Jesus is the son of God. But, Jesus is God.
The Trinity is one of the divine mysteries I don’t think we’ll ever fully understand this side of heaven.
One of my favorite explanations of this is in a children’s book by Joanne Marxhausen, A Picture of God 3 in 1. This book compares God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to the three parts of an apple – the peel, the flesh, and the core. The different pieces of the apple serve different purposes and are unique, but they are all parts of the apple. And, the apple is not complete if a component is missing. In the same way, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all distinct but intertwined elements of the one true God.
So, how do we know that Jesus is God?
- Jesus inferred that He was God multiple times:
- God calls Jesus God. “. . . but to the Son: Your throne, God, is forever and ever . . . .” (Hebrews 1:8)
- God says the angels must worship Jesus (Hebrews 1:6). And Scripture is explicit that only God should be worshipped (Exodus 34:14, Deuteronomy 8:19).
This is only a sampling of the passages that point us towards Christ’s deity. Some non-believers assent that Jesus lived but argue that he was a prophet or a great moral teacher. C.S. Lewis summed this stance up well in Mere Christianity:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would be either a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
God has truly walked among us. Although those of us living today will not physically see Jesus until we get to heaven or until He returns, the model God chose still relays His authenticity. We live in a world where we are busy to the point of distraction, constantly connected but disengaged. But God, in charge of every detail in the universe, is not distracted or disengaged from His creation. He did not send an intern or an Evite or a text. He showed up in person, and He did life with His people. Living on this side of the cross, we have all of God’s Word to guide us. And, if we are believers, we also have the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit to help lead us (Romans 8:26).
Jesus was fully man, and fully God. Our response to that should be one of awe, wonder, humility, and encouragement. God cared enough about mankind that He sent a piece of himself to teach, and eventually, to die an unfair death to atone for our sins. Jesus experienced every temptation and has deeply felt every emotion that we know as humans.
I think we too often envision God as a distant disciplinarian, seated on a throne somewhere far away. The truer picture is of a present, gentle, gracious Father. He views us through the lens of Jesus, redeemed and purified.
Our God sees us. He knows us. He is fully aware of the potential we have for His kingdom and of the limits of our humanity, and He meets us there.
Grace and peace,
Sara is a West Texas girl, currently living outside of Dallas. She adores her husband of 14+ years and delights in the daily chaos of raising and discipling their 3 young girls. She is also a physician, specializing in MRI imaging.