Course: Systematic Theology II

Lecture: The Incarnation


1. The Doctrine of the Person and Work of Christ

A. Pre-Incarnate Existence

This is the existence of the eternal Son of God who became incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth; the eternal existence of the Son of God as the second person of the Trinity before His incarnation. This is a very important thing just to clear that this is the truth. Jesus of Nazareth did not come into existence in His totality the way we do. Before you and I were conceived we did not exist. We may have been a gleam in our mother’s eye, as the expression goes, but we did not exist. The miracle of reproduction is really an incredible thing when you think a man and a woman by the ability God has given them give life, existence to a person imago dei. It really is an astonishing thing when you realize it. It parallels what God did in the Garden of Eden in making Adam from the dust of the ground and making Eve from the rib of Adam. Here we make people through sexual reproduction. Clearly the human nature of Jesus was produced as we are at that moment; in other words I am not claiming that the human nature of Jesus lived eternally but incarnation, think of that concept, incarnation means that God in the person of the Son came and united with a newly formed human nature in the conception that took place in Mary. That assumes that there was One who existed before who united with the human nature that began at the conception of Jesus. So Jesus as the eternal Son of the Father, Jesus as the second person of the Trinity existed before His incarnation.

Do we have reason for thinking so? Yes both Old and New Testaments give us clear indication of this.

1. Christ as YAHWEH of the Old Testament. 

a. Christ as the Angel of the Lord

I do think that there are a number of passages where it is not clear who the Angel of the Lord is; whether it refers to Christ or not but most conservative commentators have agreed that in a number of instances it does look like Christ appears as the Angel of YAHWEH.

For example, Jacob wrestling with an angel and it looks at though in this particular case in all likelihood that was the pre-incarnate Christ who met Jacob in Genesis 32.

Or earlier in Genesis 18 of the three angels who visit Abraham two of them go on down to Sodom, one does not. Probably that third angel, because it says in the text, the LORD spoke to Abraham and told him. It uses the language of YAHWEH in that instance. So probably in Genesis 18 this is a reference to Christ who there with him.

Probably in Exodus 23:20 ff. where and angel accompanies the children of Israel as they enter the land. This is probably a reference to Christ.

There is reason to think so in so far as Paul in his statement in 1 Corinthians 10 that Christ was with them.

1 Corinthians 10:1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; 1 Corinthians 10:2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 1 Corinthians 10:3 and all ate the same spiritual food; 1 Corinthians 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.

There is reason to think that Paul understood the presence of God providing, giving drink, being with them, following them, being with them in the wilderness as Christ

b. Christ with Other Divine Names

Isaiah 7:14

Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

Immanuel – God with us. What an amazing statement, God, 'el (אֵל) God with us.

Isaiah 9:6-7 where the one who becomes Jesus of Nazareth is referred to in this text as Mighty God, Everlasting Father.

Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

The term Mighty God is used again in Isaiah 10:21 clearly without any question of the God is Israel. The God who saves them and brings them back is the Mighty God. It is very clear that this is the God of Israel. It is the same term “el gibbor” אֵל) גִּבּוֹר) in Hebrew

Isaiah 10:21 A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.

In a sense Father to us, He is the One who stands forever as the One who provides, cares, comforts; in a sense He acts as Father to us even though in another sense we should think of Him as brother. Don’t push it too far. Think of the context, king, the government will be on His shoulders, of the increase of His government there will be no end to establish and uphold it. So there is a sense in which He reigns as king and in that role as Father to those who are under His charge caring, providing, and protecting etc.

Eternal Father is an indication that we are not talking about a human being per se but one who is beyond that.

2. Christ as YAHWEH of the New Testament 

a. Jesus’ own Testimony

John 8:58 is one of the most remarkable statements uttered by Jesus where he said to the Pharisees before Abraham was born, I am.

John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”

In saying this He identifies Himself with YAHWEH of the Old Testament. You can see that the Pharisees who heard Him understood Him just that way because they did not call for the men in the white coats to come and take him away because He was crazy. Before Abraham was I existed, if that is all He meant; I am two thousand years old, the guy is crazy if He means that. But clearly He didn’t mean just that. He meant before Abraham was, even before Abraham, YAHWEH is, YAHWEH exist and He identifies Himself with YAHWEH and they took up stones to stone Him for blasphemy.

John 17:5 is also a remarkable statement by Jesus. In this prayer to the Father He prays that the Father would restore to Him the glory that He had with the Father before the world was.

John 17:5 “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

Here is a little tiny glimpse of inter-Trinitarian life apart from the creation and the Son sharing fully in the glory of the Father. This makes perfect sense in John because John which begins with:

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

So the Son manifests the glory of the Father and here Jesus says restore to me the glory I had then. In other words the glory you see now in Christ though truly explicating who God is, is partial, is limited in comparison to the full glory that I shared with you before the world was which He prays will be restored.

b. Passages which indicate that Jesus was in existence previously. Some other passages indicate that Jesus came down from Heaven or came from the Father.

John 6:62 Jesus speaks of ascending to where He was before, which was Heaven

John 6:62 “What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?

John 3:13 He states that explicitly.

John 3:13 “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.

c. Other New Testament Testimony

John 1:1

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The Word that became flesh (John 1:14) existed eternally, in the beginning was the Word.

John 1:3 He is the creator

John 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Even John the Baptist’s statement in John 1:30 is interesting where he indicates He has a higher rank because He existed before me. If you know the order of the pregnancies of Mary and Elizabeth respectively, you know that Elizabeth gave birth first; John is older. But here John said He existed before me. So he is refereeing to the incarnation, the fact that the one who became Jesus of Nazareth, his cousin born after him is in fact eternal God who existed before him.

John 1:30 “This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’

Philippians 2:6 where He existed in the form of God according to Paul.

Philippians 2:6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,

1 Corinthians 10:4 the rock was Christ; Christ following them in the wilderness.

1 Corinthians 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.

Colossians 1:16 and John 1:3 clearly attribute creation to Christ.

Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.

John 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

The references in Revelation to Christ being the Alpha and Omega; Revelation 1:7,8,17,18; 22:12,13

Revelation 1:7 Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 1:17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, Revelation 1:18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

Revelation 22:12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. Revelation 22:13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

B. The Incarnation of Christ

The one who existed before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth became incarnate in order to be born as the God-Man entering human history. So the doctrine of the incarnation refers to a time in human history. The Christian faith is an historic faith, not historic in the sense of we have had it for a long time – that is true. It is historic in the sense that the whole faith is based upon certain things that have happen in history. It is not just ethereal beliefs about thing that are beyond us; there are lots of beliefs that are beyond us but the heart of the faith is grounded in what has happened in history; incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, coming again. These are pivotal history events without which there is no Christian faith. This whole debate that took place 15-20 years ago over the myth of God incarnate (John Hick before he became a full fledged pluralist moved from evangelical Christianity. In order to move from evangelical Christianity to pluralism there is something that you have to give about you Christian faith. It was clear to him that you cannot have Jesus Christ of Nazareth as the incarnate Son of God because that means that God has been manifest in this person uniquely) The Christian faith has uniqueness that no other faith can rightly claim. So you have to give up on the incarnation in order to do that. So the incarnation becomes for Christian people absolutely essential in affirming the true historicity of the eternal Son of God taking on human flesh, being born at a point in time and living in our history.

1. Prophecies concerning the coming of Christ.

a. The place of His Birth: Bethlehem

Micah 5:2 fulfilled in Mathew 2:5-6

Micah 5:2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”

Matthew 2:5 They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet: Matthew 2:6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; For out of you shall come forth a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ”

b. That He would be born of a virgin

Isaiah 7:14 fulfilled in Matthew 1:22-23 Granted the Hebrew word in Isaiah 7 can be translated a “young maiden” but it is very clear when it is quoted by Matthew that he understands what was prophesied as not just a young maiden in general but a virgin which most young maidens would be.

Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

Matthew 1:22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

c. He would come in the line of David.

This goes back to the Davidic Covenant in 2 Samuel 7:13-14 and that is fulfilled in Luke 1:31-33.

2 Samuel 7:13 “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 2 Samuel 7:14 “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men,

Luke 1:31 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. Luke 1:32 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; Luke 1:33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

Matthew and Luke both make it clear that Jesus is in this line that extends through Abraham and David and on down to Mary and Joseph in order to establish the fact that this was in fact the case. The angel to Mary in Luke 1:35 shows how important the Davidic Covenant is to the whole purpose of Christ’s coming. Mary asked how she can deliver this son since she in not married and a virgin.

Luke 1:35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.

Before that the angel said:

Luke 1:32 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;

His birth prophesized in Isaiah 9:6

Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

In Isaiah 9:6-7 you have the two natures of Christ indicated. A son given, a child born human but what is His name? it is Mighty God, Everlasting Father.

2. Prophecies concerning the life of Christ and His ministry

a. There would be a forerunner to Messiah; a messenger would prepare the way

Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts.

Isaiah 40:3-5

Isaiah 40:3A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Isaiah 40:4 “Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley; Isaiah 40:5 Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

b. Christ would give His life as a ransom for many

Isaiah 53

c. Christ would be the great High Priest

Psalm 110:4 The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind, “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.”

d. Christ would be King over Israel

II Samuel 7 relates to that; in the line of David

Jeremiah 23:5-6 indicate His coming as king over all

Jeremiah 23:5 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land. Jeremiah 23:6 “In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell securely; And this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The Lord our righteousness.’

e. Christ’s death is Prophesized

Both Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 specify the nature of His dying; that is as an atoning sacrifice. In Psalm 22 there are some details that are fulfilled in the New Testament speaking specifically of His being pierced and His being ridiculed, His being forsaken of God. In Isaiah 53 silent before His accusers. His death with the wicked; the two thieves that hung on either side of him. So a lot of specific things in both of those chapters that match up with the very death that He died.

f. Prophesies that relate to Christ’s coming Glory and rulership

Isaiah 11, really the whole chapter but the root from the stem of Jesse, He will come forth and He will have all of these characteristics from the Lord who is upon Him and then the wolf will dwell with lamb and the lion and the leopard etc. So there will be this harmony, this righteousness that pervades. The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord, the waters cover the sea. He talks about in Isaiah 11.

Daniel 7:13-14. Those references in that chapter are significant because Jesus sites these passages. We are told there that He is coming as the Son of man who will bring judgment upon the earth.

Daniel 7:13 “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. Daniel 7:14 “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.

3. The Main Purposes of the Incarnation

The can be summarized, I think, under the three, what they are sometimes called the three offices of Christ. When you think about the three of them, they really do encapsulate why He came. They give a great summary statement.

a. As Prophet

He came as Hebrews puts it, the final word of God. Isn’t it beautiful the way Hebrews begins.

Hebrews 1:1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, Hebrews 1:2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

There is a sense in which Jesus is a prophet greater than Moses that was spoken of in Deuteronomy 18. I think the book of Matthew is meant to highlight among other things Jesus as the greater than Moses prophet. If you see the way Matthew begins with paralleling Moses and Israel; going into the wilderness for 40 days, coming out of Egypt, in the Sermon on the Mount in particular when you hear Jesus say over and over again, “You have heard that it was said…” and he quotes Moses. He then says, “but I say to you…” Put yourself in the Jewish context of hearing that.

By the way I don’t think that Jesus is correcting Moses. I think that Jesus is correcting their perception, their interpretation of Moses which in many cases formalized the law into a strict outward adherence without recognizing the inner qualities of heart that were also incumbent upon the Law keeper. In the Old Testament, look at Deuteronomy 28:45-48. Does heart affirmation mater in keeping the law? Yes

Deuteronomy 28:45 “So all these curses shall come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you would not obey the Lord your God by keeping His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. Deuteronomy 28:46 “They shall become a sign and a wonder on you and your descendants forever.

Here you might think that it is just outward obedience.

Deuteronomy 28:47 “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; Deuteronomy 28:48 therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you.

So Jesus is not correcting Moses but He is correcting the interpretation of Moses that would think that as long as I don’t murder somebody I am keeping the Law. No Jesus says look into your heart. The sense in that is but now I say to you, I now am able to make clear what the word of God is. So He is obviously the greatest prophet.

29:14

b. As Priest

The book of Hebrews, as you know, makes much of the priesthood of Christ as contrasted with the priesthood of Aaron where you have to make many sacrifices over and over and the priest would have to make one for himself first before he would go in. It was never done; there was always another sacrifice to make. The contrast with that is with Christ who did not have to sacrifice for himself but went in a sacrificed one sacrifice for all times saving those who would believe in Him. So Hebrews, particularly chapters five through nine extol the greater priesthood and hence the greater covenant, the New Covenant inaugurated through the blood of Christ that comes to the people of Christ.

c. As King

He is prophet, He is priest in order to ultimately be King over all; over His redeemed and over all of the world He will reign as King not just His own people. This does fulfill what was promised to David of having a King in the line of David forever. It fulfills what the angel spoke to Mary in Luke 1:32-33.

Luke 1:32 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; Luke 1:33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

You can see the ultimate fulfillment of this in Revelation 19 ff. where He comes as King of Kings and LORD of Lords. In Revelation 20 He set up His kingdom on earth; which I understand to be literal, He really does do this in time after this age is over. I think the millennium extends over into the eternal state where Christ is forever in the New Heavens and New Earth, we reign with Him for ever and ever and He reigns as King.

C. The Deity of Christ

This is an area we could spend days on. There is just so much but I am going to try to summarize this; there is also good material in you text books (the five main points Dr. Ware talks about are listed at the end of this lecture under the same outline structure).

1. Names of God that are Ascribed to Christ

He is called God in a number of different ways in a variety of passages

a. theos 

By far and away the most common is theos (θεός ) the Greek word for God. It is not a technical word; it is sort of like the word “god” is in English. We can talk about the god of Islam. That term god is a very generic term. That is the way it was in Greek as well but it refers to deity; it is very clear that it refers to deity.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Jehovah’s Witnesses translate it, “the Word was a god” in their New World translation. There are a number of reasons for thinking that this cannot be.

1. If he said and the Word was a god, would this be acceptable to the early church committed to monotheism? Would they have accepted the Gospel of John as canonical if they thought it was proposing a polytheistic view of deity? The answer is no way would they. They were totally opposed to polytheism even though polytheism was rampant in the culture surrounding the rise of early Christianity but they were insistent upon monotheism. John himself is a monotheist. John 5:44 and John 17:3 both of these are internal references in John to his own monotheism.

John 5:44 “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?

It is a complex monotheism

John 17:3 “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Think about John 1:1

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The Word was with God is distinction; the Word was God is identity. In thinking about God in the Christian faith we have to think in terms of identity and distinction all of the time; identity, one nature, one God but distinction, person, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is very clear in John 17:3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent who can give eternal life (John 17:2). Here we are talking about works that only God can do. Clearly that is something that you and I cannot do; give eternal life to another person. How many of you have prayed for moms and dads or sister and brothers or friends who do not know the Lord and you cannot give them eternal life; you can give them a blood transfusion, you can give them a heart transplant, you can give them a lot of things but you cannot give them eternal life, only God can do this. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent, it puts Him distinct but equal.

2. He is creator; in Him is life. John 1:3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. That excludes the Word Himself as one who came into being. In the beginning was the Word; in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Do you get the point with Genesis 1? It clearly identifies Christ, the Word, with the God of Genesis who eternally exist and who brings into existence the beginning of everything else, all else that does exist He begins it.

3. Grammatically for what it is worth, but honestly I don’t think that you need the grammatical argument but it is still one part of the response I think that is legitimate. Grammatically there is a rule called Colwell’s Rule. Colwell is the one who did the research and noticed that the structure of John 1:1 is such that the predicate does not have a definite article. The Word was God in that last phrase theos ēn ho logos (θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος) the Word was theos (θεὸς) no article before it. In Greek there is no indefinite article like “a”. If you throw a ball or read a book it is just “book” or “ball” as opposed to “the book” or “the ball”. So here they say they are supplying the word “a”. John means the Word was a god. Colwell discovered that a definite predicate nominative, which is what “theos” is; it is in the predicate position and the nominative case, has the article when it follows the verb and does not have the article when it precedes the verb. In this case it precedes the verb; theos ēn ho logos (θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος). So it is definite without the article is all that is saying. So there is a grammatical reason for affirming that it is saying the God or God as opposed to a god.

1 John 5:20 Jesus Christ is referred to as the true God and eternal life

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Truth there is alēthinos (ἀληθινὸς) true God, the real God. The old What’s My Line TV show, will the real Mr. Jones stand up; it is the whole point of the game, they have three people all pretending to be the lawyer, or the banker or the butcher or what ever. Only one of them is that person and the other two people are play acting to be that person. They ask them questions. The point of the game is guessing who the real guy is, so they all make their votes and they have the real guy stand up; the true Mr. Jones, all the imposters out there of the gods who are not gods, will the true God stand up. That is the point in 1 John 5:20, He is the true God, genuine article.

Hebrews 1:8 But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.

This is the Father saying this of the Son. If you want one chapter of Scripture to go to in defending the deity of Christ, it is hard to beat Hebrews 1, it has so much. He quotes from Psalm 45:6 and applies this to Christ

Psalm 45:6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever in contrast to the angels.

Titus 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,

2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:

Here you have in both of those passages (Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1) God and Savior both referring to Christ.

John 20:28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

This is really a powerful text when you realize how Jesus responds to Thomas; in comparison in the book of Acts of people who think that Peter is God and they bow down to worship him and he tears his clothes, stands up, don’t worship. And in the case of Paul when the serpent came out and bit his hand and the people think he is a god and they fall down to worship at his feet and he rents his clothes and says no, no. Now look at Jesus, the contrast, the angels will not accept worship in Revelation. But here he says to Thomas

John 20:27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

This must mean that there is continuity in His body; how He must have looked before and after the crucifixion and resurrection, the nail pierced hands are there. I think that is what it means in Luke 24:30-31 where when He broke the bread with the two from the road to Emmaus when they stopped for dinner and he broke bread and handed it to them He was recognized in the serving of the bread. I think that is a reference to His nail pierced hands that they would have seen.

Jesus response to Thomas was

John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

He endorses the statement from Thomas “My Lord and my God!”

b. Son God is used for a less often that Son of man in the Gospels but it is itself and important terms that refers to the deity of Christ.

John 5:17 ff. The Jews took up stones to stone Christ because of blasphemy because He had called God His Father and called Himself the Son of God. They clearly understood this to be equating Himself with God.

John 10:33-36. This a little tricky.

John 10:33 The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” John 10:34 Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’?

He is referring to Psalm 82 with the reference to judges, human courts of law where they act in god-like ways by pronouncing judgment. They are referred to as gods in that limited sense in which they function.

John 10:35 “If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), John 10:36 do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

This is one of those light heavy arguments. If you being evil know how to give good, how much more – light heavy. If they called them gods and they are just human judges, how much more appropriate is it for me who is the Son of the Father to called the son of God. He is not disputing their claim that You have made yourself out to be God, He justifies it legitimacy in this. Nor is he saying those other judges were gods, that is not what He means by the quotation

Matthew 26:63-64 where Herod and Caiaphas are questioning Him

Matthew 26:63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” Matthew 26:64a Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself;

or what you have said is true that He is the Son of God, He affirms that statement of Himself

Matthew 26:64b nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

c. Son of Man

This is a very interesting term. It was clearly Jesus’ preferred self designation. It is found in the Gospels 84 times. Every one of them off of Jesus’ lips. That is no reference to Jesus as the Son of man comes from His disciples or other people but rather Jesus uses all of these reference of Himself. Part of what is significant about this is the connection to Daniel 7 where in Daniel 7 it is clear that the Ancient of Days gives to the Son of man this right to judge the world. Jesus refers to that in Matthew 26, the passage where we were just a moment ago, they asked Him

Matthew 26:63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” Matthew 26:64a Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you,

Now He opens His mouth, he had been quite, but when He opened His mouth He really did it. First of all yes I am the Son of God but more than that let me tell you something

Matthew 26:64b hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

He is quoting Daniel 7:13. Do you get the point of this to the High Priest? You stand in judgment over me right now do you realize who I am? I will come again on the cloud of heaven and will bring judgment on you.

Son of Man clearly is an ascription to deity in the sense that it is the Son of man who is given domination, supremacy, Lordship, governance over the world and in Daniel if you compare the language; Nebuchadnezzar at the end of chapter 4 talks about God, the language used at the end of chapter 4 by Nebuchadnezzar parallels the language used in Daniel 7 about the Son of man indicating that He is God and yet he comes from the Ancient of Days who is God. You have the Ancient of Days, you have the Son of man, two different individuals but both deity.

Knowing the connection between Son of man and Daniel 7 indicating power, authority, right to rule, judgment is all contained in Son of man, Jesus uses Son of man more than anything else by far to describe Himself. Now think of a statement like Mark 10:45

Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

It is sort of like Philippians 2

Philippians 2:6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, Philippians 2:7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

It is that kind of idea, Son of man exalted, supreme, king, Lord, ruler, judge, authority, He did not come to be served but to be served.

d. Lord

The term Lord is an ascription to His deity even though many usages of kurios (κύριος) in the New Testament are not meaning deity in them; human beings can be called lord but in many contexts it is clear Lord is connected with worship or Lord is connected with obedience and following as you do God. In that sense Lord is used as a reference to deity

Philippians 2:9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, Philippians 2:10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, Philippians 2:11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

There is a Trinitarian complexity to worship that is glorious and beautiful. We give worship to the Son that redounds to the glory of the Father. It is very clear that the Son is worshipped.

e. Lord of Glory

1 Corinthians 2:8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;

This is probably a reference to Psalm 24:7-10 in which the Lord of glory clearly is YAHWEH.

Psalm 24:7 Lift up your heads, O gates, And be lifted up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in! Psalm 24:8 Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. Psalm 24:9 Lift up your heads, O gates, And lift them up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in! Psalm 24:10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.Selah.

e. The First and Last

Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 1:17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, Revelation 1:18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

Revelation 22:12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. Revelation 22:13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Clearly connected with Isaiah 44:6;48:12 that refer to God as the first and the last indicating that there is no time He does not exist, no time that He is not God; the first amd the last. We use a phrase like “from a to z” which means everything; that is kind of the idea of it.

Isaiah 44:6 “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.

Isaiah 48:12 “Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.

2. Attributes of God that are Predicated of Christ

We must be careful that they are incommunicable attributes. It wouldn’t do to say God is love, Christ is love therefore Christ is God. What is wrong with that? Not just God is love. We are called to love one another, so does that make us God? No, we share communicable attributes with God. It won’t do to say God was Holy, Christ was Holy therefore Christ is God. It won’t do to say that God is sinless; Christ is sinless because Adam was sinless and he wasn’t God. So we have to pick incommunicable attributes true of God alone, if they are true of Christ it indicates that Christ is God.

3. Works of God that are done by Christ

They have to works that only God could do. A lot of people slip up here in providing the miracles of Christ as evidence for His deity. How is this evidence when Elijah and Moses and Paul and Peter and others performed miracles; raised the dead, axe heads floated etc.? How does this miracle of Christ prove His deity? No, it does prove that God is with Him at least and it could mean that He is God but it doesn’t mean that He must be God. So we have to look at works that only God can do and doesn’t do through an agency like He would with miracles.

4. Worship that belongs to God is given to Christ

5. Christ’s own claims to deity.

Blessings on You.