Q: Why do you Christians claim that Jesus was divine? I’ve always thought of him as a very good person, but where did the idea come from that he was also God? — J.R.W.
A: You’re right in one way; Christians do claim that Jesus Christ was not only a man, but he was also God. As the Bible says, “The Son is the image of the invisible God. … For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him” (Colossians 1:15, 19).
Where did this conviction come from? It came first of all from Jesus himself, who made the startling claim that he was God in human flesh — fully man, but also fully God. He declared to his disciples, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. … I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (John 14:9, 11). His miracles were a living testimony to this truth; only by God’s power could he have fed the 5,000 or raised Lazarus from the dead, or done any of his other miracles.
But Jesus’ divinity was confirmed by an even greater miracle than these: by his resurrection from the dead. Every person 2,000 years ago knew exactly what we know today: once a person is dead, it is the end of their earthly life. But on the third day after Jesus was crucified and placed in the tomb, he rose again by the power of God and was seen by hundreds (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-8).
Why is Jesus’ divinity important? The reason is because only a divine Savior could become the final sacrifice for our sins, and only a divine Savior could open heaven’s door for us. This Christmas I invite you to receive the greatest gift anyone can ever receive: the gift of God’s own Son.
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to BillyGraham.org.