I recently received a message from someone (probably an atheist) telling me that he has something that would destroy the Christian belief, namely because Christians believe that Jesus is God.
I love it when someone challenges my belief because that’s one way for me to expose their deception and distortions of the scriptures; meanwhile, bringing their thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ as Paul said, “4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds, 5 throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; 6 and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience will be made full.”(2Corinthians 10:4-6)
This is highly required from believers:
Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. (Colossians 4:6)
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, with humility and fear. (1 Peter 3:15)
It is even right for me to think this way on behalf of all of you, because I have you in my heart, because, both in my bonds and in the defense and confirmation of the Good News, you all are partakers with me of grace. (Philippians 1:7)
Indeed, so far, anyone who tried to challenge the Bible has either distorted the Scriptures in its context or was/is ignorant about them.
The Bible is a spiritual Book, anyone who is not born again (John 3:3, 7), without the Spirit of God (John 16:13), will never understand its teaching the way they should (1Corinthians 8:2).
1Corinthians 2:6-14 say,
6 We speak wisdom, however, among those who are full grown; yet a wisdom not of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom that has been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this world has known. For had they known it, they wouldn’t have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written, “Things which an eye didn’t see, and an ear didn’t hear, which didn’t enter into the heart of man, these God has prepared for those who love him. 10 But to us, God revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God, except God’s Spirit. 12 But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that were freely given to us by God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things. 14 Now the natural man doesn’t receive the things of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he can’t know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1Corinthians 2:6-14)
Like this individual who quotes John 20:17 and objects, how can Jesus be God when He called God “His” God?
First of all, true Christianity teaches the doctrine of the Holy Trinity which consists of three persons in the Godhead, namely the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (See Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; Luke 3:22; John 14:16-17, 15:26, 16:15…)
But of the Son he (the Father) says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. (Hebrews 1:8)
Let’s address the objection now. Jesus can’t be God since He called God “His” God:
Jesus said to her, “Don’t hold me, for I haven’t yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brothers, and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God. (John 20:17)
If you are familiar to the Bible, this verse does not stand alone. The chapter 20 of the book of John has thirty (30) verses. If you continue on reading, you will come to this:
“Thomas answered him (Jesus), “My Lord and my God!”” – John 20:28
We see right here that one of Jesus’ disciple (Thomas), called Him, His Lord and His GOD. Jesus did not rebuke him! How can then anyone pick and choose what they want to see and ignore the entire chapter, let alone the entire Bible?
Here are some prophecies, about Jesus before His birth, which proves His Deity:
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin will conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
Immanuel means GOD with us:
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall give birth to a son. They shall call his name Immanuel”; which is, being interpreted, “God with us.” – Matthew 1:23
How can anyone say that Jesus is not God, when this verse clearly says that the Son is God with us (Immanuel)?
For to us a child is born. To us a son is given; and the government will be on his shoulders. His (Son) name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
According to this verse, the Son’s Name will be called Mighty God.
Have they (Atheists, Sceptics, Critics, Muslims, Christian cults…) ever asked themselves, why didn’t Jesus simply say “our God”, instead of “My God” and “your God” distinctly? If Jesus was just a mere man, it only makes sense for Him to say “our God”, rather than distinguishing Himself from other men by saying “My God” and “your God”. Jesus had to distinguish between when He calls God His God and when men call God their God because He Himself is God. Men’s relationship with God and His are different.
This is proved in His own words:
He said to them, “You are from beneath. I am from above. You are of this world. I am not of this world. (John 8:23)
Therefore Jesus said to them, “If God were your father, you would love me, for I came out and have come from God. For I haven’t come of myself, but he sent me. (John 8:43)
All these verses show that Jesus is not just a mere man like the rest!
Jesus claimed to be divine:
17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, so I am working, too.” 18 For this cause therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God. (John5:17-18)
30 I and the Father are one.” 31 Therefore Jews took up stones again to stone him.32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of those works do you stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “We don’t stone you for a good work, but for blasphemy: because you, being a man, make yourself God. (John 10:30-33)
62 The high priest stood up, and said to him, “Have you no answer? What is this that these testify against you?” 63 But Jesus held his peace. The high priest answered him, “I adjure you by the living God, that you tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said it. Nevertheless, I tell you, after this you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of the sky.” 65 Then the high priest tore his clothing, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Behold, now you have heard his blasphemy. 66 What do you think?” They answered, “He is worthy of death! (Matthew 26:62-66)
All these show why the Jews wanted to kill Him, because He claimed to be Divine. So how can they ignore all these?
Nevertheless, let’s answer their question: “How can Jesus be God, when He called God His God”?
First, as I mentioned above, because of the doctrine of the Trinity. There’s nothing wrong for God (the Son) calling the Father, God; just as the Father calling the Son, God (Hebrews 1:8). Is it wrong for the U.S president to call other countries president, president or vice versa?
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…14 The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1, 14)
And as a “flesh”, it is normal for Him to call God His God since God is the God of all flesh:
Behold, I am Yahweh, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:27)
5 Have this in your mind, which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, existing in the form of God, didn’t consider equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:5-7)
This is why, in His prayer, before His death, He asked the Father:
Now, Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world existed. (John 17:5)
It is impossible for Jesus to say such a thing unless He is God. So “pick and choosing” what you want to justify your claim doesn’t prove anything. It only shows your ignorance or deception.
I conclude to call upon anyone who isn’t born again to come to Christ. He is the same God who made you, who loves you so much that He came down and died for your sins in order to save you from the wrath to come.