3 Ways the Gospel Writers Proclaimed the Deity of Jesus (Part 1 of 3)

by Johnny Cisneros 

Jesus is God. It’s the most central and most controversial belief of the Christian faith. How did the gospel writers support such a claim? They documented Jesus’ mighty deeds.

 Sure, other biblical characters performed wonders (1 Kings 17:22–23). But Jesus is unique because He does what only God can do.

 When He forgives the paralytic of his sin, the scribes question, “Who can forgive sins but God alone” (Mark 2:6–7 ESV)? Jesus’ extension of forgiveness to the paralytic puts Him on equal status with God. The scribes are so disgusted by this that they charge Jesus with blasphemy.   

 When Jesus calms the storm and the waves, the disciples are stricken with fear and amazement (Luke 8:25). Why? Because in the ancient world, water is a chaotic, untamable force.  Yet Jesus speaks and the elements obey. According to the Psalms, only God has power over the winds and the water (Psalm 104:3; 107:25; 135:7). Amazed, the disciples ask, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him” (Mark 4:41 ESV)? They drew the right conclusion—Jesus possesses the same power and authority as God.  

 When Jesus heals on the Sabbath, those in the synagogue question Him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” They wanted Jesus’ understanding of what God had commanded at Sinai (Exod 20:8–11). God established the Sabbath, and only He had authority to define what it is and what it is not. Yet Jesus gives this shocking declaration: “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath” (Matt 12:8 ESV). Like God, Jesus has authority to define the Sabbath. He exercises that authority elsewhere, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27 ESV). Once again, Jesus puts Himself on equal status with God.

 The mighty deeds of Jesus support the claim that He is God, but what else? What about that cryptic phrase, “Son of Man” in Matthew 12:8?  What does it mean? How does that title support the claim that Jesus is God?  That’s the topic for Part 2.

Bio: Johnny Cisneros is the Educational Designer at Logos Bible Software. He is the co-creator of the best-selling Learn to Use Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible SoftwareLearn to Do Word Studies with Logos Bible Software, and is a columnist for Bible Study Magazine.