|Bible Question: how can I explain in an uncomplicated way that Jesus is God, is equal to God and yet was also a man to a Jehovah witness? What scriptures can I use?|
Bible Answer: Greetings,
I'd turn to the Gospel of John. John the Beloved's motivation to writing his gospel was to combat Docetism, which was an early Christian heresy that denied Christ's humanity. Look at the "I am" statements of Christ.
If you look at these "I am" statements, there are two primary things, among others, that stand out.
1. The phrase "I am" is the same identity God gave to Moses at the Burning Bush.
2. There are Old Testament verses that parallel these statements.
Since January, I've been going through the Gospel of John in the Sunday School class I teach. Let me show you what I mean.
"I am the bread of Life." John 6:35
Now, compare this with Psalms 63:1-5. David speaks about how he longs for spiritual satisfaction, which mirrors the message that Jesus gives in John 6:35. David is saying that it is God who satisfies him, and Jesus is saying that he, himself, is the one who satisfies. In his own way, Jesus is claiming to be God.
"I am the light of the World." John 9:5
Compare with Psalms 27:1. Of all the "I am" statements, this is the one that most clearly points to Christ being God. David calls Jehovah, specifically by name, as his light and his salvation. Jesus says the same thing, almost verbatim.
I could go through each one and explain, but I'll provide the verses instead. Almost all of them are self explanatory.
John 10:9 and Psalms 3:3
John 10:11 and Psalms 23:1
John 11:25 and Psalms 119:107
John 14:6 and Psalms 33:4
John 15:1 and Psalms 80:8
John 18:37 and Psalms 29:10
Now, for the second part, showing that Jesus was equal with God.
The best passage for that is John 5:1-47
This is where Jesus heals the invalid at the Pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath. The Jews get up in arms about this, and confront Jesus. They even wish to kill him because they view Jesus as a Sabbath breaker. In verse 17, Jesus says this "My father has been working until now, and I have been working."
Notice the following verse. The Jews wish to kill Jesus because he not only broke the Sabbath in their mind, but because he also claimed to be God's son. Now, John the Beloved explains this. It is a jewish idiom. In the Jewish mindset, claiming to be the Son of God is the same as claiming to be God's equal.
The final point of Jesus being human, I'd turn to John 4:7. Notice, he's thirsty. This is one of three times where Jesus is shown to be thirsty or hungry. The other two are John 19:28 and Matthew 4:2. If he wasn't human, then why did he get hungry and thirsty?
Now, this may be more complicated than intended, but it gets the point across in the simplest way I can show. Jesus claimed to be God with his "I am" statements. He claimed to be equal to God by claiming to be his Son, and he was still human because he got Hungry and Thirsty.
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