Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Jesus as God in His Parables

A common criticism leveled toward the deity of Christ is that Jesus never said, "I am God." We have dealt with that objection here.

However, it should also be noted that Jesus made a declaration and defense of his claim to be the divine Son of God through His parables. As Patrick Zukeran and Norman Geisler point out in their book The Apologetics of Jesus, Dr. Philip Payne wrote his doctoral dissertation at Cambridge University on this topic and stated:

"Out of the fifty-two recorded narrative parables, twenty depict Him [Jesus] in imagery which in the Old Testament typically referred to God.  The frequency with which this occurs indicates that Jesus regularly depicted Himself in images which were particularly appropriate for depicting God." [1]

Building on Payne's above point, Geisler and Zukeran conclude:

"Applying these images to himself indicated Jesus's self-understanding as the divine Son of God and communicated this truth to his audience.  In the parables he revealed his divinity, defended his claim, and validated his ministry.  Entrance into the kingdom of God and one's eternal destiny depend on how a person responds to Jesus's words.  The authority to judge and grant eternal life is reserved for God, and this is the authority Jesus claims for himself." [2]

Jesus's logic can be summarized as follows:

1. In the Old Testament, God refers to himself as X.
2. I am X.
3. Therefore, I am God. [3]

Courage and Godspeed,

1. Norman L. Geisler and Patrick Zukeran, The Apologetics of Jesus, p. 80.
2. Ibid., p. 80.
3. Ibid., p. 80.

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