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Post  Admin on Fri 02 Sep 2011, 1:04 pm

Copied from Jesus Place-Dephi Forum
The following is a copy of an article of which I do not remember where I got it or who wrote it but I think is a good article ----

When people challenge Christians to prove that Jesus said He was God, they typically expect to be shown a "customized" passage from the Bible, quickly rejecting any passage cited that isn't phrased exactly the way they want it to be. Approaching the question with this kind of an attitude can only lead to erroneous conclusions.

What needs to be determined is whether Jesus did, in fact, claim to be God in terms understandable to that particular era and to that particular geographical region, and not necessarily to ours.
Besides, to expect Jesus to boldly and brazenly proclaim that He was God is to misunderstand altogether His very character and His mission as the Messiah. After all, would a man of perfect humility and servitude, a man who came to glorify His Father in heaven, be true to this task if He focused attention on Himself rather than pointing to the Father? Of course not!
Such an unqualified declaration might also have led the Jewish people to conclude falsely that Jesus was claiming to be God the Father. Jesus avoided this type of confusion by revealing His identity in a very precise, concise, and careful manner.
It has often been said that actions speak much louder than words. And in the following three Perspectives, we're going to see just how Jesus Christ of Nazareth attested to His own deity. Let us, however, remember Christ's own words when He said, "I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it" (John 8:28).
Looking at the Bible, we find that Jesus referred to Himself as the Son of Man no less than 82 times. This title comes from Daniel 7 which speaks of the coming Messiah who will rule over the nations of the earth for all time. In that passage, we read that the Son of Man "was given authority, glory and even sovereign power" - things which God alone can hold and exercise -the One who said, "I will not give my glory to another" (Isa. 42:8; 48:11). And this is the God who said He cannot lie.
Furthermore, we find that "all peoples, and all nations and men of every language will worship" the Son of Man, which would only make sense if the Son of Man is none other than God Himself. God sternly forbids the worship of anyone or anything other than Himself. We can thereby conclude that Jesus, in calling Himself the Son of Man, was indeed claiming to be God.
Jesus reinforces this conclusion each time He claims to be utterly unique, the Son of God, the only One Who knows God the Father. Consider this: if God's depth of knowledge and understanding is infinite, Who but God alone can fully grasp it? Yet Jesus says He knows.
The Jews tried to stone Him because in "calling God His own Father, Jesus was making Himself equal with God" (John 5:18). To this charge, Jesus merely replied that "All are to honor the Son just as they honor the Father." In other words, Jesus claimed the honor due Him is equivalent to the honor due God. Such a statement is sheer blasphemy unless Jesus was, in fact, God.
Besides using the titles Son of Man and the Son of God Jesus applied to Himself in a very unique way - the names and images referring exclusively to God. How does Jesus' special usage relate to His claim to deity?
In the ancient times, a name had great significance and was deemed "virtually equivalent to whoever or whatever it bore." Thus, when Jesus paralleled His own name with that of God's, or when He applied to Himself the names and images associated with God, we can reasonably conclude that Jesus was, in fact, claiming to be God.
We find, for example, in the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20), that Jesus placed His name as the Son on equal footing with the Father, who is God (v. 19). This passage also reveals certain attributes of the Son like omnipotence (v. 18; cf. Jer. 32:17, 27), and omnipresence, which can apply only to someone who is God. (v. 20; cf. Matt. 18:20; Ps. 139:7-12; Jer. 23:24). Furthermore, in claiming to be the only one who knows God (Matt. 11:27), Jesus implicitly admitted to being omniscient since the Father, of course, is Himself omniscient.
Jesus also took for Himself several Old Testament metaphors reserved solely for God. He sometimes applied them directly to Himself, as in the case of the title, the Good Shepherd (John 10:11, 14; cf. Gen. 49:24; Ps. 23). Now in other times, Jesus took an indirect approach, referring to Himself in the parables as the Sower, the Bridegroom, the Vineyard Owner, and, in fact, the King - each of which can be traced back to Old Testament references to God.
But of these titles, none angered the religious officials of His day as when Jesus said of Himself, "I AM," thus asserting to be eternal in words echoing those of YHWH (John 8:58; cf. Ex. 3:14). Jesus' claim to be God in this instance was so clear and unmistakable that those who considered His assertion false, in fact blasphemous, tried to stone Him to death immediately (John 8:59; cf. Lev. 24:13-16).
By His own admission, Jesus undeniably claimed to be God. And He bolstered His pronouncements with actions.
We've seen how Jesus revealed Himself to be God by His verbal claims. Let's now look at His actions which clearly prove that He truly was Who He claimed to be.
Though Jesus spoke with the authority of God, His actions hammered home this truth with even greater impact. Turning to John, chapter five, we find Jesus being criticized for healing an invalid during the Sabbath (John 5:16-18), a sacred day set aside from all work to commemorate God's act of creation. Now Jesus justified His actions, reasoning that God the Father was also at work - even on the Sabbath day, thereby claiming for Himself a prerogative reserved solely for God. Only if Jesus is God can we say that He in no wise violated God's law regarding the Sabbath.
In another instance where He healed a paralytic (Mark 2:1-12; cf. Matt. 9:1-8); Luke 5:17-26), Jesus went on to forgive the man's sins as well - to which the "teachers of the law" rightly asked, "Who can forgive sins but God alone?" Jesus answered by reemphasizing His authority to forgive sins, and then proved it by healing the man. Jesus again claimed for Himself a prerogative reserved solely for God. Only if Jesus is God could He have actually forgiven sins the way He did.
Moreover, numerous individuals worshipped Jesus Christ (Matt. 2:11; 14:33; Luke 24:52). Considering the stern commands given by God to worship Him alone, we might conclude that Jesus attempted to correct such "misdirected" worship. But, no! We find, instead, Jesus openly welcoming people's praises - praises belonging exclusively to God.
Where do we go to from here? Well, as one Christian scholar put it: "You can shut [Jesus] up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God," (John 20: 28-29). You can't, however, deny that Jesus claimed to be God. He has not left that option open to us. The real question is, "Whose words are you going to trust - Jesus' or the cults?" Decide wisely, your destiny depends on it.

Politically correct is absolutely not US constitutionally correct.

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