A Series of Answers to Common Questions

Sam Shamoun


Question:

It is a pity that Christians consider the Jewish misunderstanding of Jesus as a witness to the Deity of Christ, while Jesus himself clarified that they were not able to understand his speech (cf. John 8:43-44). Why then appeal to such witnesses? Why base one’s faith on the misunderstanding of disbelievers? Moreover, why don’t Christians accept the testimony of those who said that Jesus’ ability to pardon sinners wasn’t proof that he was God, but only proved that God had given men such authority to proclaim that sins can be forgiven (cf. Matthew 9:8)?

Answer:

There are several problems with the above assertions, not the least of which is that the Lord Jesus wasn’t saying that the disbelievers were incapable of understanding him. Rather, his point was that they couldn’t accept what he was saying concerning himself due to their spiritual deadness:

"Why do you not understand what I say? It is because YOU CANNOT BEAR to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But, because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God." John 8:43-47

Jesus obviously didn’t mean that they weren’t literally hearing his words, but that they couldn’t accept the words they were hearing since they couldn’t believe.

Secondly, Jesus NEVER rebuked or corrected the Jews for thinking that he was making Divine claims. And seeing that Christ didn’t hesitate to rebuke the Jews when they misunderstood or distorted the Scriptures,

"Now when the Pharisees gathered together to him, with some of the scribes, who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they wash their hands, observing the tradition of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they purify themselves; and there are many other traditions which they observe, the washing of cups and pots and vessels of bronze.) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with hands defiled?’ And he said to them, ‘Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, "This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men." You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men.’ And he said to them, ‘You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God, in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, "Honor your father and your mother"; and, "He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die"; but you say, "If a man tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is Corban" (that is, given to God) -- then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition which you hand on. And many such things you do.’" Mark 7:1-13

"And Sad'ducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying, ‘Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the wife, and raise up children for his brother. There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no children; and the second took her, and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; and the seven left no children. Last of all the woman also died. In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Is not this why you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God said to him, "I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob"? He is not God of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.’" Mark 12:18-27

Wouldn’t he have corrected them on such a vitally important issue?

Yet instead of correcting people Jesus actually blesses those who confess him as Lord, God, Son of God etc.

"He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.’" Matthew 16:15-17

"Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.’" John 20:28-29

Christ further demands and accepts the worship which God receives such as prayers:

"The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, EVEN AS they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him." John 5:22-23

"Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, ‘Do you believe in the Son of man?’ He answered, ‘And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have seen him, and it is he who speaks to you.’ He said, ‘Lord, I believe’; and he worshiped him." John 9:35-38

"Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it." John 14:13-14

"And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’" Matthew 14:33

"And behold, Jesus met them and said, ‘Hail!’ And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him… Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted." Matthew 28:9, 16-17

This is despite the fact that such worship and service are to be rendered unto God alone:

"Then Jesus said to him, ‘Begone, Satan! for it is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve."’" Matthew 4:10

Now contrast Jesus’ attitude with the response of these others who refused such praise and honor:

"When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, ‘Stand up; I too am a man.’" Acts 10:25-26

"Now at Lystra there was a man sitting, who could not use his feet; he was a cripple from birth, who had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking; and Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, said in a loud voice, ‘Stand upright on your feet.’ And he sprang up and walked. And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycao'nian, ‘The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!’ Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, because he was the chief speaker, they called Hermes. And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the people. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out among the multitude, crying, ‘Men, why are you doing this? We also are men, of like nature with you, and bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.’" Acts 14:8-15

"Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.’ For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Revelation 19:10

"I John am he who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me; but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.’" Revelation 22:8-9

It is therefore all the more significant that Christ never clarifies his statements to the Jews when they accused him of claiming to be God.

In fact, Jesus would have had every reason to make sure that the unbelievers were wrong about his claiming to be Divine since this was primarily the reason why they wanted to kill him:

"But he was silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’ And Jesus said, ‘I AM; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.’ And the high priest tore his garments, and said, ‘Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?’ And they all condemned him as deserving death." Mark 14:61-64

"The Jews answered him, ‘We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he has made himself the Son of God.’" John 19:7

"This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God." John 5:18

"The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, ‘I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone me?’ The Jews answered him, ‘It is not for a good work that we stone you but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God.’" John 10:31-33

Moreover, the enemies of Christ weren’t the only ones who realized and testified that Jesus made himself out to be the Divine Son of God. Even those closest to Jesus, such as God the Father and the Apostles, confirm and bore witness that Christ is the unique Son of God. It is to their testimony that we now turn.

1. The Father calls Jesus his beloved Son, eternal King, Lord, God and Creator.

"In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, ‘Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.’" Mark 1:9-11

"And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves; and he was transfigured before them, and his garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Eli'jah with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli'jah.’ For he did not know what to say, for they were exceedingly afraid. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is my beloved Son; listen to him.’ And suddenly looking around they no longer saw any one with them but Jesus only." Mark 9:2-8

"But about the Son he [the Father] 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; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.’ He [the Father] also says, ‘In the beginning, O Lord [the Son], you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.’" Hebrews 1:8-12

The translators of the NET Bible say regarding Hebrews 1:8 and 10 that:

24 tn Or possibly, "Your throne is God forever and ever." This translation is quite doubtful, however, since (1) in the context the Son is being contrasted to the angels and is presented as far better than they. The imagery of God being the Son's throne would seem to be of God being his authority. If so, in what sense could this not be said of the angels? In what sense is the Son thus contrasted with the angels? (2) The e?...de (men...de) construction that connects v. 7 with v. 8 clearly lays out this contrast: “On the one hand, he says of the angels, on the other hand, he says of the Son.” Thus, although it is grammatically possible that ?e?? (qeos) in v. 8 should be taken as a predicate nominative, the context and the correlative conjunctions are decidedly against it. Hebrews 1:8 is thus a strong affirmation of the deity of Christ. (Source; underline emphasis ours)

And:

28 sn You founded the earth...your years will never run out. In its original setting Ps 102:25-27 refers to the work of God in creation, but here in Hebrews 1:10-12 the writer employs it in reference to Christ, the Lord, making a strong argument for the essential deity of the Son. (Source; underline emphasis ours)

2. The OT prophets testify that the Messiah is God.

The Prophets believed that the Messiah is the Mighty God, Yahweh our righteousness, the Savior, the Son of Man who rides the clouds and rules forever over all creation as all the peoples worship him:

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called ‘Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’ Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore." Isaiah 9:6-7

"Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’" Jeremiah 23:5-6

"I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed." Daniel 7:13-14

Here is how some of the rabbinic Jews explained these specific texts:

The prophet saith to the house of David, A child has been born to us, a son has been given to us; and he has taken the law upon himself to keep it, and his name has been called from of old, Wonderful counselor, Mighty God, He who lives forever, the Anointed One (or Messiah), in whose days peace shall increase upon us. (The Targum of Isaiah, J.F. Stenning, Editor and Translator [Oxford: Clarendon], p. 32)

Another explanation: He said to him: ‘I have yet to raise up the Messiah’ of whom it is written, For a child is born to us (Isa. IX, 5). (Midrash Rabbah Deuteronomy, Rabbi H. Freedman and Maurice Simon, Editors; Rev. Dr. J. Rabbinowitz, Translator [London: Soncino Press], I.20, p. 20)

… Behold the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘when I will raise up for David a righteous Messiah, and he shall reign as king, and prosper, and shall enact a righteous and Meritorious law in the land. In his days they of the house of Judah shall be delivered, and Israel shall live in security. And this is the name which they call him: "May vindication be accomplished for us by the Lord in his day."’ (Targum Jonathan, The Messiah: An Aramaic Interpretation, Samson H. Levy (New York: Hebrew Union College, 1974), pp. 68-69)

God will call the king Messiah after His own name, for it is said of the king Messiah This is his name whereby he shall be called: The Lord our righteousness (Jer. 23:6). (The Midrash on Psalms, William G. Braude, Translator (New Haven: Yale, 959), Yale Judaica Series, Volume XIII, Leon Nemoy, Editor, Book One, Psalm 2.2)

In the decree of the Prophets it is written Behold My servant shall prosper, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high (Isa. 52:13), and it is also written Behold My servant, whom I uphold, Mine elect, in whom My soul delighteh (Isa. 42:1). In the decree of the Writings it is written, The Lord said unto my lord: "Sit at My right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool" (Ps. 110:1), and it is also written I saw in the night visions, and, there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man, and he came even to the Ancient of days, and he was brought near before Him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and languages should serve him (Dan. 7:13, 14).

In another comment, the verse is read I will tell of the decree: the Lord said unto me: Thou art My son… Ask of Me, and I will give the nations for thine inheritance, and the ends of the earth for thy possession (Ps. 2:7, 8). R. Yudan said: All these goodly promises are in the decree of the King, the King of kings, who will fulfill them for the lord MESSIAH. (The Midrash on Psalms, William G. Braude, Translator [New Haven: Yale, 1959], Yale Judaica Series, Volume XIII, Leon Nemoy, Editor, Book One, Psalm 2:9)

5. For thou shalt make him most blessed for ever (Ps. 21:7) means that all the nations shall bless themselves in the king Messiah (Psalm 21). Thou shalt make him exceeding glad with Thy countenance (Ps. 21:7). R. Berechiah said in the name of R. Samuel: One verse reads of the king Messiah that One, like the son of man…came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before Him (Dan. 7:13), but in another verse God says, I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto Me (Jer. 30:21). How reconcile the two? Angels will bring the king Messiah to the outer edge of their encampment, and then the Holy One, blessed be He, will reach out His hand and bring the king Messiah near to Him. Hence, it is said I will draw him near. (Ibid., Book One, Psalm 21:5)

All bold, capital and underline emphasis was ours.

3. The Angel Gabriel confesses that Jesus is God’s Son who rules forever.

"In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’ But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ And Mary said to the angel, ‘How shall this be, since I have no husband?’ And the angel said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.’" Luke 1:26-35

4. John the Baptist testifies Jesus is the preexistent Divine Son of God.

"Now John was clothed with camel's hair, and had a leather girdle around his waist, and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, ‘After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’" Mark 1:6-8

Here, John says that Christ baptizes in/with the Spirit, which is a Divine function (cf. Ezekiel 36:25-27; Joel 2:28-29). It must be pointed out that it was the function of slaves to take off the sandals of their masters and guests and provide water to wash their feet. John is therefore saying that he is not good enough to be Jesus’ slave!

"(John bore witness to him, and cried, ‘This was he of whom I said, "He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me."’)" John 1:15

"John answered, ‘No one can receive anything except what is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him. He who has the bride is the bridegroom; the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice; therefore this joy of mine is now full. He must increase, but I must decrease. He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth belongs to the earth, and of the earth he speaks; he who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony; he who receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for it is not by measure that he gives the Spirit; the Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him." John 3:27-36

5. The Eyewitnesses of Christ, his very own Disciples and Apostles, testify that he is the Divine Son of God and Lord of all.

A. Peter

"Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.’" John 6:68-69

"Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know -- this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. But God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it… Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which you see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens; but he himself says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet.’ Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified." Acts 2:22-24, 30-36

"The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses." Acts 3:13-15

"You know the word which he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), the word which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him… And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that he is the one ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name." Acts 10:36-38, 42-43

"Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours in the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:" 2 Peter 1:1

Peter bears witness that Jesus is God and Savior, the Author of Life, the Holy and Righteous One, the Lord who sits on God’s right hand, the Lord and Judge of all, who died and rose again.

B. Paul

"And in the synagogues immediately he proclaimed Jesus, saying, ‘He is the Son of God.’" Acts 9:20

"‘The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead.’ Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; but others said, ‘We will hear you again about this.’" Acts 17:30-32

"For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, … He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?" Romans 8:3, 32

"to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen." Romans 9:5 NRSV

"because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. The scripture says, ‘No one who believes in him will be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him. For, ‘every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.’" Romans 10:9-13

"If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living." Romans 14:8-9

"To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:" 1 Corinthians 1:2

"Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that ‘an idol has no real existence,’ and that ‘there is no God but one.’ For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth -- as indeed there are many ‘gods" and many ‘lords’ -- yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist." 1 Corinthians 8:4-6

"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which 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." Philippians 2:5-11

"He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities -- all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross." Colossians 1:13-20

"For in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily," Colossians 2:9

"For they themselves report concerning us what a welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come." 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

"awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds." Titus 2:13-14

Paul believes that Jesus is God’s own Son, the great God and Savior, the King, the One who exists in the very form of God and has all the fullness of Deity dwelling in him bodily, the One who made peace by the blood of his cross, the Lord whom all call upon to b saved, the Lord of the living and the dead, the one Lord through whom all things came into being and through and for whom everything exists.

C. John

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made… He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father… No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known." John 1:1-3, 10, 14, 18

"Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name." John 20:30-31

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life -- the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us -- that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ." 1 John 1:1-3

"If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has borne witness to his Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. He who does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne to his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son of God has not life. I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life… And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life." 1 John 5:9-13, 20

In these verses John identifies Jesus as the eternal Word who became flesh, [the true] God, the Eternal Life that was with the Father, the Son of God who indwells and has fellowship with all believers, and the Agent of creation.

D. Nathaniel

"Nathan'a-el answered him, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’" John 1:49

6. Demons and unclean spirits testify that Jesus is God’s Son and his Holy One.

"And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, ‘What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent, and come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, ‘What is this? A new teaching! With authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.’" Mark 1:21-27

"And whenever the unclean spirits beheld him, they fell down before him and cried out, ‘You are the Son of God.’ And he strictly ordered them not to make him known." Mark 3:11-12

"And when he had come out of the boat, there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who lived among the tombs; and no one could bind him any more, even with a chain; for he had often been bound with fetters and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the fetters he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out, and bruising himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped him; and crying out with a loud voice, he said, ‘What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.’" Mark 5:2-7

With the foregoing in the background it is obvious that the unbelieving Jews correctly understood that Jesus was making himself out to be God when he claimed to be God’s unique and beloved Son. After all, the testimony from those who knew Jesus best substantiates the fact that the unbelievers correctly understood that Jesus was claiming to be God.

Now would the Muslims agree with the assessment and reaction of God the Father, John the Baptist, the Disciples of Jesus, and the evil spirits, all of whom concur with one another that Jesus is fully Divine and fully human (with the exception of sin), the absolutely unique Son of God? Or would they postulate that all of these diverse witnesses actually misunderstood him much like the unbelieving Jews (supposedly) did?

The only reason why Muslims would reject this overwhelming testimony is due to their presuppositions which they impose upon their reading of the Holy Scriptures. Sadly, it is these very presuppositions that hinder Muslims from seeing the clear and explicit evidence supporting the Lord Jesus’ absolute Deity.

This concludes the first part of our discussion. We now move into discussing the crowds reaction in Matthew 9:8.

Unless noted otherwise, all Scriptural quotations taken from the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Holy Bible.


Recommended Reading

http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/jesus_god_the_son.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/jesus_god_the_son2.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Osama/zawadi_son_of_most_high.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/messiah_concept.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/messiah_god.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/messiah_worshiped.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/worship.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/latreuo.htm
http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/worship_nebudan.htm


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