Is Jesus GOD?
Did he say he was God?
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Question: Is Jesus GOD? Did Jesus ever say he was God of the Old Testament? Did he ever use one of the names of diety to refer to HIMSELF?
Answer: Any statements in the Bible are from Jesus (God, the Son), Who came in human form to this earth, died for our sins, was resurrected and now sits at the right hand of God, the Father, as He did before the creation of the earth.
Moses, in the book of Exodus, asked God to tell him His name so that he could tell the enslaved Israelites in Egypt who it was that sent him (Moses) to free them:
"Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?"
"And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM.' And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" " (Exodus 3:13-14, NKJV)
The Hebrew word translated as "I AM" for the name of God is hâyâh (Strong's Concordance Number #H1961) and means "to exist" or "to have being". Used in the context of Exodus 3:14 it also signifies an eternal, timeless existence. As it is used in Genesis 1 it signifies "to come into existence" when spoken by God. For example, when God said "Let there be light" (Genesis 1:3, NKJV) light appeared in the universe.
Jesus used the same name given to Moses for God (I AM) to refer to his OWN eternal existence. The severe action the Jews wanted to take after they heard what he had to say leaves little doubt they knew he was referring to the God that spoke to Moses:
"Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad. 'You are not yet fifty years old,' the Jews said to him, 'and you have seen Abraham!'
"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I AM!" At this, THEY PICKED UP STONES TO STONE HIM, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. " (John 8:56-59, NIV)
The Greek words translated as "I AM" to refer to God in the above verses are egö (Strong's Concordance Number #G1473), first person in Greek, just as we use "I", and eimi (Strong's Concordance Number #G1510), which is a very emphatic statement of existence. In the context of this verse, it is virtually identical to the Hebrew hâyâh. Since Jesus was speaking either Hebrew or Aramaic, hâyâh was the word actually spoken by Jesus rather than the Greek in which the New Testament was written.
There is one other instance where Jesus used the term "I AM," one of the Old Testament references to God, to refer to himself. It is a rather enigmatic reference to God but it does explain an otherwise puzzling phenomenon described by John.
"When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron . . . Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, " Whom are you seeking?"
"They answered Him, "Jesus of Nazareth."
"Jesus said to them, "I am He." . . . Now when He said to them, "I am He," they drew back and FELL TO THE GROUND." (John 18:1, 3-6, NKJV)
If you have a good King James Bible translation, you will notice that the "he" when Jesus said "I am he" in John 18:5, 6 and 8 is in italics (or brackets). This indicates that the word was ADDED by the KJV Bible translators, and was NOT in the Greek text from which the English text is based, in an attempt to clarify the meaning of the passage. Jesus' declaration of "I AM" explains WHY the soldiers fell backwards. It was the power of God, the same God that spoke to Moses, saying "I AM" that knocked the soldiers to the ground!
Thank you for sending in your questions about is Jesus God and if he ever said he was God.
Written by: Clay Willis