Is Jesus Truly God?
BY JAKE TAUBE
Christians affirm that Jesus is God. Sound a little superstitious? After all, Jesus lived a long time ago, and we can’t really put this claim to the test, can we? What proof do Christians have that Jesus is God?
But, really, how long ago Jesus lived isn’t the biggest problem. If some person today claimed to be God, what experiment could you use to show that he or she was wrong? There is no “God gene.” It’s clearly not as simple as running a paternity test! How do you prove that someone is not God?
So, are we stuck here? “Jesus claimed to be equal with God, eternal like God, the very Son of God—but our tests were inconclusive. We can neither confirm nor deny it.”
There is something more we can say, though. If we knew some things about God himself—what he was like, what he was capable of—then we could at least say whether or not Jesus’ claims were credible. If, for example, Jesus did things that only God could do, that would be an argument in his favor.
But who knows what God is like? This is the place where we have to start, then, isn’t it? Who knows God? Who has heard him speak?
What proof do Christians have that Jesus is God?
For millennia before the birth of Jesus, it was the Jewish people who were the world’s foremost authorities on God. They had history with him. God had revealed himself to them—his character, his power, his promises. So, if we want to know if someone is God, we’d better ask the experts.
You might be able to convince some Greeks or Romans that you were equal with the gods. (The Roman emperors claimed as much for themselves.) But perhaps nobody in history was less likely to believe that a man could be divine than Jews in the first century A.D.! They were the people who knew what the difference was between Creator God and created humanity. The world worshiped idols, but the Jewish people said that God alone was Lord over all the universe, and he alone was worthy of worship.
And yet… all of Jesus’ disciples were Jews. The early Christian movement was a Jewish movement. It was some of those strange people who said that there was only one God who confessed that Jesus was one with God!
How did this happen? As the New Testament records show, these Jewish people heard Jesus speak, they saw his miraculous works, they witnessed his unprecedented character… and they recognized him! They said, “We know who this is!”
I know who this is: true God from true God!
After all, very few individuals in history have claimed to be God, and very few people have taken them seriously. There is a grand total of ONE such person who has won hundreds of millions of believers. And not just the loonies and the disreputable. A shocking number of the brightest, strongest, and noblest members of our human race have also bowed the knee before Jesus and said, “I know who this is: true God from true God!”
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