Just who was Jesus? Was He God or was He a man? Was He human or was He divine? If someone were to ask you these questions, how would you answer, and better yet, how would you prove it? Most of professing Christianity and theologians have struggled over this question for millennia and are confused about the answer. We should not be in confusion. We need to know, without a doubt, who and what Jesus was. Let’s see what the scriptures say about Christ - was He God or human.
John 1:1-3; John 1:14-15 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 nothing was made that was made. (14) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father …. (15) John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.'"
1. Who is the "Word"? By what other name is He known? Read John 1:29-30.
2. According to this passage, who created all things?
3. What other scripture tells us who created all things in the beginning? What conclusion must one come to if these two scriptures claim that this Personage created all things?
4. How is it possible for one to come after a certain person and yet to have been before that same person? That is what John claims in John 1:15.
Comment: John shows that the Word, the God of the Old Testament, became Jesus of Nazareth. That is, the Word, Jesus, was God, in the flesh. That is the point that John is making here.
John 9:35-38 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, "Do you believe in the Son of God?" He answered and said, who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?" And Jesus said to him, "you have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you." Then he said, "Lord, I believe!" And he worshiped Him.
5. Why would Jesus allow this man to worship Him? Who only are we to worship? Who only is worthy of worship?
Note: There are plenty of examples in the Bible that show even an angel of highest rank would not let man worship him.
Luke 9:47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him....
6. Is it possible for a human to read the thoughts of others? Who can?
John 8:56-58 "your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old and have you seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."
7. What did Jesus mean by "I AM"?
8. Who did Jesus Himself claim to be?
9. What were the Jews reaction? Read verse 59. Why did they react that way?
1. I think we can all agree that the Bible teaches that Jesus was God. But, God is immortal (1 Timothy 6:16), yet Jesus died. How is it possible that Jesus died if He was divine?
Hebrews 4:14-15 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
2. Jesus was tempted. Can God be tempted? Read James 1:13 and comment.
3. How can Jesus be divine and still be tempted? What does Jesus' weaknesses reveal about His nature?
4. Did Satan tempt Jesus? Read Matthew 4.
Comment: Satan tried to get to Jesus just as he got to Adam, by working to instigate pride, vanity and lusts of the flesh. Adam decided for Himself what was good and what was evil, and separated himself from his relationship with God. Think of this, if Jesus could not have sinned, if it was impossible for Him to sin, would Satan have wasted his time trying to tempt him to sin? Jesus could have sinned, but He didn't, and the whole world owes Him for that. We have been redeemed, been bought and paid for, and, therefore we owe our lives to Jesus.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us….
5. What does this passage teach us about the nature of Jesus?
6. Why was it necessary for God to come in human flesh? Consider Hebrews 2:9.
Comment: If Christ were flesh only, His death would have only saved Himself. But because He was God in the flesh, His life was worth more than all of mankind put together, because He created them. Therefore, His life and death that He gave for us paid the penalty for all of man's sins. But if Christ was God only, He could not have died. He was flesh and blood just as we are flesh and blood. What a tremendous act of love from our Creator to us: To become God in the flesh, human and divine to save us from the penalty of our sins, which is death.
So who was Jesus? Jesus was both Man and God. That's what the Bible teaches; that's what the apostles taught; that's what Jesus taught; and that's what the church teaches today. Jesus was both man and God so that He could be a perfect sacrifice to save all of mankind from the penalty of death. There is no confusion about that.