By Nathan Jones
Who does the Bible say that Jesus is?
In this interview, Dr. David Reagan and I discuss the end time prophetic significance of the increasing attacks on the character of Christ, later televised on our program Christ in Prophecy.
Dr. Reagan: The Bible clearly says that Jesus is God in the flesh. That is who He was, that is who He is — that He's God in the flesh. That is taught in both the Old Testament and the New Testament as you well know. For example, one of the major prophecies in the Old Testament about the Messiah is that He would be Emmanuel.
Nathan Jones: Meaning, "God with us," right?
Dr. Reagan: Yes, "God with us," that's what Emmanuel means in Hebrew. In Isaiah 9:6 it says that He will be Mighty God and Everlasting Father, among the other titles that are given to Him like Prince of Peace. Well, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the Messiah is going to be God in the flesh from just those two prophecies alone.
Jesus also claimed to be the Messiah, so if He truly was the Messiah He then was God in the flesh. At His baptism God spoke from the heavens and the voice that was heard said, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." The Jews themselves recognized that if you claim to be the Son of God you were claiming to be deity in the flesh. In fact, when Jesus would use that term for Himself they would immediately cry, "You are a blasphemer because you are claiming to be God in the flesh." They knew what he meant.
Nathan Jones: They were always ready to stone him over His claim of being deity, right?
Dr. Reagan: Well, yes, that is right. In Revelation 1, God speaks and says, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, I am the beginning and the end." But, in Revelation 21 Jesus says, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, I am the beginning and the end." Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other, and that is one of the fundamental principles I learned in geometry and it is true here. Here is God saying, "I am the beginning and the end" and here is Jesus saying "I am the beginning and the end." God and Jesus are one. Jesus was God in the flesh. That incidentally is one of the strongest arguments to use against a Jehovah's Witness who claims that Jesus was not God in the flesh, to refer to Revelation 1 and Revelation 21.
In John 3:16, probably the best known verse in all the Bible, God said "I am sending my only begotten Son." So, these are just a few examples that I could give, and examples that I do give in my book Jesus the Lamb and the Lion which includes biblical facts that Jesus truly was who He said He was, that He was God in the flesh.
But, the world tries to write Jesus off as merely a good man, or a great prophet, or a great teacher, but nothing beyond that. Being just a man is all that Jesus is to the world. For example, Islam recognizes Jesus as a great prophet, and even humanists and atheists and agnostics will say, "Oh, well, he was a great man and possibly even one of the greatest men who ever lived. He was probably the greatest teacher who ever lived, but that is all he was."
One of my favorite writers is C.S. Lewis. He was an intellectual with a photographic memory. He was a great professor of Medieval English at Oxford University.
Nathan Jones: Most would remember him for The Chronicles of Narnia books and movies.
Dr. Reagan: Besides The Chronicles of Narnia series he also wrote many, many books. What most people don't know is that he was an agnostic until the age of 30, and it was when he was about 30 years old that he came to accept the Lord.
In Lewis' book Mere Christianity, he tells some of the reasons why he finally came to the Lord, and one of them had to do with having to come to grips with who Jesus Christ is. He wrote a statement that has become a classic in Christian literature. I want to read this statement because it is a great argument. Lewis says, "I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Jesus. I am ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I can't accept His claim to be God." That is what people say, but now here is what he says, "That is the one thing that we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things that Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic, on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg, or else He would be the devil of hell. You must make your choice, either this man was and is the Son of God, or else a mad man or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill as a demon, or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us, He did not intend to."
Certainly, a good man does not go around saying, "I forgive you of your sins. I grant you salvation." He would be either a lunatic, a mad man, or He is who He said He was — God in the flesh.
Nathan Jones: Jesus would also be a liar, and if He was a liar He wasn't a good man.
In the next part of this series discussing the increasing attacks on Christianity and Christ, I'll question Dr. Reagan about how one can prove that Jesus is God in the flesh.