Speaking the Truth in Love

Questions Sincere Muslims Ask – I’ve read your blog about the deity of Jesus, but I’m still wrestling with this difficult concept. Could you please explain further?

Yes. Have you ever heard of “the duck test”? If a bird looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck. This humorous test is an example of logical reasoning. A sensible person makes an observation and reaches the conclusion that most simply explains what is observed.

Jesus of Nazareth spoke like no other man (John 7:46). Just before the crucifixion Philip asked him to “show us the Father” (14:8). Jesus gently rebuked Philip for asking this: “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (v. 9). Jesus didn’t mean that he was the Father. He meant that his life and teachings plainly revealed the Father. The Son and the Father are so unified in character, nature, and power that to know Jesus is to know his Father too.

If Jesus is truly God in human skin, then he should talk like God and act like God. Does he? Consider the short collection of notes listed below:

God is holy and sinless (Isa. 6:3). Jesus is “holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens” (Heb. 7:26). “He committed no sin” (1 Pet. 2:22).

God forgives sin (2 Sam. 12:13). Jesus forgives sin (Mark 2:1-7). This is an important and often overlooked point. Four friends bring a paralyzed man to Jesus. Jesus has never met the man before. But he says, “Your sins are forgiven.” Forgiving other people is common. My spouse or best friend hurts my feelings and apologizes. I forgive him or her. But Jesus is doing something very different. Suppose that I’m boarding a plane. I walk toward my seat, stop along the way, look a total stranger in the eye, and say, “Your sins are forgiven.” What would happen? I’d probably be escorted off the plane and admitted to a mental health clinic for evaluation and treatment. Why? The stranger hasn’t sinned against me. The only person offended by all sin is God.

God has the power to create life (Gen. 1:26-27) and restore the dead to life (1 Kings 17:22). All things were created by Jesus (John 1:3; Col. 1:16), and Jesus had power in himself to raise the dead (John 5:21, 11:25-26).

God was Israel’s healer (Exod. 15:26). Jesus “went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38). He opened blind eyes, gave hearing and speech to the deaf and mute, cleansed lepers, stopped hemorrhages, restored maimed limbs, cured high fever and paralysis.

The prophet Habakkuk says that God tramples the sea (Hab. 3:15). Jesus walks on the raging waves of a stormy lake (Matt. 14:23-25).

God is omnipresent. He is everywhere at once (Ps. 139:7-12). Jesus promises to be with all his disciples all the time (Matt. 28:18-20).

God is omniscient. He knows everything. He knows what people are going to say before they speak (Ps. 139:1-4). Jesus knows what both enemies and disciples are thinking (Matt. 9:3-4; John 16:19).

God is judge (Ps. 9:7-8). “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body” (2 Cor. 5:10).

Jesus claims to be God. He speaks and acts like God. That’s because he is God—God the Son in human flesh revealing the heavenly Father.

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