Jesus did not leave us any doubt as to his deity. The Israelites of his day knew exactly what he was saying. Claiming to be God is blasphemy. Several times in the gospel narrative, we find the Israelites picking up stones and plainly accusing him of claiming to be God: “The Jews answered him, saying, ‘For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God’ ” (John 10:33).
John chapter five has plain statements that affirms Jesus’ claim to deity. Let’s look at them.
Power to raise the dead
None of the doctors and scientists in the world can bring a person to life once again. Only at the intervention of God can that happen. “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will” (John 5:21). Here, Jesus has the power to raise people from the dead.
He repeats this claim again: “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (5:28-29).
Authority to judge all people
Judgment of the world belongs to God alone, who has authority over all his creation, and who can judge from his perfect knowledge to mete out perfect punishments. Jesus claimed to have this authority: “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son (5:22). He repeats it again: ” And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man” (5:27).
Jesus and God worthy of honor
No one shares honor with God. We are fallen. It is only by God’s grace that we walk with him. But Jesus has this honor: ” That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him” (5:23).
Granting eternal life
No matter what human being we may trust in this life, he cannot grant us any special infusion of life. Certainly he can’t give us a promise of life after death! Yet Jesus claims that those who believe in his words will receive a special blessing from God that changes their lives forever: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (5:24).
Would a normal person make claims like these? If not, why would they be different coming from the mouth of Jesus? Because through various prophecies, God described the Messiah who would save his people. So Jesus spoke naturally as the one who fulfilled those prophecies. Furthermore, he healed the afflicted, raised the dead, and cast out demons. The prophecies, works, and words validate one another. Jesus was God who came in the flesh to fulfill all his promises made to the Jewish people.
What Do You Think?
a. If you received an announcement that a high-level government official was going to visit you, you would expect him to behave a dignified way. Would you be suspicious of his status if he behaved very poorly from the outset? What if he behaved as you expected?