The Deity of the Messiah
By Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum
The Incarnation resulted in One who was both man and God. In the last post it was shown that He was a real man, that He had real humanity. The Incarnation did not mean that He gave up any portion of His deity. It was not a lessening of deity, but it was perfect deity taking hold of and adding to Himself a human nature. There are seven evidences of His deity.
First, Jesus had all the divine names. There are seven examples of His divine names. He is called God (Jn. 1:1; 20:28; Heb. 1:8); the Son of God (Mat. 16:16), as well as the Son of Man; Lord (Mat. 22:43-45; Acts 9:17); the Alpha and the Omega, an expression meaning “the beginning and the end” (Rev. 1:8); the first and the last (Rev. 1:17); the image (Col. 1:15). The Greek word for image means “prototype,” the image in its revealed reality; He is the visible manifestation of the invisible God. And the last divine name is: the very image (Heb. 1:3); He is the exact impress of the divine nature.
Secondly, He has all the attributes of deity. There are ten attributes that prove His deity. First, He has the attribute of eternality (Mic. 5:2; Jn. 1:1;8:58; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:11). Secondly, He has the attribute of immutability; He is unchangeable (Heb. 1:10-12; 13:8). Thirdly, He has the attribute of self-existence (Jn. 1:1-3;5:26). Fourthly, He is life (Jn. 1:4; 14:6; Acts 3:15). Fifthly, He has the fullness of the Godhead (Col. 2:9); everything that was true of God the Father and of the God the Holy Spirit is also true of the Son. Sixth, He has the attribute of holiness (Heb. 7:26). Seventh, He has attribute of sovereignty; He is the sovereign God (Mat. 28:18; Jn. 5:27; 17:2; Acts 2:36; I Cor. 12:3; Phil. 2:9-10; Col. 1:18; I Pet. 3:22; Rev. 19:16). Eighth, He has the attribute of omnipotence; He is all-powerful (Lk. 8:25; Jn. 10:18; I Cor. 15:25, 28; Phil. 3:21; Col. 1:16-17; I Tim. 1:12; Heb. 1:3;7:25; Jude 24, Rev. 1:8). Ninth, He has the attribute of omniscience; He is all-knowing (Mat. 11:27; Jn. 1:48; 2:25; 10:15; 13:1, 11; 16:30; 18:4; 19:28; I Cor. 4:5; Col. 2:3; Rev. 2:23). While in His humanity He had limited knowledge, in His deity He is all-knowing. Tenth, He has attribute of omnipresence; He is also everywhere (Mat. 18:20; 28:20; Jn. 3:13;14:18, 20, 23). Thus, He has all the attributes of deity.
Thirdly, He does the works that only God can do. There are six examples of His works. First, He did the work of creation (Jn. 1:3, 10; I Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:3, 10). Secondly, He does the work of the preservation of the Creation (Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3). Thirdly, He has the power to forgive sins (Mat. 9:2, 6; Lk. 5:24; 7:47-48). Fourthly, He is the One who sends the Holy Spirit, something only God can do (Jn. 15:26). Fifth, He is going to raise the dead, both the righteous and unrighteous (Jn. 6:40). Sixth, He is the One who will execute the final judgments (Mat. 25:31-46; Jn. 5:22-27; Acts 17:31; II Cor. 5:10; II Tim. 4:1). He does the works of God, which proves His deity.
Fourthly, His deity is seen in that worship was ascribed to Him (Mat. 14:33; Jn. 9:38;20:28; Phil. 2:10; Heb. 1:6).
Fifth, His deity is seen in that He is the One who gives immortality (Jn. 5:28-29; 6:39-40; 17:2; Phil. 3:21).
Sixth, His deity is seen in His association with the Trinity. First, He is associated with God the Father (Jn. 10:30;14:23). Secondly, He is associated with both the Father and the Holy Spirit (Mat. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14).
And seventh, His deity is seen in His own divine claims. He made four such divine claims. First, He claimed to enjoy the closest possible relationship to God so that to know the Messiah is to know God (Jn. 8:19; 14:7); to see the Messiah was to see God (Jn. 12:45; 14:9); to receive Him was to receive God (Mk. 9:37); to honor Him was to honor God (Jn. 5:23). He said: I and the Father are one (Jn. 10:30). Secondly, He claimed to be the object of saving faith (Mat. 11:28; Jn. 3:36; 14:1; 17:3). Thirdly, He claimed absolute dominion over His followers, something which only God has the right to expect (Mat. 10:37-39). Fourthly, He claimed sovereignty over the laws and institutions of God: He claimed to be the Lord of the Temple (Mat. 12:6); lord of the Sabbath (Mat. 12:8); Lord of the Kingdom of God (Mat. 16:19); and sovereignty over the New Covenant (Mat. 26:28). The fact that Yeshua made these divine claims means one of three things: either He was a deceiver or He was self-deceived or He truly was who He claimed to be. Those who know Him, know Him to indeed be the One He claimed to be: their Messiah, their Savior, and their God.