Jesus, of Nazareth was God

by Dudley Ross Spears

February 04, 2001

     There is no debate that the Bible presents this magnificent man, Jesus, of Nazareth, as God in human flesh (John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Cor. 5:19; Titus 2:11,13; 2 Pet. 1:1). One thing God will not do, nor could he do, is cease being God. Once God, always God. But not all believe Jesus was, is, and ever will be God.

     Paul wrote of his eternal deity: " For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9). Notice the present tense. Just prior to His birth, an angel appeared to shepherds to announce the birth of Christ, the Lord.

     "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:8-14).

     Question: Was that baby in the manger Christ, the Lord? When the angels hymned the phrase, "Glory to God in the highest," was that worship of the baby Jesus? Hebrews 1:6 tells us, "And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him." The first begotten is the only begotten Son of God who revealed or declared God to the world (John 1:18).

     John's record says the Word was in the beginning with God and was God (John 1:1-3). The Word "was made flesh" and dwelt among men who beheld His glory. He was full of grace and truth (John 1:14). He is called the only begotten of the Father. Does this refer to Almighty God or Joseph? God Almighty is the only Father Jesus ever had. Joseph had nothing to do with His birth.

     When Jesus called God His Father, the Jews became incensed and charged Him with making Himself equal with God (John 5:17- 18). They recognized that the sire and the son possess the same nature and essence. Had Jesus had the nature of Joseph, He would have been just a man in full point of fact. But Jesus was not a mere man. He possessed the nature and essence of His only Father; He was a divine nature and essence in a human body. That is the meaning of incarnation. He took to Himself human nature, for He was fully man.

     So, the baby in the manger was as much God as he was the day he returned to the right hand of God and as much as he remains God eternally (Rom. 9:5; Titus 2:11-13). He was and remains the Christ. The angels were far from inaccurate saying that that baby in a manger in Bethlehem was the Christ, right then (Luke 2:11). Would they have been more accurate affirming that the baby would eventually become Christ, the Lord? Absolutely not!

     Semi-modernists say Jesus became God at His baptism (Matt. 3:13-17). Others affirm it was when He was transfigured (Matt. 17:1-5). Still others affirm that Jesus was never fully in the condition and position of the incarnate Christ until His resurrection. All of these notions leave gaps in Jesus' life, suggesting that during those times, Jesus was not actually God in the flesh.

     Such liberal and modernistic views of Jesus raise questions:

     1. When was Jesus not fully God?

     2. Did His entrance into this world from above remove His deity?

     3. Was it partially removed?

     4. Was He just part God in the flesh when born, while growing up, as a teenager, a young man?

     Clearly the implication of saying the baby Jesus was not always God in the flesh is that He was not God until some time later. Just when that was, differs from theory to theory. One fact remains. If Jesus was not God at some time, He was not God forever (Please read Rom. 9:5).. If Jesus was at one point in His fleshly life not God, then at another point was God, just where is that point? The entire human life of Jesus was lived fully as God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16).

     John 1:1-2 affirms that the Word was God. Verse 14 says that Word was Jesus, of Nazareth. When John penned his first letter, after Jesus ascended, he affirmed that Jesus, of Nazareth, was that same Word, that was, is/ and ever more will be God.

Dudley Ross Spears

Back to the Top | Back Home