Is Jesus Christ God?*
by Rich Deem

Introduction

What did Jesus say?

In response to the disciple Thomas, Jesus said "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me." (John 14:6) From this statement alone, one would have to wonder why nobody could come to God directly. Maybe Jesus was really saying that He was God?

Rich Deem

Was Jesus God? The question is of extreme importance, since if Jesus really is God, He is worthy of worship and praise. We are going to examine several lines of evidence to determine the answer to the question of Jesus' deity. The most extensive evidence is found in the Bible. However, there is extra-biblical evidence that confirms what the Bible says. This page represents a summary of the evidence, much of which can be found in more detail on specific pages of this website.

The Bible

The Bible is a collection of writings authored by 40 men over a period of 1,500 years. The writings are roughly separated into the Old Testament (written before the birth of Jesus) and the New Testament (written by the disciples of Jesus after his death in 33 A.D.). The writings of both Testaments are centered around a person called "Messiah" (which means "anointed by God"). The Old Testament says the Messiah would come as the Savior of the world. The New Testament says the Messiah came in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

Both the Old and New Testaments claim that the Messiah would be both man and God - the God-Man - who would save us from our sins. So, if Jesus really were the Messiah, we would expect Him to be God in human form. Our first task is to determine if Jesus was the Messiah.

Old Testament prophecies

There are over 100 prophecies in the Old Testament that gave the characteristics of the Messiah, written hundreds of years before the arrival of Jesus. These prophecies describe the circumstances of His birth, ministry, and death. A sample list of these prophecies are included in the table below:

OT Prophetic Scripture Subject NT Fulfilled
Genesis 12:3 descendant of Abraham Matthew 1:1
Genesis 17:19 descendant of Isaac Luke 3:34
Numbers 24:17 descendant of Jacob Matthew 1:2
Genesis 49:10 from the tribe of Judah Luke 3:33
Isaiah 11:10 descendent of Jesse Romans 15:12
Jeremiah 23:5-6 descendant of David Matthew 1:1
Ezekiel 37:24 will shepherd His people Matthew 2:6
Psalm 45:6-7, Psalm 102:25-27 anointed and eternal Hebrews 1:8-12
Micah 5:2 born in Bethlehem Luke 2:4-5, 7
Daniel 9:25 time for His birth Luke 2:1-2
Isaiah 7:14 to be born of a virgin Luke 1:26-27, 30-31
Psalm 72:9 worshipped by shepherds Luke 2:8-15
Isaiah 29:18, Isaiah 35:5-6 blind, deaf, and lame are healed by the Messiah Luke 7:22, Matthew 11:3-5
Isaiah 42:1, Isaiah 49:1 will minister to Gentiles Matthew 12:18-21, Luke 2:32
Isaiah 53:3, 8:14, 28:16, Psalm 118:22 rejected by His own people, the Jews John 1:11, Luke 23:18, Acts 4:111, Peter 2:6-8
Psalm 41:9, Psalm 55:12-13, Zechariah 13:6 betrayed by a close friend Luke 22:47-48, Matthew 26:49-50
Zechariah 11:12 betrayed for thirty pieces of silver Matthew 26:14-15
Isaiah 53:12 crucified with malefactors Mark 15:27-28
Zechariah 12:10, Psalm 22:16 pierced through hands and feet John 20:25-27
Psalm 22:17-18 soldiers gambled for His clothing Matthew 27:35-36
Isaiah 53:9 buried with the rich Matthew 27:57-60
Psalm 16:10, Psalm 30:3, Psalm 49:15, Psalm 118:17 to be resurrected Mark 16:6-7

A complete list of prophecies fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth can be found at Prophecies of Jesus Christ as Messiah. Although some of the prophecies are general, many, especially those surrounding his birth and death (over which he had no control), are quite striking. The Old Testament describes his death by being pierced through his hands and feet - at a time before crucifixion was even invented! Jesus of Nazareth is the only person in history who fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies for the Messiah in amazing detail. Since the Old Testament described the Messiah as having the characteristics of God, this would make Jesus to be God in human form.

Rabbinical writings

The Bible is not the only source of Messianic prophecies. Rabbis have been writing about the Messiah thousands of years. Although these sources are not considered inspired by most Christians, they do provide valuable corroboration of the Bible's claims. One from the Sibylline Oracles is particularly striking:

"And being beaten He shall be silent lest any one should know what the word is, or whence it came, that it may speak with mortals; and He shall wear the crown of thorns." Sibylline Oracles (B.C. 184-117)

Of course, being silent and wearing the crown of thorns was part of Jesus' trial leading to His crucifixion. More examples of rabbinical writings can be found at Jesus Christ - Messiah of the Rabbinical Writers.

Jesus Himself made many claims of deity during His earthly ministry, which we will examine next.

Jesus claimed to be the Son of Man

Although the title "Son of Man" may seem fairly innocuous, it is, in fact, a title of the Messiah, of whom the book of Daniel claims that all people will serve and that His kingdom would never end:

"I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. "And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14)

Obviously, if the Son of Man were only human, He would not be able to establish an eternal kingdom. Likewise, He would not be able to convince all peoples to serve Him. Such abilities and honors are reserved for God alone.

Jesus claimed to be the Son of God

The Bible makes the direct claim that Jesus is the Son of God.1  Many others, including the disciples,2 a Roman Centurion,3 angels,4 demons5, John the Baptist,6 Martha,7 Saul (Paul),8 and the Ethiopian Eunich9 make the same claim. Others said that Jesus Himself made the claim to be the Son of God.10 The gospel accounts also indicate that Jesus Himself made the statement or acknowledged that He was the Son of God many times.11 

The title Son of God, does not denote second class status. No other prophet ever called himself the Son of God. The Jewish leaders of the time knew exactly what this title implied - that Jesus was claiming to be God Himself:

For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. (John 5:18)

Claiming to be the Son of God also conferred the title of Messiah or the anointed One. Psalm 2 talks about the Messiah (mashiach), whom it says is God's Son.12 This great messianic Psalm warns the reader to do homage to the Son and take refuge in Him,13 since He will rule the nations and judge the earth.14 The Sibylline Oracles make it clear that the Son of God is God Himself:

Know him as your God, who is the Son of God. Sibylline Oracles (Lactantins p. 10 s.)

Jesus claimed to be the Messiah (the Christ)

The Bible says that Jesus is the Christ, or Messiah - the anointed One of God. Jesus Himself made the claim or acknowledged that He was the Messiah.15 The title is especially significant with regard to the question at hand - is Jesus God? The Old Testament tells us that the Messiah is God and the eternal Father:

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Other prophecies of the Old Testament tell us that the Messiah would be God:

"The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness. (Jeremiah 23:5-6)

The title, "The LORD Our Righteousness" indicates that the Messiah is God. The Hebrew word translated "LORD" is yhvh (Yahweh), which is the personal name of God.

Jesus claimed to have the attributes of God

Jesus claimed to have many of the attributes that God alone possesses. Jesus claimed to have sent the prophets:

"Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, (Matthew 23:34)

However, the Old Testament indicates that God sent the prophets.16 Therefore, Jesus was claiming the authority that was previously reserved only for God.

Jesus claimed that His origins are from heaven, whereas men are from the world:

Not only did Jesus claim to come from heaven, but He said that it was "my kingdom" Isn't heaven God's kingdom?

Jesus claimed to have existed before He was born in Bethlehem:

"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. (John 8:58-59)

The claim included the term "I am" - a reference God made of Himself when talking to Moses.17 The Jews immediately recognized that Jesus was claiming to be God and attempted to stone Him.

Jesus also claimed to have existed "before the world began":

"And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." (John 17:5)

This statement is an obvious claim to deity. Not only did Jesus claim to exist before the creation of the universe, but He claimed to share the glory of God! Jesus also claimed that He had "all authority... in heaven and on earth" and that everything of God was His.18

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." (Matthew 28:18)

Jesus claimed to be the supreme judge who will exercise all judgment.19 However, there are at least 50 verses in the Bible that claim that Jehovah God will judge the earth (see Who Will Judge Mankind?). Jesus claimed to be the one to separate the "sheep from the goats".20 However, the book of Ezekiel says that Jehovah God will do this.21 Jesus claimed to be the resurrection and the life.22 He said that He would personally raise everyone from the dead.23 These are all attributes of God.

Jesus claimed to be Lord of the Sabbath,24 although the Bible indicates that God held such title.25

Jesus claimed the ability to forgive sins.26 Even the Jews recognized that this was a function of God alone.27

Jesus claimed that He would return in the clouds in glory.28 Isaiah makes the same claim for Jehovah God.29 Obviously, Jesus was making a claim to deity.

Jesus claimed to be the light of the world who provides salvation.30 In the Psalms, David tells us that Jehovah God is our light and salvation.31 Jesus also claimed to be the way to life32 - an assertion that is made for God.33 Jesus said that He was the one who searched the hearts and minds,34 gives eternal life,35 and rewards those who follow Him.36 All of these characteristics are found only in God.37, 38, 39

Jesus said He was the good shepherd,40 who searches for His sheep.41 These are claims made of God in the Old Testament.42, 43 Jesus claimed to be the fountain of living water.44 This is a clear reference to what God said of Himself as recorded by the prophet Jeremiah.45 Jesus said He would give rest to those who found Him.46 The same claim is made of God in the book of Exodus.47

Jesus claimed to send the Holy Spirit (Helper).48 The same claim is made for God.49 Jesus said that He raised Himself from the dead,50 even though the Bible says that God did it.51 Among Jesus' parting words, He told His disciples to baptize new followers in "the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20)

It should be noted that the other two names (Father and Holy Spirit) are names for God. In fact, the text says specifically that they should be baptized in the name (singular), not names, of the three persons mentioned. In order to be one name, they must all represent God. Jesus claimed that His disciples would be unable to do anything of significance without His power. Such a statement is a clear claim of divine power.

"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

More information about how Jesus embodied the characteristics of God can be found at The Son, Jesus Christ, is God.

Jesus accepted the title of God

Not only did Jesus claim the attributes of God, but He even accepted the title "God." Thomas, the ever-skeptical disciple, was unconvinced that Jesus had risen from the dead and wanted to see direct proof. However, when the Lord Jesus appeared to him, his only reaction was "My Lord and my God!"

Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed." (John 20:28-29)

What was Jesus' reaction to the title of God? Did Jesus rebuke him for calling Him "God"? No! In fact, Jesus praised Thomas for his belief. And the belief that Thomas exhibited was that Jesus was Lord and God. If Jesus were not God, accepting such a statement for truth would be a grievous sin. Either Jesus is God or He would have to be a sinner!

Jesus claimed to be God

Some skeptics say that Jesus and God were "one in purpose." However, this is a rather weak claim. Every disciple of Jesus Christ has the goal of being "one in purpose" with God the Father. Even so, Jesus never used the word "purpose" in His claims of oneness with God.

"I and the Father are one." The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, "I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?" The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God." (John 10:30-33)

Obviously, the Jews did not think that this claim of being one with the Father referred to purpose. They knew that He was claiming equality with God, which is why they tried to stone Him. In addition, Jesus said outright that He was Lord52 and claimed to be the first and the last,53 an obvious trait reserved for God alone.54

Jesus accepted worship reserved for God alone

Some of the most significant statements Jesus made regarding His deity actually involve an argument from silence - what Jesus did not say. In no less than 12 instances, Jesus was worshipped by various people - the wise men,55 the disciples,56 a leper,57 a synagogue official,58 a woman of Canaan,59 Mother of Zebedee's children,60 a blind man,61 angels,62 and everybody in heaven.63 The Bible clearly indicates that God alone is to be worshipped.64 Even Jesus proclaimed this to Satan, when he tempted Him and demanded that He worship him.65 Some skeptics claim that the people who worshipped Jesus did so improperly. There are a number of examples where people attempted to worship the disciples66 or angels67 and were warned not to do so by the parties being worshipped, since the Bible clearly indicates that angels are not to be worshipped.68 The problem arises that Jesus never told anyone to stop worshipping Him. If Jesus were not God, to say nothing in the face of worship would be a huge sin. So, if Jesus is not God, then He sinned in allowing others to worship Him. If He sinned, then Jesus could not even be the Savior, since the Savior must be without spot or blemish.

Non-biblical sources

Besides the writings of the Bible, the writings of the early Christian leaders clearly state that Jesus was regarded as being God by the second century. In the earliest extra-canonical Christian book, the Didache, which scholars agree was written no later than the late 100s, the word "Lord" (Greek Kyrios) was used by the Greeks to designate divinity. In addition, Justin Martyr, a second-century church father, baptized new believers in the name of the triune God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - acknowledging the equality of the three distinct persons of the Trinity.

Among secular sources, the letter from Pliny the Younger, governor of Pontus/Bithynia from 111-113 A.D. to Emperor Trajan stand out. In this letter, Pliny talks about the early Christian church, their worship of Christ, and how he persecuted, tortured, and murdered them:

"They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so."69

This example shows quite clearly that even the Romans knew that Jesus was being worshipped and wanted to "check and cure" "the contagion of this superstition" that had "spread not only to the cities but also to the villages and farms."70

Another source indicating that Jesus was worshipped as God before the fourth century was discovered in Megiddo, Israel. A third century Christian church was found with a tile floor inlaid with an inscription that was a tribute to Jesus, "Akeptous, the God-loving, offered this table for (the) god Jesus Christ, as a remembrance." So, it is obvious that early Christians considered Jesus to be God (see Early (3rd Century A.D.) Christian Church at Megiddo, Israel for more information). More information about the secular evidence for the divinity of Jesus can be found at Jesus Christ as God and the Trinity Was Not Invented Until the Fourth Century?

Jesus is God

So, we can see that Jesus and others made numerous claims that He was God in human flesh. However, making the claim in itself does not automatically make a person God. Many crazy people have claimed to have been God. Let's examine the evidence that, in fact, Jesus is God.

Teachings of Jesus

I did not read the Bible at all until I was 32 years old. If you grew up in the church or were exposed to the Bible when young, it probably seems rather mundane and ordinary. However, as one who never read the gospels at all, I was struck by the amazing words of Jesus in the gospels. The religious hypocrites of Jesus' time were constantly trying to trap him with "impossible" to answer questions. However, His words were always strikingly effective at shutting their mouths and exposing their hypocrisy. In fact, the words of Jesus were instrumental in convincing me that Jesus was God at the age of 33. For more information, please see Nothing Unique About the Teachings of Jesus Christ?

Miracles of Jesus

Jesus performed numerous miracles during His earthly ministry. These are summarized in the table below, although the apostle John told us in his gospel that Jesus did many more miracles that were never recorded in written form (John 21:25).71

Miracles of Jesus
Miracle Scriptures
Water to wine John 2:1-11
Healing official's son John 4:46-54
Possessed man healed Mark 1:21-27, Luke 4:33-37
Peter's mother-in-law healed Matthew 8:14-15, Mark 1:29-31, Luke 4:38-39
Many healed at Capernaum Matthew 8:16-17, Mark 1:32-39, Luke 4:40-41
Many in Galilee Matthew 4:23-25
Catch of fish Luke 5:1-11
Leper healed Matthew 8:1-4, Mark 1:40-45, Luke 5:12-16
Paralytic healed Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:1-12, Luke 5:17-26
Lame man healed John 5:1-17
Withered hand healed Matthew 12:9-14, Mark 3:1-6, Luke 6:6-11
Many in Galilee Matthew 12:15-21, Mark 3:7-12, Luke 6:17-19
Centurion's servant Matthew 8:5-14, Luke 7:1-10
Widow's son raised Luke 7:11-17
Sea made calm Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, Luke  8:22-25
Demoniac healed Matthew 8:28-34, Mark 5:1-20, Luke 8:26-39
Jairus daughter raised Matthew 9:18-26, Mark 5:22-43, Luke 8:41-56
Woman with hemorrhage Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:24-34, Luke 8:49-56
2 blind men healed Matthew 9:27-31
Mute man healed Matthew 9:32-34
5000 fed Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17
Walks on water  Matthew 14:22-33, Mark  6:45-52, John 6:15-21
Gennesaret sick healed Matthew 14:34-36, Mark 6:53-56
Many healed in Galilee Matthew 9:35
Some healed in Nazareth Mark 6:1-6
Gentile's daughter healed Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 7:24-30
Many at Sea of Galilee healed Matthew15:29-31, Mark 7:31-37
4000 fed Matthew 15:32-39, Mark 8:1-10
Blind man healed Matthew 16:5-12, Mark 8:14-26
Deaf/blind man healed Mark 7:31-37
Transfiguration of Jesus Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13, Luke 9:28-36
Epileptic boy healed Matthew 17:14-21, Mark 9:14-29, Luke 9:37-42
Coin in fish Matthew 17:24-27
Blind man healed John 9:1-41
Deaf/blind man healed Matthew 12:22-24, Luke 11:14-15
Bethsaida blind man healed Mark 8:22-26
Crippled woman healed Luke 13:10-17
Man with dropsy healed Luke 14:1-16
Lazarus raised John 11:1-45
Ten Lepers healed Luke 17:11-19
Crowds in Judea healed Matthew 19:1-2
Blind Bartimaeus healed Matthew 20:29-34, Mark 10:46-52, Luke 18:35-43
Blind/lame in Jerusalem healed Matthew 21:14
Fig tree withered Matthew 21:18-22, Mark 11:12-24
Ear of Malchus healed Luke 22:47-53, John 18:10-11
Resurrection of Jesus Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-20, Luke 24:1-53, John 20:1-31
Catch of fish John 21:1-14

The miracles of Jesus were performed to validate His ministry and identity. Only God (or a person empowered by God) can perform miracles. Many skeptics deny that Jesus did any of the miracles described in the Bible and that they were just made-up myths. The problem with this idea is that the hostile witnesses of the time (the Jewish religious leadership) did not deny the miracles of Jesus, but attributed them to the work of Satan.72 In his rebuttal to Jewish Celsus, Origen reported Celsus as saying Jesus had obtained His miraculous gifts while in Egypt (obviously by the power of sorcery).73 If the miracles of Jesus had been just made-up, the Jews would have denied they ever happened, rather than attribute them to the work of the devil. It was, in fact, the miracles of Jesus that convinced a large number of people that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah.

Resurrection of Jesus

The best evidence that Jesus is God comes from His resurrection. Generally, people who die tend to stay dead. The Bible says that Jesus was captured by temple guards and brought before the Sanhedrin (the religious leaders). He was eventually handed over to Pontius Pilate, who agreed to have Jesus crucified. Jesus was flogged and crucified until the Roman executioners were sure He was dead. The scientific evidence that Jesus was dead by the end of His crucifixion is so strong that a peer-reviewed scientific paper was written to examine this evidence.74 After His death, the body of Jesus was placed into the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea and wrapped according to Jewish burial practices. Because His death had occurred just hours before the Sabbath (on which Jews were not allowed to do any work), some of His women followers went back to the tomb on Sunday morning to finish the burial process. Instead of finding the body of Jesus, they met angels, who told them that Jesus had risen from the dead. When these facts were reported back to the disciples, they did not believe the women, but went to check themselves, also finding the tomb empty. Later, the resurrected Jesus appeared to the disciples both individually and collectively, and eventually to 500 of His followers. After the His resurrection, Jesus told the disciples to proclaim the gospel (good news) to the entire world. They succeeded beyond their wildest expectations, based upon telling people that Jesus had risen from the dead. If Jesus had not risen, the Jewish leadership could have produced the body and ended the spread of the new sect. We will now examine the non-supernatural explanations that have been offered to try to explain the resurrection.

Jesus didn't die

The "swoon" theory says that Jesus didn't die, but just fainted. However, the medical evidence is quite clear that Jesus could not have survived the crucifixion. There are no accounts of people surviving crucifixion other than one individual of three who were removed from their crosses before they had died. However, he was cared for by a physician, while two of his compatriots died. There is no evidence that Jesus was taken down from the cross before He had died. A complete description of why this theory is false can be found at Jesus Didn't Really Die on the Cross?

The disciples made up the story

Numerous pieces of evidence suggest that the disciples did not make up the story of the resurrection. First, opponents of Christianity (the Jewish leadership and Romans) could have produced the body to show that the story was made-up. Second, the story of Jesus' death was something that would not be easy to accept by Jewish people, since the scripture says, "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree" (Galatians 3:13, Deuteronomy 21:22-23). In addition, according to the biblical account, the women discovered the empty tomb. At that time, the testimony of women had no legal standing. Therefore, if the disciples had made up the story, they would have had the tomb discovered by the themselves, instead of the women. Ultimately, if the disciples had made up the story of Jesus' resurrection, they would not have been willing to die for a lie. All were martyred for their belief in Jesus as God except John, who was exiled to the island of Patmos. Despite being persecuted, tortured, and killed for their faith, the disciples never recanted the resurrection account nor admitted it was fabricated. Likewise, nobody has ever suggested a valid motive for the disciples fabricating a story about the resurrection. What would they have gained from such a story? None of them ever became rich, but instead were constantly getting in trouble with the authorities for their preaching.

The disciples stole the body

To get around the problem of the empty tomb, the Jewish leaders made up the story that the disciples had stolen the body of Jesus. The leaders had alerted Pontius Pilate that Jesus had promised to rise from the dead the third day, so he ordered guards be placed at the burial site. When an angel came to the tomb, the guards were terrified, but Jesus had already risen and was not there. The guards reported these events to the chief priests, who bribed them with money and told them to circulate the story that the disciples had stolen the body (Matthew 28:12-15).75 The Toldot Yeshu, a derogatory Jewish parody of the life of Jesus, admitted "that he was not in his grave," but went along with the story that the body had been removed and buried elsewhere.76 Justin Martyr, a second century Christian, reported in his Dialog with Trypho, "Jesus, a GalilŠan deceiver, whom we crucified, but his disciples stole him by night from the tomb, where he was laid when unfastened from the cross."77 Tertullian, another second century Christian, reported that the Jews had said, "This is He whom His disciples secretly stole away, that it might be said He had risen again, or the gardener abstracted, that his lettuces might come to no harm from the crowds of visitants!"78 This seems to be the only explanation offered in the first and second centuries for the empty tomb.

The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical ApproachThe main problem with the stolen body story were the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. He appeared to the 11 disciples and over 500 of His other followers (1 Corinthians 15:6). Even Paul, writing 20-30 years later, reported that most of these eye witnesses were still alive and could be asked to verify the appearances of Jesus following His death.79 Because there were so many eyewitnesses of the risen Jesus, the Jewish story that the disciples had stolen the body held no sway, and the number of new believers grew dramatically within the first few years.

Since all the naturalistic explanations for the empty tomb do not hold water, we must conclude that that supernatural explanation fits the available data the best. Yes, Jesus rose from the dead!

Conclusion Top of page

The Old Testament prophecies and their fulfillment in the person of Jesus of Nazareth make it clear that Jesus was the promised Messiah of the scriptures. These same scriptures, along with those of the New Testament state quite emphatically that the Messiah, Jesus, was God, who took on human form to both teach us and provide the ultimate sacrifice to erase our sins, so that we could have a personal relationship with Him. The teachings and miracles Jesus performed and His resurrection from the dead testify that Jesus is God. Since Jesus is God, it is imperative that we do what He told us. Jesus told us we were to follow Him80 and that whoever believed in Him would have eternal life (John 3:16).81 Those who reject Jesus after knowing who He is, have rejected the only provision to cleanse us from our sins in order to live with God in heaven. Do not put off a decision to follow Jesus, your God. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Now is the day of salvation!

For He says, "In the time of My favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)


*The "official" title of the article is "Was Jesus God?" The title was not chosen for its theological correctness, but because it is the most common search term entered by people looking for the answer to the question. Obviously if Jesus Christ was God and He rose from the dead then He still is God. Hence, the more theologically-correct title would be "Is Jesus God?"


References Top of page

  1. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Mark 1:1)
    but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:31)
    who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, (Romans 1:4)
    For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us-- by me and Silvanus and Timothy-- was not yes and no, but is yes in Him. (2 Corinthians 1:19)
    "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20)
    until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:13)
    Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. (Hebrews 4:14)
    Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. (1 John 4:15)
    And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:5)
    And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. (1 John 5:20)
  2. He [Jesus] said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 16:15-17)
    Nathanael answered Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel." Jesus answered and said to him, "Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these." (John 1:49-50)
  3. Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, "Truly this was the Son of God!" (Matthew 27:54)
    And when the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!" (Mark 15:39)
  4. And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)
  5. And whenever the unclean spirits beheld Him, they would fall down before Him and cry out, saying, "You are the Son of God!" (Mark 3:11)
    And demons also were coming out of many, crying out and saying, "You are the Son of God!" And rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ. (Luke 4:41)
  6. "And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God." (John 1:34)
  7. She [Martha] said to Him, "Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world." (John 11:27)
  8. and immediately he [Saul] began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, "He is the Son of God." (Acts 9:20)
  9. And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." (Acts 8:37)
  10. "HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET HIM DELIVER Him now, IF HE TAKES PLEASURE IN HIM; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.'" (Matthew 27:43)
    The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God." (John 19:7)
  11. ...And the high priest said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God." Jesus said to him, "You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN." (Matthew 26:63-64)
    And they all said, "Are You the Son of God, then?" And He said to them, "Yes, I am." (Luke 22:70)
    "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:18)
    "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live. (John 5:25)
    do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'? (John 10:36)
    But when Jesus heard it, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified by it." (John 11:4)
    "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this: (Revelation 2:18)
  12. "I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, 'Thou art My Son, Today I have begotten Thee. (Psalm 2:7)
  13. Do homage to the Son, lest He become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! (Psalm 2:12)
  14. 'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Thy possession. 'Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, Thou shalt shatter them like earthenware.'" (Psalm 2:8-9)
  15. And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 16:16-17)
    But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God." Jesus said to him, "You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN." (Matthew 26:63-64)
    But He kept silent, and made no answer. Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, "Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" And Jesus said, "I am; and you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN." (Mark 14:61-62)
    The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us." Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he." (John 4:25-26)
    Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:3)
  16. that the LORD sent a prophet to the sons of Israel, and he said to them, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'It was I who brought you up from Egypt, and brought you out from the house of slavery. (Judges 6:8)
    Although the LORD sent prophets to the people to bring them back to him, and though they testified against them, they would not listen. (2 Chronicles 24:19)
    The anger of the LORD burned against Amaziah, and he sent a prophet to him, who said, "Why do you consult this people's gods, which could not save their own people from your hand?" (2 Chronicles 25:15)
    "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5)
    "Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have sent you all My servants the prophets, daily rising early and sending them. (Jeremiah 7:25)
    And though the LORD has sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention. (Jeremiah 25:4)
    and if you do not listen to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I have sent to you again and again (though you have not listened), (Jeremiah 26:5)
    But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the LORD only if his prediction comes true." (Jeremiah 28:9)
    For they have not listened to my words," declares the LORD, "words that I sent to them again and again by my servants the prophets. And you exiles have not listened either," declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 29:19)
    Again and again I sent all my servants the prophets to you. They said, "Each of you must turn from your wicked ways and reform your actions; do not follow other gods to serve them. Then you will live in the land I have given to you and your fathers." But you have not paid attention or listened to me. (Jeremiah 35:15)
    Again and again I sent my servants the prophets, who said, 'Do not do this detestable thing that I hate!' (Jeremiah 44:4)
    nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets. (Daniel 9:10)
    Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the LORD their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the LORD their God had sent him. And the people feared the LORD. (Haggai 1:12)
    They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry. (Zechariah 7:12)
    "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. (Malachi 4:5)
  17. God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" (Exodus 3:14)
  18. and all things that are Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. (John 17:10)
  19. "For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son" (John 5:22)
  20. "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. "And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. (Matthew 25:31-33)
  21. "And as for you, My flock, thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold, I will judge between one sheep and another, between the rams and the male goats. (Ezekiel 34:17)
  22. Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25-26)
  23. "For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. (John 5:21)
    "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:39-40)
    "No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:44)
    "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:54)
  24. "For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." (Matthew 12:8)
    "Consequently, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." (Mark 2:28)
    And He was saying to them, "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." (Luke 6:5)
  25. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. (Genesis 2:3)
  26. "But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"-- then He said to the paralytic-- "Rise, take up your bed, and go home." (Matthew 9:6)
    And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven." (Mark 2:5)
  27. "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?" (Mark 2:7)
  28. and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:30)
    BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen. (Revelation 1:7)
  29. Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken." (Isaiah 40:5)
  30. Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12)
  31. (A Psalm of David.) The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? (Psalm 27:1)
  32. Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me. (John 14:6)
  33. Thou wilt make known to me the path of life; In Thy presence is fullness of joy; In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever. (Psalm 16:11)
  34. ...all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. (Revelation 2:23)
  35. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. (John 10:27-28)
  36. "For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and WILL THEN RECOMPENSE EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS." (Matthew 16:27)
  37. "I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds. (Jeremiah 17:10)
  38. The fear of the LORD leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil. (Proverbs 19:23)
  39. Behold, the Lord GOD will come with might, With His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him, And His recompense before Him. (Isaiah 40:10)
  40. "I am the good shepherd; and I know My own, and My own know Me, (John 10:14)
  41. But He answered and said, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matthew 15:24)
  42. And he blessed Joseph, and said, "The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, (Genesis 48:15)
  43. For thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. (Ezekiel 34:11)
  44. Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water..." Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life." (John 4:10, 13-14)
  45. O LORD, the hope of Israel, All who forsake Thee will be put to shame. Those who turn away on earth will be written down, Because they have forsaken the fountain of living water, even the LORD. (Jeremiah 17:13)
  46. "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. (Matthew 11:28-29)
  47. And He said, "My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest." (Exodus 33:14)
  48. "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you." (John 16:7)
  49. "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;" (John 14:16)
  50. Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. (John 2:19)
    "For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. "No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father." (John 10:17-18)
  51. "This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. (Acts 2:32)
    let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead-- by this name this man stands here before you in good health. (Acts 4:10)
  52. "You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am." (John 13:13)
  53. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as a dead man. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, (Revelation 1:17)
  54. "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." (Revelation 1:8)
    "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end... I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star." (Revelation 22:13, 16)
  55. And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11)
  56. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, "You are certainly God's Son!" (Matthew 14:33)
    And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. (Matthew 28:9)
    And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. (Matthew 28:17)
    While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. (Luke 24:51-52)
  57. And behold, a leper came to Him, and bowed down to Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean." (Matthew 8:2)
  58. While He was saying these things to them, behold, there came a synagogue official, and bowed down before Him, saying, "My daughter has just died; but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live." (Matthew 9:18)
  59. And behold, a Canaanite woman came out from that region... But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, "Lord, help me!" (Matthew 15:22, 25)
  60. Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Him with her sons, bowing down, and making a request of Him. (Matthew 20:20)
  61. And he said, "Lord, I believe." And he worshiped Him. (John 9:38)
  62. And when He again brings the first-born into the world, He says, "AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM." (Hebrews 1:6)
  63. And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." And the four living creatures kept saying, "Amen." And the elders fell down and worshiped. (Revelation 5:13-14)
  64. -for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God-- (Exodus 34:14)
    "You shall fear only the LORD your God; and you shall worship Him, and swear by His name. (Deuteronomy 6:13)
  65. Then Jesus said to him, "Be gone, Satan! For it is written, 'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'" (Matthew 4:10)
    And Jesus answered and said to him, "It is written, 'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'" (Luke 4:8)
  66. And when it came about that Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter raised him up, saying, "Stand up; I too am just a man." (Acts 10:25-26)
  67. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to me, "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19:10)
    And I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. And he said to me, "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book; worship God." (Revelation 22:8-9)
  68. Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, (Colossians 2:18))
  69. Pliny the Younger. Letters 10.96-97.
  70. "For the contagion of this superstition has spread not only to the cities but also to the villages and farms. But it seems possible to check and cure it." Pliny and Trajan on the Christians (Letters 10.96-97).
  71. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written. (John 21:25)
  72. Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. All the people were astonished and said, "Could this be the Son of David?" But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons." (Matthew 12:22-24)
    And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons." (Mark 3:22)
    Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. But some of them said, "By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons." (Luke 11:14-15)
    Flavius Josephus The Antiquities of the Jews 18:63
    Talmud P. Ta'an. 65b
    The Sanhedrin 3a
  73. "...having hired himself out as a servant in Egypt on account of his poverty, and having there acquired some miraculous powers, on which the Egyptians greatly pride themselves, returned to his own country, highly elated on account of them, and by means of these proclaimed himself a God." Origen, Contra Celsum 1.28.
  74. See Jesus Didn't Really Die on the Cross?
    Edwards, W.D., W.J. Gabel, and F.E. Hosmer. 1986. On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ. JAMA 255:1455-1463.
    Copyright ©, 1986, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
  75. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.' If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day. (Matthew 28:12-15)
  76. Toldot Yeshu.
  77. Justin Martyr Dialog with Trypho, Chapter CVIII. ~150 A.D.
  78. Tertullian. De Spectaculis, Chapter 30.
  79. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:6)
  80. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. (Matthew 4:19-22)
    But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead." (Matthew 8:22)
    As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. (Matthew 9:9)
    "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:37-38)
    Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25)
    Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Matthew 19:21)
    Peter answered him, "We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?" 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. (Matthew 19:27-28)
    As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." (Mark 1:16-17)
    AAs he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. (Mark 2:14)
    Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. (Mark 8:34-35)
    Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Mark 10:21)
    and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men." So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. (Luke 5:10-11)
    After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. (Luke 5:27-28)
    Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24)
    He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family." Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:59-62)
    "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26-27)
    When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Luke 18:22)
    The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!" When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. (John 1:35-37)
    The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me." (John 1:43)
    When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)
  81. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

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