God With Us—Absolute Deity
Just as Jesus’ human nature demonstrates distinctly human attributes, those ascribed to divinity are also exclusive. More than 700 years before His birth, the prophet Isaiah communicated prophetic truth concerning the birth of Messiah.
“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
RECOGNIZING HIS DEITY
It is vital we recognize Jesus’ perfect humanity. That His humanity is coupled with absolute deity, however, defines the uniqueness of the Incarnation.
Divine Attributes Documented—He Demonstrated Deity
Scripture asserts Jesus possessed the divine attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence and immutability, which belong exclusively to God. The many miracles Jesus performed reveal His omnipotence. John concluded his gospel explaining,
“And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (Jn. 20:30).
John also documents Jesus’ omniscience recording,
“But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man” (Jn. 2:24-25).
Before He ascended to heaven, Jesus asserted His omnipresence saying, “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mt. 28:20). The writer of Hebrews asserts Jesus’ immutability saying: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8).
Not only is He the Creator of the cosmos, but also as the One who holds it together; and, by His Word it will ultimately be dissolved and regenerated (Col 1:16-17; 2 Pet. 3:10-12).
Divine Nature Prophesied—He Satisfies Messianic Prerequisites For Deity
The prophet Micah, precisely pinpointing the place of Messiah’s birth more than 400 years before the event, describes Him as,
“the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from old, from everlasting” (Mic. 5:2).
The prophet Isaiah anticipated Messiah’s divine nature. Today’s text describes Him with the names: Mighty God (Hebrew: El Gibbor) and everlasting Father (Hebrew: Ad Av), (Isa. 9:6). Both names of God confirm the expectation that Messiah would in fact be deity.
The Messianic 2nd Psalm declares the deity of Messiah saying, “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You’” (Ps. 2:7).
In New Testament writings, the apostle John made reference to Jesus’ eternality affirming,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn. 1:1, 14).
Divine Nature Avowed—He claimed Deity
Jesus Himself unmistakably claimed deity on more than one occasion. When friends brought a paralyzed man for healing, He responded, “son, your sins are forgiven you” (Mk. 2:5). Since the religious leaders contended only God has authority to forgive sin, Jesus countered,
“. . . that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins I say to you [the paralytic], arise, take up your bed, and go to your house” (Mk. 2:10-11).
Again near the end of His earthly ministry, Jesus met with His disciples for Passover. Gathered in the upper room Jesus emphasized, “he who has seen Me has seen the Father” (Jn. 14:9).
When Jesus publicly declared, “I and my Father are one,” there was no doubt about the implications of His statement. Without waiting for an explanation, those listening began picking up rocks to stone Him for blasphemy claiming, “because You, being a Man, make Yourself God” (Jn. 10:30, 33).
In harmony with His affirmation, the apostle Paul describes Jesus: “who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God” (Phil. 2:6).
CHOOSING TO BELIEVE THE EVIDENCE
Just as He was completely human, Jesus was fully God. Two separate distinct natures—one divine and one human both attributed to one Person—the God-Man—corroborate that the child born to Mary in the environs of the village of Bethlehem was no ordinary baby.
The implications were astounding and persist through biblically documented history into the 21st century.
- People of faith grasp that as the promised Messiah, Jesus’ humanity identified Him with the lineage of David (Mt.1:1-6).
- People of faith recognize that His divinity guaranteed that His government and throne would be everlasting (2 Sam. 7:16).
- People of faith understand that only as Man could Messiah die as a substitute for man’s sin; and, that only as God could His death have efficacy in redeeming lost humanity (1 Jn.2:2).
- People of faith believe that Messiah’s death by crucifixion establishes the legitimacy of His humanity (Mt. 27:46-50).
- People of faith acknowledge that His resurrection authenticates His complete deity while underscoring His unique identity as both God and Man (1 Cor.16-17).
Possessing a complete human nature and an undiminished divine nature, individuals must choose to believe that Jesus is exceptional and unlike any other being that ever has or ever will exist.
It is imperative we grasp that Jesus the “Christ” (Hebrew: Moshiach) embodies perfect humanity and absolute deity. Only as both Man and God is He, “able to, save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him” (Heb. 7:25).
God’s provision of redemption through Jesus Christ, the God-Man, is a gift available anytime, anywhere and to anybody. And, as with any gift, salvation must be personally received. God’s wonderful gift is at the heart of the authentic Christmas celebration!
1) Andromeda Galaxy. (Image used for illustrative purposes) (Photo credit: Pixabay/[Public domain]/Enhancement, MKM Portfolios)
2) The Palsied Man Let Down through the Roof. (Image used for illustrative purposes) (Photo credit: By Jacques Joseph Tissot/[No known copyright restrictions]/Brooklyn Museum/Purchased by public subscription/Enhancement, MKM Portfolios)
Copyright © 2016 Charles E. McCracken, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.