Jesus

by Matt Slick

Notice the supporting information and reasoning behind each point and some comments that can be added should the conversation continue.

  1. Jesus, Who is He?
    1. Jesus has two natures at the same time: divine and human at the same time.  He is both God and man (John 1:1, 14; Col. 2:9).  This is called the Hypostatic Union.
    2. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary (Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:35).
    3. "He was born under the Law (Gal. 4:4) and fulfilled all of the Law of God (John 4:34; 8:29), even to the point of death (Phil. 2:8)."
    4. In His death He bore the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (Gal. 3:13). Thus in the death of Christ the sins of His people were judged (Rom. 3:23-26) and forgotten (Heb. 8:12), and the result of His act of righteousness was eternal life (Rom. 5:18).
    5. Jesus is worshiped (Matt. 2:2, 11; 14:33; John 9:35-38; Heb. 1:6).
    6. Jesus is prayed to (Acts 7:55-60; Psalm 116:4 with 1 Cor. 1:1-2).
    7. Jesus is called God (John 20:28; Heb. 1:8).
    8. He is the creator (John 1:1-3; Col. 1:15-17); Jesus is uncreated (John 1:1-3; Col. 1:15-17).
  2. Verses showing Jesus is divine
    1. He is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14; 8:58 with Exodus 3:14; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8).
    2. John 1:1, 14 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us . . . "
      1. This shows that Jesus is God in flesh.
      2. If you say that John 1:1 should be "a" god, then . . .
      3. If Jesus is "a" god, then isn't that polytheism?
      4. If Jesus is "a" god, then how many gods are there in JW theology?
      5. If Jesus is "a" god, then is he a true God or false god since the Bible says there is only one God (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8)?
      6. If Jesus is "a" god, then why does he tell people to come to him and not the Father (Matt. 11:28)?
    3. John 8:58, "Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.'" With Exodus 3:14 "God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you."
      1. Jesus uses the same title for Himself that God uses of Himself.
      2. If you say that the verse is really "I have been," then why did the Jews want to kill
        him--especially when in John 10:30-33 they say they want to kill Him because He claimed to be God?  Where and what did Jesus say to cause them to think that?
    4. John 10:30-33, "'I and the Father are one.' 31 The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, 'I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?' 33 The Jews answered Him, 'For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.'"
      1. Re:  John 10:30-33, What was Jesus saying that caused the Jews to accuse Jesus of claiming to be God?  If you can't say, then you don't know the text or the culture well enough to address the issue of Christ's deity.
    5. John 20:28
      1. In John 20:28, Thomas called Jesus God by saying to Jesus, "My Lord and My God." If Jesus is not God, then why did Jesus not correct Thomas? Three verses later it says that this is written, so you might believe that Jesus is the son of God (John 20:31). Therefore, we can see that the term Son of God is saying that Jesus is God.
    6. Col. 2:9, "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form."
    7. Phil. 2:5-7, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness."
    8. Heb. 1:8, "But of the Son He [The Father] says, "Thy throne, O God, is forever
      and ever . . . "
      1. If Jesus is not God, why does God Himself call Jesus God in Heb. 1:8?
      2. This is a quote from Psalm 45:6 which has the best translation of "Thy Throne O
        God . . . "
  3. Other Verses
    1. John 10:30-33, "'I and the Father are one.' 31 The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, 'I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?' 33 The Jews answered Him, 'For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.'"
      1. Notice the Jews said, "You being a man, make yourself out to be God."  What did Jesus say that caused the Pharisees to say that Jesus was claiming to be God in John 10:30-33?  If you don't know, then you don't understand.
      2. Regarding John 10:30-33, if you deny that Jesus is God in flesh, then you are agreeing with the Jews who killed Christ because they did not accept who He really was.
    2. Col. 1:15-16, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him."
      1. Firstborn is a transferrable title and does not necessitate being first created.  Proof of this can be seen where Manasseh is the first born (Gen. 41:51-52) and then his brother Ephraim is called the firstborn (Jer. 31:9).
        1. Gen. 41:51-52, "And Joseph called the name of the first-born Manasseh: For, said he, God hath made me forget all my toil, and all my fathers house. And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath made me fruitful in the land of my affliction."
        2. Jer. 31:9, " . . . for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn."
    3. 1 Cor. 1:2, "To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ their Lord and ours."
      1. Why is the phrase, "Call upon the name of the LORD" (Hebrew, YHWH, i.e., Psalm 116:4) used only of God in the OT and translated into the Greek in the LXX as "Call upon the name of the LORD (Greek, KURIOS)," applied to Jesus in the NT (1 Cor. 1:2) if Jesus is not God in flesh?
        1. The LXX is the Septuagint which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament done by Jews around 200 B.C.
        2. Psalm 116:4, "Then I called upon the name of the Lord [YHWH]: "O Lord [YHWH], I beseech Thee, save my life!"
        3. The literal translation of 1 Cor. 1:2 is " . . . call upon the name of the Lord of us Jesus Christ."
        4. For more information, please see http://www.carm.org/jw/nameofLord.htm.
  4. Son of God, Son of Man
    1. Does the term "Son of God" mean that Jesus is not God? If so, then does the term "Son of Man" mean that Jesus is not a man?
    2. Likewise, if the term "Son of Man" means that Jesus is a man, then what does the term "Son of God" imply?
  5. The Resurrection of Christ
    1. Jesus rose in the same body that He died in (John 2:19-21; Luke 24:36-43). Jesus' body is resurrected. We do not know exactly what His body is like, but the nature of the resurrected body is discussed by Paul in 1 Cor. 15:35-58.
      1. John 2:19-21, "Jesus answered them, 'Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.' 20 The Jews replied, It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days? 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body."
      2. Luke 24:39,  "Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."
      1. Right now Jesus is in heaven still as, and eternally to be, both God and man (1 Tim. 2:5; Col. 2:9).
        1. This is important because Jesus is the High Priest forever: "where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek" (Heb. 6:20). A spirit cannot be a high priest; only a man can do that. Furthermore, Jesus always lives to make intercession for us: "Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them" (Heb. 7:25).
  6. Quotes Concerning Jesus
    1. Resurrection: Gary Habermas (Historical Jesus scholar): "On the state of Resurrection studies today, I recently completed an overview of more than 1,400 sources on the resurrection of Jesus published since 1975. I studied and catalogued about 650 of these texts in English, German, and French. Some of the results of this study are certainly intriguing. For example, perhaps no fact is more widely recognized than that early Christian believers had real experiences that they thought were appearances of the risen Jesus. A critic may claim that what they saw were hallucinations or visions, but he does not deny that they actually experienced something."

 

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