If Jesus Is God, Why Didn’t He Just Say So?

In conversations with many people about Jesus over the past 47 years, one of the statements I have heard most often from critics, is: “Jesus never really said He is God.”

It is important to understand that Jesus would never say directly to the Jews, “I am Yahweh” (God). In Jewish thinking any man who said this would be guilty of blasphemy and it would likely have ended Jesus ministry very quickly.

Jesus came first to the Jews and as a Jew, Jesus would use terms and methods to explain who He is in a way that would be meaningful and understood by Jews.

For a first century Jew living in Jerusalem at the time Jesus began His public ministry, there was great anticipation that the Messiah would arrive at any moment. Much of this expectation was due to the horrible oppression they were experiencing under the rulership of the Roman government.

Every Jews at that time believed that when Messiah arrived He would immediately fight the Romans and lead Israel and the Jews into a new kingdom promised by all the prophets. One of the reasons that many Jews rejected Jesus was due to their misunderstanding of who He was.

Jesus did not present Himself as a conquering King, but as a humble teacher. In fact, many of the prophecies of the Messiah, presented the Messiah as coming twice, but this delineation was not understood by the majority of people until after Jesus was crucified, resurrected, and returned to heaven. The Messianic prophecies state that Messiah will come the first time to offer salvation to the whole world; and a second time to bring the Kingdom promised by God.

When Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath. He was asked to read from the prophet Isaiah, to whom 131 of prophecies in Isaiah were written. 

So Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 

“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.” ~Luke 4:16-20

Compare Isaiah’s words to those spoken by Jesus, in Luke’s gospel (above), when He comes into the synagogue at Nazareth and quotes from this verse found in Isaiah 61:

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God…” ~Isaiah 61:1-62

Jesus stopped and did not read the text from Isaiah’s prophecy: And the day of vengeance of our God…

Why? 

At Jesus’ first arrival on earth, He did not come to complete “the day of vengeance of our God.” He came to fulfill the first part of Isaiah’s prophecy: “to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” On His first visit to earth, Jesus came to offer grace, mercy, and salvation to every person. He was coming as the suffering Servant of God—the Lamb who would lay down His life for the sins of the world. 

At Jesus’ second appearance on earth, at the end of the seven-year tribulation, He is returning as the King of kings and Lord of lords. At His return, Jesus will bring the vengeance of God to the earth. 

When Jesus finished reading the words of Isaiah Chapter 61, He rolled up the scroll and handed it back to the attendant. As He sat down, the eyes of all those in the synagogue were transfixed on Jesus. Then He said these words:

“Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” ~Luke 4:21

Those who had heard Jesus speak in the synagogue were utterly astonished. The words of these prophecies from Isaiah Chapter 61 could only be fulfilled by the coming of the Messiah. By stating that this prophecy had been fulfilled as Jesus spoke, He was claiming to be the One whom Isaiah had written this prophecy for. Jesus said He would fulfill the first part of Isaiah 61, the acceptable year of the Lord, during His first arrival and then the day of vengeance of our God at His return. 

Jesus revealed something to us that was hidden in verse 12 of Isaiah 61. There were two parts to the fulfillment of this prophecy. This example from Isaiah 61, which is partially fulfilled in Luke Chapter 4, demonstrates that there can be an earlier fulfillment as well as a later fulfillment of the same prophecy. This principle will prove to be extremely important in our understanding of the prophecies Jesus fulfilled in the New Testament.

Jesus is claiming that all of the prophecies Isaiah wrote concerning the coming Messiah were fulfilled by Him.

This is the method of proving His identity (by fulfilled Messianic Prophecy), is the only way that the Jews would hear, understand, and accept (if they were willing), that Jesus is the True Messiah, and Yahweh-God whom the prophets predicted.

Moses’ Prophecy of the Messiah: A Preeminent Proof For Messiah

Beginning with Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15, the Messiah must come to the Jews in fulfillment of Moses’ prophecy: “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.” ~Deuteronomy 18:15

The first thing the leaders of the Jews would ask anyone who came and presented themselves as the Messiah, is, “are you the the prophet Moses predicted?”

Evidence That Jesus Claimed To Be God

We see this in the questions the priests and Temple assistants asked John the Baptist when he appeared at the Jordan river baptizing people:

“This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?” He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.” “Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?” “No,” he replied. “Are you the Prophet we are expecting?” “No.” “Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?” John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Clear the way for the LORD’s coming!’” ~John 1:19-23

The first thing John said to these men when they came to question him about who he was, is, “I am not the Messiah.”

John said that he was sent by God to be the one who would announce the arrival of the Messiah God promises.

When John saw Jesus come down to the Jordan river to be baptized, he said to his disciples, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!’

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”

“Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.” ~John 1:29-34

When the leaders of Israel asked Jesus if He was the Messiah, the Son of God, He said, “I AM.”

“Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?Jesus said, “I AM. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Why do we need other witnesses? 64 You have all heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?” “Guilty!” they all cried. “He deserves to die!” ~Mark 14:60-64 (NLT) 60

Jesus answered the question of the high priest directly when he asked if Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah, the Son of God. Jesus says, “I AM.’

This was no ordinary answer because in the Koine-Greek texts, Jesus uses an ancient Hebrew imperative to describe Himself that only Yahweh could correctly use: “I AM,’ is the eternal name for God that was given to Moses when He heard God speak to him from the burning bush in the book of Exodus.

“But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.” ~Exodus 3:13-14

Jesus uses the term, “I AM,” on numerous occasions in the New Testament, because He was purposely making it clear that He is the God who spoke to Moses from the burning bush, Yahweh, who is seen throughout the Old Testament (John. 4:26; 6:20; 8:24,28,58; 18:5,6).

See The Essay, “I AM.”

Notice that the Jewish high priest links the Messiah with the Son of God, the Son of the Blessed God. Many of the Jews living in the first century understood that the Messiah who was to come, would be Yahweh living in the body of a man.

See The Essay, “Son of God.”

This important fact of Jesus’ nature was important to prove for Jesus. It was by demonstrating that He was the fulfillment of the Hebrew prophecies which state the Messiah will be the Son of God, that Jesus could answer the question: “are you claiming to be God.”

The manner in which Jesus made this clear statement that He is God, was by reciting the prophecies from the Hebrew Bible which stated the Messiah would be God’s Son, equal to God.

The three most important of these prophecies are Psalms 110:1, Daniel 7:13, and 2 Samuel 7:14

The First Way Jesus Declared He is God: Fulfillment Of Psalms 110:1

When the Pharisees gathered before Jesus to question Him, it was with the intent of publicly discrediting Him before all those who were listening. Instead, these men were themselves confounded. The text that the Pharisees used to trap Jesus was a well-known verse from Psalm 110:1a. 

In this portion of scripture, The LORD God is saying to the Messiah, “Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies my footstool.” The Pharisees believed that they already knew the answer to this question when they asked Jesus: “What do you think about the Christ (Messiah) Whose Son is He?” The Pharisees believed that the Messiah was the Son of David.

The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ~Psalms 110:1a

Matthew Records This Event In His Gospel

“While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool” ’? If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?”  ~Matthew 22:41-45

Jesus asked the Pharisees, “If the Messiah is David’s son, then why did David also call Him “Lord?” In other words, how could the Messiah be both a human being (David’s son) and also Lord (God’s Son)?

These men knew and understood that this verse of scripture that Jesus referred to was about the Messiah. Only the Messiah could sit at the right hand of God. Jesus believed these verses from Psalm 110:1 were inspired by God and were true—as did these leaders of Israel. Jesus asked these teachers of the law how Messiah could be both God and a human being?

“If the Messiah is David’s son, how can He also be David’s Lord?”

This is precisely what this prophecy from Psalms 110:1a is predicting.

The Pharisees didn’t have an answer. They were bewildered, but not Jesus. The obvious answer to this question is that the Messiah will be both David’s Lord (God) and His, Son (a future human descendant), a fact that Jesus made repeatedly concerning Himself.

The reality that Jesus is both David’s son and his Lord is confirmed by Jesus’ question which He asks of the Pharisees. For those who say that Jesus never claimed to be God, this is one of many places where He clearly asserts that He is God.

When Jesus asks this question of the religious leadership of Israel, no one was able to answer Him. This is because it was generally accepted by the Jews that Psalms 110:1 was speaking of the Messiah who will also be God. If by David’s words, the Messiah is both a son and Lord, He must also be God and man. 

The idea that God could be dwelling within the person of Jesus Christ was a reality that was totally unacceptable to the leaders of Israel. Yet, this is precisely what David was predicting when he penned Psalms 110:1.

This is the correct way that the true Messiah would prove to the Jews He is God. By asserting that He is the One whom David wrote this Messianic Prophecy for in Psalms 110:1, Jesus is openly and clearly stating He is God. This is not the way that a non Jew would understand what Jesus is claiming. This is why many people who peruse the New Testament looking for Jesus statement, “I am God,” can never find it.

This is not how Jesus would have stated His true identity. If we are going to understand who Jesus is and what He said and did, we must gain a little knowledge about the Bible and how the Jews would understand who Jesus is. By asserting that Jesus is the One whom David wrote about in Psalms 110:1, there was no doubt to the Jews of that time, what Jesus was claiming about Himself: “I AM God.”

The Second Way Jesus Declared He is God: Fulfillment Of Daniel 7:13

Matthew describes Jesus before the high priest as He is questioned about His true identity. The high priest uses an ancient Hebrew imperative to interrogate Jesus by placing Him under oath: are you the Christ, the Son of God?

There is no ambiguity regarding what is being asked or asserted concerning Jesus. The high priest is demanding an answer from Jesus because it was well known by this time that He had, on several occasions, claimed to be the Son of God.

“And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!”Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. 

“Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy!  What do you think?” They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.”  ~Matthew 26:62-66 

Jesus answers in the affirmative that He is the Son of God, just as the high priest has said. Then Jesus uses two confirming scriptures from Daniel chapter 7 where the prophet describes the Messiah as the Son of Man, coming with the clouds.

“I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then 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 the one which shall not be destroyed.”  ~Daniel 7:13-14

Daniel is the first to use the term Son of Man to describe the Messiah, and the only writer to use the phrase, coming with the clouds, in the Old Testament.

Jesus claimed to be God by referring to Himself as “The Son of Man,” 77 times; a term used by Daniel 7:13 to describe the Messiah. This is translated from the Aramaic term: kebar enas, and it identifies the appearance of the Son of Man, according to Daniel, as God in human flesh.

John also writes in the Book of Revelation, that Jesus will be coming with the clouds when He returns.

“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him (Zechariah 12:10). And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.”  ~Revelation 1:7

The term clouds is used in Hebrews 12:1 to describe those who are in heaven as witnesses, watching our progress here on earth. John said that when Jesus returns, these cloud of witnesses will be coming with Him to reign over the earth as Messiah.

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”  ~ Hebrews 12:1

Here, Jesus applies both of Daniel’s terms, clouds and Son of Man, to Himself. Jesus also confirmed to the Pharisees in Matthew 26:62-66, above, that He is the Son of God.

By these three declarations to the Pharisees, that He is the Son of God, The Son of Man, and Coming with the clouds, Jesus is confirming three things:

  1. He is God.
  2. He Is Messiah.
  3. He Is coming again to rule over the kingdom promised to David that will never end.

There is no mistake in what Jesus has told the Pharisees. We see by the response of the high priest in tearing his garments, that he clearly understood that Jesus was claiming to be God. It was upon this declaration that the high priest pronounces “blasphemy,” and declares that Jesus should be put to death.

Did you also notice here that in addition to Jesus saying He is God and the Messiah, we also see that the Old Testament predicted the Messiah would be God?

The Third Way Jesus Declared He is God: Fulfillment Of 2 Samuel 7:14

This first prophecy, from 2 Samuel 7:14, is one that is well known amongst many Jews. There are varying differences of opinion related to whether or not this verse is actually about the Messiah, or David describing his son Solomon.

I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.” [1]

New Testament Fulfillment:

The narrative of Luke describes the conception of Jesus by the Holy Spirit and calls Him the Son of the Highest—literally, the Son of God.

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. [2]

For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”? [3]

I Will Build You a House.

Chapter 7 of 2 Samuel begins with David, at rest in his own house. He realizes that while he lives in a beautiful home, the Lord dwells in a tent. David determines that He will build a house for God. Instead, the Lord tells David, “I will build you a house. 

This chapter of 2 Samuel is widely accepted by many scholars, the Midrash, and the Qumran as Messianic.⁠ [4] With this in mind, it is certain that the house God is going to build for David is a line of descendants that will result in the arrival of the Messiah. We see an indication of this from the New Testament Gospel of Luke:

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David. [5]

God promised Abraham that his future descendant would be the Son who was promised to David, in this prophecy from 2 Samuel Chapter 7:14. Jesus is revealed to us as the intended fulfillment of this promise, in Luke Chapter 2:4.

In the four gospels, Jesus used the term, My Father, on 51 occasions as He described His unique relationship with God. At the same time, Jesus defined our relationship with God by the phrase, your Father. We see this difference in designation as He speaks to Mary Magdalene, in John Chapter 20.

Jesus said to her, … “I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.” [6]

Jesus did not say that He was ascending to our Father; He said, My Father and your Father. Then He said that He was ascending to My God and your God. In this statement, we can see that Jesus believed His relationship with God was different from ours; His was that of a Son who is equal to God. 

Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”[7]

I and My Father are one.”[8]

Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me.”[9]

From the moment Jesus was announced as the Messiah at Jerusalem, He taught His disciples to refer to God as our Father—clearly making a distinction between His own unique relationship with God as His Son, equal to God, and our relationship to Him as His children.

The Jews were offended by Jesus’ statement that God was His Father. They understood that Jesus was claiming equality with God. This fact should have come as no surprise to the Chief Priests and Pharisees, since the Book of 2 Samuel 7:14 makes it clear that when the Messiah comes into the world, He will be the Son of God.

I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.”

If God were to speak to us, what would He want to say?

Chapter 1 of Hebrews declares that God has spoken. Unfortunately, man, for the most part, has not been listening.

“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.”[10 ]

The problem for man has always been that God has not spoken to him in a way he wants to hear. Instead of just listening to the voice of God, as He has already revealed Himself, mankind is constantly trying to define God by human terms and by human understanding. Man has created literally hundreds of religions to try and speak for God.

The Book of Hebrews declares that God has spoken. He doesn’t need man’s help to speak for Him. Of the estimated 4,200 religions of the world,⁠[11] only one does not try to speak for God. Instead, this group allows God to speak for Himself. This single company of people base their entire existence on what God has already declared in the Bible. They follow and serve the person known as Jesus, because the Bible declares Him to be the Son of God and only Savior of the world.

Within the thousands of religions, only one reveals God in the way He has described Himself. The Bible is the revelation of God to man. Holy men were called by God to record His words that reveal who He is and how every person can have a relationship with Him. The Bible reveals, through predictive and fulfilled prophecy, that a Messiah will come to the earth, who will make this personal relationship with God possible. Those who follow the Messiah or Christ are called Christians.          

The Book of Hebrews claims that only one man is qualified to speak for God. Of all the men and women who have claimed to reveal God, only one man has successfully revealed God in the same way He has revealed Himself in the Bible.

One day, Phillip made a request of Jesus: “Show us the Father.” In other words, “Show us what God is like.”

“Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”[12]

Jesus claimed that He and God were one and the same. Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”

In just thirty-three and one half  years, Jesus proved that He is the only one qualified to speak for God. He demonstrated this by fulfilling all of the Old Testament prophecies that reveal who the Messiah is. Only Jesus showed us what God is like, what God has to say, what He has done, and what He will do in the future. Jesus proved that He is the only one qualified to speak on behalf of God by demonstrating that He is Himself God. Jesus proved His identity, beyond a doubt, when He rose from the dead three days after He was crucified.

Jesus is described by the Bible as the One who created the heavens and the earth at the beginning, in Genesis 1:1.

“For by Jesus all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth.”[13]

This prophecy from 2 Samuel 7:14 describes the Messiah, with God as His Father. This means that the Messiah will Himself be God. The Book of Hebrews establishes the certainty that Jesus is God and He is the Son of God.

(Jesus), who being the 1. brightness of His glory and 2. the express image of His person, and 3. upholding all things by the word of His power, when 4. He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.[14]

1. Jesus is the “the Brightness of His Glory.”

From the Greek words, Apaugasma tees Doxees—the outshining of the Glory of God. This is the same expression that would be used to describe the shining of the sun. Jesus is the literal Glory of God Himself in all of His outshining Glory.

The King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power.[15]

2. Jesus is the “Express Image of God.”

In Greek, the Hupostaseoos—the character of God’s substance that makes God who He is. Jesus has the exact character, nature, and image of God. Jesus is a perfect representation of what God is like. The idea behind this Greek word, Hupostaseoos, comes from the imprint that a seal would leave after being pressed into wax. Jesus is an exact imprint of God. He is the exact image and essence of what the Father is. Even so, Jesus is Himself a totally separate and distinct person.

3. Jesus is upholding all things by the Word of His Power.

Jesus spoke: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” and all things were created from nothing. Jesus speaks, and everything in the universe is sustained and held together by His Words. (Can He not also hold your life together?)

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.[16]

And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Jesus who sat on the horse.[17]

4. Jesus had, by Himself, purged our sins.

The English word, purged, in the Bible was translated from the original Greek words, di autou. In the Old Testament, when an animal was brought as a sacrifice for sins, those sins were only covered, or kofar in the Hebrew language. When Jesus made His one sacrifice for the sins of every person who has been born on the earth, He purged (di autou) those sins—caused them to cease to exist forever. Jesus’ death and resurrection allows those who believe in His sacrifice for their sins to be viewed by God as perfect—as if they had never sinned.

The True Identity of Jesus Christ

The Bible explicitly defines Jesus as the Eternal God, who created all things. Jesus made His life a sacrifice for our sins by His death on the cross, and then raised Himself from the dead three days later.

The Father calls Jesus “God.”

“But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.”[18]

Here, the Father describes His Son as “God.” If there was ever any doubt as to whether the Bible defines Jesus as an ordinary man, or as God dwelling in the body of a man, this is one of the most compelling verses of scripture. 

Many Bible critics claim that “Jesus Himself never claimed to be God.” The following are a few of the verses of scripture found in the Bible where Jesus is clearly described as God.

The Sunday morning after Jesus has risen from the dead, Thomas declares that Jesus is “Lord and God.” Jesus does not dispute this declaration. He receives the title of Lord and God from Thomas without correcting him. If Jesus was not both Lord and God, and He allowed men to worship Him with these titles, He would be committing blasphemy and make Himself worthy of death.

“Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”[19]

The prophecy of Isaiah 9:6 describes a Son who will be given, and His name will be called Mighty God.

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”[20]

Titus encourages every believer to be waiting and watching for the appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

“Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”[21]

The Jews picked up stones to kill Jesus, because He had claimed to be God.

“Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”[22]

Paul declares that all things were made by Jesus Christ and that He existed forever before all things.

“For by Jesus all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”[23]

Since Jesus is the source of all creation, it is He whom Moses is describing in the first chapter and verse of the Bible.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”[24]

The Origin of Jesus

Before time began, before the earth was created, before anything was made, Jesus was already in existence.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”[25]

If all things were created by Jesus, then He cannot be created; He is, therefore, God.

It is important to understand preeminently that Jesus is God and the Creator of the universe. Without a correct understanding of Jesus’ true identity as God, it is impossible to understand what He has said and done in the New Testament scriptures. In order to make it possible for us to obtain the forgiveness of our sins and have eternal life, Jesus had to do something that is absolutely amazing.

The Son Became a Servant.

The eternal God who is Spirit, who has no beginning and no end, in order to make our salvation possible, would have to permanently take the body of a human being and become one of us. For Jesus to become a man, He had to set aside some of His rights and privileges as God and make Himself a servant to the Father. Although Jesus is God and equal to the Father, He chose to allow evil men to brutalize Him and put Him to death in order to take the penalty for all sins, for all time. In this way, God could offer to every person the right to have all their moral failures expunged from their record. Literally, Jesus took our sins and became sin for us. 

According to the word of God, everyone who believes this is given the right to become the children of God.⁠[26]

There are many examples of Jesus as a servant, throughout the four gospels. The most vivid description of this principle is seen in Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi.

“Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it something to be retained, to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”[27] 

(Jesus Speaking) I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.[28]

“Therefore, when Jesus came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.” Then I said, “Behold, I have come—In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.”[29]

One of the biggest difficulties for the Jew today in believing that Jesus is the promised Messiah, is His claim to be the Son of God. It is the belief of many modern Jews that when the Messiah comes, He will be just a man like Moses. This would certainly be true, except that the Bible clearly defines the Messiah as the Son of God, existing long before He came to earth. 

A Valid Conclusion

The body of scriptures found in the Old and New Testaments, prove the Messiah will be God in human flesh. The New Testament clearly defines Jesus as the Messiah, proven by the things He has said and done.

Don’t believe me unless I carry out my Father’s work. But if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don’t believe me. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.”[30]

The fulfillment of this prophecy from 2 Samuel 7:14 is observed by the titles and descriptions of Jesus, which He ascribes to Himself, as well as those given to Him by the many witnesses who recorded His words and actions in the narrative of the New Testament.

The balance of this essay is dedicated to the prophecies from the Hebrew scriptures that define the Messiah as the “Son of God.”

See All 400 Of The Messianic Prophecies

The Messiah will call God His Father and be known as The Son of God by the Father.

Old Testament Prediction:

I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.”[31]

New Testament Fulfillment

“And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”[32]

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son.[33]

For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son.”[34]

But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.”[35]

The Son of God

Forty-nine times in the Gospels, Jesus calls God, “My Father.

“Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?”[36]

Jesus did not call God His Father in the same way we would call Him, “Father.” When we refer to God as our “Heavenly Father,” we understand that we are speaking as one of His created beings who love, worship, and adore God.

When Jesus calls God, “My Father,” He means that He and the Father are one and the same. By referring to God as “My Father,” Jesus meant that He came from the Father, being equal to Him. Jesus did not have His beginning at Bethlehem; He came out of eternity and has existed forever. Throughout the Bible, Jesus is referred to as the eternal Son of God. It was only at Bethlehem where He took the body of a human being, when a body was prepared for Him.

“Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me.”[37]

It is clear that Jesus claimed to be the eternal God by His use of the title—Son of God. When the leaders of Israel accused Jesus of blasphemy, it was because He had claimed to be equal with God.

“Jesus answered them, I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me? The Jews answered him, It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.[“38]

There are seven Old Testament prophecies that either state or allude to the fact that the Messiah will be the Son of God.⁠[39] The seventh, although not referring directly to the Son, is generally understood as a Messianic prophecy, describing the coming of God’s Son and those who are waiting for Him.

  1. 2 Samuel 7:14 “I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.”
  2. 1 Chronicles 17:13 “I will be his Father, and he shall be My son…”
  3. Psalms 2:7 “I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’ ”
  4. Psalms 89:26 “He shall cry to Me, ‘You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.’ ”
  5. Proverbs 30:4 Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, If you know?
  6. Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God.
  7. Isaiah 33:2 O LORD, be gracious to us; We have waited for You.[40]

With such a great witness from the Hebrew scriptures that the Messiah will be the Son of God, why do so many Jews today find it impossible to believe that Jesus is the Messiah?

Clearly, it was the intention of the Old Testament scriptures to inform us that the Messiah would be God’s Son. When Jesus referred to Himself as The Son of God, He was firmly stating that He was the one to whom the Old Testament prophecies of the Bible were speaking. Which Son was Isaiah referring to, in chapter 9:6-7, if not God’s Son? In the context of this verse, Isaiah writes that this Son is the Mighty God.

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”[41] 

How amazing that the eternal God, who made the heavens and the earth, cared enough for all of us, that He would send His only Son from heaven to come to earth and be born as a human being. The Son of God gave up everything so that we could all become the sons and daughters of God by His sacrifice and Resurrection.

“Jesus answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.”[42]

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”[43] 

Use of the Term, “sons of God.”

The angels are a direct creation of God, and are therefore referred to as “sons of God.” Because we have been born again by the Spirit of God, we are also a direct creation of God. For this reason, we will also be known, in all of the ages to come, as the sons and daughters of God.

There is a common error in the world today, that all human beings are the children of God. According to the Bible, this is not true; only those who come to God through Jesus Christ and are born again by His Holy Spirit are designated sons of God. There is an invitation today to every person to become one of God’s children. This is His desire and the reason He allowed His Son to come to earth and die for our sins. Everyone who will take Jesus as their Lord and Savior will have the right to be called—the children of God.

The Messiah will be the Son of God.

I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’ ”[44]

New Testament Fulfillment:

“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”[45] 

“And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”[46]

“And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”[47]

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”[48] 

The Messiah Must Be The Son of God

It is a curious question why the Jewish leadership in Jerusalem, at the time of Jesus’ appearance, missed the fact that their own scriptures foretold that the coming Messiah would claim to be the Son of God. When Jesus confirms that He is in fact God’s Son, the Scribes and Pharisees are both shocked and offended. If they had simply read their own scriptures and reviewed those passages that spoke of the coming Messiah, they would have understood that what Jesus was claiming was in alignment with the requirements described by all the Hebrew scriptures. 

The term, Son of God, in reference to the Messiah, occurs at least 7 times in the Old Testament and 45 times in the New Testament. 

Jesus determined that there would be no mistake that He was claiming to be the Son of God. John makes a specific point in his gospel to prove to us that Jesus is the Son of God. 

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.[49] 

John records many occurrences where Jesus said directly that He was the Son of God, and intimated this fact by referring to God as “My Father.”

Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.”50

Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me.”[51]

My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”[52]

Jesus claimed to have an intimate and personal relationship with the Father that no other person could claim. 

As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”[53]

It is hard to imagine why some people have stated that Jesus never claimed to be the Son of God, when we read verses of scripture such as those above from the gospel of John.

Jesus was claiming by the title—The Son of God—that He is equal to God. The religious leaders in Israel understood what Jesus meant by His statement, “I and My Father are one.”

I and My Father are one.”[54]

Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”[55] 

Make no mistake—the reason the leaders of Israel picked up stones to kill Jesus was because they believed He had committed blasphemy by His claim that He was the Son of God. Of course, the Pharisees were correct; this claim by any mere man was sufficient evidence to stone him to death.

“Then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has committed that wicked thing, and shall stone to death that man or woman with stones.”[56 ]

The problem for the Pharisees resided in the fact that Jesus was no mere man; He is God. He proved this truth by the things He said and did, and by the power He exhibited in raising Himself from the dead.

By referring to God repeatedly as “My Father” and finally “I and My Father are one,” the Jews believed that there was sufficient evidence to stone Jesus for blasphemy. The problem with their conclusions resided in the fact that they had not considered that Jesus fulfilled every prophecy of the Hebrew scriptures for the Messiah. If these men had read the Old Testament Prophecies that speak of the Messiah as the Son of God and compared what Jesus had said with those scriptures, they would never have sought to put Him to death.

The preceding is from the book: “These Things Were Written: An Expositional Treatise Of The Life, Death, And Resurrection Of Jesus.”

Click The Image To Look Inside


NOTES:

[1] 2 Samuel 7:14
[2] Luke 1:31-32
[3] Hebrews 1:5
[4] Baldwin, p. 213; cf. also Gordon, I and I2Samuel, p. 236; Brueggemann, First and Second Samuel, p. 257; Carlson, p. 127). Judging from 4QFlor (ilegium), a midrash on 7: 10b- 14a, the Qumran sectarians also detected clear messianic overtones in Nathan’s oracle. (Expositor’s Bible Commentary)
[5] Luke 2:4
[6] John 20:17
[7] Matthew 10:32-33
[8] John 10:30
[9] John 14:11
[10] Hebrews 1:1 (ESV)
[11] The Everything World’s Religions Book: Explore the Beliefs, Traditions and Cultures of Ancient and Modern Religions, page 1 Kenneth Shouler – 2010
[12] John 14:9
[13] Colossians 1:16-17
[14] Hebrews 1:3
[15] 1 Timothy 6:15-16
[16] Psalms 33:6 (NKJV)
[17] Revelation 19:21 (NKJV)
[18] Hebrews 1:8
[19] John 20:19-29
[20] Isaiah 9:6
[21] Titus 2:13
[22] John 10:32-33
[23 ]Colossians 1:16
[24] Genesis 1:1
[25] John 1:1
[26] But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:  John 1:12
[27] Philippians 2:6-8 (RCR)
[28] John 5:30
[29] Hebrews 10:5-7
[30] John 10:37-38 (NLT)
[31] 1 Chronicles 17:13
[32] Matthew 3:17
[33] Hebrews 1:1-2
[34] Hebrews 1:5
[35] Hebrews 1:8
[36] Matthew 26:53
[37] Hebrews 10:5
[38] John 10:32 (ESV)
[39] Source: “The Prophecies of the Messiah,” A “The Prophecies of the Messiah,” a 4,042 page Treatise on the 400 Messianic Prophecies that Jesus fulfilled in the pages of the New Testament, by Robert Clifton Robinson, March, 2015
[40] Simon, a prophet, waiting for the Messiah at the Temple, recognized Jesus as the Son of God, the Messiah. Luke 2:25-35 (NLT) At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”
[41] Isaiah 9:6
[42] Luke 20:34-36
[43] 1 John 3:1
[44] Psalms 2:7
[45] Matthew 3:16-17
[46] Matthew 26:62-64
[47] Luke 1:35
[48] John 3:18
[49] 1 John 5:13
[50} John 10:17
[51] John 10:25
[52] John 10:29
[53] John 10:15
[54] John 10:30
[55] John 10:31-33
[56] Deuteronomy 17:5



Categories: He Is Risen, Jesus is God, Jesus is the Messiah, Jewish rejection of Jesus, Jews reject Jesus, Messianic Prophecy Bible, New Testament Apologetics, New Testament Criticism, Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus, Prophecy, Reliability of the New Testament, Robert Clifton Robinson, Salvation through Jesus, The Claims of Jesus, The Existence of God, The First Arrival of the Messiah, The Four Gospels, The Historical Jesus, The Historicity of Jesus, The Miracles of Jesus, The prophecies of Isaiah 61, The Prophecies of the Messiah, The Resurrection, These Things Were Written, Three Persons One God, We must repent

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