Jesus made claims about His identity many times in the New Testament. The Old Testament
contains many prophecies about the coming Messiah. What the Bible claims about Jesus is
of paramount importance, since He is the provider of our salvation:
John 10:27-28 (NAS 1)
27"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
28and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will
snatch them out of My hand.
John 3:16 (KJV 2)
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
If believing in Jesus and following him is what saves us, then being able to believe Jesus seems
to be very important. Shouldn't our ability to reasonably trust in someone depend on that
person's trustworthiness? Jesus said that our belief about Him was required lest we die in our
sins and perish:
John 8:23-24 (NAS 1)
23And He was saying to them, "You are from below, I am from above; you are
of this world, I am not of this world. 24"Therefore I said to you that you will die
in your sins; for unless you believe that I am (He), you will die in your
Dying in our sins results in eternal separation from God. Jesus claimed that He was the
only way to God.
John 14:6 (NIV 3)
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one
comes to the Father except through me.
Since Jesus said that He would save us from eternal separation from God, that is, that He would
give us eternal life, we should all care very much if Jesus is trustworthy in what He says. In fact
nothing is of more importance since life is fleeting, and eternity beckons to all of us. If we are to
trust Jesus with our eternal destiny, we must be able to trust Him at His word.
Three claims that Jesus made were that He was The Son of God, that He and the Father are one,
and that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. These along with all the other claims of Jesus
must be true, if we are to trust that He will save us. Let us take a look at these claims one by one
and see if we can believe what Jesus says about himself:
Claim 1: Jesus is the unique Son of God.
If we want to test the validity of Jesus claim, we must first understand fully, what He was claiming.
A passage that is helpful in showing what Jesus meant is John 5:17 & 18:
Mathew 17:21 (NIV 3)
21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of
heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
If we simply look at the claim Jesus made, we may miss the most important part; thankfully
there were witnesses around that explained exactly what Jesus meant. They knew, and
show us, that Jesus was claiming equality with God. This could only mean one thing in light
of the numerous scriptural claims that there is only one God, Jesus was claiming that He
was God. So the question results, Do you believe Jesus' claim? An interesting note to this
question is that to believe Jesus' claim of deity is to rightly accept His Lordship. How we
accept the Lordship of Christ is very important since the scripture tells us:
John 5:17-18 (KJV 2)
17Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I,
too, am working." 18For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not
only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own
Father, making himself equal with God.
As we look at this second claim, what Jesus was actually claiming is again the first fact we
should concern ourselves with. Just as in John 5:18, God has allowed us to hear what the
witnesses to the event believed He was saying.
John 10:30-33 (NIV 3)
30 I and the Father are one."
31 Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, "I have
shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone
me?" 33 "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for
blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God"
So, seeing Jesus is the same as seeing the Father. I think that we know what Jesus was
trying to tell Philip. He was on his way to the cross, He had washed His disciples feet and
was giving them hope that would hold them up through many trying times to come. He
wanted His disciples to really know what He meant, and He told them outright!
Jesus wants us all to be saved; He gave His life to save each of us. Jesus said that "My
sheep here My voice." Knowing Jesus, and being known by Jesus is how we are saved,
we cannot short cut around it; no superficial belief will do. We either take Jesus at His
word, or we perish in our sins. Even with all the proof that God gave us to show us who He
is, He still intends that we come to Him the way an old friend of His did. Abraham was
called the man of faith. God requires each of us to come to Him by faith.
Ephesians 2:8 (NIV 3)
8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this
not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-
Faith never meant putting your mind on hold and accepting something that you cannot
perceive. God wants us to take Him at His word and enter into a relationship with Him.
He is unchanging. He always wanted us to know who He was. When Moses asked
Him, here is how God describes Himself:
Exodus 34:6-7 (NIV 3)
6 And He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the
compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and
faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness,
rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes
the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth
1 New American Standard Bible, Text Edition Anaheim California:
Foundation Publications 1995
2 KJV Gift & Award Bible, Revised. Grand Rapids Michigan: Zondervan
3 The Quest Study Bible, New International Version Grand Rapids
Michigan: Zondervan Corp. 1994
This time the witnesses say outright that Jesus has claimed to be God Himself. So now we
know what Jesus meant, when he said: "I and the Father are one." As with Jesus' first claim,
accepting this claim is important, for if Jesus was not telling the truth here, how can we trust
Him, when He says He will save us?
Claim 3: Jesus said "I am in the Father, and the
Father is in me."
As we start to examine this claim of Jesus, we won't need an audience to understand what
Jesus means. Jesus claimed that "He is in the Father, and The Father is in Him" many times,
but this time He Himself will show us what He means:
John 14:6-9 (NIV 3)
6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the
Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.
From now on, you do know him and have seen him." 8Philip said, "Lord, show us the
Father and that will be enough for us." 9Jesus answered: "Don't you know me,
Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has
seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
Claim 3: Jesus said "I and the Father are one."