I heard tires scrunching the gravel of my driveway as the car slowly crept toward where I stood in my yard. I noticed that the occupants were dressed very nicely for a Saturday morning. Then I realized I was being Visited.
I always welcome the opportunity for a robust conversation about religion. I appreciate that these folks were as gentle and polite as they were convinced and sincere. I was quite eager to make the case for who Jesus is. That is, by the way, how you can tell historical Christianity from its modern variations.
From the outset of John’s gospel, Jesus is God. Not just a son of God, but God the Son. The Word was with God in the beginning, and “the Word was God.” All things, even life itself, came into being through the Word. This Word became flesh, so no doubt this Word is Jesus. So, if the Creator is God, then Jesus is. To supply the indefinite article as in, the Word was “a” god, misunderstands the grammar of Koine Greek. Worse, it implies polytheism, quite foreign to historic Christianity. Not to mention that John’s context clearly describes the existence and activity of God. The word “Trinity” does not have to occur in the Bible for it to provide systematic evidence for one God in Three Persons. (More thoughts on Trinity here.)
Did Jesus claim to be God? In one instance, Jesus mentioned Abraham (who lived over a thousand years prior), which his hearers didn’t appreciate. “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” they retorted. Jesus said, “Before Abraham was born, I am.” How could Jesus have existed that long ago? Why didn’t he say, “I was” or just “Abraham and I are old friends!” To Moses at his burning bush, God revealed his name, I AM. I wonder Jesus’ hearers looked around to see if there was another burning bush, because He just called himself by that Name.
Do the Hebrew Scriptures anticipate the Messiah would be a God-man? The prophet Isaiah describes a virgin-born child who would be called “Eternal Father” and nothing less than “Mighty God.” Daniel describes the “Son of Man” with godly dominion over an eternal kingdom, a title Jesus applied to himself.
You can deny that Jesus is God the Son, but to do so you must explain away much evidence in the Bible. The reason it exists is so you can know God and receive eternal life by faith in Christ Jesus.
After my visitors left, I realized my mistake. I spent too much effort on the debate and not enough offering Jesus’ saving grace. I won’t make that same mistake with you, dear reader. I invite you to believe the Truth, and live!