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Is Jesus Really God?

Katholic Ken Apologetics Show 8-11-23 Is Jesus Really God? Jesus is the Son of Man, who transforms our ordinary humanity into something supernatural and extraordinary. When did Jesus say He was God? He did say it eventually when the high priest confronts Him, demanding, “tell us plainly are You the Son of the Most High God?!” Jesus answers him, “I AM, and you will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of Heaven,” which is the name for God dating back to the burning bush with Moses. After that statement, Jesus is crucified for “blasphemy.” He has many other titles in the New Testament that are foreshadowed in the Old Testament; Messiah (God’s saving anointed one), Emmanuel (God with us), Eternal King (2 Samuel 7), and Son of Man. In each of these titles, Jesus is claiming to be God in an Old Testament Jewish way. He is revealing himself to us as the fulfillment of the Jewish scriptures. He is the one they have been waiting for! Many recognize this and follow him; many others do not. The “Son of Man” title or concept is found in several places in the Old Testament in our first reading this Sunday, in the Book of the Prophet Daniel, in Ezekiel, and in Genesis. The name “Adam” means “man” the first man was simply named “Man.” There is a curious statement made by God in Genesis 3 while He is speaking to the woman and the serpent. He says, “I will put enmity between your offspring and hers, HE will crush your head and you will bruise His heel.” In this translation of the Old Testament, the “son of Man” (Adam) will crush the head of the serpent. This is amazing! Jesus is the Son of God (divine), descended of Adam in the line of humanity (Son of Man), whose kingdom (as king) will be established forever (promised to King David in 2 Samuel 7), and who is God among us (Emmanuel) born of the Virgin (Isaiah). He is God and will accomplish all things. Our lives are in his hands. Despite being the all-powerful God, He came personally and intimately to be close with us and among us; to be like us in all things but sin. The story of the feeding of the 5,000 is an extraordinary account of Jesus’ superabundant providence for each and all of us. He was given very little and He made of it a great feast for all … and there was still a lot left over. Wouldn't it be great if we could do this at the grocery store? This account is found in all four Gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It is the fulfillment of the story of Elisha the prophet who multiplies loaves (2 Kings 4:42-44) in the Old Testament by God’s power (Jesus’ power). We might think of this story not so much about loaves and fish, but about the message for us in life. Jesus comes to fulfill this and to show us that he will magnify our gifts and efforts. He has superabundant grace and mercy to give to each of us. We can’t imagine what he can do for those who believe. This is a great exchange that benefits us most! We give Him what little we have in the tank, our loaves and fish and He gives us all of the superabundant treasures of Heaven. Our loaves and fish come in different forms, like our energy, time, prayers, gifts and talents, etc. He wants us to try and persevere to the end. He will magnify what little we give Him and make us bear superabundant fruit.

Is Jesus really God or just a Great Teacher/Rabbi?

Mohamed and Buddha never claimed to be God, they just passed on their teachings. Mohamed claimed his teachings were from God.

Jesus also passed on His Teachings, but He also claimed to be God.

CS Lewis and Lee Stroble ask is Jesus a Lunatic, Liar, or Lord?

Jesus could have been a crazy man going around claiming to be God. However, He performed many miracles at first in secret and later in public.

Jesus healed people of diseases and deformities. He transformed water into wine. He multiplied bread and fish at least twice.

Jesus could be lying, but many people witnessed His miracles and were willing to die for that witness.

Jesus is Lord because not only did He perform great miracles, He also rose from the dead, which is something Mohamed and Buddha didn’t do.

The fact that Jesus died, and was resurrected is recorded by the Roman historian Tacitus and Jewish historian Josephus in the first century.

They could never account for the empty tomb.

Jesus' resurrection was witnessed by women, His Disciples and over 500 other witnesses. Jesus' resurrection is recorded within 5 to 10 years which is historically too short of a time for a myth to develop. Jesus’

The Apostles and many other early Christians died willingly rather than give up their Faith in Jesus Christ. Their unshakable conviction caused many other people to become Christians. Christianity was illegal for over 250 years but continued to grow year after year.

The Church that Jesus founded is still here 2000 years later.

First, we have to establish if there is a God. The God of Christianity is that which existed before time and space and therefore exists outside of time and space. God is the first cause, the one who started everything before time and space. Because God is outside of time and space He cannot be measured. We know God exists because everything we can sense exists and it all had to come from something. You could think of God is the source of the Big Bang. Some people try to get around the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe by proposing there are an infinite number of previous or parallel universes that keep regenerating themselves. None of these previous or parallel universes can be measured, just like God cannot be measured. Others propose the beginning of the universe developed from subatomic ether or quantum field. Neither of these theories allow the development of something from nothing. They still require something to start with. You can choose to put your Faith in God or in universes proposed by science that cannot be measured by science. There are more than 10 parameters that must be finely tuned to get the universe we have today. The theory of evolution can’t account for the great leaps forward in the Cambrian period. This highly suggests Intelligent Design not mere evolutionary chance.

Old Testament Scriptures predicting Jesus

We know Jesus would be of Israelite descent and therefore was the seed of Abraham. In Genesis 22:18 we are told that through Abraham’s offspring “all nations on earth will be blessed.” Christians believe Jesus is the fulfillment of this promise.

We also know that He would be from the line of Jacob, Abraham’s grandson. Numbers 24:17: “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near, a star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.”

From Isaiah 11:1 we know He is from the line of Jesse, the father of King David: “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a branch will bear fruit. The spirit of the Lord will rest on him.”

From Jeremiah 23:5-6 we know He is from the line of King David: “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land … This is the name by which he will be called: the Lord our righteous savior.”

Reaffirming that Jesus is from the line of King David, we have this prophecy from 2 Samuel 7:12-13, which was actually spoken by Samuel to King David: “When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”

From the prophecy of Micah, 5:2 we know He was born into the tribe of Judah in the region of Ephrathah, in the town of Bethlehem: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

From Isaiah 7:14 we know that He was born from a virgin: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and you will call him Immanuel.” The name Immanuel means “God with us” and indicates the divinity of Jesus.

That Jesus would be worshipped by shepherds from the desert, and that foreign kings would present gifts to Him is revealed in Psalm 72:9,10: “May the desert tribes bow before him and his enemies lick the dust. May the Kings of Tarshish and of distant shores bring tribute to him. May the Kings of Sheba and Seba present him gifts. May all Kings bow down to him and all nations serve him.”

When Jesus was born, King Herod slaughtered a number of children in an attempt to kill Him. This is predicted in Jeremiah 31:15: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” In response to this attempt on the life of Jesus, Joseph is warned in a dream to take Jesus to Egypt, where they stayed until Herod died. This is predicted in Hosea 11:1: “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.”

Most of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. One exception is Daniel 7:13 where the son of man was written in Aramaic (בראנש, bar enasha). Every other instance of son of man in the Old Testament was written in Hebrew (בןאדם, ben adam). While Hebrew and Aramaic are related languages, the words are different, which means son of man in Daniel 7:13 is completely unique. In an English translation, Daniel 7:13 is translated as Son of Man. In Daniel 7, the Son of Man is presented as a divine figure in the heavens. All the other references to the son of man are references to humans like Adam, Ezekiel, and Daniel. When Jesus uses the phrase Son of Man, He is referring to Himself as God and not just a son of Adam like a regular human being. The phrase Son of Man is used 88 times in the New Testament. Jesus refers to the Son of Man in Matthew chapters12 and 13, Luke chapter 12 and John chapter 1. Stephen uses the phrase Son of Man as he is being martyred in Acts ch7.

Early Christianity struggled with Jesus being fully God and fully man

Arius (c. AD 256–336), was a Christian Bishop from Alexandria, Egypt. Arian theology holds that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who was begotten by God the Father with the difference that the Son of God did not always exist but was begotten/made before "time" by God the Father; therefore, Jesus was not coeternal with God the Father, but nonetheless Jesus began to exist outside time as time applies only to the creations of God.

Arianism holds that the Son is distinct from the Father and therefore subordinate to him. The term Arian is derived from the name Arius; it was not what the followers of Arius' teachings called themselves, but rather a term used by outsiders. The nature of Arius's teachings and his supporters were opposed to the theological doctrines held by Homoousian Christians, regarding the nature of the Trinity and the nature of Christ.

There was a controversy between two interpretations of Jesus's divinity (Homoousianism and Arianism) based upon the theological orthodoxy of the time, one trinitarian and the other also a derivative of trinitarian orthodoxy, and both of them attempted to solve its respective theological dilemmas. Homoousianism was formally affirmed by the first two ecumenical councils; since then, Arianism has been condemned as "the heresy or sect of Arius". As such, all mainstream branches of Christianity now consider Arianism to be heterodox and heretical. Trinitarian (Homoousian) doctrines were vigorously upheld by Patriarch Athanasius of Alexandria, who insisted that Jesus (God the Son) was "same in being" or "same in essence" with God the Father. Arius stated: "If the Father begat the Son, then he who was begotten had a beginning in existence, and from this it follows there was a time when the Son was not."

The Bible tells us these things about Jesus that could be interpreted to support Arianism: Jesus is referred to as the "first born of all creation"; Jesus is recognized as the Son of God at His Baptism; Jesus says the Father is Greater than I; Jesus also says Only the Father knows the day or the hour.

The Arian Heresey was settled at the Council of Nicaea in 325AD. When you read the Nicene Creed not how the beginning describes how Jesus is co-eternal with the Father.

We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, only-begotten from the Father, that is, from the substance of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one substance with the Father, through Whom all things came into being, things in heaven and things on earth, Who because of us men and because of our salvation came down, and became incarnate and became man, and suffered, and rose again on the third day, and ascended to the heavens, and will come to judge the living and dead, And in the Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit confirmed as part of the Trinity at the Council of Constantinople in 381AD

I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through Him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation He came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, He suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Nicaean-Constantinopolitan Creed was written in 381AD and is now known as the Nicene Creed. It expanded on the original Nicaean Creed to include the full divinity and eternal existence of the Holy Spirit. It also helped define the Trinity of one God in three Persons. Around the year 600AD the phrase “and the Son” (Filioque in Latin) was added to the Nicene Creed in the Latin peaking Churches. This was added to help correct a lingering effect of the Arian heresy. This phrase is not said in the Greek speaking Churches and is a source of tension with the Orthodox Churches.

New Testament as a Historical Document, this is what is recorded.

Matthew 3:17 And behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Matthew 17:5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”

Luke 22:6 But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.

Luke 22:70 And they all said, “Are You the Son of God, then?” And He said to them, “Yes, I am.”

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

John 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.

John 5:3 And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form.

John 5:32 There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true.

John 5:9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son.

John 8:18 I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.”

John 10:30 I and the Father are one.”

John 10:37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;

John 10:38 But if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”

John 12:45 He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me.

John 14:7-10 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” Philip *said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus *said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

John 16:15 All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore, I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.

Romans 1:4 Who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Romans 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

Colossians 2:9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,

1 Timothy 3:16 By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness:

He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels,

Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.

1 Timothy 6:15 Which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,

Hebrews 1:3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Revelation 19:16 And on His robe and on His thigh, He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

So, from a historical view, we can see that Jesus is divine not just a great moral teacher.


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