13: The Remarkable Claims of Christ
by William Welty
ho do you say
that I am?” This question which Jesus asked His disciples in Mark 8:29
still bears relevance to us today, even though nearly twenty centuries
have come and gone since Peter’s ringing reply “You are the Christ, the
Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16) became the Rock upon which the
Church would be built. Let’s examine what the New Testament says about
Yeshua HaMeshiach ben David, Whom we know as Jesus the Christ, the son
Claim #1: Jesus claimed that He possessed both the
authority and the prerogative to forgive sins, rights which in the
theological understanding of Israel belonged solely to God and never to
Matthew’s version of the incident
highlights the humanity of Jesus: the crowd is said to have “praised
God, who had given such authority to men” (Matthew 9:8). Mark’s version
of this incident clearly indicates why the Jewish leaders thought Jesus
was committing blasphemy—only God can forgive sins (Mark 2:7).
All at once some people brought him a paralyzed man lying on a
stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man,
“Be courageous, son! Your sins are forgiven.”
Then some of the scribes said to themselves, “This fellow is
But Jesus knew their thoughts and said, “Why do you have such evil
thoughts in your hearts? For which is easier: to say ‘Your sins are
forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that
the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”
Then he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, pick up your stretcher,
and go home!”
So the man got up and went home. When the crowds saw this, they became
frightened and glorified God for giving such authority to humans.
Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven!”
Those who were at the table with them began to say among themselves,
“Who is this man who even forgives sins?”
Mark 2: 3-12
Jesus was speaking the word to them when some people came and brought
him a paralyzed man being carried by four men. Since they couldn’t
bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the
roof over the place where he was. They dug through it and let down the
cot on which the paralyzed man was lying.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your
sins are forgiven.”
Now some scribes were sitting there, arguing among themselves, “Why
does this man talk this way? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins
but God alone?”
At once, Jesus knew in his spirit what they were saying to themselves.
He said to them, “Why are you arguing about such things among
yourselves? Which is easier: to say to the paralyzed man, ‘Your sins
are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, pick up your cot, and walk’? But I
want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive
Then he said to the paralyzed man, “I say to you, get up, pick up your
cot, and go home!” So the man got up, immediately picked up his cot,
and went out before all of them.
As a result, all of the people were amazed and began to glorify God,
saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
Claim #2: Jesus
interpreted and applied Old Testament quotations to Himself in which the
original contexts of the quotation refer to, and can rightly be applied
only to, God Himself.
While he was having dinner at Matthew’s home, many tax collectors and
sinners arrived and began eating with Jesus and his disciples. The
Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat
with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus heard that, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a physician, but
sick people do. Go and learn what this means: ‘I want mercy and not
sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call righteous people, but sinners.”
While the Pharisees were still gathered, Jesus asked them, “What do you
think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”
told him, “David’s.”
He asked them, “Then how can David by the Spirit call him ‘Lord’ when he
‘The Lord said to my
my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet”‘?
David calls him ‘Lord’, how can he be his son?”
could answer him at all, and from that day on no one dared to ask him
“Really, what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and even
more than a prophet! This is the man about whom it is written,
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your
way before you.’”
Claim #3: Jesus made statements
concerning Himself that require Him to possess omniscience, omnipresence,
and omnipotence in order for them to be true. But these are attributes
that belong only to God.
“Furthermore, truly I tell you that if two of you agree on earth about
anything you request, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For
where two or three have come together in my name, I am there among them.”
Then Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth
has been given to me. Therefore, as you go, disciple all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And remember,
I am with you each and every day until the end of the age.”
“All things have been entrusted to me by my Father. No one knows who the
Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the
Son and the person to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
“But before all these things take place, people will arrest you and
persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you
will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. It will
give you an opportunity to testify. So purpose in your hearts not to
prepare your defense ahead of time, for I will give you such speech and
wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute it.”
Claim #4: Jesus demanded loyalties of
love and devotion that in the Jewish theological understanding rightly may
be given only to God, since to give them to created beings would violate
the first and second commandments.
“Therefore, everyone who acknowledges me before people I, too, will
acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever denies me before
people I, too, will deny before my Father in heaven.”
“The one who loves his father or mother more than me isn’t worthy of me,
and the one who loves a son or daughter more than me isn’t worthy of me.
The one who doesn’t take up his cross and follow me isn’t worthy of me.”
Jesus made promises to His followers concerning Himself that He
could fulfill only if He were God.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.”
“All things have been entrusted to me by my Father. No one fully knows the
Son except the Father, and no one fully knows the Father except the Son
and the person to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Claim #6: Jesus claimed to hold authority
to judge the world at the last day.
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, when the Son of Man sits on his
glorious throne in the renewed creation, you who have followed me will
also sit on twelve thrones, governing the twelve tribes of Israel. In
fact, everyone who has left his homes, brothers, sisters, father, mother,
children, or fields because of my name will receive a hundred times as
much and will inherit eternal life.”
Claim #7: Jesus claimed to own and
command the angels of Heaven.
“The Son of Man is going to come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay everyone according to what he has done.”
Claim #8: Jesus claimed to hold authority
to cast unbelievers into eternal hell and that one day in the future He
will do so.
“Just as weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so it will be at end of
the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather from
his kingdom everything that causes others to sin and those who practice
lawlessness and they will throw them into a blazing furnace. In that place
there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine
like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Let the person who has ears
Claim #9: Jesus claimed that one day He
would reward every person who has ever lived for every deed they perform
during their lifetimes.
“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the
tribes of the earth will mourn when they see ‘the Son of Man coming on the
clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory. He will send out his angels
with a loud trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four
winds, from one end of heaven to another.
learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches become tender and it
produces leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you
see all these things, you will know that he is near, right at the door.
Truly I tell you, this generation will not disappear until these things
happen. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never
one knows when that day or hour will come—not the angels in heaven, nor
the Son, but only the Father. For just as it was in the days of Noah, so
it will be when the Son of Man comes. In those days before the flood,
people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage right up
to the day when Noah went into the ark. They were unaware of what was
happening until the flood came and swept all of them away. That’s how it
will be when the Son of Man comes. At that time two people will be in the
field. One will be taken, and the other will be left behind. Two women
will be grinding grain at the mill. One will be taken, and the other will
be left behind.
keep on watching, because you don’t know on what day your Lord is coming.
But be sure of this: if the owner of the house had known at what watch of
the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not allowed
his house to be broken into. So you, too, must be ready, because at an
hour you are not expecting him the Son of Man will come.
“Who, then, is the faithful and wise servant whom his master has put in
charge of his household to give the others their food at the right time?
How blessed is that servant whom his master finds doing this when he
“If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful
generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes with the
holy angels in his Father’s glory.”
Claim #10: Jesus claimed to have
authority to send prophets to speak in His name, a prerogative that in the
theological understanding of Israel belonged only to God.
“That is why I am sending you prophets, wise men, and scribes. Some of
them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will whip in your
synagogues and persecute from town to town. As a result, you will be held
accountable for all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of
the righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom
you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly I tell you, all
these things will happen to this generation.”
Claim #11: Jesus claimed to be “Lord” of
His followers, a title that in the theological understanding of Israel
belonged only to God.
“So keep on watching, because you don’t know on what day your Lord is
Claim #12: Jesus called Himself “Lord”, a
title that in the theological understanding of Israel belonged only to
“So keep on watching, because you don’t know on what day your Lord is
Claim #13: Jesus claimed that He was the
Messiah and that He would sit at the right hand of God.
The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming” (who is called
Christ). “When he comes, he will tell us everything.”
Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”
But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I command you by
the living God to tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God!”
Jesus said to him, “You have said so. Nevertheless I tell you, from now on
‘you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power’ and
‘coming on the clouds of heaven.’”
Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do
we still need witnesses? Look, you yourselves have just heard the
blasphemy! What is your verdict?”
They replied, “He deserves to die!”
But he kept silent
and didn’t answer at all. The high priest asked him again, “Are you the
Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”
said, “I am. And ‘you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of
the Power’ and ‘coming with the clouds of heaven.’”
Then the high priest
tore his clothes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard
his blasphemy! What is your verdict?” All of them condemned him as
As soon as day came, the elders of the people, the high priests, and the
scribes assembled and brought him before their Council.
They said, “If you
are the Christ, tell us.”
But he said to them,
“If I tell you, you won’t believe me, and if I ask you a question, you
won’t answer me. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the
right hand of the mighty God.”
Then they all asked,
“Are you, then, the Son of God?”
He answered them,
“You say that I am.”
said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it ourselves from
his own mouth!”
Then Jesussaid to them, “O how foolish you are and how slow of heart
to believe everything the prophets said! The Christ had to suffer these
things and then enter his glory, didn’t he?” Then, beginning with Moses
and all the Prophets, he explained to them all the passages of Scripture
Claim #14: Jesus firmly and instantly
rejected any assessment of His character that would call Him merely a good
teacher or “Lord” after the manner of merely polite address, insisting
that if He is to be called “good” or “Lord”, then He should also be called
God and obeyed as God.
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to him, knelt down in
front of him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit
to him, “Why do you call me good? Nobody is good except for one—God.”
“Why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord,’ but don’t do what I tell you?”
Claim #15: Jesus claimed that He
personally would resurrect Himself from the dead.
Then the Jews said to him, “What sign can you show us as authority for
doing these things?”
Jesus answered them,
“Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will rebuild it.”
said, “This sanctuary has been under construction for forty-six years, and
you’re going to rebuild it in three days?” But the sanctuary he was
speaking about was his own body. After he had been raised from the dead,
his disciples remembered that he had said this. So they believed the
Scripture and the statement that Jesus had made.
“This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to
take it back again. No one is taking it from me; I lay it down of my own
free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority
to take it back again. This is a command that I have received from my
Claim #16: Jesus claimed that He came to
earth from a previous existence in Heaven and that He existed before the
creation of the Universe.
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of
the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I
should not lose anything that he has given me, but should raise it to life
on the last day. For this is my Father’s will, that everyone who sees the
Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him to
life on the last day.”
Then the Jews began
grumbling about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from
saying, “This is Jesus, the son of Joseph, isn’t it, whose father and
mother we know? So how can he say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
“I left the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the
world and going back to the Father.”
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am and to
see my glory, which you gave me because you loved me before the creation
of the world.”
Claim #17: Jesus claimed that anyone who
believed in Him would have eternal life.
“No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven,
the Son of Man who is in heaven. Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in
the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who
believes in him may have eternal life.
“For this is
how God loved the world: He gave his unique Son so that everyone who
believes in him might not perish but have eternal life.”
Claim #18: Jesus claimed that He was sent
by God from Heaven as a gift to all mankind in order to keep them from
“For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that
the world might be saved through him.”
Claim #19: Jesus claimed that anyone who
rejected Him is already in a state of having been condemned for not
believing in Him.
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe
has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of
God’s unique Son.”
Claim #20: Jesus claimed that at the last
day He would raise from the dead anyone who believed in Him.
“And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose
anything that he has given me, but should raise it to life on the last
day. For this is my Father’s will, that everyone who sees the Son and
believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him to life on
the last day.”
Claim #21: Jesus claimed to be the
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The person who
believes in me, even though he dies, will live. Indeed, everyone who lives
and believes in me will never die. Do you believe that?”
Claim #22: Jesus claimed that God was His
Father and that anyone who looked at Him was actually looking at God,
claims which in the theological understanding of Israel meant that He
claimed to be not only equal to God, but actually God Himself.
Nevertheless, He also maintained that God the Father was a separate Person
from Himself, Who also is fully God.
But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I,
too, am working.” So the Jews were trying all the harder to kill him,
because he was not only breaking the Sabbath but was also calling God his
own Father, thus making himself equal to God.
So the Jews surrounded him and said to him, “How long are you going to
keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us so plainly.”
Jesus answered them,
“I have told you, but you do not believe it. The works that I do in my
Father’s name testify on my behalf, but you do not believe because you do
not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they
follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no
one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is
greater than all else, and no one can snatch it from the Father’s hand. I
and the Father are one.”
Again the Jews
picked up stones to stone him to death.
Jesus replied to
them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of them
are you going to stone me?”
answered him, “We are not going to stone you for a good work but for
blasphemy, because you, a mere man, are making yourself God!”
“The person who has seen me has seen the Father. So how can you say, ‘Show
us the Father’?
The Jews answered Pilate, “We have a law, and according to that law he
must die because he made himself out to be the Son of God.”
heard this, he became even more afraid. Returning to his headquarters, he
said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no reply.
Jesus told her, “Don’t hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the
Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father
and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Claim #23: Jesus claimed that He has the
right and authority to grant eternal life to anyone to whom He wished to
“Just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son
gives life to those he chooses. For the Father judges no one, but has
given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son as they honor
the Father. The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father
who sent him.
“Truly, truly I tell
you, the one who hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has
eternal life and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death
to life. Truly, truly I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here,
when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear it
will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he has
granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to
pass judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Don’t be amazed at this,
because the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his
voice and will come out—those who have done what is good to the
resurrection of life, and those who have practiced what is evil to the
resurrection of condemnation.”
Claim #24: Jesus claimed that the
judgment of all men at the last day had been entrusted to Him.
“Truly, truly I tell you, the one who hears my word and believes in the
one who sent me has eternal life and does not come under judgment, but has
passed from death to life. Truly, truly I tell you, the hour is coming,
and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and
those who hear it will live. For just as the Father has life in himself,
so also he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given
him authority to pass judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Don’t be
amazed at this, because the hour is coming when all who are in their
graves will hear his voice and will come out—those who have done what is
good to the resurrection of life, and those who have practiced what is
evil to the resurrection of condemnation.
Claim #25: Jesus claimed that anyone who
failed to honor Him was failing to honor God.
“For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, so
that all may honor the Son as they honor the Father. The one who does not
honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.”
Claim #26: Jesus claimed that one day in
the future He would call everyone who had ever died back to life.
“Truly, truly I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the
dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear it will
Claim #27: Jesus claimed that He
possessed self-existent life, an attribute that in the theological
understanding of Israel belonged only to God.
“For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he has granted the
Son to have life in himself.”
Claim #28: Jesus claimed that He is the I
AM (YaHWeH Elohim) God of the Old Testament, and that those who listened
to Him would know this after His crucifixion.
So Jesus told them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will
know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority. Instead, I
speak only what the Father has taught me.”
Then the Jews said to him, “You are not even fifty years old, yet you have
to them, “Truly, truly I tell you, before there was an Abraham, I am!” At
this, they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and
went out of the temple.
I’m telling you this now, before it happens, so that when it does happen
you may believe that I am he.
Claim #29: Jesus claimed that He would
return again to the earth after going to heaven in order to prepare a
residence for His followers.
“There are many rooms in my Father’s house. If there were not, would I
have told you that I am going away to prepare a place for you? And if I am
going away to prepare a place for you, I will come again and will welcome
you into my presence, so that you may be where I am.”
Claim #30: Jesus claimed that belief in
Him is the exclusive and sole means to become reconciled to God, and that
as a result of that belief in Him, anyone who trusted Him would share His
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to
the Father except through me.”
“Because I live, you will live also.”
Claim #31: Jesus claimed that He has the
ability and willingness to do anything anyone who asked Him would request,
provided that the request is consistent with His character and that it
would honor God the Father.
“I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be
glorified in the Son. If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do
“All that the Father has is mine.”
“Truly, truly I tell you, whatever you ask the Father for in my name, he
will give it to you.”
Claim #32: Jesus claimed that He would be
present continually with His followers forever and that He would live
within His followers, promises that are impossible to fulfill unless He
possesses omnipresence and omniscience, which are attributes of deity.
I will ask the Father to give you another Helper, to be with you always.
He is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, for it neither
sees him nor recognizes him. But you recognize him, for he abides with you
and will be in you. I am not going to forsake you like orphans. I will
come back to you.
Claim #33: When He was worshipped as God
by various individuals, Jesus never refused such worship nor corrected the
worshipper by stating that worship of Him would violate the First or
Then the men in the boat began to worship Jesus, saying, “You certainly
are the Son of God!”
So they quickly left the tomb with fear and great joy and ran to tell his
disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” They went up to
him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him.
Thomas answered him, saying “My Lord and My God!”