THE REV. KEVIN D. HUDDLESTON, St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, Mission: There is no statement attributed to Jesus in the New Testament in which he claims to be God.
We do not really know with 100 percent certainty what Jesus said. The Christian Scriptures (New Testament) were written beginning at least 20 years after the life of Jesus. Therefore, all “sayings of Jesus” were constructed from memory or part of an oral tradition.
What can be stated is that Jesus was proclaimed to “be seated at the right hand of the Father” by his followers after the resurrection event. More importantly, the proclamation by his followers of his resurrection from the dead would be perceived to have put God’s stamp of approval on Jesus’ life and teachings.
Given the cultural outlook of the period, it was not unusual for “gods” to be among humans (Roman/Greek mythology). As the saying goes, we live life forward, but we understand it backward.
Jesus’ disciples would have begun to re-examine past words and events to look for clues as to the implications of his life and teachings. The history of Christian theology is fraught with debate and discussion about the nature of Jesus and his relationship to God.
What can be emphasized is that some of the finest minds in the world at that time (or any time) have come to such a belief. Therefore, it would be imprudent for one not to continue to engage in dialogue, debate and discernment about the nature of Jesus and his relationship to God.
ELDER DONALD D. DESHLER, of the Seventy, North America Central Area, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: There is no record in the New Testament of Jesus stating “I am God.”
However, there is overwhelming evidence in the things that he said and did that he knew that he was, indeed, the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament and the Messiah of the New Testament.
Among the things he said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life — no man cometh to the Father but by me”; “I am the light of the world”; “For the Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath”; “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Among the things that Jesus did: Under the direction of his Father, he was the creator of the Earth; he walked on water, instantly calmed a tumultuous sea and created sufficient food to feed 5,000 from only five loaves and two fish. He caused the blind to see and he raised others from the dead; most importantly, he raised himself from the dead.
Collectively, the things that Jesus said and did make an unequivocal and resounding statement that he is God.
I know that he is God and that one day he will return to Earth and rule as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
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