Did Jesus Claim to be God: How did people react?
When dealing with the claim that Jesus never said he was God, it’s always important to point out how the crowd reacted to what Jesus said. One thing is for sure, claiming to be the Son of God, sent from the Father, eternally existing, with the power to resurrect and give eternal life will get a reaction from people. Were people unclear about what Jesus was saying?
They wanted to kill him.
In Mark 14, Jesus is brought before the High Priest and is asked, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” To which Jesus rightly replies, “I am“. How does the High Priest respond to Jesus?
“The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
“They all condemned him as worthy of death.” Mark 14:63-64
Not only does Jesus point blank answer the question that he is the Son of God, but the High Priest accuses him of blasphemy. All those who were in the room and heard Jesus’ words condemned him as worthy of the death penalty. There is no ambiguity in this passage.
In John 5 the Jewish leaders began to persecute Jesus because he was healing on the Sabbath. Jesus speaks out in his defense and says, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” How did they react to Jesus’ words?
“For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” John 5:18
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The Jewish leaders wanted to kill Jesus, because he was “making himself equal with God” and “calling God his own Father“. There was no doubt in their eyes about what Jesus was saying. Jesus was claiming to be the Son of God and they reacted as such. Jesus even expounds on his relationship as the Son of God in the following verses, giving even more evidence that the Jewish leaders understood him rightly.
In John chapter 10, Jesus is walking among the Jews and they ask him, “If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus immediately tells them that he has told them plainly, and then goes on to say he will give eternal life to all who hear his voice and he and God the Father are one. As if claiming to be able to bestow eternal life and being one with God wasn’t enough evidence Jesus was claiming to be God, watch how the crowd reacts…
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