Did the Apostles Believe Jesus is God?
Jesus of Nazareth spent his first thirty years in relative obscurity, working as an unheralded carpenter in a small village of Galilee. But in the following three years he uttered words that astounded all who heard them, words that ultimately changed our world. He also performed feats no other person has, calming storms, healing diseases, restoring sight, and even raising the dead.
But the greatest difference between Jesus Christ and all other religious leaders is that, according to Christians, he claimed to be God (See, “Did Jesus Claim to be God?“) . If this claim of his is false, the message of the gospel loses all credibility. That message is that God loved us so much that He became a man to die for our sins, offering us eternal life with Himself. Thus, if Jesus is not God, then we have been lied to.
Some religions teach that Jesus was a created being. And books, like The Da Vinci Code, have become best-sellers by saying neither Jesus nor his apostles taught that he is God (See “Mona Lisa’s Smirk“).
These attacks on the divinity of Christ raise the question of what happened nearly 2000 years ago that caused Christianity to claim that its founder, Jesus Christ, is actually God. In “Did Jesus Claim to be God” we see that the evidence from the New Testament points strongly to the fact that Jesus did claim to be God. But were the eyewitnesses, who heard Jesus’ words and saw his miraculous deeds, convinced that he is equal in every way with his Father? Or did they think that Jesus was merely a higher created being or a great prophet like Moses?
To sort out truth from fiction, we need to go back to the words of the apostles who were there when Jesus walked the earth, and wrote their testimonies of what they saw and heard.