Hello friends and readers! Long time no see, at least in this study of the deity of Jesus Christ. Way back in February we started a study on the deity, or non deity in some quarters, of Jesus Christ. Life interrupted, and we took a small hiatus from the series. It is now time to continue on and work our way to our conclusion.
Since it has been so long since our last installment in the series, today we will keep it light, and not dig too deeply into the meat of what Scripture teaches about the deity of Jesus. That is the point, however, where we are in our study. We have covered other things related to the topic, and all we have left is to understand what God’s own Word teaches us on this topic. So, today will mostly be a recap of what we have already covered, and what is coming up.
In Was Jesus Really God? Part 1-Does It Really Matter? ,we discussed the absolute centrality and necessity of this doctrine to historical orthodox Christianity. We discussed the essential nature of the deity of Jesus Christ as a major part of how His death on the cross was actually able to pay for the sins of mankind
In Was Jesus Really God? Part 2- The Hypostatic Union For Dummies we made a quite feeble attempt to discuss the Hypostatic Union, or the incomprehensible melding of Jesus as 100 percent man and 100 percent God in one being.
In Was Jesus Really God? Part 3-Attacks On the Divinity of Jesus Christ we covered some of the major attacks on this doctrine, both historically and currently and provided some very informative links to additional reading.
In Was Jesus Really God? Part 4-Why Don’t We Believe In Jesus? we covered mainly the doubts of this vital doctrine coming from supposed “Christian” quarters, and why people hold to doubt about it. We also arrived at the conclusion that those who deny the deity of Jesus, are desperately in need of Jesus, and are not truly Christian in any meaningful sense of the word.
So, here we are.
Hey, Jesus never said He was God!!!
That is the common argument made to support the contention that Jesus never claimed divinity. Hmm..ok..yeah He never said those words. I guess I am done here.
Ok, not really.
If you are reading this, and are a doubter of Jesus’ claims, other people’s claims, and the claim of God’s Word as a whole, then a lesson in proper Bible interpretation is coming. First, the Bible is not a collection of verses with no relationship to each other which can be plucked out and hurled at random to prove whatever a person want. The Bible is a STORY. It is the story of the creation, fall, and ultimate redemption of God’s creation through Jesus Christ. Any doctrine supported, or not supported, always has to be looked at through the lens of the redemption narrative which runs from the first verse in Genesis to the last verse in Revelation.
Next, within the Bible, any given passage or narrative always has to be looked at through the lens of history, culture, and language. The English words most of us read sometimes have much more meaning than just the simple way we may see them without putting on those lenses when we read.
My point here is that, no, Jesus never uttered the words, “I am God.” Fair enough, but yet not enough. By looking and interpreting the things we read, we will find during the rest of this study, that Jesus did make claims of his own divinity, and that the people around Him clearly understood what He was claiming.
Let’s just look briefly at some things we will consider over the next few weeks:
Jesus did make claims that he and God were the same being
Jesus often claimed equality with God
Even Jesus’ enemies understood He claimed to be God in the flesh.
Jesus clearly claimed attributes and rights only to be given to or by God
Jesus was worshiped and accepted the worship of others
Various authors of the Bible clearly understood the divinity of Jesus in their inspired writings
That is where we are heading over the next few weeks. I hope you will follow along and be blessed as we move along.