"Is Jesus God? Did Jesus ever claim to be God?"
Answer: The Bible never records Jesus saying the precise words, “I am God.” That does not mean, however, that He did not proclaim that He is God. Take for example Jesus’ words in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” We need only to look at the Jews’ reaction to His statement to know He was claiming to be God. They tried to stone Him for this very reason: “You, a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33). The Jews understood exactly what Jesus was claiming—deity. When Jesus declared, “I and the Father are one,” He was saying that He and the Father are of one nature and essence. John 8:58 is another example. Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth … before Abraham was born, I am!” Jews who heard this statement responded by taking up stones to kill Him for blasphemy, as the Mosaic Law commanded (Leviticus 24:16).
John reiterates the concept of Jesus’ deity: “The Word [Jesus] was God” and “the Word became flesh” (John 1:1, 14). These verses clearly indicate that Jesus is God in the flesh. Acts 20:28 tells us, “Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” Who bought the church with His own blood? Jesus Christ. And this same verse declares that God purchased His church with His own blood. Therefore, Jesus is God!
Thomas the disciple declared concerning Jesus, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Jesus does not correct him. Titus 2:13 encourages us to wait for the coming of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ (see also 2 Peter 1:1). In Hebrews 1:8, the Father declares of Jesus, “But about the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.’” The Father refers to Jesus as “O God,” indicating that Jesus is indeed God.
In Revelation, an angel instructed the apostle John to only worship God (Revelation 19:10). Several times in Scripture Jesus receives worship (Matthew 2:11; 14:33; 28:9, 17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38). He never rebukes people for worshiping Him. If Jesus were not God, He would have told people to not worship Him, just as the angel in Revelation did. There are many other passages of Scripture that argue for Jesus’ deity.
The most important reason that Jesus has to be God is that, if He is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). A created being, which Jesus would be if He were not God, could not pay the infinite penalty required for sin against an infinite God. Only God could pay such an infinite penalty. Only God could take on the sins of the world (2 Corinthians 5:21), die, and be resurrected, proving His victory over sin and death.
Recommended Resource: Jesus: The Greatest Life of All by Charles Swindoll
In Abrahamic religions, the Messiah (Hebrew: מָשִׁיחַ, translit. māšîaḥ, sometimes spelled Moshiach), is the one chosen to lead the world and thereby save it. The term also appears in the forms Messias (Ancient Greek: Μεσσίας), Christ (Ancient Greek: Χριστός), or Al-Masih (Arabic: المسيح, ISO 233: al-masīḥ).
The concepts of the Messiah, messianism, and the Messianic Age grew from the Book of Isaiah (4:2 and chapter 11) during the latter half of the 8th century BCE. The term comes from the Hebrew verb meaning "to apply oil to," to anoint. In the Hebrew Bible, Israel's kings were sometimes called God's "messiah"—God's anointed one. A messiah could also be an anointed high priest or prophet. Messiahs did not even need to descend from Jacob, as the Hebrew Bible refers to Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, as a messiah for his decree to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple.
In Judaism, the Jewish Messiah (הַמָּשִׁיחַ, HaMashiach, "the anointed one"), often referred to as "King Messiah" (מלך המשיח, Melekh HaMashiach), is expected to descend from King David and accomplish the unification of the twelve tribes into a re-established nation. The Jerusalem Temple's rebuilding will usher in a Messianic Age of global peace.
In Christianity, the Messiah is called the Christ, from Ancient Greek: χριστός, translating the Hebrew word of the same meaning. The concept of the Messiah in Christianity originated from the Messiah in Judaism. However, unlike the concept of the Messiah in Judaism and Islam, the Messiah in Christianity is the Son of God. Christ became the accepted Christian designation and title of Jesus of Nazareth, because Christians believe that messianic prophecies in the Christian Old Testament were fulfilled in his mission, death, and resurrection. They believe that Christ will fulfill the rest of the Messianic prophecies in the Second Coming, specifically the prophecy of a future leader who would come from the Davidic line and usher in either a temporary Messianic Age or a permanent World to Come.
In Islam, Jesus was a Prophet and the Masîḥ (مسيح), the Messiah in Islam, sent to the Israelites, and will return to Earth at the end of times, along with the Mahdi, and defeat al-Masih ad-Dajjal, the false Messiah.
In Ahmadiyya theology, these prophecies concerning the Mahdi and the second coming of Jesus have been fulfilled in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908), the founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, and the terms "Messiah" and "Mahdi" are synonyms for one and the same person.
In Chabad messianism, Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (r. 1920 - 1950), sixth Rebbe (spiritual leader) of Chabad Lubavitch, and Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902 - 1994), seventh Rebbe of Chabad, are Messiah claimants, though neither ever claimed to be the messiah themselves and often vehemently denied claims that they were the messiah. Resembling early Christianity, the deceased Menachem Mendel Schneerson is believed to be the Messiah among some adherents of the Chabad movement; his second coming is believed to be imminent.
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