Has anyone ever asked you, “did Jesus ever claim to be God?” Or, has anyone ever suggested to you, “Jesus never claimed to be God?” We must be careful not to believe everything that we hear. It is a common ploy for people (especially smart people) to make a dogmatic claim and expect you to believe it as fact. Intelligent people can be very persuasive, “I am smart, and I make this claim, therefore it must be true.”
There are several passages where Jesus clearly identifies Himself as God, but I want to elaborate on Deuteronomy 6.16, the verse that I discussed in my last blog. Jesus tells Satan, it is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God–Deuteronomy 6.16 (The passage Jesus is quoting.)-Ye shall not tempt the Lord your God, as ye tempted him in Massah. The word that Jesus uses, (because He is quoting Deut. 6.16) Lord, (Yehova/Jehovah) means “the existing one… self-Existent… Eternal,” and it is the Jewish national name of God. When he says “God,” He uses (Elohyiym/Elohim) the same word found in Genesis 1.1. Genesis is the first occasion that God uses words to introduce (better explanation) Himself to man. The word “Elohim” has the connotation of plurality, hence we recognize the supreme Godhead. Therefore, Jesus responds to Satan’s temptation, you shall not tempt the self-existent, eternal, and supreme God. Since Satan was tempting Jesus, clearly Jesus is referring to Himself as the self-existent, eternal, and supreme God.
Jesus is quoting Deuteronomy 6.16, but if you read the verse carefully, there is reference to Massah. Why is the reference to Massah important? I will let you read the passage for yourself. The Scriptures are written, And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD? And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not? Moses is speaking to the LORD, Who delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt, the same who brought plagues, parted the Red Sea, and led His children with a cloud by day and a fire by night. This same LORD is who Jesus is claiming to be.
One more reference to meditate on, Hear, O Israel: The LORD (Yehova-self-existing one, eternal) our God (plurality/divine supreme God-Aka-Godhead) is one LORD (self-existing, eternal): And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deuteronomy 6.4-5. So, did Jesus claim to be God? YES, HE DID CLAIM TO BE GOD. This truth can be overlooked when we read the Scriptures through twenty-first century lenses. Which is why we must read the Bible in the proper context of when it was written, and who it was written to, and the original intent. There is no doubt, in Matthew’s Gospel, in response to Satan’s temptation, Jesus claimed to be God. And, there is no doubt that Satan clearly understood, who Jesus claimed to be.