Buddhism and Hinduism teach that the Christ, the world teacher, has experienced numerous reincarnations at different stages of human progression. Islam teaches that Jesus Christ was a prophet, but that He was not the Son of God. However, it also teaches that He was born of a virgin, worked miracles, was the Messiah, lived a sinless life, went to heaven, and is coming again before the end of the world. Judaism rejects Jesus outright. To Jews, He is an imposter.
Christians themselves are divided in their attitudes toward Jesus. Some see Him as God, Saviour, Lord, and Messiah. Others refuse to accept His divinity, choosing to see Him as a special created being.
Let us consider the claims made in the New Testament about Christ’s deity:
A. Equal with God
Jesus made it clear that He was the Son of God, and had equality with God.
Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:61-62 NKJV).
But Jesus answered them, “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 (John 5:17-18 NKJV).
“I and My Father are one.” Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone you, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God” (John 10:30-33 NKJV).
B. Deserving of Worship
Nowhere in the New Testament do we find Jesus rebuking those that worshiped Him or directly addressed Him as God.
And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying “Truly You are the Son of God” (Matthew 14:32-33 NKJV).
Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28 NKJV).
God is the only one worthy of worship. Angels and humans have no right to claim worship from a fellow created being. Two examples in the scriptures neatly emphasize this point:
When John was shown the New Jerusalem in vision, he fell at the feet of his angel-guide to worship him, but the angel reprimanded him, saying, “See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God” (Revelation 22:9).
When the apostle Peter visited the home of Cornelius, he was so overwhelmed that he fell at Peter’s feet to worship him, but the apostle said, “Stand up; I myself also am a man” (Acts 10:26).
C. Divine Lord and Creator
There are some religious groups that deny the humanity of Christ, and others than deny His divinity. The Scriptures, however, clearly confirm both His humanity and His divinity. Christ is the Creator of all things. He is the Saviour and Lord of all. The name Jesus literally means “‘the existing One,” the Saviour.
By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast (Psalm 33:6-9 KJV).
The New Testament confirms that Jesus Christ is the Creator and the Christ:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:1-3).
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him (Colossians 1:16 KJV).
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36).
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:11).
Jesus emphatically claimed to be God—that He was the self-existent one who preceded all things. He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58).
The Greek word used here for “I am” is eimi, which means “to exist.” It clearly emphasizes the fact that Jesus is God. This “I am” is the same “I am” that spoke to Moses in the burning bush (Exodus 3:14).
The accurate prophecies in the Bible that pertain to the Messiah are all fulfilled in Jesus. No other individual can claim His messiahship. He is the Prince of Peace, the Lamb that was slain, and “in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18).
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:14-18 KJV
The stage is set and the claims of Jesus are clear. In spite of this, the world is watering down these truths to accommodate all religions in a final confederacy aligned against the Word. This great conflict will culminate in the climax of history, when Christ returns and the kingdom shall be given into His hand.
Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power (1 Corinthians 15:24).