Is Yeshua God?
© December 2002 by Asher Intrater
Jewish believers in Jesus (Yeshua) often struggle with a theological question that other Christians may not find difficult. It has to do with whether it is proper to say, "Yeshua is God," without any qualifying remarks.
We are not speaking here of His divinity. Everyone accepts His divinity. He is the eternal Son of God, the only Lord, and the fullness of God dwelling in bodily form (Colossians 2:9). He is the Immanuel, meaning God with us (Matthew 1:23). Of these there is uniform agreement.
The question comes that if you say, "Yeshua is God" in a context with religious Jews who say they do believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but do not believe in Yeshua, are you misrepresenting what the New Testament has to say?
To highlight the sensitivity, looking at it from the other side - we could ask, if it is proper to say, "Yeshua is God," and since Yeshua is Jewish, would it also be proper to say, "God is Jewish?"
Another problem with the statement "Yeshua is God" is that it does not deal with the New Testament position that Yeshua is portrayed as being submitted unto the Father who is "greater" than Yeshua (John 14:28, I Corinthians 15:28, Acts 1:7).
The word "God" is found over 1200 times in the New Testament. In many instances, there are inferences to the divinity of Yeshua, such as the "I Am" statements in John's gospel, the use of the title "Lord," the authority of His name, references to His existence before creation, His "oneness" with the Father, and so on.
However, when dealing with direct statements that Yeshua is God - period, I have found the following seven references:
1.) John 1:1
2.) John 20:28
3.) Romans 9:5
4.) Philippians 2:6
5.) I Timothy 3:16
6.) Titus 2:13
7.) Hebrews 1:8
These seven verses give us a clear basis to say that Yeshua is God.
On the other hand, these are only seven verses out of over 1200 - comprising about one half of one percent. Most scriptures portray Yeshua as having a dual nature, a blending of God and man (Romans 1:3), a bridge between God and man.
I Timothy 2:5
In summary, the New Testament definitely states that Yeshua is God; however its primary presentation of Yeshua is as the Son of God.
The human race as a whole must be challenged with their need of Yeshua as savior and lord. God was in Yeshua reconciling the world to Himself (II Corinthians 5:19). As we grow closer to Him in intimacy, we see more and more dimensions of His divinity.
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