Why people reject Jesus as God

Jesus taught that there is only one God

Mark 12:29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  

Deut 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD

Man cannot become God.

What critics say

It is absolutely impossible for me to accept that a man is God. It just does not fit into my concept of God. This anthropomorphism takes us back to more primitive times when Pharaohs and Caesars were regarded as gods. Only the Creator and Ruler of the Universe is God. He is self-existing and is neither begotten nor begets.

What Christians say

I agree that man cannot become God. But we are saying not saying  that Jesus, a man, became God. We are saying that Jesus, who is God, became man while he was on earth.

The question should not therefore not be “Can man become God?” but rather “Can God take the form of a man?”

God cannot come down in the form of man Numbers 23:19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind.  

God is too great to come down in the form of a man

Is God “too great” to become a man in order to reveal Himself to us? If you feel this way please keep in mind that there is more than one kind of “greatness”. There is the “greatness” of a king who lives in his imperial palace, surrounded by wealth and luxury and slaves to keep Him comfortable, yet remains indifferent to the pains of his subjects. There is also the greatness of a skilled doctor who forsakes a lucrative medical practice in his homeland to go to the poorest of the poor and serve them, heal them, and lay down his life for them. Which kind of greatness do you think is most worthy of a merciful and gracious God?

A triune God can be on the throne in heaven and on earth at the same time.

If God is indeed a triune being, would the universe collapse if one person of the Godhead came to earth in the form of man?

God is invisible (John 1:18) but we can see Jesus, so Jesus cannot be God.

Reply:

God the Father is invisible but not God the Son.

God cannot die but Jesus died so Jesus cannot be God.

Christian missionaries, how can God die?

Reply:

God cannot die but because He came down in the form of a man, the human body could die.

Is it possible for Jesus to be fully God and fully man?

Jesus never said, “I am God.”

Where did Jesus say, “I am God. Worship me.”?

If Jesus is God, then why didn’t he say clearly “I am God”? All the claims of Jesus that Christians use to prove his deity are insufficient, ambiguous and subject to interpretation.

Jesus denied that he is God Almighty.

Jn 10:34-36 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, `I have said you are gods’? 35 If he called them `gods,’ to whom the word of God came– and the Scripture cannot be broken– 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, `I am God’s Son’?

Jesus taught that he is the only Son of God.

Therefore he could not be using the term “Son of God” in a sense to refer to a messenger of God. There were many messengers of God in history. Jesus could not have claimed to be God’s only messenger. This leaves us with only one logical interpretation. That is : Jesus was saying that since messengers of God, who are only human, are called sons of God, why can’t Jesus, who is the special one, call himself the Son of God. Notice in the verses, that Jesus tells us that he was the one the Father set especially apart and sent into the world. That means, he was not part of the world in the first place.

Jesus taught that he is inferior to the Father.

Jesus said the Father is greater than him

John 14:28 Jesus said “The Father is greater than I.

In Mark 13:32, Mark 11:13 and John 11:34, Jesus appeared to be ignorant of certain things, indicating his inferior knowledge.

Almost all of the verses used to argue that Jesus was inferior to the Father compare Jesus in his humbled state as a man with God’s exalted position in heaven. There is no need to stress on the inferiority of Jesus because Christians acknowledge that Jesus was indeed inferior while he was in that humble state as a man. The Bible teaches that Jesus had to empty himself before he could come down as a man. When he has emptied himself of all the majesty of God, of course he became inferior at that point.

How can Jesus be God when he is ignorant of the judgment day?

(Philippians 2:5-7)  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: {6} Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, {7} but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

Jesus calls his Father God.

(Mat 27:46)  About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”–which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

(John 20:17)  Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”

If Jesus refers to something other than himself as God, then how can he be God?

The impossibility of Jesus addressing his Father as God when he himself is God, is only true if we assume that God cannot be a triune God existing in three persons. If one removes this assumption, then the idea of Jesus calling his Father God when he himself is God no longer becomes an impossible utterance.

Another verse is John 17:3 where Jesus refers to his Father as the only God.

John 17:3 “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”

Jesus calls himself a man.

John 8:40 But now you seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth which I have heard from God.

In the Bible, we could also see that Jesus was subjected to many limitations of a man. He became hungry (Mark 11:12), tired (Matt 8:24), etc.

Christians do not reject the manhood of Jesus; therefore there is no need to convince a Christian that Jesus was a man. Christians believe that Jesus is God who came down in the form of a man. Therefore naturally, some verses in the bible would describe his manhood and others will describe his deity.

Jesus calls himself the Son of man

Jesus calls himself the Son of man because he wants to proclaim that he is only a man.

Christian reply

Jesus used the term Son of Man and Son of God interchangeably to refer to himself

(Mat 16:13-17 NIV)  When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” {14} They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” {15} “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” {16} Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” {17} Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.

Jesus did not use the term Son of Man to tell others that he is a mere man

When Jesus calls himself the Son of Man, he emphasized his special powers.

(Mat 9:6 NIV)  But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. . . .” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.”

(Mat 12:8 NIV)  For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

(Mat 13:41 NIV)  The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.

(Mat 19:28 NIV)  Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

(Mat 24:30 NIV)  “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.

(Mat 26:64 NIV)  “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

(John 3:13 NIV)  No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven–the Son of Man.

(John 5:27 NIV)  And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

(John 6:62 NIV)  What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!

(John 9:35-38 NIV)  Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” {36} “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” {37} Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” {38} Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

The title “Son of man” is not one that denies Godhood

When Daniel had a vision, he saw what looked like a human being – whom he calls son of man – who would be worshipped in all the earth. Christians believe that person he saw was Jesus.

(Dan 7:13-14 NIV)  “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. {14} He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Jesus always submits to his father as God.

Jesus cannot do anything by himself.

(John 5:30)  By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

(John 14:24)  He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

Christian response

At first glance, it may seem like Jesus is inferior to the Father as he is always acting on his father’s instructions. A closer examination, however, reveals that the true reason why Jesus obeys his father’s commandment is not inferiority or even obligation but simply love; Jesus seeks not to please himself but always the Father.

When Jesus said that he cannot do anything other than what his father is doing, he is referring to his moral inability to go outside his father’s will. We also use such language also in modern day speech not to refer to physical inability, but moral inability. If our friend says to us, “Go ahead and take it; nobody is looking.”, we’ll probably say, “No, I can’t do it.” By that we don’t mean physical inability to do the act, but moral inability to do something outside God’s will, which we know is sinful.

We know that moral and not physical inability because Jesus says so clearly in that same verse.

(John 5:30 NIV)  By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

Everything that Jesus did or said was in accordance with the Father’s intention. None of his words are of his own. (Jn 14:24)

The motivation for obeying his Father’s commandments is clearly spelt out in another verse. It is love, not inferiority. The perfect love of Jesus for his Father forbids him to do anything outside his Father’s will.

(John 14:31)  but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

We see a statement of this perfect love of Jesus in John 8:29 when he said that he always do those things that please the Father.

Even in present days, we have parents who follow their children’s every whimp and fancy out of love for them. Although I think that this is not the right thing for parents to do, it does illustrate that when one follows another person’s will, it need not be always be because one party is inferior to the other. It could be out of love as well.

A fine exmple of Jesus’ servanthood can be seen in his washing of his disciples’feet.

(John 13:3-6 NIV)  Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; {4} so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. {5} After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. {6} He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

With that kind of assurance Jesus had that God had given him all power, did he sit there like a king and expect to be served? No. He humbled himself and washed his disciples’ feet. He served his disciples out of humility, not inferiority. This is not something that is easy to understand for we knew that Simon Peter objected as well. His thinking was that Jesus should not serve as he was their master. Obviously Jesus thought differently and went ahead to serve his disciples.

Doing His Father’s will perfectly did not mean that Jesus Christ was not the Son of God. As a matter of fact it implies exactly the opposite. On account of His intimate fellowship with His Father and essential unity of nature with Him, the Word of God even after His incarnation, continued to obey absolutely the will of the One who sent Him.

Why is Jesus always doing the Father’s work and not the reverse?

The answer is each person in the trinity of God has its own function. It cannot be said that since the son is always doing the Father’s work, he is inferior to the Father. We can only draw this conclusion if the reason for obedience is not love, but compulsion.

Greatness in servanthood

(Mat 20:26-28 NIV)  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, {27} and whoever wants to be first must be your slave– {28} just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

The coming of a humble king fortold in Old Testament

(Zec 9:9 NIV)  Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Jesus prays to God

If Jesus is God, why does he pray to God?

Christian reply

Since God is a trinity comprising of three Persons, there is no surprise if one Person of the trinity talks to another.

How can Jesus be God if he is not sinless?

Jesus taught that he was not good. Only God is good. Mark 10:18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.