The True Identity of Jesus

By Pastor Ron Jones, D.D. © The Titus Institute, 2002

The Biblical Evidence For Deity and Humanity of Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ was one person with two natures, a divine nature and a human nature. He was both fully God and fully man.

I. Jesus Christ was fully God, the second person of the Trinity.

A. Jesus claimed that he is God.

1. Jesus claimed to be the messiah, the Son of God

Mat.16:15-17

"Son of God" describes his deity in terms of his separate personhood from and his love relationship with the Father within the Trinity and describes his role in redemption as the one sent in submission to the Father to die on the cross for sin. It is not meant to convey any form of inferiority.

2. Jesus claimed to be one with the Father

Jn.10:30-33 These are claims of

Jn.14:6-11 one essence and nature.

3. Jesus accepted worship as God

Mat.4:10 (Jesus says only God is to be worshipped)

Jn.20:25-28

4. Jesus claimed to pre-exist as God before He became a man

Jn8:58-59

5. Jesus claimed to have God's authority

a. to forgive sins c. to save

Mat.9:6 Isa.43:11

Exod.34:6-7 Jn.12:47

b. to judge d. to speak truth

Jn.5:22, 27 Isa.43:12

Gen.18:25 Jn.5:19, 24, 25; Mat.7:24-29

B. The apostles claimed that Jesus is God.

1. The apostles stated it.

Titus 2:13

2 Pet.1:1

2. The apostles’ claimed that Jesus existed before he became a man.

John 1:1

"The Word (the second person of the trinity, the Son) was with God (the first person of the trinity, the Father), and the Word was God (same divine nature and being as the first person). This is a trinitarian statement, not a polytheistic statement." See Jn.10:30, Jn.14:9-11

Jn.1:15, 30

Col. 1:16

C. The Bible claims that Jesus has God's titles of divine honor

1. Savior 4. The first and the last

Isa.43:3, 10-11 Isa.41:4

Lu.1:47 Isa.44:6

Jn.4:42 Rev.1:17

Tit.1:3-4 Rev.2:8

2 Pet.1:1 Rev.22:12-16

2. Creator 5. King of Kings, Lord of Lords

Isa.40:28 1 Tim.6:15

Isa.42:5 Rev. 17:14

Jn.1:3 Rev.19:16

Col.1:16 Deut.10:17, Ps.136:2-3

3. Shepherd 6. Glory and Honor

Ps.23:1 Isa.42:8; 48:11

Ps.80:1 Mat.28:19 ("name"=honor)

Jn.10:11 Rev.5:11-14

II. Jesus Christ is fully man; he has a human nature and body.

A. Jesus claimed that he was a man.

Jn.8:40

Mat.16:15-16

Mat.16:27-28; 17:22

"Son of Man" = Jesus uses this title of himself as the human messiah who came to redeem all mankind

Isa.9:6

Dan.7:9-14

Mk.14:61-62

B. The apostles claimed that he was a man.

1 Tim.2:5

Mat.1:1

Abraham

C. Jesus' earthly life showed that he was a man. His human characteristics were true of his human nature (and body).

Lu.2:40-52 Jesus grew

John.4:6 Jesus became tired

Mat.4:12 Jesus was hungry

Jn.19:30-34 He died

The Union of the Two Natures in Christ and Its Interpretation

Jesus Christ was one person with two natures, a divine nature and a human nature. He was both fully God and fully man. Christ's two natures are united and yet distinct an unmixed.

III. Jesus took on the role of submission as redeemer of mankind and placed himself under the authority of the Father

The Scriptures refer to Jesus in His redemptive/messianic role as the one person who submitted himself as both God and man to the Father's will.

Jesus' messianic titles, Redeemer, Prophet, Priest and King refer to Him as the God-man.

A. He became a man and only exercised His divine attributes (he still possessed his divine nature) as the Father willed him for the plan of redemption.

Jn.6:48 I came to do His will.

Matt. 26:42

Jn.4:34

He did not use them to live his life, only to accomplish the plan of redemption and thus reveal His deity.

B. As the God-man, messiah and redeemer, he was granted authority by God the Father to act as redeemer both to reveal Himself and to save and judge mankind.

1. The Father is working through Jesus as he accomplishes redemption.

Jn.5:19-30

I am like an "apprentice" son who watches his Father do His work and then copies it. The Father is doing His work of redemption and I am doing it, following Him and doing My work. We are both working. But I am merely following Him.

Jn.10:38 The Father is in me and I in the father.

Jn.12:49-50

For I did not speak on my own accord, but the father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. So whatever I say is just what the father has told me to say.

Jn.14:10

The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in Me, who is doing His work.

Jn.10:31, 38

When I do miracles, the father is doing miracles.

2. The Father is working through the power of the Holy Spirit in Jesus.

Mat.12:28

Lu.4:14-18

3. After Jesus ascended into heaven, the Father granted him divine glory and honor as the God-man.

Jn.17:5

The Son’s own glory was restored when he returned to heaven.

Phil.2:9-11

God the Father exalted and honored Him as the God-man to his right hand.

As God he did not need to receive glory and honor (he already had it), as the God-man he did need to receive it. It is now as the God-man that He is at the right hand of God the Father.

How do we answer various specific passages that seem to support their concept that Jesus is not the same being as God the Father?

Use this two-fold strategy

1. Show that the Bible clearly states that Jesus was both God and man.

2. Then, say that we should not be surprised that some passages refer to Jesus’ deity and some refer to Jesus’ humanity and his role in submission to the Father. We determine which is which by choosing an explanation that does not contradict the clear statements that Jesus is both God and man. Otherwise the Bible is contradicting itself.

Below are Some Responses to Questions on Specific Verses Relating to Jesus Christ as the God-man

1. Mat.24:36 How can Jesus not know the hour if He is God who knows all things?

Mat 24:36 Jesus does not know the hour

Jn.21:17 Jesus knows all things

When Jesus became a man, he only exercised His divine attributes (he still possessed his divine nature) as the Father willed for the plan of redemption. That is why he can know all things (his divine knowledge), know that Nathaniel was sitting under a tree (Jn.1:48) and yet not know the hour of his coming (his human mind did not know).

Jn.4:34; Jn.6:48 Jesus came to do the Father’s will.

Jn.12:49-50 Jesus spoke divine truth as the Father directed him

Jn.5:19 Jesus only did divine miracles the Father revealed to him to do, "the Son can only do what the Father does."

Only the Father knows the time of the second coming in terms of Jesus human mind.

Therefore, at times He did not exercise His divine omniscience as He did not exercise His divine omnipotence. Here as a human being he certainly did not know and His divine omniscience was not activated in His human mind to reveal that to Him.

Even the angels didn't know.

Acts 1:7 Jesus says that the date was fixed by the father's authority as the sending person and in the plan of redemption is was not for the Son to know while he was on earth.

It was part of the divine plan of redemption for Jesus as a human being not to exercise His divine attribute to know the hour.

So this refers to his human nature and its limitations.

Rev.1:17-18

Jesus appears in His glory - the full use of His divine attributes are restored and Jesus knows the future. he will be there.

2. Jn.5:20-23, Matt.28:19 How can Jesus be granted power and authority by the Father when he already possesses it as the Son in His deity?

It is a result of his submission as the Son of God to the father's will in the plan of redemption.

Jesus refers to Himself in His redemptive/messianic role as the one who submitted himself as both God and man to the Father's will.

As the God-man, messiah and redeemer, he was granted authority to act as redeemer both to reveal Himself and to save and judge mankind.

See above Scriptures.

Jn.17:3

Jn. 10:14-18

3. Lu.6:12 How can Christ who is God pray to God?

Jn.17:1

Christ prayed to the Father as man, the same way that we pray to the Father.

His divine and human natures were united, but distinct. Jesus only exercised His divine attributes to show His deity according to the Father's will.

He did not daily exercise intertrinitarian communication as a way of life, or he would cease to live as a man.

The Son of God took the form of a bondservant, submissive to the father and dependent on the Father as a way of life.

Praying was part of that submission and dependence on the Father.

Mat.27:46 Christ cried out to God as a man in his human nature.

Mat. 26:38 My soul (human) is exceedingly sorrowful even unto death."

Jn.13:21 He was troubled in spirit as a man.

4. Mat.27:46 How could Jesus be forsaken if He is one with the Father?

Jn.10:30 Jesus said he was one with the Father.

1 Pet.2:24 Jesus bore sin on his body - it was his human nature that bore the sin and it was his human nature that was forsaken.

At that moment of bearing sin when Jesus was paying the penalty for sin, in judgment of sin, the Father rejected Jesus as a human being and Jesus felt it as a human and cried out to God.

5. Mat.4:1-11 How can Jesus be tempted if Jesus is God?

Jas.1:3 God cannot be tempted.

Heb.4:15 Jesus was tempted.

He was tempted as a man, in his human nature. Not as God. God cannot be tempted.

Adam and Eve did not have a fallen nature and were tempted.

6. Jn. 14:28 How can the Father be greater than Jesus if Jesus is also God?

The real issue "greater in terms of what?" "Greater" is used in a comparison. What is being compared? How is Jesus comparing himself to the Father?

In terms of his nature, his role, his authority, his powers, his what?

In putting together the above Scriptures concerning Jesus, his deity, his humanity, and his role in redemption, he obviously is speaking about his role in redemption.

Jesus is speaking of himself in his submitted role as the redeemer, both in relationship to the Father's authority over him and in his humanity.

Clearly the Father was greater in authority as Jesus was in submission and greater in his divine nature in comparison to Jesus’ human nature.

We can see this from the context in v.28 where Jesus speaks of his redemptive role of becoming a man when he says that he is going away and coming back.

Why does Jesus mention that the Father is greater than Him?

So his disciples would rejoice for Him. He was now going back to the Father where he would again experience the full blessings of being God. He would again be equally "great" with the Father experiencing his full glory.

I believe that this is a parallel statement to John 17:5 where Jesus mentions the glory he had before the world began (enjoying his glory in heaven as God).

In his deity, Jesus had equal glory and greatness while on earth he did not experience that glory and greatness fully. He was now about to return to experiencing that fully again. His disciples should be happy for Him.

Summary: When interpreting these Scriptural passages with the cults, use this two-fold strategy:

1. Show that the Bible clearly states that Jesus was both God and man.

2. Then, say that we should not be surprised that some passages refer to Jesus’ deity and some refer to Jesus’ humanity and his role in submission to the Father. We determine which is which by choosing an explanation that does not contradict the clear statements that Jesus is both God and man. Otherwise the Bible is contradicting itself.