Have you ever wondered how God the Father and Jesus the Son can be the same Person? Many people wonder, are there differences between Jesus and God?
Did Jesus ever actually claim to be God? Can God die? There are several misconceptions regarding the deity of Christ.
Let’s take a look at these and several other questions to clarify our understanding of just who Jesus is, and why we need to know Him.
Quotes about Jesus
“Jesus was God and man in one person, that God and man might be happy together again.” George Whitefield
“The deity of Christ is the key doctrine of the scriptures. Reject it, and the Bible becomes a jumble of words without any unifying theme. Accept it, and the Bible becomes an intelligible and ordered revelation of God in the person of Jesus Christ.” J. Oswald Sanders
“Only by being both deity and humanity could Jesus Christ bridge the gap between where God is.” David Jeremiah
“We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ.
The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!” John F. MacArthur
Who is God?
Our understanding of God informs our understanding of pretty much everything else. God is our Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. God is all-powerful, He is present everywhere, and He knows all things. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, ruling over everything that exists.
In Exodus 3, Moses asked God what His name was, and God answered, “I AM WHO I AM.” God’s title for Himself reveals His self-existence, His timelessness, His independence.
God is completely good, completely righteous, completely just, completely loving. As He passed in front of Moses on Mount Sinai, God proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth, who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin.” (Exodus 34:6-7)
Who is Jesus Christ?
Jesus is true and eternal God. In John 8:58, Jesus referred to Himself as “I AM” – the covenant name of God.
When Jesus walked this earth, He was God in human flesh. Jesus was fully God and fully man. Jesus came to live and die in this world to be the Savior of all people. He abolished death and brought life and immortality to all who believe in Him.
Jesus is the head of the church. He is our merciful and faithful High Priest, interceding for us at the right hand of the Father. At the name of Jesus, everything in heaven and earth and below the earth must bow.
(Romans 9:4, Isaiah 9:6, Luke 1:26-35, John 4:42, 2 Timothy 1:10, Ephesians 5:23, Hebrews 2:17, Philippians 2:10).
Who created Jesus?
Nobody! Jesus wasn’t created. He has existed as part of the Trinity with God the Father and the Holy Spirit before our world existed – from infinity – and He continues to exist into infinity. All things were made through Him. Jesus is Alpha and Omega, first and last, beginning and the end.
(Scriptures: John 17:5, John 1:3, Revelation 22:13)
Did Jesus claim to be God?
Yes! He certainly did!
In John 5, Jesus was criticized for healing the man at the pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath. Jesus responded, “‘My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.’For this reason, therefore, the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.” (John 5:17-18)
In John 8, some Jews asked if He thought He was greater than Abraham and the prophets. Jesus answered, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day.” They asked how He could possibly have seen Abraham, and Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” (John 8:58) With this answer, Jesus revealed that He existed before Abraham and He used the name that God called Himself: “I AM.” The Jews understood clearly that Jesus was claiming to be God and picked up rocks to stone Him for blasphemy.
In John 10, people were trying to pin Jesus down, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus told them, “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) At this point, people again began to pick up rocks to stone Jesus for blasphemy, because Jesus “was making Himself out to be God.”
In John 14, His disciple Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father. Jesus answered, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father…the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me.” (John 14:9-14).
Is Jesus omnipotent?
As part of the Trinity, Jesus is fully God, and therefore all-powerful. What about when Jesus walked this earth? Was He all-powerful then? Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Jesus retained all His divine attributes – including being all-powerful.
In Philippians 2, Paul is encouraging the church to consider others as more important than themselves. He then gives the example of Jesus as an ultimate example of humility, saying we should have the same attitude as Him.
We read in Philippians 2:6 that Jesus “did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.” Jesus was already equal with God, but He chose to release some of the rights and privileges of being God.
It is rather like the tale of a king who left his palace, dressed in ordinary clothing, and walked among his people as a common person. Was the king still king? Did he still have all his power? Of course, he did! He just chose to lay aside his royal garments and travel incognito.
Jesus, the King of the universe, took on the form of a servant, and humbled Himself – even to the point of death. (Philippians 2:6-8) He walked this earth as a humble person from a poor family in obscure Nazareth. He experienced hunger and thirst and pain, he was weary after long days of traveling and ministering to hordes of people. He wept at Lazarus’ tomb, even when He knew what the outcome would be.
And yet, He also walked on water, commanded the wind and waves, healed whole villages of all their sick, raised people from the dead, and on two different occasions fed thousands of people from one meager lunch. When Peter attempted to defend Jesus at the time of His arrest, Jesus told him to put his sword away, reminding Peter that the Father could put more than twelve legions of angels at His disposal. Jesus had the power to defend Himself. He chose not to use it.
What is the Trinity?
When we speak of the Trinity, it means that God is one Essence existing in three equal and eternal Persons – God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Even though the word “Trinity” isn’t used in the Bible, there are a number of occasions where all three Persons are mentioned in the same passage. (1 Peter 1:2, John 14:16-17 & 26, 15:26, Acts 1:2).
How can Jesus be both God and God’s Son?
Jesus is one Person of the divine Trinity. God the Father is also part of the Trinity. Thus, Jesus is the Son of the Father, but at the same time is fully God.
Is Jesus the Father?
No – they are two different Persons of the Trinity. When Jesus said, “The Father and I are One,” He meant that He and the Father are part of one divine Essence – the Godhead. We know that Jesus the Son and God the Father are different Persons because of all the times Jesus prayed to the Father, or the Father spoke to Jesus from heaven, or Jesus did the Father’s will, or told us to ask the Father for things in Jesus’ name.
(John 10:30, Matthew 11:25, John 12:28, Luke 22:42, John 14:13)
Can God die?
God is infinite and cannot die. And yet, Jesus did die. Jesus was in the hypostatic union – meaning He was completely God, but also completely human. Jesus had two natures existing in one Person. Jesus’ human, biological nature died on the cross.
Why did God become man?
God came to earth as the man Jesus to speak to us directly and to reveal God’s nature. “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets…in these last days has spoken to us in His Son…through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature…” (Hebrews 1:1-3)
God became man to die for the ungodly. God demonstrated His love for us through the death of Jesus. We are reconciled to God through His death (Romans 5). His resurrection was the first fruits – in Adam all die, in Christ all shall be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:20-22)
Jesus became man to be our High Priest in heaven who can sympathize with our weaknesses, as He was tempted in all the things we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 5:15)
Why did Jesus die?
Jesus died so that all who believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. (John 1:29) Jesus took our sins upon His body and died in our place, as our substitute, so we could have eternal life.
Why should I believe in Jesus?
You should believe in Jesus because, like everyone, you need a Savior. You cannot atone for your own sins, no matter what you do. Only Jesus, who gave His life for you, can save you from sin and from death and from hell. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)
Your understanding of Jesus is your key to eternal life, but it is also the key to a rich and abundant life now, walking in step with Him. I encourage you to read and meditate on the scriptures in this article and get to know deeply the Person of Jesus Christ.