Where Did Jesus Say, “I Am God, Worship Me”? #2
I was about to post on this subject when David beat me to it. However, I was not planning such a comprehensive post as the one David has provided for us. I just wanted to consider one section – the testimony of Jesus at his trial.
Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” “He is worthy of death,” they answered. (Matthew 26:62-66, NIV)
In a recent debate I was told that Jesus never said, “I am God worship me”. At that time I did not answer with the above verses but now I think I should have. The reason is that in these verses Jesus proclaims his divinity and that all people will worship him.
First Jesus says he is the Christ/Messiah, the Son of God. The prophets before Jesus make it very clear that this Son sits at God’s right hand (Psalm 110:1) and how you are to treat this Son.
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (Psalm 2:12, NIV)
The Jewish leaders understand what Jesus has said and see it as blasphemy.
Then Jesus says he is “the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” This language is again from the earlier prophets, the prophet Daniel, and is referring to the divine man who will receive the worship of God.
In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14, NIV)
So what is Jesus saying at his trial? What is it that ultimately gets him crucified? It is his claim to be Son of Psalm 2 and 110 who is at the right hand of God and is to be worshipped; it is to be the divine man of Daniel 7 who is to be worshipped. The Jewish leaders again understand exactly what he is saying and call it blasphemy. So Jesus actually does say, “I am God worship me”; he just uses the language of the prophets to say it.
If we want to understand Jesus we must learn his language. I am not saying we must learn Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek, though that is an excellent thing to do. Instead I am saying that we must know the titles, the concepts and expectations of the prophets who were before Jesus, because it is with these words that Jesus speaks and invites us to understand him.
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