by J Warner Wallace
As a skeptic, I was willing to accept a “nice guy” version of Jesus. You know, the wise sage from the past who was misunderstood and mythicized into something divine by leaders of a movement who were either mistaken or deceptive. Jesus might have been a nice guy and a great teacher, but did he ever really claim to be God? I had atheist friends who knew more about the Gospels than I did, and they said that Jesus never claimed to be God in any of the New Testament accounts. Once I began to examine the Gospels for myself, I discovered my friends were wrong; Jesus did say specifically that He was God. Now don’t get me wrong, Jesus didn’t use those exact words. But His listeners sure understood what He meant.
When God first appeared to Moses in the burning bush, Moses was adept enough to ask God for His name. And God gave Moses an interesting reply:
God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’“ (Exodus 3:14)
For generations following this interaction between God and Moses, the Israelites revered the name of God (“I AM”) as a precious title that was not to be slandered or given to anyone or anything other than God himself. Then along came Jesus. The Gospel of John tells us that on a day when the Pharisees were questioning the power, authority and teaching of Jesus, they actually accused Him of being demon possessed. Look at how He responded…
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