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Question 302:

Where in the New Testament does Jesus say clearly that he is God and that he should be worshipped?

 

Answer:

To be able to answer this question properly, two points must be taken into account: Firstly, Christianity does not consider the words of Jesus in the same light Sunni Islam considers the words of Mohammed. Christianity believes that God acted in the history of the people of Israel so that his will and his engagement with humankind are clearly apparent. In Jesus Christ he clearly revealed his being as one of mercy and love that does not have to be enforced and that even conquers death. Secondly, it is important to Christianity that the course of history is showing a deeper understanding of the meaning of God’s revelation. The question is therefore which statements in the New Testament the confession of the Triune God - and with this the confession of Jesus as God - that has developed in the course of Christian tradition, can be derived from. The content of the confession that God has revealed himself in Jesus Christ truly, definitively and unsurpassably is that he is the one who as Love and Mercy conquers death. It is therefore important that the earliest texts of the New Testament, which are the very first testimonies of Jesus Christ, declare him as having died for us and having been resurrected by God. Already a few years after his death they had been condensed into a solid creed (1. Corinthians 15:3-5). Through the Crucifixion and Resurrection narratives the first stories of the life of Jesus state that in Jesus God did not only bring a special message to the people, but that in him, all the hopes the people of Israel had were fulfilled. It is God himself who acted for humankind in Jesus and whose actions are the promise of a new world in which violence, hatred and enmity have been conquered. This was also Jesus’s own claim, which is why the gospels repeatedly refer to him as “Lord”, in the way that term is used as a name for God in the Old Testament (e.g. Luke 2:11 and 24:24). If it is God himself who acts through Jesus and tells us what he is like, then Jesus and the Father must be the same - that is the central message of St John’s gospel. It is also said that: “Who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9 cf. John 1:14; 8:19; 12:45).

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