Shortly before his death a few weeks ago, the famous CNN late night talk show host, Larry King was asked that if he could interview God what would he ask him? Over the course of his career Larry, a genetic and religious Jew, had conducted over 50,000 interviews with a wide-spectrum of fascinating people from all walks of life. His response was surprising, “If I could interview God I would ask him, ‘Did you have a son’?” As Christ followers I think we could answer Larry King’s question in the affirmative. Yes, God had/has a Son. If he didn’t I doubt we would be here right now. However, understanding who he is tends to be the most confusing subject of all.
Preachers like to say, “When there is mist in the pulpit there will be fog in the pews.” When it comes to Jesus we don’t any mist or fog regarding his identity. Thus, a month ago we launched a series called “God Is.” In conjunction with that series we now start a fresh one called, “Jesus Is…”
Jesus Is Divine
Who is Jesus? Jesus is both God the Son and the Son of God and as such, everything we learned about God the Father this past month is true of Jesus. Like his Father, the Son is also a loving, eternal person endowed with omni-attributes and infinite holiness. As God, Jesus is unmade, uncreated, with no beginning and no end. He is fully God like the Father is fully God. He, as the Holy Scriptures teach and the Historic Creeds attest, is “Very God of very God.” Thus, he is co-eternal, co-equal, and co-substantial with the Father. Jesus is the only person that is “Fully Divine and Fully Human.” In other words, he has both a divine nature and human nature (we only have a human nature.)
Jesus’ Divinity in Scriptures
Tons of Scripture teach the divinity of Jesus. Here’s a few. In the Prologue of his Gospel John says (1:1-2)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.
In Colossians 1:15 Paul says of Jesus
He is the image of the invisible God…
The author of the Book of Hebrews writes (1:3)
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.
The word Paul used for image is “icon.” The word the Hebrew author used for representation is “character.” Taken together, the divine Jesus is the perfect image and character of Father God.
Jesus Knew He Was Divine
While on earth, Jesus was aware of his divinity. He told Philip, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father” (John 14:9). To the unbelieving Jews, “I and the Father are One” (John 10:30). In John 5:17, he told the religious establishment, “My Father and I are always working.” Another way that Jesus knew his divine nature was by his continual use of the Divine Name. The Divine Name was first revealed to Moses when he met the pre-incarnated Jesus in the Burning Bush. Moses asked him who was he was. Jesus simply said, “I Am that I Am” (Exodus 3:14, Ego Emi). The Holy name of God was so sacred that the Israelites made-up the substitute name, “Yahweh” so as to never mispronounce it or use it in vain. The punishment for doing so was death by stoning. Yet, Jesus constantly used the Divine Name for himself knowing full well the penalty. Listen to a few of them
I am the Door. I am the Bread of Life. I am the Resurrection and the Life. I am the Light of the World. I am the Living Water.
I am the Way the Truth, and the Life, the only way to the Father. I am the True Vine. I am the Good Shepherd.
Others Knew He Was Divine
Others knew of Jesus’ divinity as well. When Jesus asked the disciples who they thought he was, Peter proclaimed, “You are the Christ the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16). When the centurion punctured Jesus’ side, he proclaimed, “Surely this man was the Son of God” (Mark 15:39). When Doubting Thomas met Jesus for the first time after the resurrection, he exclaimed, “My Lord and My God” (John 20:28). Even the demons knew the divinity of Jesus. When he confronted the Legion of Demons possessing one man in the Gadarene Garden, they asked Jesus, “What will you do with us Son of the Most High” (Mark 5:7). Even inanimate objects recognized Jesus as divine. When he commands the storm to stop stormin’, the wave to stop wavin’, the disease to stop diseasin’, and death to stop deathin’, they all instantly stop their hostilities to God’s creation and his people.
Jesus Is Divine Creator
One of the most amazing, albeit most misunderstood, facts about the divine Son is that he is the Creator of all things. John 1:3 states clearly
All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.
As does Colossians 1:16-17 where we read
16 for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers–
all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Previously, in v15 Paul entitled Jesus the “The firstborn of creation.” The word he used here, “proto-tokos” means that Jesus is the source of all creation, not that God created him. Hebrews 1:1-3 also speaks of Jesus as the Divine Creator
1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,
2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe…3 Sustaining all things by his powerful word.
When Moses penned the very first line of the Bible, Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and earth,” little did he know the God he was referencing was actually God the Son.
Why is it imperative that we have no fog or mist in our thinking when it comes to the identity of Jesus.
Religious cultic movements like the Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and even the Muslim faith itself, either deny and distort the divine identity of Jesus. If we are fuzzy or vague and don’t know the “orthodoxy” regarding Jesus, we will be easily sucked into their deception (a personal example). Not so here! When these groups knock on your door tell them that Jesus is the Divine Creator and watch them run for hills. As they are running remind them that Jesus didn’t become God, he always was God, and that he is not a god among many gods. And at that, not a lesser God, semi-God, or small God. He is fully God and as such is worthy of our worship, our lives, and our utmost love. We need to know Jesus’ true identity not only to protect ourselves but to give clear and cogent answers when others ask about who he is (I Peter 3:15).
As Divine Creator, Jesus has made mucho promises to humanity, especially regarding the value and purpose of life now and the eternal life in the world to come. Because of who he is only he can pull off these promises. He alone is ultimately and utterly trust worthy. Therefore, we can trust him 100% for everything, especially our salvation. Let’s pray to do so now.