This is sorta' what I experienced in my spiritual walk a few years ago. ~ I had always believed that Jesus was God. There's God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. One God; three Persons. ~ The problem is, it isn't so obvious to others. When my belief was challenged, I didn't have a fancy styrofoam model to explain it. Out of frustration, and maybe even a little doubt, I delved into my Bible to find out what it really does say about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Are they all really God? Here's what I found:
- Jesus quotes the commandments in Luke 4, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve." If Jesus isn't God, then by his own definition accepting worship (such as He did in Matthew 2 when the wise men came to worship him at his birth, and later in John 9:38 after he heals a man) would have been considered blasphemy (a sin) and his death on the cross would therefore be meaningless.
- If Jesus isn't God, he couldn't forgive sins as seen in the account of the paralytic (Matthew 9). Anytime Jesus forgave sins, He was displaying/claiming his diety ~ the religious leaders recognized this (read John 5:18).
- Isaiah 6-9 holds much prophecy about Jesus and specifically calls him "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
- Jesus calls out who he is in the end of John chapter 8. He even calls himself "I am" which is the name God told Moses to use when speaking to Pharaoh in Exodus chapter 3.
- In Matthew, Jesus gives the great commission saying, "Go... baptizing them in the name (singular) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..." If Father, Son and Holy Spirit were different gods, then the Bible would say, "Go... baptizing them in the names (plural) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..."
- In the Creation story in Genesis, "Then God says, 'Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness...'" (it DOES NOT say, "Then the gods said... " NOR does it say, "Let me make man in my own image..")
Jesus was there in the beginning. He created the sun. He set the planets into motion. Then He came as a model to help explain it. Check this out! Psalm 23. As you read this very well known piece of old testament scripture, take some time with these phrases:
- The Lord is my shepherd
- He makes me lie down in green pastures
- He leads me beside still waters
- You prepare a table before me (a meal perhaps?)
- my cup overflows (a meal with leftovers perhaps?)
Now go to any one of the three accounts of Jesus feeding the 5000 (Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44), and John 6:1-14) See if Jesus isn't modeling.
- He is the shepherd (He refers to the people as sheep without a shepherd specifically in Mark 6:34)
- He commands the people to sit on the green grass (all three accounts)
- This takes place next to the water (all three accounts)
- He prepares a meal for 5000 men (plus presumably some women and children) with five loaves of bread and 2 fish
- There's enough leftovers to fill 12 baskets.
I see no distinction between the "Lord" of Psalm 23 and the "Lord" of any of the other Psalms. If I say the Lord is my Shepherd, and Jesus is the good Shepherd (John 9), then it's obvious to me, Jesus is Lord and He is God. I think I grew up believing that, but after digging in, now I can say that I know it. ~ It's Plain & Simple as That.