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.