Q: I have a question about your book, Slandering Jesus.
The subtitle says, “Six lies people tell about the man who said He was GOD.”
I’ve been very interested in finding out where or when Jesus ever made such a claim. Nowhere do I find that Jesus said, “I am God” or “Worship Me.” I have seven different Bibles dating back to 1902, I’ve gone through all of them but have found nothing of this sort.
Asked by: Rehan
A: Well let me say this to you, Rehan, it’s true that Jesus didn’t make the exact statement, “Worship me.” But He accepted worship.
In fact He encouraged people to worship Him. Now that’s in contradistinction to the angels. Whenever you have an angel appearing and somebody wanted to worship them, the angel refused worship because all worship must be directed to God alone. Read Revelation 5:11-14, where Jesus is worshipped in heaven.
When people worshiped Jesus and when He encouraged them to do that, He was in effect affirming the fact that He was God. But you asked for some direct statements, so let’s start in John 8:58, when He said to the Jews, “Before Abraham was, I am.” Here Jesus is identifying Himself with Exodus 3:14, where God, Jehovah, in the Old Testament, says “I Am that I Am”—a very clear reference to deity. So when Jesus said “I am” referencing His deity, the Jews took up stones to stone Him.
You also have Him referring to Himself as the Son of Man. And that’s based of course, on Daniel 7, where it’s the Ancient of Days who brings in the kingdom. The Jews understood, and anyone reading the Bible today understands, that the “Ancient of Days” is a reference to deity—it’s a reference to God.
Now once you go beyond that and look at the other passages of the New Testament, the deity of Jesus Christ is explicitly taught. For example in Hebrews 1, it says, regarding Christ, “Thy throne, oh God, is forever and ever” and there are many other references. So that’s why the Christian church has always taught the deity of Christ. As a matter of fact, it’s essential that Jesus Christ be God once we understand the doctrine of salvation.
So keep reading all of those translations, but take notes. And as you read, and recognize that Jesus made claims that could not be made by anyone unless He were God of very God. Indeed, if He were not God, He could not have redeemed us, but that is part of a larger story.
- Exodus 3:14
- Daniel 7
- John 8:58
- Revelation 5:11-14