Once, there was a rich young ruler who called Jesus “good master.” Jesus responded by saying “Why callest thou me good? there is none is good, except one, that is, God.” ~ See Luke 18:18-25
Did Jesus deny being divine when he said this? If we extract these words from the context and from the whole of the revelation of Christ in the New Testament we might come to such a conclusion. However, Jesus’ words were a response to a rich young ruler whose heart was set on his possessions rather than following Jesus whom God had sent.
Jesus’ question wasn’t a denial of his deity. Instead, Jesus’ question was a challenge to this rich young ruler concerning his motives. Jesus often challenged people with thought provoking questions and throughout the New Testament, Jesus’ true identity was withheld from those whose hearts were not truly seeking after God.
When the rich young ruler boasted that he had kept all the commandments since his youth, Jesus told him that he lacked one thing.
Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. ~ Luke 18:22
Matthew gives us a little more insight, telling us that the rich young ruler made the following claim: “All these things (the commandments) have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?” ~ Matthew 19:20
Jesus’ response to “what do I lack?” was this: “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” ~ Matthew 19:21
The rich young ruler went away sorrowful because he loved his possessions. By challenging this man, Jesus brought out his true motive, which wasn’t to follow Jesus at all costs. Jesus’ true identity as God in the flesh was withheld because the man did not truly have a heart to follow God.
On the contrary, those who sought to know the one true God came to the understanding that Jesus is the Son of God, and God revealed in the flesh.
Jesus said: “no man knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” ~ Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22
We know from scripture that Jesus, was a teacher and a pastor (the good shepherd). He is also called a prophet. Yet this makes him no less divine. He is fully divine and fully perfect in his humanity with no discrepancies.
John the Baptist said, This was he of whom I spoke, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. ~ John 1:30
When Thomas (one of the original 12 apostles) saw the resurrected Christ, he cried out, “My Lord and my God.” ~ John 20:26-28
The author of Hebrews says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) and tells us that God calls Jesus both Lord by God. ~ Hebrews 1:8, 10.
Being deity, Jesus clothed himself with humanity and took the form or position of a servant though he was Lord of all. The King of glory came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. He did not come to be served though he was worthy of this privilege.
Jesus is as much divine as his Father who sent him is divine, for he came from the Father. Yet in his humanity, he is subordinate to the Father and when he walked among men he was completely dependent on the Father setting the example for us.
In his humanity, he is our example of how we ought to serve God, and in his deity he is the revelation of God to us all.
JESUS MADE CLAIMS WHICH TESTIFY OF HIS DEITY:
• Before Abraham was, I AM ~ John 8:58
• I AM the bread of life ~ John 6:35
• I AM the living bread ~ John 6:51
• I AM from above ~ John 8:23
• I AM the light of the world ~ John 8:12
• I AM the door of the sheep ~ John 10:9
• I AM the good shepherd ~ John 10:11
• I AM the Son of God ~ John 10:36
• I AM the resurrection and the Life ~ John 11:25
• I AM the way, the truth, and the life ~ John 14:6
• I AM the true vine ~ John 15:1
• I AM Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” ~ Revelation 21:6
JESUS WAS WORSHIPPED:
• By Kings, when he was a babe ~ Matthew 2:11
• By a leper whom He healed ~ Matthew 8:2
• By Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue ~ Matthew 9:18
• By His disciples after He had walked on the water ~ Matthew 14:33
• By a woman from Canaan, whose daughter Jesus delivered from demonic oppression ~ Matthew 15:25
• By Mary Magdalene and the other Mary after Jesus had risen from the dead ~ Matthew 28:9
• By the man whom Jesus delivered from a legion of demons ~ Mark 5:6
• By His disciples after he ascended into Heaven after His resurrection ~ Luke 24:52
• By the man whom Jesus healed of blindness ~ John 9:38
• By those in Heaven around God’s throne ~ Revelation 5:11-13
Through his Son, Jesus Christ, God has revealed himself to us all.
And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. ~ 1 John 5:20