The title of Jesus Christ the “Son of Man” is mentioned 42 times in the 4 gospels. All of them come from the mouth of Jesus Christ Himself. This makes it hard for many people to accept that Jesus is Deity and seam contradictory to the Christian belief that Jesus is God the Son or the Son of God. Some people say that since Jesus calls himself the Son of Man, He is just a normal human being and not Deity. Even some Christians think that the title Son of Man is for his humanity, about Jesus as a man. In fact, the Bible does not call Jesus, as a man, the Son of Man or the Son of Adam, but the man Jesus Christ.
The title the “Son of Man” means God Himself. Here are two examples to show this. The Lord Jesus says in John’s Gospel 3: 13; “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” No one can come down from heaven but God. Also, while the Lord Jesus is standing on earth, He says of Himself, “the Son of Man who is in heaven.” Who can be in heaven and on earth at the same time but God alone?
The second example; before he was crucified, the Lord Jesus was standing before the high priest for trial. In Matthew 26: 63 – 65; “the high priest said to Him, "I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!" Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, "He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy!” Note here that the high priest said to Jesus; “Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!" and Jesus said to him, "It is as you said.”
“Son of God” means God Himself. In John 5: 17 & 18; “Jesus answered them (the Jews), "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.”
The main thing I want to say here is what the L J says; “hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." This saying of Jesus made the high priest tear his clothes. The high priest tore his clothes because he knew that Jesus was quoting the prophet Daniel chapter 7 and applying it to Himself. Prophet Daniel says in Daniel 7: 13 & 14; “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.” See what is said of the Son of Man here; “all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him (worship Him). His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.” Who would this be? Clearly, He is the very God.
Believing that Jesus is God in the flesh is the foundation, essence and core of the Christian faith. Any one claims for himself to be Christian and doesn’t believe that Jesus is God in the flesh, he is not Christian at all.
John 20: 31; “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.” Here we see that in order to have life, we need to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, or God the Son. The L J says in John 8: 24; “If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." I am He means I am Yahweh. Paul and Silas say to the jailer of Philippi, Acts 16: 31; "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."
Many people, who are opposed to the Gospel message, claim that Jesus never said; "I am God, worship me", but Paul is the one who invented this doctrine that Jesus is the Son of God, people say. Because of this false claim, I am not going to quote from the epistles of Paul or any book of the New Testament to prove the deity of Jesus, even though they are sufficient. But I am going to answer the absurd question; where in the Gospels did ever Jesus say; ‘I am God, worship me’? I am going to answer it from the very mouth of Jesus, in the Gospels.
Before answering this question, I would like you, my friend, to think; why was Jesus borne of a virgin? Doesn’t this mean that He is different from all the human beings and higher than all? You might say that God, who can do anything, made Jesus born of a virgin so that it would be sign to the Jews to receive him as a messenger from God. Well, Jesus did perform many and very great miracles, no prophet did like him, and most of the Jews did not believe in Him. I think, in that case, it would be better if God gave the virgin birth to a prophet … who could not perform any miraculous sign. Add to this the fact that the Jews did not know that Jesus was born of a virgin, they thought that he was son of Joseph. Only people who were close to Virgin Mary and to Jesus knew that He was born of a virgin. You might say that the likeness of Jesus before God is the likeness of Adam. Adam was created with no father or mother, and Jesus was created with no father. Then I say to you that you have got it wrong. When there was no human being, God created Adam from dust. Then, when Adam was there, God did not create Eve from dust but from Adam. And since Adam and Eve lived, God has been creating people from Adam and Eve together, I mean from a father and a mother together. But Jesus Christ is totally different. Since He is God, He must enter the world by a different way. And so He was born of a virgin.
Now, to answer the question, where in the Gospel did Jesus say I am God? I would like to say that the Lord Jesus does not need to say that He is God. The President or Priminister of any country does not need to go around and say; "I am the president, I am the president, you shall pay me homage." Everyone knows that he is the president for he is chosen by the people, and he practices the duties of the president. Yet, sometimes, he has to say that he is the president, not to prove that he is the president, but to say, for example, that he has the right to do this or that duty. Likewise, the Lord Jesus does not need to say that He is God for His life, miracles, teaching, and uniqueness can tell very clearly that He is God in the flesh. Yet, sometimes, He says frankly and clearly that He is God, only to tell people that He has the right to forgive sins, to judge or not to judge, … and so on. Here are some verses from the Gospels;
The Lord Jesus says to the Jews, in John 8: 56; "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." That means He was existing during the time of Abraham, 2000 years before He says these words to the Jews. Now, the Jews object to what He says, and they say to Him in John 8: 57; "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Note that the Lord Jesus does not say; "I have seen Abraham" but "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it." Yet the Jews, who are not willing to listen to the truth, say to Jesus; "have You seen Abraham?"
Then, the Lord Jesus is shocking the Jews by saying to them, in John 8: 58 "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." If the Lord Jesus said; "before Abraham was, I had been or had been existing" it would be enough for us to believe that He is eternally existing. But the great fact is that Jesus says about Himself, "I AM." And the word AM here is not a verb. If it was a verb, it would be grammatically wrong. If the Lord Jesus was using AM here as a verb, He would have said; "before Abraham was, I had been or had been existing". In fact, the Lord Jesus is using I AM as a noun and not verb. It is the Name of God He told Moses. When Moses asked Him in Exodus 3: 14, God said to Moses; "My Name is I AM who I AM." That is Yahweh or Jehovah. Jesus is saying to the Jews that He is Yahweh.
Before the L J was crucified, He was standing before the council of the elders of the Jews, both chief priests and scribes. They said to Him, in Luke 22: 66; "If You are the Christ, tell us." He said to them, in Luke 22: 69; "Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God." Then they all said to Him, in Luke 22: 70 "Are You then the Son of God?" So He said to them, "You rightly say that I am." Here are two things; when He called Himself the Son of Man, they understood that He was claiming to be the Son of God, and they asked Him; "Are You then the Son of God?” He answered them; "You rightly say that I am." Here He is saying very clearly; "I am the Son of God."
In Matthew 7: 21 - 23, the L J says; "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" Here are 2 things. The L J is saying very clearly that He is the judge who will judge everyone. That means He is God. The second thing, He calls himself Lord. Some people might say; “So what, the word lord means master and the members of the British parliament are called lords.” Not so, my friend. Yes the word lord in general means master. But it is used in the Bible for God. Even those who say, so what, call God Lord. In the Old Testament, Lord is the translation of the Name Yahweh. In the New Testament, it is translated from the Greek word Kurios. The writers of the New Testament quote from the Septuagint, which is the translation of the O T from Hebrew to Greek. This word Kurios is used in the Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint, for the Name Yahweh. In English, ‘Lord’ is always written with capital L.
During the time of the Roman Empire, Christians rejected calling the emperor 'Lord'. They said that their only Lord was Jesus Christ.
Now, the second question non-Christians ask; where in the Gospels did Jesus ever command people to worship Him?
As a matter of fact, the Lord Jesus did command people to worship Him as God. In the Book of Revelation, twice John tried to worship the angel. The angel stopped him from doing that. Revelation 19: 10; “And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." If people bowed down before Jesus to worship Him and He did not stop them, that means He is God. John’s Gospel 9 tells us that the Lord Jesus opened the eyes of a man who was born blind. Afterwards, John 9: 36 – 38; “(Jesus) said to him, "Do you believe in the Son of God?" He answered and said, "Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?" And Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you." Then he said, "Lord, I believe!" And he worshiped Him. Note that the Lord Jesus is asking the man; "Do you believe in the Son of God?" Why is He asking him? He is telling him to worship Him.
After the L J calmed down the troubled sea, Matthew 14: 33; “Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God." See, people worship Him as the Son of God, or God the Son.
But, did Jesus ever directly say to people; worship me?” Yes, He did say that. He says in John 12: 26; “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also.” The word serve here is the same word worship. What clarifies this is that He says “My servant”, and we know that we are servants of God.
Moreover, He says in Matthew 18: 20; “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." In My Name, accurately ‘unto My Name. When we, the believers, gather together for worship, we gather unto His Name. His Name means His person. Look at Proverbs 18: 10; “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.” We come to Him to worship Him.
There are stories in the Bible where we see prophets or believers lying. Some of these stories seem to suggest that God is approving the lies. This issue has caused people to wonder; how could believers and holy prophets of God lie? And more importantly how could the true God possibly approve lying?!
The first case of lying I want to discuss is found in Exodus chapter 1. Pharaoh, king of Egypt, ordered the murder of all the Israelite baby boys. Then he spoke to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah. He commanded them to kill all the baby boys.
Exodus 1: 17, 18; “But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, "Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?"
There is a problem here. It seems that the midwives intentionally and understandably lied to pharaoh and did not tell him the truth. Exodus 1: 19; “And the midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them."
Furthermore, we read in the following verses, Exodus 1: 20, 21; “Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them.” Oh, how could God possibly approve the lie of the midwives and bless them when they lied? For He provided households for them. Isn’t God most Holy and the God of truth? Doesn’t He say to us in the Ten Commandments; "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”? So, how could He approve such an immoral behaviour like lying and bless it?! Well, let’s examine the situation, and look at the text closely. Then we can know if accusing God this way is right or false.
First, the Ten Commandments were not given from God at that time. God gave them to Moses in Sinai, after the Israelites left Egypt. And so the ninth commandment about lying or false witness was not known at that time to the two midwives, and even to the Israelites themselves. At the same time, the two midwives were not Israelites from the people of God. They were of course Egyptians. Yes, they were doing the duties of a midwife for the Israelite women, but they themselves were Egyptians. Their names, Shiphrah and Puah, are Egyptian names. And Pharaoh wouldn’t, of course, command Israelite women to kill Israelite babies. He would tell Egyptian women to do so. You see, the two midwives came from a pagan background, and therefore they did not see that lying was an immoral behaviour.
The second thing, Look please with me at the text and what it says. Exodus 1: 21; “And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them.” God approved that they feared him, and He rewarded them by providing households for them. What did they do when they feared God? Exodus 1: 17; “But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.” What does the text say here? Does it say; “They feared God and said to Pharaoh, ‘The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them’" or ‘They feared God and so lied to Pharaoh’? No. The text says; “they feared God and saved the male children alive.” God did not approve them lying to Pharaoh. God approved their deed when they did not kill the male babies, and saved them alive.
The Egyptian midwives may have told the truth and did not lie. The two midwives said that the Hebrew women gave birth before the midwives would go to them. God might have purposely given the Israelite women the strength to give birth before a midwife would reach them. The two midwives were not the only midwives working for the Israelite women, for two wouldn’t be enough. They probably were the chief midwives. And Pharaoh commanded them as officers over the midwives.
The two midwives feared God, Exodus 1: 17 says. That means they believed in the God of the Hebrews. Therefore, they told the midwives working under their supervision not to kill the newborn baby boys. The midwives reported back to them that the Hebrew women were lively and gave birth before the midwives came to them. They reported what used to occur. In turn, Shiphrah and Puah reported that to Pharaoh. In that case, they wouldn’t be lying.
The second case of lying, I want to discuss, is found in the second chapter of the Book of Joshua. Before the Israelites attacked the city of Jericho, Joshua sent two men to spy it. When they arrived there, they went to the house of a woman called Rahab who had been a prostitute. They went to her because her house was on the city wall. People of Jericho were suspicious about the two strangers and told their king. He sent to Rahab saying to her; “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the country.” Rahab had hidden the spies under stalks of flax on the roof of her house. She then told the king’s messengers, in Joshua 2: 4, 5; “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them.”
Rahab lied twice. The first lie was when she said that she did not know where the spies were from. Her second lie was when she told the king’s messengers that the spies had left the city through the main gate under cover of darkness, while she was hiding them on her roof.
The bigger problem is that God blessed her. When the Israelites attacked Jericho, everyone was killed except Rahab and her family. Does the Holy God agree with lies and bless the liars?!
The bible tells us very clearly that Rahab believed in the true God of Israel, the Lord or Yahweh. We can see her faith in what she said to the two spies, in Joshua 2: 9; “I know that the Lord has given you the land.” And in Joshua 2: 11; “For the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” She believed that the Lord Yahweh is the only true God. Later, the Bible in the New Testament tells us that Rahab had faith that was working. We read in Hebrews 11: 31; “By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.” Another reference about her, James 2: 25; “… was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?”
Yes, Rahab believed in the true God. But remember that she had been a pagan, worshipping idols. She also had been very sinful to the point that she had been a prostitute. She did not know, at that time, that lying would be immoral, especially since she lied with a good intention. Her intention was to save from death the spies, whose God she believed to be the only true God. Yes, there was the ninth commandment of God that had forbidden lying, But Rahab did not know this commandment. The commandments had been given to the Israelites by Moses. Rahab was from and living in Jericho, and so she did not know God’s commandments. And usually, it takes a bit of time for a new believer to learn how to live out the commandments of God.
We could agree that Rahab lied, to the messengers of her king, while she knew that it was morally wrong to lie. But at the same time, we need to know that the Bible doesn’t mention her sin as a good thing. The Bible mentions sins of believers. But God doesn’t endorse their sins. He mentions their sins to warn us in order to avoid sin. There are believers and prophets that the Bible tells us of their sins. 2 Kings ch 6 tells us that Ben-Hadad, king of Syria, made war with Israel. Prophet Elisha warned the king of Israelite to avoid his enemy. When Ben-Hadad learned about Elisha, he sent a great army to Dothan where Elisha was to arrest him. When Elisha saw the Syrian army, he prayed that the Lord would strike them with blindness, and God did. We read in 2 Kings 6: 19; “Now Elisha said to them, ‘This is not the way, nor is this the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.’ But he led them to Samaria.” He took them as captives in the capital city of Israel.
We can see here that Elisha, a prophet of God, did lie. Rather than revealing himself to the Syrian army, he said; “This is not the way, and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek”, and he led them to Samaria. 2 Kings 6: 17 tells us that “the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha”. God sent hosts of angels to surround Elisha, and he knew and saw that. He knew that God was protecting and defending him, and God could have made him arrest the Syrian army some other way. And so there was no need for Elisha to lie.
The apostle Peter denied the L J, and lied saying that he did not even know Him. According to Matthew 26: 72; “He denied with an oath, "I do not know the Man!" And so many prophets and apostles of the L J sinned. The Bible mentions their sins, only to tell us that sin is utterly evil and we need to keep away from it. The Bible mentions Rahab’s lie for the same purpose.
Someone might think that God blessed Rahab as a result of her lie. In fact, such thinking is not right at all. God blessed her despite her lie, not because of her lie. The Bible commends her twice not for her lie, but for her faith. Hebrews 11: 31; “By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.” Also, James 2: 25; “… was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?” We see that she is commended for receiving the two Israelite men sent by Joshua as spies to Jericho, and for her faith in Yahweh. Note please that the Bible doesn’t say; “By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she lied to the king of Jericho, but when she had received the spies with peace.” Nowhere in the Scriptures is Rahab’s lie spoken of approvingly. Instead, it is her faith and her work of faith that are approved.
Even the two Israelite spies did not ask Rahab to lie for them. In fact, they didn’t even know that Rahab had lied. When the messengers of the king went to her and she lied to them, the two spies were not there, for they were hiding on the roof.
Having said that, I want to say that sometimes God allows us not to tell the whole truth to those whom the truth is not due to be told, and only to them. For example, first Samuel 16 tells us that God sent the prophet Samuel to anoint David as king instead of Saul. In doing that, God allowed Samuel not to tell the whole truth. We read in 1Samuel 16: 1, 2; “Now the LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons." And Samuel said, "How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me." But the LORD said, "Take a heifer with you, and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.'” Then in 1Samuel 16: 4, 5; “So Samuel did what the LORD said, and went to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, "Do you come peaceably?" And he said, "Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.”
The main purpose of the Prophet Samuel going to Bethlehem was to anoint David as king. But God told him to take a heifer with him to offer a sacrifice so that he would be able to truthfully say that he went there to sacrifice to the LORD. No one needed to know that his main purpose was to anoint David. Therefore, he was able to avoid telling anyone in order to escape the dangerous reaction of King Saul.
Sometimes we need not to tell the truth and we wouldn’t be sinning or lying. Suppose that someone with a knife or a gun is looking for a certain person to kill him/her. This person went into a certain place to hide. The criminal asks me where that person is hiding, or whether he went to a certain place. Should I tell him? Of course not. The truth is not due to that person. What is lying? Lying is not telling the truth to whom the truth is due. The truth is not due to a murderer or a criminal.
Someone might lie and say that the truth is not due to those whom he lied to. Well, to whom is the truth due? Or whom should we tell the truth? The truth is due to my spouse, people in the church, people in the community, to the court of law if I am required to be a witness, my boss at work even if it costs me my job. I must not lie for personal gain or to make a situation pleasant for myself or to cover up for my sin. The only situation, in which I should avoid telling the truth, is if I see someone seeking to kill or hurt another. In that case I should avoid telling the truth, for the truth is not due to such a criminal, if knowing the truth would help him to carry out his crime.
The Bible is against lying. Leviticus 19: 11; “You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.” Proverbs 6: 16 -19; “…the LORD hates… A false witness who speaks lies.” Ephesians 4: 25; “Therefore, putting away lying, "LET EACH ONE OF YOU SPEAK TRUTH WITH HIS NEIGHBOR," for we are members of one another.” Colossians 3: 9; “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds.”