IS JESUS GOD?
(Wednesday, June 03, 2020)
Most connect Jesus with the New Testament, but was He also in the Old Testament? John revealed a surprising truth about the Father in John 1:18: “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (emphasis added throughout). A careful study of the Bible shows clearly that the God who interacted with humans in the Old Testament was the One who became Jesus Christ. The most clear scripture is found in John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In John 1:14, this being called the Word is clearly identified as Jesus Christ: “And the Word became flesh and dealt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus is clearly the being called the Word.
Jesus Christ made His identity very clear—sometimes even to the detriment of His physical well-being! In John 8:56, Jesus said He knew Abraham. Since Abraham had lived and died nearly 2,000 years before, this statement offended the Jews Jesus was talking to. They considered it blasphemy that a mere man (as they viewed Him) “not yet fifty years old” had the audacity to claim He had known their patriarch Abraham (John 8:57). But Jesus’ response was even more shocking to them: “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58). Yes, Jesus Christ claimed that He predated Abraham. But, in saying this, Jesus also gave a not-so-subtle clue about His identity that wasn’t lost on the angry Jews who surrounded Him. He referred to Himself as “I AM.” This was actually a divine title of God! When He appeared to Moses from the burning bush, God identified Himself as “I AM WHO I AM” and “I AM” (Exodus 3:14). Jesus Christ identified Himself as the God of Abraham and Moses, and the One who led Israel out of Egypt.
Years after Jesus called Himself “I AM,” the apostle Paul reinforced Christ’s identity as the God who led Israel in the wilderness in 1 Corinthians 10:1-4: “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” The God who provided water out of a rock for the Israelites and who protected them day and night was the Word (the One who later came as Jesus Christ).
2.0 GOD CREATED ALL THINGS THROUGH JESUS
Before His human birth, Jesus Christ was the One through whom God who created all things. The apostle Paul made this fact very clear in his writings. We read that “God [the Father] … created all things through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:9). Jesus Christ, the Word, under the Father’s direction, created “all things”—the angelic realm, the physical universe and all physical life.
Colossians 1:16-18 reveals more functions of the Word. Not only were “all things … that are in heaven and that are on earth,” created though Him, but He also rules over all authorities and powers that exist under the Father. This means that Christ has authority over the entire angelic and human dominions. He existed “before all things” (He is eternal), and “in Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:17). Here are two more verses that reinforce the truth that the Father created all things through the Word:
- “There is … one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live” (1 Corinthians 8:6).
- “God … has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
3.0 PROOFS THAT JESUS IS GOD AND ETERNAL
- Jesus was the Word who existed before the beginning, was with God and was God. (John 1:1-3; Revelation 19:13)
- Jesus existed before Abraham and called Himself “I AM.” (John 8:57-58; 17:5)
- Jesus is called both God and Saviour. (Titus 2:13)
- Only God can be called our Saviour. (Isaiah 43:11; 45:21; Hosea 13:4; Titus 3:4; 2 Timothy 1:10)
- Thomas called Jesus “my Lord and my God!” (John 20:28)
- Isaiah prophesied that one of the Messiah’s titles is “Mighty God.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
- Micah prophesied that the Messiah would be “from everlasting”—another way of saying He always existed. (Micah 5:2)
- No one has seen or heard the Father, yet the God of the Old Testament was seen and heard by some, meaning this being must have been the One who later came as Jesus Christ. (John 1:18; 5:37; 1 John 4:12; Exodus 24:9-11)
- The Son is directly referred to as God. (Hebrews 1:8; 5; Luke 20:41-44)
- Jesus is the Lord who would sit at the Father’s right hand. (Psalm 110:1, 5; Luke 20:41-44)
- Jesus Christ was before all things and responsible for the existence of all things. (Colossians 1:15-17)
- Jesus was God “manifested in the flesh.” (1 Timothy 3:16)
To summarize, in most places the God we read about in the Old Testament was the One who later came as Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was the One through whom the Father created all things, who interacted with human beings like Adam and Moses, and who led Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness. He did all these things on behalf of the being known in the New Testament as God the Father. God the Father is the supreme authority and directed the Word (Christ) in all that He did. The Father and Son work together in perfect harmony as a team.