The deity of Jesus Christ, or in other words, the divinity of Jesus Christ, is a central and undisputed doctrine within Christianity. All people who deem themselves faithful Christian believers accept it as an axiom that Jesus was and still is eternal, infinite and unchangeable. To use the words of John Machen, Jesus of Nazareth became “the second person of the Holy Trinity”. Some opine that a perfunctory look at Jesus’ teaching and preaching is enough to realize that He is a deity, whereas others point to the miracles that He did to buttress their arguments by facts. Many people simply refuse to enter into polemics, because they do not need to debate their faith and all that surrounds it. Although it is impossible to prove scientifically that Jesus had, in fact, done some miracles, the Bible, which in itself is an unimpeachable historical source to Christian believers, offers illustrative accounts of divine deeds perpetrated by Jesus, which culminated in His resurrection from the dead. To better understand the doctrine of deity, current paper will scrutinize the life of Jesus, paying special attention to the miracles He did and His rising from the world of the dead. Overall, the analysis of the Bible suggests that the deity of Jesus was an actual fact rather than an illusion or hallucination.
The Bible is replete with evidence that Jesus is God incarnate. However, it also makes sense to start with the counterargument. The first thing that allows one to cast doubt on the deity of Jesus Christ is his humble origin. Even a cursory glance at the genealogical tree of Jesus Christ reveals that he could not be the Son of God. Thus, Mathew the Apostle, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, pointed out that all female ancestors of his teacher, except for Mary, had some shameful aspects in their biographies. Undoubtedly, God would not have chosen Mary if she had not been chaste and virtuous, qualities she would later have to prove to her betrothed Joseph. Before Mary and Joseph united in holy matrimony, Mary was already pregnant. Being a pious and righteous man, Joseph did not want to attract unnecessary attention to what he considered the infidelity of his betrothed and, thus, decided to let her go. It appears that even Joseph, who was engaged to Mary at the time of revelation, suspected her of adultery. In accordance with the laws of the time, engaged women suspected of fornication were liable to capital punishment, whereas lives of the non-betrothed women involved in fornication were usually spared. However, Joseph was having second thoughts when an angel appeared in his dream and persuaded Joseph to pledge his troth to Mary, for it was the Holy Spirit who conceived her child. Joseph displayed a great degree of belief in God when he decided to let Mary stay. He accepted the child as his own and named him Jesus, which meant the Savior. While some people took a disparaging view of Mary giving birth to Jesus, others referred to him as the King of the Jews immediately after his birth. For them, he was already a deity and they did not need any proofs to believe it.
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For the most of his life Jesus lived in obscurity and few people knew about his divinity. Benjamin Warfield offers a very illustrative description of Jesus:
A young man scarcely thirty-three years of age, emerged from obscurity only for the brief space of three years, living during those three years under the scorn of the world, which grew steadily in intensity and finally passed into hatred and dying at the end the death of a malefactor: but leaving behind Him the germs of a world-wide community, the spring of whose vitality is the firm conviction that he was God manifest in flesh.
When Jesus finally came out of obscurity, He started preaching people around Him the Word of His Father, the God. Without the unnecessary ostentation, Jesus referred to himself as the Savior and gave other indications of his deity. He said that the end of the world would happen, but did not specify the date. He stated that He would “come again in glory to judge the living and the dead”. Jesus advised people to be vigilant, as nobody could tell when the Judgment Day would begin. He said that only the Father knew the exact date. Jesus knew that in accordance with the biblical prophecies, the Messiah would rule in the perpetual Kingdom of God. Jesus said that in comparison to the kingdom of the Romans, the Kingdome of God was “not of this world”. On the contrary, it was the Kingdom of Heaven. However, despite specific claims about Himself, few people believed in the deity of Jesus.
Among the first people who acknowledged the divinity of Jesus, in addition to the Magi who witnessed His birth, were Jesus’ disciples. They believed that Jesus had a unique right to forgive the sins committed by others, something that only God could do. With doubts, at first, but with stronger conviction later, Jesus’ disciples referred to him as the Deliverer, Savior, Redeemer, Messiah, Son of God and Son of Man, recognizing his deity. Overall, examples of the Apostles acknowledging the divinity of Christ are numerous throughout the Bible. With the exception of the Apostles, the Magi and His earthly parents, very few Jesus’ contemporaries accepted his divinity as undeniable fact. Many questioned it, while others denied it altogether. In order to convince people around Him that He was the Messiah, Jesus had to perform a number of miraculous deeds. Even the faith of His followers was “grounded not merely in His assertions, nor merely in the impression His personality made upon them in conjunction with His claims, but specifically in a series of divine deeds” he made.
The miracles of Jesus were so numerous that they could be divided into several categories. Cures of the hopelessly or even terminally ill people constituted the most important and impressive group of miracles described in the New Testament. It is interesting that cures are depicted mainly in the Gospels written by the Synoptics. One of the most supernatural miracles was Jesus healing a withered hand of the man. When Jesus entered a synagogue, He saw a gaggle of the Pharisees who expected him to desecrate the Sabbath by healing an ailing man. Jesus used a powerful metaphor to explicate His deed. He said that if someone or something like a sheep needed help it was permitted to violate the Sabbath “to do good to them”. The poor man stretched His withered hand and Jesus made it as sound as the other one. As soon as Jesus returned to His town from the Sea of the Galilee, He continued to shock his disciples and other people with His preternatural abilities. Healing of a paralytic stretched out on a bed in Capernaum was another miraculous cure. The paralytic was blasphemous but Jesus forgave his sins. He ordered the man to get up and walk. Exorcising of the possessed people was yet another category of Jesus’ divine deeds. One of the most illustrative acts of exorcism took place in the territory of the Gadarenes. The demoniacs approached Jesus and His disciples. At the request of demons, Jesus sent them into the herd of pigs instead of simply driving them out from the possessed men. Jesus’ cleansing the men with a virulent skin disease was another miraculous cure mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew. The leper was unwavering in his faith, otherwise he would not be able to approach healthy people. Jesus touched the leprosy-ridden man on his hand and, thus, cleansed him. Moreover, Jesus cured mother of Peter’s wife, a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years, two blind men outside of Jericho and many others. Likewise, He turned water into wine, walked on the surface of water and multiplied physical objects.
The miracles of Jesus were so simple and tangible that even the ordinary people could understand them. By the same token, there was nothing strange or mystic about such miracles. They were witnessed by broad masses of people. What is more important, the overwhelming majority of the witnesses assumed an openly hostile attitude towards Jesus. However, even the most formidable adversaries of Christ did not have courage to question the veracity of His miracles. On the other hand, the cunning and spiteful Pharisees assailed the credibility of the miracles by interpreting them in a sacrilegious manner. In juxtaposition to Jesus’ followers, who regarded him as the Savior, they referred to Jesus as a madman. In fact, there was no vanity about the miracles of Jesus. He accomplished them just out of a sense of good will and altruism, another testament to the fact that He acted as a deity.
However, stories about the miracles performed by Jesus began to circulate, arising different moods in different circles. Many people, especially those in high positions of authority, were frightened by the Jesus’ abilities and perceived it as a personal threat. Instead of reciprocating or, otherwise, requiting the kindness of Jesus, many condemned Him and did not believe in His deity. At the age of 33 Jesus was detained and handed over to the supreme Judaic court. Jesus was falsely convicted of sacrilege, because he referred to himself as the Son of God on multiple occasions, an improbable and unrealistic assertion to many disbelievers. Due to the fact that the priests wanted to have Jesus killed by the Roman temporal authorities, they sent him to Pontius Pilate. The latter was deliberately misinformed that Jesus prohibited people to pay taxes to Caesar. Pontius Pilate bowed the demands of the disgruntled crowd of Romans and sentenced Jesus to death. Interestingly, Pilate said he would pardon either Jesus or a villain Barabbas. However, the priests instigated people to ask for mercy for Barabbas instead of Jesus. Eventually, Jesus was crucified as if He was a wicked evildoer, as the mass and the authorities did not recognize His deity. However, three days after the execution, Jesus Christ rose from the dead, which was the greatest proof of His divinity.
The belief in resurrection and afterlife constitute one of the central tenets in Christianity. When Jesus died on the cross, a terrible sense of despair overpowered His disciples, who, despite the exhortations of their teacher, believed in His immortality. Indeed, Jesus numerously repeated that He would die. However, He also spoke of His subsequent resurrection. For now, His lifeless body was placed in the tomb. The feeling of despair prevailed over the Apostles for three days only. However, they were not the first to witness Jesus’ resurrection. After a group of faithful women came to the tomb to complete the anointing procedures, they saw that it was empty. At first, they did not realize what happened, but soon the resurrected Christ appeared to them with a short speech. Later the same day, the resurrected Savior appeared to His disciples, giving them the same directives for further action. Now they had no doubts that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead, something that nobody did before. He would appear to His followers on numerous other occasions throughout 40 days after His crucifixion. The Apostles listened to the admonitions of the resurrected Christ in awed silence and looked at Him in amazed wonder. The resurrection of Jesus completed the drama of redemption. Having rising from the dead, Jesus also proved His authority to forgive sins and assure eternal life to those who accept His gift of salvation.
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We provide direct communication between you and the assigned writer, which is highly encouraged
The only thing that is left for you to do is click the “Download a File” button so that you can finally get your hands on your final paper.
Current paper has shown that the earthly life of Jesus was filled with constant challenges. Conceived in Mary’s womb by the Holy Spirit, He could not simply persuade people around Him that He was the Son of God sent to the earth to save their lives. Jesus preached God’s Word to a small group of disciples and other followers, but even they did not accept the deity of Jesus as a fact. To prove His authority and divinity Jesus had to perform a series of miraculous deeds. Among other things, He transformed water into wine and multiplied physical objects, cured hopelessly ill people and even resurrected the dead. His series of divine deeds culminated in Jesus himself rising from the dead three days after His crucifixion. Now, the disciples had no doubts about the deity of their teacher.
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