By Dr. Paulette Sauders
“I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me,” Jesus said.
elieve Jesus is God? They believe that Christ was saying this as a prophet — not as God, but as a way of saying He could show people the way to God.
I want to add to The Core emphasis here on campus that Jesus is God!
When Grace College had a college-level degree program inside four of the prisons in Indiana, I taught a course each semester in one of two of those prisons, and I remember well one of my students at Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, Ind. “Bill” (not his real name) had made a profession of faith and seemed to be stable in his Christian faith. But one day in class, he told me that he had been talking with those of other faiths inside the prison and had been influenced to conclude that Jesus never said He was God. So now he was having second thoughts about his faith.
As a result, I started searching Scriptures to find specific passages I could pass on to Bill to prove to him that Jesus actually did claim to be God. I found numerous passages where Jesus clearly declared He was God, as well as many passages where He suggested this to the Jewish leaders — and they definitely understood what Jesus was saying because they planned to kill Him for claiming to be equal with God.
- Perhaps the most obvious verse is John 10:30 where Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” In response, the Jewish leaders picked up rocks to stone him and called His words “blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33).
- In John 8:58, Jesus said, “… before Abraham was born, I am.” Again the Jews picked up rocks to stone Him for blasphemy.
- When Christ is praying to God for believers in John 17:5, He prayed, “Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”
- On Palm Sunday, referring to Himself, Jesus told the Jewish leaders that “because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you,” your enemies will destroy you (Luke 19:43-44).
- In the healing of the paralytic whose friends lowered him through the roof down in front of Christ, Jesus told the man, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” The Pharisees thought He was speaking blasphemy because “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” But Jesus said, “… that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” He told the paralytic, “… get up, take your mat and go home,” and the man did so (Luke 5:18-25).
Many more passages in the gospels reveal that Christ Himself said He was/is God.
As we start to think about Christmas, please go back to the Scriptures and remind yourself that Jesus was conceived and born miraculously by God’s plan. For no other “prophet” did God send angels to announce his birth or put a special star in the sky. That’s because Jesus is God, not just a prophet. He is not only “the way, the truth, and the life,” but God Himself.