"And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16). What does this mean, to be the Christ, the Son of the living God?
This article will provide some of the texts that show the deity of our Lord Jesus. The Bible confirms that Jesus is God. Remember, one must believe the testimony of Scripture. You can never convince others of this through argument or logical presentations. The conviction of truth is the Spirits work. We are to "be ready always to give an answer to every man" that asks a reason for our hope (1 Peter 3:15).
God with Us
Isaiah 7:14 states that a virgin will bear a child and His name will be called Immanuel. This was fulfilled in Matthew 1:23-25 where our Lord Jesus is named. Immanuel is also translated for us in the verse as "God with us." Together Matthew and Isaiah teach that Jesus is God.
The Everlasting Father
Isaiah 9:6 begins with a child and ends with the father. It states, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given" Notice that the words "a child is born" demonstrate that His humanity had a beginning. Isaiah then states "a Son is given"; the Son has no beginning. He already existed. To have no beginning is an attribute of God. For those who might argue that Jesus, as the Son of God, had a beginning it can be pointed out that since He is the only begotten Son of God (1 John 4:9) and since one cannot be a father without having a child, the Father and Son must come into existence at the same time. So He is the everlasting Son. Finally, in this verse we see that the Child/Son is "The mighty God" and there is only one being that can be called "The mighty God." This term in the Hebrew is only used two other times in the Old Testament. In Isaiah 10:21 and in Jeremiah 32:18, this term clearly refers to Jehovah, the Lord of Hosts. The Son in Isaiah 9:6 is one and the same as Jehovah, God.
The Savior, the First and the Last
Isaiah 43:3 declares Jehovah is the Savior and Isaiah 43:11 states "I, even I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no Savior." Isaiah 45:21 states that there is no other Savior but Jehovah. There is only one Savior and He is Jehovah. In the New Testament, Jesus is clearly the Savior, the only Savior. He is announced in Luke 2:11 as "a Savior which is Christ the Lord." John 4:42 affirms that He is "the Savior of the world." Titus 2:13 confirms it: "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ." The Savior presented in the Old and New Testaments must be the same Person, therefore Jesus is God.
In Revelation 1:7-8 Jesus is the One Who was pierced and He says "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." Also, He is the First and the Last. In Isaiah 41:4 and 44:6 Jehovah states, "I am the First, and I am the Last; and beside Me there is no God." They must be one and the same. Many other references in the Scriptures link these names and titles. In the Old Testament they look forward to the Christ and in the New Testament they are fulfilled in Jesus.
Who can forgive sins, but God only?
Matthew 5, Mark 2, and Luke 5 record three miracles that only God could perform. First, Jesus has complete authority to forgive sins. He forgave the man his sins. The Pharisees and Scribes were correct in saying that only God can forgive sins. Secondly, Jesus knows the thoughts of those around Him, something only God can do. Finally, He has the power to heal with just a word. A man did not have the use of his legs. His condition was so bad that friends had to carry him on a bed. When placed in front of the Lord, he not only was healed physically, but he was healed spiritually. Why was this man healed physically? So that those who witnessed it would see the physical change ("The Jews require a sign" 1Co 1:22) and would understand that Jesus has authority to forgive sins, validating His claim to Deity.
And they that had eaten were about four thousand
Feeding the multitude, turning water into wine, healing the ear of Malchus, and restoring the sight (and, as some believe, the very eyes) to the blind man (John 9) were all miracles of creation. From walking on water to the calming of the sea, Jesus has power over the world that only the Creator has. He is the only One who ever demonstrated this in both His life and His death (when the rocks split and the earth shook). He is not only the Creator but He is the Sustainer of the world.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am
Did you know that Jesus claimed to have met Abraham? Jesus states that "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto Him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham?" (John 8:56, 57). The crowd understood that He said He physically saw Abraham who was dead for hundreds of years. How could this be? He was not even 50 years old? How? They were addressing God Himself Who became a man. If that is not what He meant to communicate, or if they misinterpreted Him, why didnt He correct them?
And gave up the spirit
The Lord Jesus is the only One who has ever had full power over His own life and death. In John 19:30 "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost." The Greek words used for "gave up the ghost" are different than those used elsewhere in the New Testament: "Paradidomi pneuma" which means to yield or surrender the breath. It was an act of His will. Only God has this authority.
Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up
There are some who believe that He is just a man, but they will also agree that He is a perfect man, without sin. Who raised Jesus from the dead? This seems like a simple question and the answer is usually "God the Father" or "Jehovah." John 2 is insightful here. The discussion comes to a point where He tells them "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." Jesus stated that He would be responsible for His own resurrection! This stunned the Jews and they thought He was speaking of the temple since no one could raise himself from the dead; but He was speaking of His own body. This very exchange is repeated at the cross by those passing by insulting the Lord and it was remembered by the disciples at the resurrection (John 2:22). So in light of the Scriptures which show that the Father, or the Spirit, or that God raised Him from the dead, it can be asked if Jesus was mistaken or was wrong in His assertion that He would raise Himself from the dead? If He was wrong, He was not perfect. If He is perfect then He must be right and He would have to be God, or those other Scriptures would be incorrect. Therefore Jesus not only has power over His life but He has power to take it up again since He is God.
My Lord and my God
We began this article with an acknowledgment from Peter that the Man, Jesus, was indeed the Christ, the Son of the living God. We will end this article with the confession of Thomas. Seeing the risen Christ, Thomas expresses this sublime truth, "My Lord and my God." The Lord responds, " Because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed" (v 29). What did he believe? He believed that Jesus was who He said He was, fully Man and fully God. And we can all rest in the same truth, for, "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."