Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Common Objection #20- "Jesus Never Said, 'I Am God, Worship Me!'"

This is a claim most often made by Muslims.  In their article, Is Jesus the Only Way?, authors Mark Pickering and Peter Saunders concisely deal with this claim:

"...nowhere does Jesus assert his divinity in these exact words. It should also be noted, however, that nowhere does he state the converse: 'I'm not God - don't worship me!' even though this was the response even of an angel when John mistakenly worshiped him.

Yet having said this, the divinity of Jesus is in fact directly stated in at least eight passages of the NT. For example, 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God'  and also, 'Thomas said to him, 'My Lord and my God!''  Further to this, his deity is strongly implied in several other passages. 

The fact is that Jesus was far too sophisticated a teacher to wander round shouting 'I am God!' This would have got him nowhere and been totally alien to the cultural context of his day. Instead he made his claims in ways that were deeply rooted in the Hebrew Scriptures and therefore unmistakable to his Jewish listeners. For instance, he said and did things that in Scripture only God said and did:
  1. He called himself 'I Am'; bridegroom; shepherd; the first and the last
  2. Others called him Lord (Hebrew = YHWH, Greek = Kyrios)
  3. He accepted worship 
  4. He created the world
  5. He existed before his birth
  6. He forgave sins 
  7. He said he would judge the world
Perhaps his most provocative title was his favorite, the 'Son of Man', mentioned over 80 times in the Gospels.  Far from merely emphasizing his humanity, this is an unmistakable reference to Daniel 7:13,14 where we are shown a supernatural figure who is 'given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him.' Jesus identified himself as this divine-human Messiah figure and accepted the title from others." [1]

Courage and Godspeed,


1.  Mark Pickering and Peter Saunders, Is Jesus the Only Way?.  References can be found in the original article.



Roger Adlon said...

There is another context in which we need to consider how and why Jesus made his claims the way he did. For Jesus to publicly claim he was God would have resulted in immediate execution, either by the Jewish authorities for blasphemy or the Roman authorities for treason. And yet, when he was executed, the Jewish authorities convicted him of blasphemy and the Roman authority convicted him of treason.

Chad said...

The comments section is not a place to advertise one's blog posts.