Jesus' Deity While on Earth
by Richard Thetford
The nature of Jesus Christ in the flesh has been debated since early times in the church. Varying ideas have been suggested. One of which is that Jesus, while on earth was just a man, an ordinary man like you and me. Such a unique thing as "God in the flesh" causes a sense of wonder. Yet in Matthew 1:23 it says: "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." Then John writes: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." These verses clearly show that Jesus was fully Deity and remained so when He dwelt here on earth in the likeness of man.
But some are not content with what the scriptures clearly say and want to know matters beyond what is revealed therein. In Deuteronomy 29:29 it says:"The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law." We must learn that God has revealed unto us everything that we need to know to be able to have eternal salvation. There simply are some things that man will never understand (Isaiah 55:8-9; Romans 11:33). Man has never been able to, or never will be able to, supply all the answers to why God did or did not do something. Therefore, when we look at "the Deity of Jesus", we must look at what is revealed and be content with a "thus saith the Lord" attitude on this subject.
Jesus Is God
Even though Jesus assumed the role of a servant and clothed Himself with flesh, He was nonetheless God, God in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16). Jesus Himself claimed to be the "existing one," the "I AM" (John 8:24; 8:58). Even the Jews recognized that eternal existence belongs only to God (Isaiah 43:10-11). When Jesus made the claim that He was in fact Deity, the Jews got mad and wanted to stone Him (John 8:59). They wanted to stone Him because He was claiming to be equal with God which they considered to be blasphemy. The Jews would have been correct in wanting to stone Jesus IF He were "merely a man" and not really God. But that was not the case. Jesus said: "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). The word "one" means a united one. One not in person, but in essence or nature.
Jesus Was Deity On Earth
The attributes of His Deity was manifested while on earth. Notice that Jesus said: "...he that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9), "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30), and "...in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9). Jesus plainly stated that His Father and He are ONE. Paul said that the fullness of the Godhead dwelled in Jesus while He was housed in the physical body. This can't be much plainer. Jesus was fully God while He lived on this earth.
We also can read where Jesus was omniscient (had divine knowledge) while on earth. Jesus knew people's thoughts (Matthew 12:25; Luke 6:8; John 6:64; 13:1,11). We know that He had to be God to be able to do this. Paul couldn't do this (Acts 24:16ff). Jesus was all knowing because He could even remember being with His Father before He came to earth (John 17:5; Luke 2:49).
Jesus was omnipotent (all powerful) while on earth. He had the power over disease and demons (Matthew 12:22), life and death (John 11:43), and over nature (Matthew 14:25). Was this something an ordinary human being could do? No. Only God could do these things.
Jesus allowed Himself to be worshiped (John 9:35-38; Matthew 2:11; 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 28:9; Luke 24:52). At no time do you ever read where man accepted worship (Revelation 22:8-9; Acts 10:25-26; 14:13-15). Jesus never denied worship (because he was God), but man did. When Jesus came to earth He possessed ALL the attributes of Deity, and lived as a man among the people. The Bible teaches it, and therefore we must believe it.