In our daily meditations on Who is Jesus? we have considered Jesus' indirect claims to be God. So now we want to look at Christ’s direct claims to be God.
26A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27Then 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.” 28Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:26-29).
Jesus didn’t say, “Hey, hang on a second; you’ve gone a bit too far there. Instead, He gently rebuked them for being slow to get the obvious, saying, "Stop doubting and believe" (v. 27). At another time, after Christ was arrested and stood before the high priest and elders, Christ was clear as to His identity:
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” 62“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.” 63The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. 64“You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as worthy of death (Mark 14:61-64).
You might have missed it. When Jesus said the words “I Am” in verse 62 above, this was the Greek form of the Hebrew name that God gave of Himself: “And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:14). If you only had one opportunity to take people to one passage of Scripture to show a direct claim by Jesus to be God, take them to John’s Gospel:
30I and the Father are one.” 31Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” 33“We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:30-33).
Claims such as someone saying He is One with the Father need to be tested because people make all kinds of claims. The mere fact that somebody claims to be someone important does not mean the claim is valid. Some mentally unstable people are known to be deluded, thinking they are Napoleon, the Pope, or the Antichrist. So how can we test people's claims? Jesus claimed to be the unique Son of God; God made flesh. There are three logical possibilities. If the claims were untrue, either He knew they were untrue, in which case He is an imposter and an evil person for trying to deceive people. That's the first possibility. Or He did know, in which case He was deluded; indeed, He was mad. That is the second possibility. The third possibility is that the claims were true.
The writer C.S. Lewis put it like this:
A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic, on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg, or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse…but let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
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C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, First Published by Geoffrey Bles, 1952.