Before you can decide who Jesus is, we need to discover first who he claimed he was.
a. Jesus’ trial
Mark 14:61-64 “But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”
“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
They all condemned him as worthy of death.”
When the high priest asked Jesus if he was the Christ, he was really asking him if he proclaimed to be the Messiah, the Saviour of the world and the anointed one. It is clear from Jesus’ answer that he had no doubt about that. In fact he puts himself equal to God in his answer: “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
The high priest understood Jesus’ response and “tore his clothes “, considering Jesus’ response a “blasphemy”.
b. Claims to be equal to God
On several occasions we find Jesus claiming equality to God the Father.
– John 10:25-33 “Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
“We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
Look at the Jews’ reaction, they were angry and were planning to stone Jesus. Why? Because they clearly understood Jesus claiming ” to be God”. They reacted the same way as the high priest in Jesus’ trial. How would you react if someone proclaimed “I and the Father God are one”?
-John 5:17-18 “Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”
Here again the Jews clearly understood that Jesus was “making himself equal with God.”
-John 8:58 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
Not only did Jesus announce that he existed before Abraham, who lived 2000 years before his time, but he also put Himself equal to God by saying “I am.” Only God used this title when addressing Moses in Ex 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.'”
The Jews understood what he said and John 8:59 “At this, they picked up stones to stone him… “
Read other claims of who Jesus proclaimed to be:
-John 5:23-24 “…that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. “
– John 8:19-20 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?”
“You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
-John 14:1-2 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”
-John 14:8-10 “Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”
In the following instances, Jesus spoke in his own name, elevating his authority to the one of God:
-Matt 5:20 “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
-Matt 5:22 “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”
-Matt 5:26 “I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”
-Matt 5:28 “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
-Matt 5:32 “But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.”
-Matt 5:34 “But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne…”
-Matt 5:44 “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”
c. Allowing Himself to be worshipped as God
Jesus clearly understood that only God should be worshipped. In fact he boldly declared:
Luke 4:8 “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'”
Read the following Scriptures and notice if Jesus discourages anyone from worshipping him:
– Matt 8:2-3 “And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” NKJV
-John 9:35-39 “Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
“Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”
Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
– Matt 14:33-34 “Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret.”
-John 20:27-29 “Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Now you may ask yourself if Jesus’ disciples ever accepted to be worshipped. Let us find out:
-Acts 10:25-26 “As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”
Rev 19:10 “At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
Notice that even angels refuse to be worshipped!
Jesus however never refused to be worshipped and by doing so proclaimed He was equal to God.