Two thousand years ago, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. This claim has been assaulted throughout all of church history, from within a few hundred years of Jesus’ death. People will try to say that Jesus of Nazareth was not God in the flesh, but that he was merely a man, merely a human teacher, merely a prophet, merely the Messiah. But he was not God in human form. Whether in Muslims, or Jehovah’s Witness, we have heard of this. We may have heard the common arguments that they use. In this post I will absolutely show several common arguments that Jesus is not God refuted. Also you may notice that many of these objections are very similar.
1 – Jesus never said, “I am God.” I freely admit that Jesus never uttered the phrase, ‘I am God.’ This is for a very good reason. Jesus did not want them to think that he was claiming to God in a Pagan sense of the word. He did not want them to think that he was saying that God was removed from Heaven now is here on earth. He did not want them to think that he was saying, “I am the Father.” Since the Father and God were interchangeable, that mistake would have easily been made. So he never said, “I am God,” but he had clever ways of relaying his point.
2 – Was Jesus praying to himself? No, he was not. When it is said that Jesus is God, that means that he was the human version of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). He was the visible image of the invisible God. He was the Son of God. So when Jesus was praying, this was an example of the Son praying to the Father.
3 – If Jesus is God, how could he have died? This is the most usual complaint that Muslims tend to lodge against the deity of Christ. How could God die? The problem with this complaint is that they have essentially misunderstood the dual nature of Christ. When Jesus died, his human nature died. But his divine nature did not (Luke 23:46). This should not be difficult for us to understand, because we see ourselves as having an immortal soul. While we may die, our soul may not.
4 – Jesus had limits. There were times that Jesus could not heal the sick (Mark 6:5) and things that he did not know (Mark 24:36). I freely admit this. That is because he was limited by his human nature. I say again, Jesus Christ was, an is, the human version of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). As a human, he received authority from God the Father. He received power from God the Father. As a human being, he had limitations.
5 – Why would God become a man? Jesus Christ existed in the form of God, but freely emptied himself (Philippians 2:6) and allowed himself to become the form of a man. He was obedient to death, even death on a cross. Why? Because God is good and holy. Since men are not (Romans 3:23), he therefore must punish us (Romans 6:23). A good judge cannot pardon evil criminals. When Christ was murdered, all of God’s wrath that we deserve went out upon him. He absorbed our punishment (1 John 2:2). Three days later he rose from the dead. It took the death of God’s own Son to justify people like us. Why did he do that? Because God is love (1 John 4:8).
6 – Jesus called himself the Son of Man. We call Jesus the Son of God, but he called himself the Son of Man. Who should we believe? Well, Jesus was not calling himself the Son of Man in the way that Ezekiel did. That is, he was not claiming to be a mere man. Instead, he was claiming to be the Christ – the end time character depicted in Daniel 7:13. So it is just a mistake to think that Jesus was claiming to merely be a man. Indeed, he was claiming to be the Son of Man. That is why he said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:62).
7 – The Father is greater than Jesus. Jesus said, “The Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28). This is just a distinction between God the Father and God the Son. As a man, that is, a human version of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15), Jesus was in a lower position than the Father. He was reduced to a position that is “a little lower than the angels.” (Hebrews 2:9).
8 – Jesus said that only God is good. Somebody approached Jesus and said, “Good teacher,” to which Jesus replied, “Why do you call me good? Only God is good.” (Mark 10:17-22). But Jesus was not rebuking this man. He was not saying, “I’m not good! Don’t say that!” He was, instead, pushing this man to think about the implications of what he had said. If Jesus really is good, and God alone is good, what does that mean? Far from rebuking this man, he was affirming what he said. In fact, Jesus claimed to be good on another occasion (John 8:46) and the New Testament authors affirm it over and over (Hebrews 4:15, Hebrews 7:23, Hebrews 9:14, 1 Peter 2:22/Isaiah 53:9, 1 John 3:5 5, 2 Corinthians 5:21).
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