Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence
Lesson 10 of 10: Jesus Claimed To Be God: Is He Credible?
The last evidence for the existence of God is Jesus himself. He claimed to be God. Is this a credible claim? The answer is yes.
First, let’s establish that he really claimed to be God. Some people say that Jesus did not claim to be God. Instead, they say that the idea that Jesus was God was made up 300 years after he died. However, that is not what the historical record shows.
The earliest account of Jesus’ life is the Gospel of Mark. The most common reference to Jesus in Mark is “Son of Man” (e.g. Mark 8:31 ). Was he merely claiming to be human, not divine? Hardly. In fact, it means the opposite–that Jesus was claiming to be divine. “Son of Man” is a reference to Daniel 7:13-14.
13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
There are also three more revealing passages:
- In Mark 14: 61-64 the high priest asks Jesus, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus answers, “I am,” and refers to himself as the Son of Man clearly from the Daniel 7:13-14 passage. (God gives reveals God’s name to Moses as “I AM WHO I AM” in Exodus 3:14.) The reaction by the high priest was to immediately cry out “blasphemy” because he knew that Jesus was claiming to be divine.
- In John 10:30 Jesus says, “I and the Father are one.” The reaction by the audience was to immediately pick up stones to stone Jesus for blasphemy because they said “…you a mere man, claim to be God” ( John 10:31-33).
- In addition, Jesus accepted worship and forgave sins like God. When Jesus asked Peter who Jesus was, Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” ( Matthew 16:16 ).
Therefore, any serious Bible reader will acknowledge that Jesus claimed to be divine. Now, we must determine if his claim is valid. Here is the argument that Jesus is God:
- Jesus fulfilled many prophecies
- Jesus performed many miracles
- Jesus rose from the dead
Prophesies Fulfilled by Jesus
The prophesies fulfilled by Jesus provides proof that Jesus was God’s son and divine. In Lee Strobel’s book The Case for Christ, he interviews Louis Lapides, a Jew and Christian pastor. Lapides had attended a conservative Jewish synagogue as a youth but began a spiritual quest after his parents divorced. When instigated by a Christian pastor, Lapides began to investigate the Old Testament prophesies that point to a Messiah and Jesus. His was convinced and accepted Jesus as his Savior.
Here are just eight of the prophesies that led to Lapides conversion. According to Lapides, “the probability of just eight prophecies being fulfilled is one chance in one hundred million billion. That number is millions of times greater than the total number of people who’ve ever walked the planet.”1
- His suffering and death. (Isaiah 53:3-9, 12). Written 7th Century before Christ (in the 700 BC century).
- When He would live. (Daniel 9:25-26). Written 6th Century Before Christ (in the 600 BC century).
- Location of birth. (Micah 5:2). Written 7th Century before Christ (in the 700 BC century). Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:4).
- Virgin birth and name. (Isaiah 7:14). Written 7th Century before Christ (in the 700 BC century). Mary was a virgin when she gave birth (Matthew 1:18). The name Jesus in Hebrew is “Yehoshua,” meaning “Jehovah saves.” The name “Immanuel” means “God is with us.”
- Miracles He would perform. (Isaiah 35:5-6). Written 7th Century before Christ (in the 700 BC century) Jesus tells John the Baptist’s messenger, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor” (Matthew 11:4-5).
- His betrayal. (Psalm 41:9). Written 1015 BC. Jesus was betrayed by his disciple, Judas Iscariot (Matthew 26: 14-15)
(Zechariah 11:13). Written 5th Century before Christ (in the 500 BC century). Jesus was betrayed by his disciple, Judas Iscariot for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26: 14-15).
- Method of death. (Psalm 22:16). Written 1044 BC. (Zechariah 12:10). Written 5th Century before Christ (in the 500 BC century). In 1044 BC crucifixion hadn’t been invented. Jesus was crucified by the Romans (Luke 23:33).
- His resurrection. (Psalm 16:10). Written 1044 BC. Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday, the first day of the week (Luke 24:1-5).
Jesus was certainly no ordinary man. Prophesies written up to 1,000 years in advance foretold of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection. For no one else in history has this occurred. Jesus was obviously unique in human history.
Miracles Performed by Jesus
What proof is there that Jesus was God’s son and divine? Some people believe that Jesus was just an ordinary man, merely a prophet or teacher that lived long ago. However, Christians believe that Jesus was extraordinary and divine. Why? Consider the many miracles that Jesus performed.
Jesus performed many miracles. We will look at just a few and place them in the following categories: creation of matter, alteration of matter, creation of biological life, creation of force, healing sickness, healing disease, healing paralysis, and healing eyesight. Only God could perform such a variety of miracles.
- Creation of matter. Example: Feeding 5,000 (Matthew 14:13-21).
- Alteration of matter. Example: Turning Water Into Wine (John 2:1-11).
- Creation of biological life. Example: Raising Lazarus From the Dead (John 11:38-44).
- Creation of force. Example: Stilling a Storm (Mark 4:37-41).
- Healing sickness. Example: Healing Peter’s Mother-In-Law (Matthew 8:14-15).
- Healing disease. Example: Healing Leper (Matthew 8:2-4).
- Healing paralysis. Example: Healing Paralytic (Matthew 9:2-8).
- Healing eyesight. Example: Healing Two Blind Men (Matthew 9:27-31).
Resurrection of Jesus
Next, we will examine that last proof that Jesus was God: that he was raised from the dead. This claim is supported by 12 known facts that are believed by even the harshest critics of Christianity. This information comes from Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus MP3 Audio by Craig J. Hazen, Ph.D., professor of comparative religion and apologetics Biola University.
- Jesus died from crucifixion
- Jesus was buried in a tomb
- Jesus’ death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope
- The tomb was discovered to be empty three days later.
- The disciples believed they encountered the risen Jesus
- The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers of Jesus’ death and resurrection
- The resurrection message was the center point of preaching in the early church
- The resurrection message was especially proclaimed in Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified and buried
- The church grew because of the resurrection message
- The primary day of worship was changed to Sunday, the day of resurrection
- James, a skeptic, was converted because he believed he encountered the risen Jesus
- Paul, an opponent, was converted because he believed he encountered the risen Jesus
Jesus is not merely an interesting figure in history or a noteworthy prophet. He claimed to be God. He backed up his claim. He fulfilled the Old Testament prophesies. He was raised from the dead. This happened to no one else in history. Believe and you will be saved.
Top-Ten Proofs of God’s Existence
- The Universe Began: What Caused It?
- Universe Is Complex: Who Designed It?
- The Universe Operates By Uniform Laws: Why Does It?
- The Human Body Is Complex: Who Designed It?
- Cells Are Complex: Who Designed Them?
- Moral Laws Exist: Who Created Them?
- Miracles Occur: Do Realms Outside Of Time/Space/Matter Exist?
- Beauty And Goodness Exist: Where Did They Come From?
- Historical Accounts Of God Exist In The Bible: Are They Reliable?
- Jesus Claimed To Be God: Is He Credible?