7 Reasons Why Christians Believe That Jesus is God

1 month ago Patheos

It’s no secret that Christians believe that Jesus is God. But have you ever wondered why? What could possibly cause millions of people to think that a humble man from ancient Israel was actually the creator of the universe?

Well, here’s seven reasons why Christians believe that Jesus of Nazareth was God himself.

1) Jesus Claimed to be God

First of all, Christians believe Jesus is God because he made that claim about himself.

For example, John 8 recounts a discussion between Jesus and a group of Jewish leaders. In the midst of the conversation, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” With that statement, Jesus took one of the Jewish names for God (“I am”) and applied it to himself. He also suggested that he existed long before Abraham, who had died hundreds of years earlier.

In other words, Jesus was claiming to be God. And his listeners clearly understood what he meant, because they immediately tried to kill him for blaspheming.

2) Jesus Worked Miracles

In the Bible, the four gospels are replete with stories that suggest Jesus was capable of doing things no ordinary human could do. He healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, raised the dead back to life, walked on water, and multiplied food for hungry crowds. He clearly possessed supernatural abilities, leading many to conclude that he was more than just a man.

3) Jesus Showed God’s Character

In addition to claiming to be God, Jesus also identified himself with Jewish images of what God was like. For example, he identified himself as the “good shepherd” (John 10), an image applied to God himself in Ezekiel 34. And he acted Ezekiel’s shepherd imagery out in dramatic fashion, by feeding the crowds in the green pastures of Israel.

Moreover, Jesus is well known to Christians and non-Christians alike as somebody who was characterized by tremendous love, mercy, and kindness. Because Christians believe that “God is love” (1 John 4:7), it’s easy for them to see Jesus’ supreme example of love as the self-revelation of God’s own character in human flesh.

4) Jesus Exercised God’s Authority

Mark 2 recounts the story of Jesus’ healing of a paralyzed man. Before Jesus healed the man’s body, he addressed his soul. Jesus said to him, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Many of those present thought that, once again, Jesus was blaspheming. After all, they said, “who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Jesus clearly believed he had the authority to forgive the wrongs that the paralyzed man had committed. And, to demonstrate to the crowds that he wasn’t speaking empty words, he commanded the man to get up and walk. And Mark says he did so “immediately.”

Jesus claimed to be able to exercise God’s authority, even to forgive sins, and demonstrated the validity of his claims by proving his authority over the natural world.

5) Jesus’ Followers Believed He was God

Jesus claimed to be God and backed up his statements with demonstrations of God’s power and authority. So it’s not surprising to find that his followers believed he was God, even from the very earliest accounts we have about him.

For example, in Saint Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi, he says that Jesus was “in the form of God,” but chose to humble himself, become a man, and submit himself to death on a cross. Paul’s letter was likely written sometime in the 50s, only 20 or so years after the death of Jesus. And many scholars, both Christian and secular, suspect that Paul is quoting an even earlier source—likely some sort of poem or hymn.

Whatever the case, it’s clear that some of the earliest evidence we have suggests that Jesus’ followers considered him to be God, even at the very beginning of Christian history.

6) The Church has Historically Concluded Jesus is God

Despite the fact that Jesus’ earliest followers believed that he was God, it might surprise many to learn that Jesus’ exact nature was the subject of debate for several centuries in the Christian church. It wasn’t until the council of Nicaea in 325 that the church reached the consensus position that Jesus was both fully God and fully man.

Since that time, every major branch of the Christian church (Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox) has held to the view that Jesus is God. Indeed, it is the position of the church that someone who does not believe in the deity of Jesus is not truly a Christian.

Christians therefore believe that Jesus is God because, in addition to what we’ve already seen, it’s been the affirmed conclusion of every branch of the Christian church for nearly 2000 years.

7) Jesus was Resurrected

The final reason to see Jesus as God is his resurrection. The Jews of Jesus’ day expected that God would one day judge the world and that he would raise those who had been righteous to everlasting life (Daniel 12). In other words, being resurrected from the dead was the ultimate court verdict in your favor. It was God’s way of saying “this person was in the right.”

According to that worldview, Jesus’ resurrection would therefore have been the ultimate declaration that he was in the right. It would have been the ultimate vindication of all the radical claims he had made about himself. Finally, it would have been the ultimate proof that those who had sought to kill him for claiming to be God had been in the wrong.

Thus, when his followers unexpectedly found his tomb empty, and when they saw him alive again, they would have believed that all of his wild claims were proved right. Indeed, they would even have believed he was God.

Conclusion

For Christians, there is no belief more central than the belief that Jesus is God. Indeed, because Christians believe that Jesus is God himself, they believe that one cannot understand God without understanding his supreme self-revelation of himself in the person of Jesus.

What about you? Have you considered Jesus’ outrageous claims? Have you considered that the all-powerful God of the universe might humble himself, become a person, and die to rescue the people he created?

If you’ve got any thoughts, leave a comment below, or reach out on Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!

Image Credit: John Thomas / Unsplash
Continue reading...

Read On "Patheos"
More News On "Patheos"
BREAKING NEWS
58 minutes ago - Who is Michael Avenatti? 59 minutes ago - Late goals from UCLA doom UNC women's soccer in 3-2 national championship loss 1 hour ago - Man who shot Lady Gaga’s dog walker and stole bulldogs sentenced to 21 years 1 hour ago - Andy Cohen Featured On Meghan Markle’s Podcast And Awkwardly Forgets That He’s Previously Met The Duchess Of Sussex 1 hour ago - Jason Reitman Hands Ghostbusters: Afterlife Sequel Directing Reins to Gil Kenan 1 hour ago - Young Easthampton climate activist scores royal audience at Celtics game 1 hour ago - Knight, Clooney, U2 feted at Kennedy Center Honors 1 hour ago - "TK [Tony Khan] will release him now" - Wrestling fans lose their minds over wild claims about WWE legend's potential AEW exit 1 hour ago - ABC News avoids Amy Robach, TJ Holmes being benched from 'GMA' as extramarital affair makes headlines 1 hour ago - Saints vs. Buccaneers live score, updates, highlights from NFL 'Monday Night Football' game 1 hour ago - Wenzhou ups efforts for trade, SMEs 1 hour ago - Raw results, live blog: High Stakes Poker 1 hour ago - Gisele Bundchen Leaves Another Comment On Ex Tom Brady’s Instagram After Divorce 1 hour ago - JUST IN: Bell Tiltrotor Wins Billion Dollar Helo Contract 1 hour ago - Man who shot Lady Gaga's dog walker sentenced to 21 years in jail after taking plea deal 1 hour ago - Joe Biden Pokes Fun At George Clooney’s Marriage In Kennedy Center Honors Speech 1 hour ago - Bell beats out Sikorsky to produce US Army’s new assault helicopter 1 hour ago - Report: Lakers tried to get Terry Rozier in 3-team Donovan Mitchell trade over summer 1 hour ago - SJHN Daily: Imama Suspended 4 Games for Ugly Kniazev Board 1 hour ago - 12/5 WWE RAW TV RESULTS: Doucette’s “alt perspective” report on Usos vs. Elias/Riddle tag title match, JBL poker tournament, two triple threat matches 1 hour ago - Tens of thousands still in the dark after 'targeted' attacks on North Carolina power substations 1 hour ago - Neymar scores, Brazil beats South Korea 4-1 at World Cup 1 hour ago - Qatar World Cup 2022 Schedule: Tuesday, December 6 2 hours ago - 2022 Heisman finalists (Stetson Bennett, really?): Here’s who should win CFB’s top individual prize 2 hours ago - Harry and Meghan docuseries trailer appears to use unrelated paparazzi footage 2 hours ago - 5 things on World Cup, Day 16: Brazilian carnival, Asian agony 2 hours ago - Man who shot Lady Gaga’s dog walker gets 21 years in prison 2 hours ago - Lakers vs. Cavaliers Preview: The Anthony Davis revenge tour continuous 2 hours ago - Man Who Shot Lady Gaga's Dog Walker & Stole Her Bulldogs Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison 2 hours ago - Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet 'sign up for The Holiday sequel' with original cast 2 hours ago - Bell’s V-280 Valor Tiltrotor Picked As Army’s Black Hawk Replacement 2 hours ago - Charles Made ‘Numerous Attempts to Make Peace’ With Harry & Meghan—How He’s Bracing For Their Netflix Documentary 2 hours ago - Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints: Live Stream, TV Channel, Start Time | 12/5/2022 2 hours ago - REAL ID license deadline for air travel pushed to May 2025 2 hours ago - US Tech Layoffs: Fired Employees Fear Deportations 3 hours ago - Recombinant Proteins Market worth $2.4 billion by 2027 – Exclusive Report by MarketsandMarkets™ 3 hours ago - Putin signs expanded anti-LGBTQ laws in Russia, in latest crackdown on rights 3 hours ago - FanDuel Sportsbook Promo Code: $1K No Sweat First Bet for MNF: Saints vs Bucs 3 hours ago - FIFA World Cup 2022: Cristiano Ronaldo ripped by coach over ugly act 3 hours ago - CryptoSlate Wrapped Daily: Infura hits back, Nexo leaves US, SBF tries to avoid Congress 3 hours ago - Lady Gaga dog walker ‘forgives’ shooter as attacker sentenced to 21 years 3 hours ago - Imperious Brazil smash Koreans 4-1 to reach World Cup quarters 3 hours ago - Neymar returns as Brazil brush aside South Korea to reach World Cup quarters 3 hours ago - Who is the referee for Morocco vs Spain round of 16 game in the World Cup 2022? 3 hours ago - What Trea Turner’s 11-year deal means for Phillies, Dodgers 3 hours ago - How Palestine Unites Arabs At The World Cup – OpEd 3 hours ago - Scouts and execs weigh in on Mets’ Justin Verlander signing: ‘He’s a special arm’ 3 hours ago - Cowboys lose starting CB Anthony Brown to season-ending injury 3 hours ago - Son exits World Cup without showing his best for South Korea 3 hours ago - Kershaw returning to Dodgers on $20 million, 1-year deal 4 hours ago - Car Rental Business Market worth USD 123.80 Bn. by 2029: Top Players, Key Developments, Drivers, Trends, Challenges, Opportunities, Segmentation, and Regional Analysis 4 hours ago - World Cup 2022: Brazil put down the biggest marker at Qatar tournament 4 hours ago - Neymar, Brazil wallop Korea on way to World Cup quarterfinal 4 hours ago - PLAYER RATINGS: Neymar sparkles on Brazil return but Son Heung-min struggles for South Korea 4 hours ago - History Tells us that Mattingly, Murphy and Schilling are Cooperstown Bound 4 hours ago - Lady Gaga dognapping shooter sentenced to 21 years in prison after ‘traumatic’ crime against singer 4 hours ago - Let technocrats run Maharlika wealth fund to avert politics – Sandro Marcos 4 hours ago - OPINION: Strengthen the child tax credit before expanding it 4 hours ago - World Cup 2022: Worldies, carnival & showboating as brilliant Brazil light up Qatar 4 hours ago - Pelé’s daughters say he was hospitalized last week with a lung infection following bout of Covid-19
free geoip