Who is Jesus? There is so much conjecture and opinion. Ultimately everyone answers this question and in doing so will decide how they will respond.
What does Jesus have to say about Himself? A walk through the Gospels we can see that Jesus claims to be God in numerous ways. I want to highlight five ways in this article and follow up with another five in a second article.
1. Jesus said where He comes from – heaven.
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me,” (John 6:38, ESV).
If you read John 6:41-66 you will see that this comment got Him into trouble with the Pharisees, and confounded his own disciples.
2. Calling Jesus a good man doesn’t go far enough.
A lot of people will say that Jesus is a good teacher, a moral teacher, and that He was a good man. They tried saying this back in His day as well.
“And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone,'” (Mark 10:17-18, ESV).
Jesus healed on the Sabbath and that really infuriated the Pharisees. He also called God his Father and that also put Him on their “bad” list.
“This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God,” (John 5:18, ESV).
3. Jesus said He is the Son of Man.
Jesus uses this title around 80 times in all four Gospels. This is a title that we see in the book of Daniel.
“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed,” (Daniel 7:13-14, ESV).
This passage indicates that the Son of Man isn’t human. He is given messianic dominion and authority. This person is worshiped. David speaks of this person in Psalm 110:
The Lord says to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.”
The Lord sends forth from Zion
your mighty scepter.
Rule in the midst of your enemies!
Your people will offer themselves freely
on the day of your power,
in holy garments;
from the womb of the morning,
the dew of your youth will be yours.
The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind,
“’You are a priest forever
after the order of Melchizedek.“
The Lord is at your right hand;
he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
He will execute judgment among the nations,
filling them with corpses;
he will shatter chiefs
over the wide earth.
He will drink from the brook by the way;
therefore he will lift up his head.
4. Jesus performed miracles.
Jesus backed up His teaching with miracles. He pointed to the miracles that He performed as evidence that He is who he said He is.
“Do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father,” (John 10:36-38, ESV).
The Jewish authorities didn’t like that response, they wanted to have him arrested, but he escaped.
Nearly forty specific miracles are mentioned in the New Testament and nearly a third of the Gospel of Mark deals with His miracles.
5. Jesus said He is God.
Many cults wrongly deny Jesus’ divinity. But Scripture clearly illustrate how Jesus said he is God. His hearers understood his claim.
“But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’ And Jesus said, ‘I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.‘ And the high priest tore his garments and said, ‘What further witnesses do we need? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?’ And they all condemned him as deserving death,” (Mark 14:61-64, ESV).
Also we see in John 8.
“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.‘ So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple, (John 8:58-59, ESV).
When Jesus names himself “I am,” he was declaring himself to be the same God who revealed himself to Moses in the burning bush by the name “I AM”. In John 10 we see that the Pharisees wanted to stone him for blasphemy. Why? Because they understood Jesus was saying that He was God.
In part 2, I’ll address five additional ways Jesus spoke about Himself.