d. What others said about Jesus
i. The apostle Paul
Let us now see what the followers of Jesus had to say about him. Let us start with the apostle Paul, who had miraculously met Jesus on his way to Damascus while persecuting Christians (see Acts 9). He became one of the strongest advocates of Christianity.
-Rom 9:5 “Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.”
-Phil 2:6-11 “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
-Col 1:15-18 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 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. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
-Col 2:9 “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form”
-Titus 2:13 “…while we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ…”
It is clear that the apostle Paul proclaimed Jesus to be equal to God and that he created everything in the universe. He encouraged anyone to worship Jesus and bow his or her knees at the mention of his name.
Let us see what other followers of Jesus had to say about Him:
ii. John the Baptist
-Luke 3:22 “…and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
-John 1:29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
iii. The apostle Peter
-Matt 16:15-18 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.”
-Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
-2 Peter 1:1 “Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours…”
iv. The apostle Thomas
-John 20:28 “Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
v. The author of Hebrews
-Heb 1:3-4 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
-Heb 1:8-9 “But about the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever,
and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness…”
vi. The apostle John
-John 1:1, 14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
-1 John 5:20 “We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true-even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”
It is clear that Jesus is more than a mere man in the New Testament. His disciples proclaimed that He was God and deserved our worship. The apostle John concluded that John 20:30-31 “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
e. Indirect claims to being God
The following Scriptures will demonstrate that Jesus not only claimed by his words that he was God, but his deeds also were a confirmation of this.
i. Authority to forgive
-Mark 2:5-7 “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
If someone hurts you, you are the only one who can forgive him or her. How would you feel if your boss comes along and forgives that person? Wouldn’t you reflect “who does he think he is?” Only one other person can forgive and that is God Himself. No wonder that the teachers of the law were offended when Jesus forgave that paralytic.
-Mark 2:9-12 “Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” He said to the paralytic, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
ii. Claiming to be “Life”
-John 14:6-7 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
How would you react if someone approached you and boldly declared: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” You wouldn’t be offended if that person said he knew the way, the truth, and the life. However Jesus proclaimed He is “the way, the truth and the life.”
The apostle John confirmed this in:
-1 John 5:11-12 “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
iii. Authority to judge
-John 5:27 “And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.”
-John 8:24 “If you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins.”
iv. Foretold by the prophet Isaiah
-John 12:41 “Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.”
No doubts remain that Jesus and His followers believed that John 5:18 “He was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” They worshipped him and believed he was their Saviour, proclaiming to others to do the same.
Question 1: Who did Jesus proclaim He was?
Question 2: How did Jesus react when someone worshipped him?
Question 3: How did Jesus demonstrate he had the authority to forgive?