How do we know Jesus is God?
Evidence to support the claims of Jesus’ identity:
1. Jesus is good – The goodness of his character
Even though many have rejected his claims regarding his identity, few fail to recognize the goodness of Jesus’ character. He had compassion on others, comforted those in need, associated freely with the outcast and downtrodden, and humbled himself as a servant. His teachings upheld the strictest standards of moral goodness, and he fulfilled them with his own blameless life. “Which of you convicts Me of sin?” he asked, “And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?” (Jn 8:46). If we recognize his goodness, then how can we deny Jesus’ claims to be God? If he were not God, he would be a blatant liar—the greatest sham and hypocrite of them all. This is the contradiction we are faced with, just as the Jews at the time debated the same questions (see Jn 7:12; Jn 10:21). But even Pilate, the Roman who judged Jesus, found no fault in him (Mt 27:24; Lk 23:4). If his claims were false, why would Jesus deliberately deceive, and willingly die for a lie? And why would he then make no attempt to defend or justify himself before his accusers (Mt 27:14, Mk 15:4-5)? No one in his right mind would willingly suffer and die for a lie he created.
2. Jesus is wise – His wisdom astonished others
Jesus not only exemplified goodness in his life, he displayed extraordinary intelligence and wisdom. His knowledge and understanding astonished his listeners (Mt 8:28; 13:54), even in his boyhood (Lk 2:47, 52). His enemies marveled at his replies to their challenges and were unable to answer him (Mt 22:22, 33, 46). He was perceptive of the doubts, questions, and difficulties those around him faced and was able to address them. He proclaimed prophecies regarding his own death, as well as the destruction of the temple, which were later fulfilled.
Jesus is our Savior who has the power to fulfill prophecies and authority to perform miracles:
1. Jesus is the Christ – His fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies
The Bible predicted that there would be a Messiah who would come to save God’s people. Several different authors, at various stages in history—centuries before Jesus—prophesied about the Messiah’s coming, his mission, his life. Jesus’ life fulfilled these Messianic prophecies one by one: he would be born of a virgin (Isa 7:14) in Bethlehem (Mic 5:2) of the seed of Abraham (Gen 12:1-3) and the house of David (2Sam 7:12ff); he would be preceded by a messenger, Elijah (Mal 3:1, 4:5); he would be betrayed by a close friend (Ps 41:9) for thirty pieces of silver (Zech 11:12); he would be silent before his accusers (Isa 53:7); he would be crucified, sneered and mocked (Zech 12:10; Ps 22:7); he would resurrect (Ps 16:10) and ascend to heaven (Ps 68:18). As Jesus said, the Scriptures bear testimony of him (Jn 5:39,47) that he is indeed the Christ, the Savior of man.
2. Jesus is Love – His miraculous ministry
Jesus did not just dispense moral teachings during the three years of his ministry; he performed numerous miracles that healed the blind, lame, and leprous (Mk 1,2); multiplied bread (Mt 6:11); cast out demons (Mk 9:14-27); even raised the dead (Lk 9:49-56). These signs and wonders were proof to an otherwise unbelieving people (Jn 4:48) that Jesus came from God and was the prophesied Messiah (Isa 35:5-6). Nicodemus, a Pharisee and ruler of the Jews who came to believe, said to Jesus: “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” (Jn 3:2).
Jesus is the Lord of Life – His resurrection has the power to forgive our sins and grant man eternal life:
Jesus is the Lord of Life – His resurrection
The women who followed Jesus went to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body with fragrant oils and spices. When they arrived, they found the stone rolled away, and his body gone. Peter and John came to inspect the tomb and saw only the grave cloths lying there. Jesus later appeared to the disciples several times, showing them his hands and feet and eating with them to show that he had indeed resurrected. He spent some time with the disciples explaining the scriptures: “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem” (Lk 24:46-47). It was the first time in history that such an event had occurred; no other religion can make the same claim.
Jesus is the Holy Spirit that has been promised to be given to His believers:
Jesus is the Helper – The gift of the Holy Spirit
Jesus promised his disciples that when he went away, the Helper, the Spirit of truth, would come to guide them. He told them, “If I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you” (Jn 16:7). The pouring out of the Holy Spirit recorded in Acts testifies to Jesus’ claims, for it fulfills the promise he made to his disciples. Jesus must have returned to the Father in order to send the Holy Spirit to them (Acts 3:33). Today, we can receive the Holy Spirit because Jesus fulfills his promise to us. This is manifest in the physical evidence of believers who pray for the Holy Spirit and, in being filled, speak in tongues as the apostles did, or even are healed of their illnesses.
Jesus is God….and the evidence:
1. Jesus is God – The testimony of Jesus’ followers
Among the Jews, given their strict monotheism, it is highly unlikely that any would so easily come to believe the “myth” that the man, Jesus, was also Lord. Yet even the Jewish rulers— including someone as well educated as Nicodemus—came to believe in Jesus (Jn 12:42). When Jesus was arrested, his disciples and followers scattered out of fear and went into hiding. Peter denied Jesus three times to avoid any trouble with the authorities. Yet within a few months after his death and burial, Peter and the other disciples fearlessly preached Jesus and his resurrection before the multitudes and the authorities that had sentenced Jesus to death. Even the authorities marveled at their boldness (Acts 4:13). The apostles persisted in preaching the gospel despite being threatened, beaten, imprisoned and stoned—even unto death. The dramatic change that took place in them, and the witness that they continued to bear under extraordinary pressure to stop, testify to the truth of their claims. As they said to the council of rulers that threatened them: “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). The persistence of Christianity to the present day, despite all odds, supports the veracity of its beliefs. Jesus’ followers continue to bear witness of him today, despite societal pressures and even heavy persecution in various parts of the world.
2. Jesus is God – He answers prayers
The work of Jesus continues today; in his name, addictions are conquered, diseases are cured and lives are transformed—all testifying to the power, authority, and eternal words of a living Lord. As testimony verifies, he answers the prayers of those who earnestly seek him: healing our bodily ailments; imparting peace and true joy; empowering us to overcome the conflicts and temptations that bind us; giving us the most precious gift of his temptations that bind us; giving us the most precious gift of his Holy Spirit.
It has been proven beyond any doubt that Jesus is God. Are you convinced?
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