Jesus is plastered everywhere right now as a tiny baby in a manger. Many wonder (maybe you too?) “Who is this masked man anyhow?” We’re trying to help out by unmasking Jesus to reveal to you his true and full identity. We last looked at Jesus being 100% flesh and blood man (see Jesus Unmasked: The Man). This time we’ll look beneath the mask and beyond the baby in a manger to discover his identity as GOD!
The Bible Says So
Whatever your thoughts about the bible (imo – it’s a sacred faith book, carefully preserved for us to reveal truth about God and our relationship with Him), it’s makes some clear statements about Jesus’ identity.
Jesus as God
This historical and sacred holy book identifies Jesus as being God – the one and only God. Is it hard for you to believe that this chubby little baby that entered into this world like you and I – through his mom’s ‘tummy’ – is Creator God?
In the bible, the word theos translates to ‘God’ and is mostly used to refer to God the father/creator. However, it’s also used at least seven times in the New Testament part of the bible (second half of the bible) to refer to Jesus.
John 1:1, 1:18, 20:28
2 Peter 1:1
Three of these books were written by a couple of Jesus’ disciples (close comrades for 3 years). As people super close to Jesus 24/7, 365 for three years I think they of anyone would know Jesus’ true identity well don’t you?
So these guys who knew him so well whisper to us from the pages of the bible, “Pssst, Jesus is God.”
Oh btw, in case you were wondering, the Old Testament part of the bible also gets in on this action of calling Jesus God in one passage – Isaiah 9:6
Jesus as Lord
K, so as we’ve just discovered, the bible straight up calls Jesus God. If you’re wondering whether there are other names that infer the meaning to be God as well, the answer is – Yes! While having a couple of other meanings, the word Kyrios is used 6,814 times in the Greek Old Testament part of the bible wherever the Hebrew version used Yhwh (Yahweh) meaning ‘the Lord’ or ‘Jehovah’ referring to Creator God. So here’s the thing. Any Greek speaking/reading person at the time of the New Testament who had knowledge of the Old Testament would know that in most contexts when they read ‘the Lord’ it would refer to the all powerful God who created the heavens and the earth.
Guess what! You might not believe this but they use Kyrios (the Lord) many times in referencing Jesus in the New Testament! Crazy huh! One is in Luke 2:11 where the angels tell the shepherds of Bethlehem that a crying little baby was born today who is your messiah, savior, God himself. No wonder it was kinda confusing for some. You and I probably would have been confused too if we were there because it would sound so impossible.
Jesus’ cousin John the Baptist gives us a heads up and drops the K-word when announcing the coming of Jesus in Matthew 3:3 by quoting Isaiah 40:3 implying that when Jesus shows up on the scene, it’s the Lord God himself.
Hey, even Jesus gives us the inside scoop on his identity when in Matthew 22:44 he asks the Pharisees about Psalm 110:1 and identifies himself as the one worthy of the title Kyrios or Lord.
Two other New Testament instances are pretty clear indications that Jesus is Lord too. One is in Hebrews 1:10-12 where Jesus is being spoken of as the eternal Lord of heaven and earth who created all things. The other is from Revelation 19:16. In this scripture, Jesus is vividly portrayed as returning as a conquering king and he’s got a nice big tattoo on his thigh – “King of kings and Lord of lords”. Imagine… Jesus with a tattoo saying he’s God. Hmmm, what do you think about that?
Other Claims to Being God
So now we’ve got the bible telling us in many places and ways that the baby and man behind the mask’s identity is God and Lord. Are you still not convinced and need more?
This one time Jesus riled up some local Jewish folks who believed in God but were not down with Jesus saying he was the messiah and so they opposed him. Read it for yourself in John 8:57-59. Jesus says something to the effect that Abraham (the founding father of the Jewish nation and long since dead) had seen Jesus. Of course the Jews laughed at this because he hadn’t even cracked 50 years old and Abraham had been worm food for ages. Jesus throws them for a huge loop when he says, “before Abraham was ever born, I am.” It doesn’t take an English scholar to know that using past tense and present tense in the same sentence is a no-no. However, Jesus didn’t flunk out of English, he’s making a bold statement – one that ticked off his opposers. Referencing Exodus 3:14 when God identifies himself to Moses as “I AM” Jesus is claiming for himself the I Am title and thereby saying he’s the eternally existing God! No wonder they snapped.
In talking about Jesus, John 1:1 says he’s ‘The Word’ and ‘God’ then goes on in verse 14 to tell us that this ‘Word’ that has existed since the beginning of time became human, became flesh and blood and walked amongst the rest of us humans (can you picture baby Jesus?). Hebrews 1:1-3 is another reference along with many others I don’t have room to include here right now. Sorry but are you getting the point though?
Evidence That Jesus Possessed Attributes Of Deity
I don’t know about you but if someone told me they were a sick snowboarder but then when I saw them on the hill they were falling over and going side to side down the run I’d have some serious questions and doubt about them being all pro. Know what I mean? I’d want to see a person’s life and reality match the words coming out of their mouth. So the bible says Jesus is God and Lord, along with Jesus himself telling us. Does his life and reality match up? Yep, check it out.
All Powerful (a.k.a. Omnipotent) – Jesus flexes his divine muscles often. He causes a storm at sea to chill out just by speaking to it, he makes bread and fish multiply themselves and feed thousands and also turns plain old H2O into fermented grapejuice (a.k.a. wine).
Eternal – Jesus says he’s the Alpha and the Omega (the beginning and the end) in Revelation 22:13.
All Knowing (a.k.a. Omniscience) – Jesus knows people’s thoughts (Mark 2:8) and knew who believed and who didn’t (John 6:64) and also who would betray him.
Authority over Everything (a.k.a. Sovereignty) – he could forgive sins (Mark 2:5-7) and instead of saying “The Lord Says…” he would say “But I say to you…”.
Immortal – Jesus plays the immortality card in John 2:19-22 and tells a bunch of Jews, “Hey, go ahead and destroy me but I’ll just raise myself from the dead!” He speaks of his power to bring himself back from the dead again in John 10:17-18. And when he says back to life, he’s not talking zombie or ghost but full on flesh and blood here!
So, whatd’yaknow? Peel back the mask on Jesus Christ and you see that this gurgling, crying baby in the manger is really… G-O-D! God with skin and bones. Jesus’ true identity is the God man.
Wait… Jesus the man and Jesus God? At the same time? Smart Jesus followers have a term they use to describe this reality. The term is ‘Hypostatic Union.’ Maybe you’re trippin’ and thinking that the likelihood of this being reality is like the Black-Eyed Peas doing a mixtape with Kenny Chesney. I know eh. But here’s the deal. That’s one of the mysteries of the faith. Millions of people before you through history have wondered the very same thing (Jesus being man and God not the mixtape thing) and yet many still believe.
How about you?
God is also worthy of something so much more than mere humans don’t you think? Things like honor, submission, reverence, worship and praise.
How will you respond this holiday season and into the new year?
:: by Clint & Houlbrook of Vernon, BC
Jesus as fully God AND completely man is a mystery I find hard to totally understand. There’s other mysteries I don’t fully understand too like why guys wear their pants on the ground, why kids drink energy drinks like water and why teens text their friends more than spending facespace with them.