There is no question of greater significance than the question “is Jesus God?” The consequences of such a question shape the very life, expression, and understanding of the Christian faith.
On the one hand, if Jesus is not Yahweh in the flesh, it is idolatry to worship him and ascribe to him the glory and attributes of God that the Christian Church ascribes to him, and yet, on the other hand, if Jesus is Yahweh in the flesh, it is idolatry not to.
I believe that Jesus is the Son of God – Yahweh in the flesh – and that he is the savior of mankind (See Isaiah 43:11). Jesus is the Son of God in the sense of his incarnation, not in the sense of his origin; his eternal deity, power, glory, and authority were all veiled in his flesh, but not lost because he never ceased to be Yahweh on the throne. He is not another god, he is Yahweh.
This confession of faith is one that I believe no one can make in truth unless Yahweh personally reveals it to them. So I begin this series with the expectation that Yahweh will draw some to himself and cause the “light of the knowledge of his glory in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6) to shine brightly in the holy of holies of our heart.
New Testament Affirmations: John
We need to know if the New Testament even affirms that Jesus is Yahweh in the flesh, or if this is a doctrine that has been superimposed on the New Testament by developed Christian theology down through the millennia.
The witness of John:
John 14:6-7 (CSB) Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
To know Jesus is to know the Father; to see Jesus is to see the Father.
How can this be unless Jesus is Yahweh in the flesh? In this statement Jesus is telling us that if we want to come to God, we must come to him because he is God. That is why they crucified him. But that is why he rose again on the third day because Jesus is God.
John is very clear in his gospel about who he believed Jesus was (and is):
John 1:1-3, 18 (CSB) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. 18 No one has ever seen God. The one and only Son, who is himself God and is at the Father’s side—he has revealed him.
The apostle is clear in saying that Jesus is himself God, his very own image displayed at his right hand to reveal the glory of God.
John asserts that no one has seen the essence of God; he is invisible to our physical eyes, and just as the human eye cannot detect the infrared and ultraviolet rays of the light spectrum, but require a spectroscope to make them visible to us, so God is unknown to mankind and is revealed only through Christ, who makes him accessible to us. Jesus “has made him known” (Greek: exēgēsato), the same verb from which “exegesis” is derived, which means that Yahweh “explained” or “interpreted” Himself to mankind!
This is one of the most profound claims of Christ that sets him apart from all others: everyone else has a man explaining and interpreting God, but in Jesus we find God speaking for himself.
We cannot know God unless Jesus reveals him to us, just as it is written, “God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ” (2nd Corinthians 4:6); Jesus must pierce the darkness of our hearts with the knowledge of God’s glory before we can know him.
To anyone who accepts the doctrine of plenary inspiration (that the original words of Scripture were God-breathed in a variety of ways through the apostles and prophets to produce one inspired and authoritative message that God has preserved in Scripture to today), the text of John 1:1-18 offers an irrefutable theology of Yahweh in the flesh.