THE DEITY OF CHRIST
A UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP GERORGE FINDLAY Jesus claimed to have a different kind of relationship to God than we do. He made some startling claims about this relationship. In the following verses, how did Jesus identify Himself with the Father?
1. To __________ Him was to __________ the Father. (John 8:19; 14:7)
2. To __________ Him was to __________ the Father. (John 15:23)
3. To __________ Him was to __________ the Father. (John 12:44; 14:1)
4. To __________ Him was to __________ the Father. (John 12:45; 14:9)
5. To __________ Him was to __________ the Father. (John 5:23; 17:5)
6. To __________ Him was to __________ the Father. (Matt. 10:40; Mark
7. To __________ Him was to __________ the Father. (John 8:42; 14:23)
A RECEIVER OF WORSHIP
God is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, eternal, immutable, holy, and worthy of worship. If Jesus is God, he would have to possess the same attri- butes. To save time we will just deal with one attribute.
1. What did Jesus Himself say about worship in Matthew 4:10?
2. In the Bible some are mistakenly worshipped at times. What is their reaction to this?
A. An angel (Revelation 22:8-9):
b. The apostle Peter (Acts 10:24-26):
c. The apostle Paul (Acts 14:8-15):
3. What does Jesus receive in Matthew 14:33? (cf. John 9:38; Matt. 28:9)
Did Jesus rebuke the men for worshipping Him? Why or why not?
If Christ were not God, worship of Him would have been idolatrous! (Is. 42:8)
JESUS’ DIRECT CLAIMS Unlike the surrounding nations, the Jews were always monotheistic in their religion. Their great rallying cry was, “Hear, O Israel! The LORD our God, the LORD is one!” (Deut. 6:4). Jesus Himself endorsed monotheism (Mark 12:29). How then could He claim to be God? The word “one” in Hebrew (the one used in Deut. 6:4) is echod, meaning a composite unity. It is the same word as used in Genesis 2:24, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” If the writer had meant to express an absolute unity, he would have used the Hebrew word yachid.
1. Read John 5:17-18. What did the Jews understand Jesus to mean when He called God His own Father?
Why were the Jews seeking to kill Him?
To understand Jesus’ next direct claim, we must study the background behind it. Proper understanding of the historical context is often crucial to correct interpretation and study.
1. Read Exodus 3:13-15. What is God’s name and how long will it remain His name?
2. In Leviticus 24:16 the Jews were issued a command from God. What were the Jews warned against and what was the punishment for transgressing this command?
Now that we have some background information, turn your Bibles 1400 years from these passages into the book of John. Read John 8:52-59. What did Jesus claim about Himself in verse 58?
Why did the Jews react the way they did?
Now read John 10:24-33. What does Jesus claim in verse 30?
What was the Jews reaction to this in verse 31?
Why were they doing this? (verse 33)
Finally, at death’s doorstep Jesus still claims to be God. If there were any time when He could have cleared up the Jews misunderstanding, now would be the time to do it. After Jesus’ betrayal by Judas in the garden He is taken to appear before the Sanhedrin (the Jewish ruling council). Read this account in Matthew 26:59-68). After not being able to come up with a consistent false witness about Jesus (cf. Mark 14:55-59), the High Priest put Jesus under an oath. Of all the oaths in Jewish law, this was by far the most serious. Anyone charged under it was obliged to answer and to withhold nothing. Under this oath, Jesus again confesses to be the Son of God. What was the high priests reaction to this confession.?
Under the rules of Roman occupation of the country, the Sanhedrin had no right to execute anyone (John 18:31), so the case was referred to Pilate, the Roman Governor. They then accuse Jesus of political crimes (Luke 23:1-2), in order to arouse Pilate’s interest. Pilate brushes aside the charge that Jesus is a criminal (John 18:29-31) but flogs Jesus hoping to satisfy the Jews. But the Jews were after blood and when Pilate insisted, “I find no basis for a charge against Him” (John 19:6), the Jews exposed their real motives saying, “We have a law, and according to that law He must die, because He claimed to be the Son of God.” (John 19:7).
1. Suppose Jesus were not God. If He knew He was not God and that none of His claims were true, what could we conclude about Him?
A. Why would He lie? What was his motive? Money? Fame? Power? He got none of these.
2. Suppose Jesus were sincerely wrong. Suppose He sincerely believed all of His fantastic claims, even though they were not true. What could we conclude about Him then?
B. Could a lunatic come up with such sound teachings?
3. Does either of the above answers make sense to you? Why or why not?
4. Who do you believe Jesus is and on what do you base that belief?
JESUS CLAIMS TO BE GOD
Claims were FALSE Claims were TRUE
(Two alternatives) He is LORD
He KNEW His claims He DID NOT KNOW (Two alternatives) were FALSE His claims were FALSE
He made a DELIBERATE You can You can MISREPRESENTATION ACCEPT REJECT
He was a LIAR He was SINCERELY DELUDED
He was a HYPOCRITE
He was a LUNATIC
He was a FOOL for
He died for it
Some speak of Jesus Christ as a great man. To some he was the founder of a new religion. Others consider him a prophet. But Jesus himself claimed that he was God. If this claim were not true, He could not be called even a good man, but would be an imposter and a liar.
“Among these Jews there suddenly turns up a man who goes about talking as if He was God. He claims to forgive sins. He says He has always existed. He says He is coming to judge the world at the end of time. Now let us get this clear. Among pantheists, like the Indians, anyone might say that he was a part of God, or one with God: there would be nothing very odd about it. But this man, since He was a Jew, could not mean that kind of God. God in their language, meant the Being outside the world Who had made it and was infinitely different from anything else. And when you have grasped that, you will see that what this man said was, quite simply, the most shocking thing that has ever been uttered by human lips.”
” I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great mora lteacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic–on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg– or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. ” C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity
How important is it to realize who Jesus is? (John 8:24)
Who do you say Jesus is? (Matt. 16:13-16)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us”(John 1:1,14) (1 Tim.3:16)