 John 5:20 and finally 6. Is said to have the fullness of the Godhead bodily in Colossians 2:9. So there is a little more here that we have to consider. Can you explain 1-6 in a way that says he wasn’t an essence of God? In other words, that he wasn’t part of the “godhead.” Because I believe there is ONE God but He exists in The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Why else would we baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Matthew 28)? Why not simply in the name of God -singular-? Also, can you explain if Jesus wasn’t around from the beginning when was he created and how was he in existence before Abraham?
*In Genesis you’ve pointed out a good point! He goes from a plural “our” to a singular “his own image.” So yes, there are a few questions here but my explanation is that the Godhead exists in the Father, Son, Holy Spirit. They are, however, ONE God. I believe there is only one God. The best my mind can understand this is in marriage, “the two are no longer two but one,” but obviously the godhead is WAY more intertwined/like minded/in sync. Anyway, where do you get this bit about the angels being made in the image of God? Where is that verse because I don’t believe I’ve read that. Obviously it says we humans were made in his image, but I did not see where angels were? This seems like a big assumption to me that God was talking to angels! If he were talking to angels it REALLY doesn’t make sense that he then went to a “singular, singular, singular” as you pointed out. It would make MORE sense to me that it were the Father, Son, Holy Spirit God in why he would use a plural than a singular. If it were him + angels then it would have always been plural. It would have read, “in our image” because angels are not God.
*You said Jesus never makes the claim that he was deity and nowhere else in the Bible says so but then what about Colossians 2:9? He does in the verses 2 bullets up. The mans doctrine, “trinity” -I believe- is just a way to try and understand these tensions in the Bible.
*I don’t know where you are getting this translation. Can you tell me? Because I have the KJV of the Bible and when I go to “Blue Letter Bible” it has the Greek as exactly what I stated, “Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος” “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” So I guess I can’t argue this point further until I know where you got your Greek from.
*Is Jesus a liar? By all means, no. I would explain it as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit having three separate roles. I believe these roles are pretty evident in the full chapter of John 14. I will just post it here for clarity sake. It’s long but at least it will all be here. So how do you explain all the lingo, If you know me you know the father and have seen him, and we will send another and it will be us living (the Holy Spirit) in you? The disciples were clearly confused. If it were simple like you say then why are they sooo confused by what he is saying in John 14? Here is the full chapter:
14 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.