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Is Jesus God?
Depths of Pentecost ^ | February 16, 2019 | Philip Cottraux

Posted on 02/16/2019 3:32:00 PM PST by pcottraux

Is Jesus God?

By Philip Cottraux

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not (John 1:1,10). It’s one thing to believe Jesus is the Messiah. Or the Son of God. But God? While firmly settled by Christians long ago, many still grapple with it. Muslims and Jehovah’s Witnesses are fine with labeling Jesus a prophet, but consider equating Him with the Almighty blasphemy, pointing out that nowhere in the four gospels did He demand worship. The thorny issue of the Trinity is at the center of the controversy. How exactly could God exist in three different persons but still be one?

I’ll address the Trinity another time. For this week I want to honestly look at the scriptural objections to Jesus being God, which usually revolves around three verses:

Mark 10:17-18: And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God.

John 14:28: 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.

Mark 13:32: But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Let’s first address the bigger issue of why Jesus didn’t demand worship. The obvious answer is that He came to be our example. As Christians, we are to emulate Christ as much as possible. Jesus taught humility; walking around saying “I am God, worship Me” would not have exactly set a good standard for His followers. But it also would have been counterproductive to His ministry, detracting from teaching people how to treat one another.

Jesus’ proclamation that only the Father knows when the coming of the Lord is admittedly problematic because it gets into the mystery of the incarnation. What does it mean exactly for God to become a man? Theologians have debated this since the birth of Christianity. Philippians 2:7-8 indicates that Christ emptied Himself, but isn’t exactly clear on what. I think the best interpretation is that as the eternal God, Jesus had to experience the limitations of humanity to be our Savior. He could become tired, thirsty or hungry. Yet He could also walk on water and perform miracles. So the question of Him not knowing when His return would be falls into the realm of this enigma. Does He still not know after ascending to heaven? Is the Father keeping the information for Himself? Or did He only not know while inhabiting an earthly body?

We may never know. But we need to read the Bible entirely and consistently. So this verse must be reconciled with other scriptural evidence for Christ’s deity. I often say that cherry-picking Bible verses out of context is a wrong way to approach the Word (Christians and their critics are both guilty of this). When someone presents me with a scripture and demands an explanation, I ask them to look at the scriptures around it, what chapter it’s in, who wrote it, and what the historical context is.

In Mark 10, Jesus was addressed as “good teacher,” to which He responded “Why do you call me good? There is no one good but the Father.” But in context, Jesus was asking the man to stop and think about the impact of what He was saying. We can find more clarity for this passage by matching it with Matthew’s account, which contains a second clause: Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments (Matthew 19:17).

With John 14:28, Trinity deniers overlook what comes beforehand. In verse 26, Jesus referenced both the Father and Holy Spirit: 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. Jesus was warning the disciples in advance about His soon-coming death, resurrection, and ascension. He told them the Holy Spirit would come in His place. Now in verse 28, He continued that they should be glad rather than mourn for Him. Instead of just focusing on the last phrase “For the Father is greater than I,” let’s break it down.

“Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you.” Jesus is referencing His earlier statements that He would return some day.

“If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father:” Jesus now tells them that if they love Him they will rejoice instead of grieve.

“for my Father is greater than I.” “Greater” doesn’t have to necessarily mean ontologically superior. Jesus is still bound by the limitations of an earthly body. It’s harder to interpret His words as “Rejoice that I’m going to the Father, because He’s God and I’m not.” John 14:28 makes more sense in light of John 17:5: And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world began.

These three examples fall apart as arguments against the deity of Christ when completely overwhelmed by the verses supporting His deity. This is why Muslims and Jehovah’s Witnesses have to carefully frame the challenge “Name one verse where Jesus demanded worship.” instead “Name one verse where Jesus claimed to be GOD,” because those are in abundance.

-As I wrote last week, when Jesus is walking on the water in Matthew 14:27, English versions have slightly mistranslated the phrase Be of good cheer; it is I, be not afraid. The original Greek text literally said “Be not afraid, I AM.” Jesus invoked the Tetragrammaton, the sacred name of God given to Moses on Mount Sinai before the burning bush (YHWH), to describe Himself.

-But this wasn’t the only time. In John 8:58: Jesus said Verily verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Notice the reaction of the crowd immediately afterward: Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple going through the midst of them, and so passed by (verse 59). They sought to kill Him because He had made a claim they considered blasphemous.

John 14:9: He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

John 10:30: I and my Father are one.

Christ also matches Biblical descriptions of God. He is:

Omniscient: Now are we sure that thou (Jesus) knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God (John 16:30).

Omnipresent: For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them (Matthew 18:20).

Omnipotent: And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Matthew 18:19).

Exists eternally: Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:8).

One of Jesus’ most common self-expressions was as “the son of man.” For example, right before His arrest He predicted behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners (Matthew 26:45). Critics use this moniker as Jesus viewing Himself a mere mortal. However, they overlook what this phrase was both referencing and setting up. At His trial, when demanded to answer whether He was the Christ, He responded Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven (Matthew 26:64).

It turns out by invoking “Son of Man,” Jesus was citing a prophesy in Daniel 7:13: I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. Now that we have established solid scriptural teaching that Jesus is God, what will you do with Him? That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11).

TOPICS: Apologetics; Charismatic Christian; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: apologetics; christ; christianity; iam; jesus; sonofman; trinity; triunegod
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1 posted on 02/16/2019 3:32:00 PM PST by pcottraux
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To: pcottraux; boatbums; rlmorel; georgiegirl; Shark24; Wm F Buckley Republican; metmom; ...

My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge: Hosea 4:6.

This is the official ping list for Depths of Pentecost: I’m a Christian blogger who writes weekly Bible lessons. Topics range from Bible studies, apologetics, theology, history, and occasionally current events. Every now and then I upload sermons or classes onto YouTube.

Let me know if you’d like to added to the Depths of Pentecost ping list. New posts are up every Saturday, videos every Wednesday.

2 posted on 02/16/2019 3:32:40 PM PST by pcottraux (
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To: pcottraux

3 posted on 02/16/2019 3:41:53 PM PST by Pilgrim's Progress ( D)
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To: Pilgrim's Progress

Same scriptures, except not in bold? Lol.

4 posted on 02/16/2019 3:47:31 PM PST by pcottraux (
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To: pcottraux

St. Thomas: “My Lord and my God”!

5 posted on 02/16/2019 3:51:30 PM PST by frogjerk (We are conservatives. Not libertarians, not "fiscal conservatives", not moderates)
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To: frogjerk

Not followed by chastising, either.

6 posted on 02/16/2019 3:54:12 PM PST by pcottraux (
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To: pcottraux

Yea, I know how to bold it but you have to do all those breaks and stuff. The Word Doc has formatting with bold, but FR doesn’t act kindly toward it.

Two or more witness, Amen?

7 posted on 02/16/2019 3:55:29 PM PST by Pilgrim's Progress ( D)
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To: pcottraux

Jesus holds the keys to both death & hades.
He is God, Lord, Creator of all.

To deny these truths is to deny God.

John 1:1-14
John 10:30

8 posted on 02/16/2019 4:01:19 PM PST by Roman_War_Criminal (Like Enoch, Noah, & Lot, the True Church will soon be removed & then destruction comes forth.)
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To: pcottraux

C. S. Lewis handled it better

9 posted on 02/16/2019 4:16:59 PM PST by Nifster (I see puppy dogs in the clouds)
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To: pcottraux

Yes. Next question.


10 posted on 02/16/2019 4:26:03 PM PST by Celtic Conservative (My cats are more amusing than 200 channels worth of TV.)
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To: Nifster

Than who?

11 posted on 02/16/2019 4:33:58 PM PST by pcottraux (
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To: pcottraux

Than you

12 posted on 02/16/2019 4:56:54 PM PST by Nifster (I see puppy dogs in the clouds)
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To: pcottraux
One of the hardest things to teach is the concept of a Triune God. I don't even like to call it the Trinity because that denotes 3 Gods. It's one God in 3 forms.

If you study the Potter and Clay Sermons, we can see that God makes a "vessel" and puts "something" in the vessel. Adam was made from the dust of the earth and God blew His breath into the clay vessel He had just formed making it a human being. When we die, our body goes back to the dust, but who we really are, our person hood, needs a new body. We are given a new body, a glorified body, a body that won't get sick, won't die, but most importantly can stand before God and not burn up.

Scripture says that God is Spirit. It says that God is Love. As people. We cannot imagine trying to interact with spirit, so God takes on a form we can understand to interact with His people. God has appeared as and Angel (Angel with a capital "A" is a theophany appearing before Jesus was born in the flesh), a burning bush, Melchizedek, pillar of smoke, pillar of fire, and other forms to interact with His people.

Jesus was fully God and fully man. The Holy Spirit formed a child in Mary's womb so a child could be born, but installed the Spirit of God in the child. A man would be required to die on the cross to pay for the sins of men. Sheep and goats couldn't take sins away, but just delayed the punishment. Anyway you look at it, however, the man called Jesus was God in the flesh.

Genesis says we were made in the image of God. We have mind ( soul), spirit, and body. Our body is temporary, but it is the strongest outward identity we have. Our soul ( mind) is the force that tells us to eat when we get hungry and defend ourselves when we are threatened. Our spirit died in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve reproduced beings that had dead spirits, so we all are born dead to God. When we accept Christ, Our spirit is resurrected and sits in the heavenlies with the Body of Christ.

Eph 2:6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

We are ,right now, in heaven with Jesus if we are saved. The spirit we have here is Holy Spirit. We will receive a new body when we need one, and the only thing left is the soul. When we are saved, to be sanctified, we must kill our carnality of the soul, and place it under the control of the Holy Spirit. This is the war Paul spoke of when he desired to do good but did bad. Jesus was a man, formed by a woman and the Holy Spirit so she could emit flesh with God inside. Jesus was in the beginning, God, But being in a glorified body, He was with God, but He was definitely God. Then scripture says the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

When we die, we will leave this body for a new body, our spirit is already with God, and our soul will be saved into a new creature. When Jesus came out of the tomb, Mary thought Jesus was a gardener. She didn't recognize Him. He kept His nail scars to glorify Himself, but our new bodies will be perfect. 2 of His disciples followed with Him for 7 miles and didn't know Him until they say His nail scars when breaking bread. When we see Him face to face, we will be as He is. Having a body is convenient to interact with, but who we really are is in our spirit. Jesus said I and the Father are One. And if you've seen me, you've seen the Father to tell us they are the same. When Jesus was talking to the Father, he was actually talking to His Spirit self. Jesus was just the form that men could see and interact with. Which is BTW, what God is seeking from us. He wants to be our God and for us to be His people. Jesus IS God. There is no other. But what about the Father? Jesus is the Father. But, but, the Holy Spirit? The Spirit is in Jesus and us. God is Spirit.

13 posted on 02/16/2019 5:03:13 PM PST by chuckles
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To: pcottraux

John 20:17 -

“Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.”

14 posted on 02/16/2019 5:06:42 PM PST by ScottfromNJ
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To: pcottraux

This is one question I try to avoid, altouugh when ask I say Jesus was God in the flesh or the son of God.

However I assume the Pentecostals do believe that Mary was the mother of God.

15 posted on 02/16/2019 5:24:53 PM PST by ravenwolf (Left lane drivers and tailgaters have the smallest brains in the hi h wordsi to your mom.)
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To: pcottraux
These verses, as well as, "I am the Way the Truth, and the Light. No one comes to the Father except by Me.", puts a lie to "Jesus was just a great teacher" or "Jesus was just a good person".

C.S. Lewis made the point: “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else He would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

16 posted on 02/16/2019 5:39:51 PM PST by MuttTheHoople
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To: pcottraux; LucyT

You believe in God; believe also in Me for the Father and I are one; for I am in Him and He is in Me. John 14

You believe in God, believe also in me. 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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am there you may be also.

17 posted on 02/16/2019 6:10:44 PM PST by David
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To: chuckles

Well said.

18 posted on 02/16/2019 6:14:57 PM PST by Fungi
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To: pcottraux
In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.


19 posted on 02/16/2019 6:20:15 PM PST by NorthMountain (... the right of the peopIe to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed)
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To: ravenwolf

I know the Catholics like to elevate Mary, but she is not the mother of her Creator, the self-existent God. Jesus was both God and man. Mary was the mother of the man Jesus. God does not report up to His “mother”. Seems pretty blasphemous to assign an attribute like that to the Creator of everything.

20 posted on 02/16/2019 6:31:52 PM PST by Old Yeller (Auto-correct has become my worst enema.)
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