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Learn to Defend the Statement: "Jesus is God"

Have you ever been asked this question: “What would you say to a friend who doesn’t believe that Jesus is God? She also disagrees with John 1:1 and says it is unclear in the Greek. But she is not a Jehovah’s Witness.”

John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

That is the first verse I ever memorized in Greek (and about the only one I still remember). What it’s saying in the Greek is what is self-evident in the English translation—that Jesus was with God the Father in the beginning, and that He Himself was God. From before time, God the Father and God the Son co-existed along with God the Holy Spirit (not mentioned specifically here).

Some people say, “We could translate that verse as, ‘The Word was a God.’” There are other passages in which you could insert the word “a,” and it is sometimes done. But in this particular passage, it is very clear that it is saying: In His essence, Jesus was God.

We’re told in verse 14, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus is the eternally begotten Son of the Father, but He is not a created being. He was with the Father and the Spirit in the beginning. He is the infinite, eternal, never-brought-into-existence, ever pre-existent God.

Someone can say they disagree with John 1:1). Jesus was stating that, as the Son of God, He was God—the eternal, pre-existent God of the Old Testament.

Some people say, “Well, that’s not how I interpret that passage,” or “He didn’t really mean that. He meant this … ” Well, how did the crowd who heard Him interpret it? We’re told they picked up stones to stone Him. Why? Because it was blasphemy for a man to claim to be God. Clearly even His enemies understood what He was claiming.

If you read the gospel of John, it is full of “I am” statements from Jesus: “I am the bread of life,” “I am the gate,” “I am the Good Shepherd” and “I am the light of the world.” It’s not just these things He’s emphasizing; it’s the very words “I am.” This repeated theme establishes Him as deity.

Titus 2:13 talks about “our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” It’s not differentiating between our God the Father, and then our Savior Jesus Christ. No, the way the Greek is constructed, it’s talking about the same person. Jesus is our Savior and He is our God.

Another example is Jesus being called “God.” In John 20:28, He doesn’t rebuke Thomas when Thomas beholds Christ’s resurrection body and says, “My Lord and my God!” In contrast, whenever somebody falls on their knees to worship the angels in Scripture, the angels are terrified, saying, “Don’t you dare do that because I’m not God!” Likewise, when people fell down on their knees to worship Paul and Barnabas, they cried out, “No, no, no. I’m not God!” Why does Jesus not say, “I’m not God” to Thomas? Because He was God. Clearly He accepts worship as befitting to Him as Lord.