In the past many months I’ve been preaching through the Gospel of John. Every time we give fresh attention to the Bible we see things that surprise us all over again. One surprise for me is how often and how clearly John’s Gospel tells us that Jesus Christ was and is God. To give just a few examples:
• John began his Gospel with a clear statement that Jesus is God (John 1:1-2)
• Jesus claimed that belief in Him decided one’s eternal destiny (John 3:16, 3:36)
• The religious leaders understood that Jesus said He was God (John 5:18)
• Jesus said that He would judge the world (John 5:22)
• Jesus said that everyone should honor Him just as the honor God the Father in heaven (John 5:23)
• Jesus said that He has God’s own power of self-existence (John 5:26)
• Jesus told the religious leaders He was God and they clearly understood Him (John 10:31-33)
• Thomas proclaimed the risen Jesus to be Lord and God and Jesus praised him for it (John 20:24-29)
These are only a few examples of dozens in the Gospel of John alone. Add to that the many more passages in other books of the New Testament that tell us that Jesus is God, and the biblical evidence is overwhelming. Any honest follower of Jesus Christ must say, “I agree with what the God-inspired writings of the New Testament say about Jesus: that He is God.”
Understanding what the Bible says about Jesus being God leads us to several more important ideas and things to apply.
Don’t Forget the Humanity of Jesus
The Bible puts great emphasis on the truth that Jesus is God, but it never forgets that He is also man – that is, human. His deity did not cancel out or overwhelm His humanity. The same Jesus who slept because He was tired woke up and calmed the storm with a word. So when we remember that Jesus is God, at the same time we don’t forget that He is man.
Don’t Forget How Strange This Is
We hear things so often in the Christian world that sometimes strange or extraordinary things no longer seem amazing. Pretend you never heard this before: Some 2,000 years ago a remarkable Jewish rabbi walked this earth and in outward appearance he seemed just like all of us. Yet this remarkable man was in fact God in human form, the same God who created everything around us.
Friends, that is a strange story. The only reason any of us would or should believe it is because the Bible says it is so, and it presents many persuasive evidences to back up the claim. The greatest evidence was that He rose from the dead in a new order of life, and many eyewitnesses affirmed this.
We have a wonderful story to tell about Jesus, but don’t forget what an amazing story it is, and how strange it may sound to someone who has never heard it or thought about it before.
Don’t Forget How Necessary This Is
The teaching of the Bible is that God added humanity to His deity and came to us as Jesus of Nazareth. He didn’t just send a super-holy man or a high-ranking angel. That angel or that might be able to help humanity, but never really save us. The work of bearing the sin of the world required a perfect payment and only a perfect Being could offer such a payment. If Jesus was not God, He could have never perfectly paid the debt our sin and rebellion created and we would remain lost in our sins.
Don’t Forget How Wonderful This Is
In Jesus we have something wonderful: not only the words of God, but the very personality of God. One way the Apostle Paul described Jesus was as the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). It’s easy to wonder or guess what God is really like, and through history many people have had many different opinions. Jesus put an end to all the speculation by perfectly revealing God to us.
Don’t Forget to Believe It
The truth about Jesus is that He was and is God. God is honored when we know and tell the truth about Him, and it is a sin to reject the truth about God or spread lies about Him. Because Jesus really is God, we must choose to believe it. We must choose to worship Him as God. We must choose to represent Jesus as He really is: God the Son.