Jesus is God

Mohammed Ali, the world-famous heavyweight boxer, was famous for telling everyone that he was the greatest. When accused of boasting he responded: "It's only boasting if you can't back it up!" Ali backed up his claim of being the best boxer in the world by beating all contenders. For a period of time, Ali was the greatest " heavy-weight boxer. Jesus is the greatest " ever " for ever " Amen. Jesus backed up His claim (of being God) by His miracles, prophecies, the fact that He was Himself the fulfilment of prophecies, His Resurrection, His perfection as a man and His living force and influence in the world. No other founder of a major religion ever claimed to be God. In Jesus' case His claim was backed up with visible proof. Hence, Jesus is God. Come, let us adore Him!

"JESUS NEVER CLAIMED TO BE GOD."

Jesus clearly claimed to be God in several Gospel passages; here are some: Mk 14: 61-64 in answering the High Priest's question 'Are you the Son of God?' Jesus said 'I am'(see also Matt 26: 63-66) & Jn 5: 22-23 'all will honour the Son the same way they honour the Father'. It was the claim of Jesus to be the one true Son of God (sharing the one same divine nature with the Father) that made the Jews want to condemn Him to death for blasphemy. Christ also claimed divinity in John 10: 30 'The Father and I are one'. In fact, the Jews themselves admitted that Jesus claimed to be God when they declared to Jesus: "You, being a man, make yourself God" (Jn 10: 31-33; see also Jn 19: 7). In John 8: 57 'before Abraham was, I am'; Matthew 12: 8 'the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath'. St Peter professes Christ's divinity in Matthew 16: 16-17 using the title 'Son of God', other people are called 'Son of God' but Christ admits to Peter that his profession has been revealed " no need to reveal such a title if it was of merely human origin (CCC 441-445).

"JESUS' MIRACLES WERE NOT REAL."

Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead to life, delivered people from evil spirits, changed water into wine, stilled a storm with a word, walked on water and fed 5,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish. The Church is always slow to pronounce on miracles but when the evidence is finally accepted it is of such a nature that, if we refuse to accept it, we can never believe anything that anyone tells us, and must reject all historical truth. Believers in miracles accept them because they have evidence for them; disbelievers deny miracles without evidence that disproves them. Unlike the prophets who also worked miracles, Jesus claimed divinity and by miracles justified His claim: 'Believe me for the sake of the works that I do' (John 14: 11).

"JESUS' MIRACLES ARE FALSE - ONLY HIS FRIENDS REPORTED THEM."

In Jn 11: 47 the enemies of Jesus admitted that He performed miracles. Because of His miracles they thought it better that He die (Jn 11: 48-53).

"PROVE THAT JESUS' PROPHECIES CAME TRUE."

Jesus foretold His Passion (Jn 3:14), Resurrection (Matt 20:18) and Ascension into Heaven (Jn 6:62). He foretold that Judas would betray Him (Jn 13:21, 26), that Peter would deny Him (Matt 26:34), and that His disciples would abandon Him (Matt 26:31). The fulfilment of these prophecies proves that Christ's teaching was the teaching of God. And since Christ taught that He was Himself God, Christ, therefore, is God.

"PROVE THAT JESUS WAS HIMSELF THE FULFILMENT OF PROPHECY."

There are over 300 references to Jesus in the Old Testament. Here are some examples:

PROPHECY

FULFILMENT

He will be born at Bethlehem. Mic 5:2

Lk 2: 4-7

He will be born of a Virgin Mother Is 7: 14

Lk 1: 26-27, 34-35

He will be called the Son of God Ps 2:7

Mk 1:11

He will have a precursor to announce Him Is 40: 3-5 and Mal 3:1

Mk 1: 1-9

He will enlighten the people of Galilee

Is 9: 1-2

Matt 4: 12-17

He will heal the broken-hearted and work miracles in their favour Is 61:1-3; 35: 4-6

Matt 11: 2-5

He will be sold for 30 pieces of silver, and the silver will be used to purchase the potter's field Zach 11: 12-13

Matt 26:15; 27: 3-10

His hands and feet will be pierced, and lots will be cast for His clothing Ps 22

Jn 19: 17-24

"JESUS' RESURRECTION DID NOT HAPPEN."

Jesus' Resurrection is a fact of history. No theory has ever been put forward to debunk the Resurrection of Jesus. The many witnesses to the Resurrection (eg more than 500 at one time " 1 Cor 15: 6) had no inducement to give false testimony; their sufferings for their belief in Christ's Resurrection are proofs of their sincerity. Many former scoffers of the Resurrection became believers, including 'a great many of the priests' (Acts 6: 7). The Roman soldiers who were ordered to guard Christ's tomb were witnesses, in some way, to the Resurrection. They must have seen, at the very least, the angel open the tomb to reveal to their own eyes that it was empty. None of them minded admitting seeing an angel, nor even the empty tomb (they were paid a bribe not to keep silent about seeing an angel nor the empty tomb, but to say that the disciples had stolen the body " Matt 28: 12-13). What had to be kept secret was the news that Jesus had been seen alive after death.

"JESUS IS NOT UNIQUE."

Jesus is certainly unique. He is a Man without equal. He is the perfect Man, unequalled as a teacher whose influence for good is still unsurpassed even today. His character and doctrine was immeasurably beyond the noblest teachers that ever lived. It must be admitted, therefore, that Christ's claim of being God is true or else we must face the ridiculous conclusion that Jesus was a deceiver or a victim of some hallucination. Christ being a deceiver would mean that a lie has achieved more good on Earth than anything else. C. S. Lewis (a former Agnostic) reasoned that Christ is a liar, a lunatic or He is Lord. There can be no other options. In his book (Mere Christianity)Lewis said that the man who was merely a man and said the sort of things that Jesus said wouldn't have been a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic on the level of the man who says he's a poached egg, or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must take your choice. Either this was and is the Son of God or else a mad man or something worse. You can shut him up for a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but don't come up with any patronising nonsense about his being merely a great moral teacher. He hasn't left that option open to us. [Sheehan, Apologetics & Catholic Doctrine; Campus Crusade video, A Man Without Equal]



* Please note that this text should be read in the context of the whole work and in recognition of the appropriate paragraphs of the Catechism of the Catholic Church highlighted in the index.