Q: My friend thinks Jesus was a very spiritual person who had a close relationship with God. But she says Jesus never claimed to be divine, and that’s just something the disciples dreamed up. Is she right? — Y.M.
A: No, your friend is not right. Jesus repeatedly asserted that he not only had a close relationship with God but that God was his father — and he was his son. The divinity of Jesus is at the heart of the Christian faith.
Jesus first of all openly stated he was both fully man and fully God — in other words, that he was divine as well as human. On one occasion he declared, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). In response to the doubts one of his disciples expressed, he stated, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). One reason his enemies opposed him was “because you, a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33).
But Jesus also demonstrated his divinity by his deeds. Repeatedly he showed that he had authority over the forces of nature — something only God could do. He also brought healing to the sick and calmness to the disturbed, and performed miracles that could only be done with God’s power. Most of all, he proved his divine nature by rising from the dead. To those who doubted him he said, “Even though you do not believe me, believe the works” (John 10:38).
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Why is this important? It’s important because only a divine savior could make it possible for us to be forgiven of our sins, and only a divine Savior could offer us the gift of eternal life. Respond to him today by inviting him to come into your life — and then pray your friend will do so as well.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201; or visit www.billygraham.org.