Jesus Never Claimed
To Be God!
Christians often hear Muslims
assert with flair, "Jesus never claimed to be
God anywhere in the four gospels." In one
sense this is a true observation. There is
nowhere in the four gospels where the Lord Jesus
Christ ever uttered the statement, "I am God."
So, our Muslim missionary friends rest their
case assuming that they have discovered an
irrefutable argument that the Lord Jesus Christ
never claimed to be God. And often, they
suggest that this claim was a Pauline addition
to Christian doctrine.
However, little do they know, their
observation is really further evidence for the
truth of the doctrine of the Tri-unity of God
and Deity of Christ.
Let's assume for the moment that
the Lord Jesus Christ had said, "I am God." What
would the significance of this claim have meant
to His Jewish hearers? It would have meant one
of the following erroneous claims:
He was identical to the God of the
Old Testament - Identity.
He was an additional God to the God
of the Old Testament - Polythesism.
He was one of the different
manifestations of the single personhood of God -
To some of His hearers, the
statement, "I am God," would have meant that the
Lord Jesus Christ was claiming to be identical
to God and that He was only a man in outward
appearance or semblance. In fact,
this was one of the heresies that arose during
the days of the Apostles of Christ in which
Christ's true humanity was not acknowledged. In
the first and second epistles of the Apostle
John, there is a condemnation directed toward
those who claimed that Jesus Christ was not come
in real human flesh (1 John 4:3).
Many deceivers, who do not
acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh,
have gone out into the world. Any such person is
the deceiver and the antichrist. 2 John 1:7
It is true there were various
instances in the Old Testament when a theophany
of God appeared in human form. These theophanies
were instances of a divine appearance in a human
form. For example, the father of Samson, Manoah,
saw a theophany of the LORD before the birth of
He replied, "Why do you ask my
name? It is beyond understanding."
Then Manoah took a young goat, together with the
grain offering, and sacrificed it on a rock to
the LORD. And the LORD did an amazing
thing while Manoah and his wife watched:
As the flame blazed up from the altar toward
heaven, the angel of the LORD ascended in the
flame. Seeing this, Manoah and his wife fell
with their faces to the ground.
When the angel of the LORD did not show himself
again to Manoah and his wife, Manoah realized
that it was the angel of the LORD.
22 "We are doomed to die!" he said to his wife.
"We have seen God!" Judges 13:18-22 (NIV)
However, Jesus was not a theophany
of God who only
appeared to be a human being. So, if the
Lord Jesus Christ had said, "I am God," many
would have taken it to mean that Christ was
denying His humanity and that He was claiming to
be God of the Old Testament in a theophanic
However, the life—birth, life,
death, and resurrection—of the Lord Jesus Christ
was not a theophany of God. The Savior possessed
a real human nature from the blessed virgin
Mary. Hence, if Christ had said, "I am God," as
our Muslims friends demand, it would have been a
denial of His real humanity. And, without the
real humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ, He could
not have been the Savior of Sinners.
Because, the penalty of sin is death, and the
Lord Jesus Christ could not have really died
upon the Cross of Calvary, as our Substitute, if
He had not possessed a true human nature. So, no
wonder the Apostle John called a person who
denied the real humanity of our Savior, a
"deceiver and the antichrist."
To other of His Jewish listeners,
it would have meant polytheism or Greek
paganism. The Jews knew the scriptures of the
Old Testament prophets where they studied the
one true God under various names, such as:
Adonai, El, Elohim, or Yaweh. The Israelites
understood too that these terms referred to a
single Supreme Being who is the Creator,
Sustainer, Governor, and ultimate Judge of the
universe. So, if the Lord Jesus Christ had
stated, "I am God," these other Jews may have
thought that Jesus was claiming to be another
God alongside the God of the Old Testament
scriptures. Of course, the Lord Jesus Christ
never claimed to be another God in addition to
the God of the Old Testament scriptures. He
taught there is only one Being, God, who exists
in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
To some individuals, it would have
meant the identification of His person with the
total personhood of God (Sabellianism).
Sabellianism is the idea there is one personal
Deity who may be understood in different ways.
For example, in human terms, one person may be
understood in different personal ways too, One
person may be simultaneously a father, a son, a
brother, a husband, an uncle, or a grandfather.
These various terms do not mean that one person
is many persons. The heresy of Sabellius was the
idea that the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Spirit were terms that referred to one divine
person who may be considered in these three
different modes. But, the Holy Scripture teaches
us that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
are distinctly different persons within the one
So, if the Lord Jesus had said, "I
am God," this may have been interpreted to mean
that Jesus was claiming He was identical to the
total personhood of God. But, the Lord Jesus
Christ never claimed to be the totality of the
personhood of God. If it were true that the Lord
Jesus Christ had said, "I am God," it would have
be evidence against the doctrine of the Trinity.
The Lord Jesus Christ is not the entire
personhood of God, as the statement, "I am God,"
would entail. The person of the Lord Jesus
Christ is the Son and not the person of the
Father nor the Holy Spirit.
Instead of making the claim, "I am
God," the Lord Jesus Christ properly described
Himself in terms of the divine Son in a manner
that no created being could share. Throughout
the gospels He asserted over and over that He is
the divine Son of God. When the New Testament
scriptures are seriously examined, we discovered
that Christ taught that the one God exists
eternally in three divine persons: the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
I and my Father are one.
John 10:30 (NIV)
"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is
this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God,
the Lord is one. Mark 12:29 (NIV)
Son and Father:
For just as the Father raises the
dead and gives them life, even so the Son
gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.
Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has
entrusted all judgment to the Son,
that all may honor the Son just as they honor
the Father. He who does not honor the Son
does not honor the Father, who sent him.
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word
and believes him who sent me has eternal
life and will not be condemned; he has
crossed over from death to life. John
Son and Holy Spirit:
"When the Counselor comes, whom I
will send to you from the Father, the Spirit
of truth who goes out from the Father, he
will testify about me. John 15:26 (NIV)
Furthermore, the Lord Jesus Christ
said that He is the divine Son who is the
eternal begotten Word of the Father.
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him
nothing was made that has been made.
In him was life, and that life was the light
of men. John 1:1-4 (NIV)
The Word became flesh and made
his dwelling among us. We have seen his
glory, the glory of the One and Only, who
came from the Father, full of grace and
truth. John 1:14 (NIV)
Christian scholars note that the Lord Jesus
Christ presented Himself as the divine Son