In this post we are going to provide further proofs from the Holy Bible that the Lord Jesus claimed to be the God of Israel who became a flesh and blood human being.
According to the Hebrew Bible, Yahweh is the God who sent the Holy Spirit to inspire prophets and messengers to proclaim his will to mankind:
“For many years You endured them and warned them by Your Spirit in Your prophets, yet they would not listen. Therefore, You gave them into the hand of the people of the lands.” Nehemiah 9:30
“They made their hearts hard like a diamond so as not to hear the instruction and words that the Lord of Hosts sent by His Spirit through the former prophets, and there was great anger from the Lord of Hosts.” Zechariah 7:12
Yahweh also sent warning to the Jews that he would destroy Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple because of their persistent rejection and persecution of his inspired emissaries:
“The LORD God of their fathers sent warnings to them over and over again by His messengers because He had compassion on His people and His dwelling place. But they continued to jest regarding the messengers of God, despising His word and making fun of His prophets until the wrath of the LORD came up against His people, until there was no remedy. So He brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans from Babylon, who killed their young men with the sword at the house of their sanctuary. He did not spare a young man or virgin, old or aged. God gave all of them into his hand. Even all the vessels of the house of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, the king, and his officials, all of this was taken to Babylon. So they burned down the house of God, tore down the wall of Jerusalem, burned down all the palaces with fire, and destroyed all the precious items. Then he carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who survived the sword, and they were slaves to him and his sons until the kingdom of Persia ruled, to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate, she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.” 2 Chronicles 36:15-21
“And now, because you have done all these works, says the LORD, and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you, but you did not answer, therefore I will do to this house, which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. I will cast you out of My sight as I have cast out all your brothers, even the whole seed of Ephraim… Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt to this day, I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them. Yet they did not listen to Me, nor incline their ear, but hardened their neck. They did worse than their fathers.” Jeremiah 7:13-15, 25-26
Astonishingly, Jesus claims to be the One who has the power to send out prophets and messengers to proclaim his words and perform miracles:
“He called His twelve disciples to Him and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew, his brother; James, the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew, the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus; and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot; and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. These twelve JESUS SENT OUT, and commanded them, saying, ‘Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, preach, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.’” Matthew 10:1-8
“He went up into the mountain and called to Him those whom He desired, and they came to Him. He ordained twelve to be with Him, and to be SENT OUT to preach, and to have authority to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons:” Mark 3:13-15
“… Then He went to the surrounding villages, teaching. He called to Him the twelve, and began to SEND them out two by two, and gave them authority over unclean spirits… So they went out and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.” Mark 6:6b-7, 12-13
“Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases. And HE SENT them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick… So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere… John answered, ‘Master, we saw a man casting out demons in Your name and we forbade him, because he does not follow with us.’ Jesus said, ‘Do not forbid him, for he who is not against you is for you.’” Luke 9:1-2, 6, 49-50
“After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and SENT them two by two ahead of Him into every city and place where He Himself was about to come… The seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us through Your name.’ He said to them, ‘I saw Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Look, I give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. And nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’” Luke 10:1, 17-20
“As You sent Me into the world, so I SENT them into the world.” John 17:18
And remarkably, Jesus not only said he has the authority to breathe forth and send the Holy Spirit to inspire and empower his emissaries to proclaim his words,
“Look, I AM SENDING you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought of how or what you will speak. For it will be given you at that time what you will speak. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks through you.” Matthew 10:16-20
“But when the Counselor comes, whom I SHALL SEND to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” John 15:26-27
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away. For if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you. But if I go, I WILL SEND HIM to you… I have yet many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now. But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own authority. But He will speak whatever He hears, and He will tell you things that are to come. He will glorify Me, for He will receive from Me and will declare it to you. All that the Father has is Mine. Therefore I said that He will take what is Mine and will declare it to you.” John 16:7, 12-15
“So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As My Father has sent Me, even so I send you.’ When He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” John 20:21-22
He even claimed that he would personally send prophets and others to the Jews whom they would end up rejecting and persecuting, which would then result in the destruction of Jerusalem and the second temple:
“‘Therefore I SEND you prophets, and wise men, and scribes. Some of them you will kill and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute them from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I say to you, all these things will come on this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you, how often I would have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not! Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you shall not see Me again until you say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”’ Jesus departed from the temple and was leaving when His disciples came to show Him the temple buildings. Jesus answered them, ‘Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another that shall not be thrown down.’” Matthew 23:37-39, 24:1-2
As we saw above, this is precisely what Yahweh did to the Jews in the Hebrew Bible, when he destroyed the first Temple and Jerusalem for their rejection of God’s true prophets and envoys!
What makes this all the more remarkable is that, not only does our Lord state that he will commission prophets for the people, he further claims to be the One who often sought to gather the Israelites to himself and yet they were not willing.
In order to fully appreciate the import of these words, and how they highlight Jesus’ prehuman Divine existence, it must be kept in mind that in Matthew’s narrative this happened to be Christ’s first visit to Jerusalem. For the Lord to therefore say that he had often desired and tried to gather the inhabitants of Jerusalem together is quite astonishing seeing that this is the first time he had ever been to Jerusalem after the start of his public ministry!
In other words, this would have been his first attempt of gathering the Jews to himself, unless, of course, he was hinting to the fact that this really wasn’t his first time of doing so. Rather, Jesus was hinting at the fact that he was the One who personally did all he could to draw his covenant people to himself all throughout the OT period.
This point becomes clearer in the Lukan parallel:
“On the same day certain Pharisees came, saying to Him, ‘Get out and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill You.’ He said to them, ‘Go and tell that fox, “Look, I cast out demons. And I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I shall be perfected.” Nevertheless I must travel today and tomorrow and the day following. For it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside Jerusalem. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing! Look, your house is forsaken. Truly I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”’” Luke 13:31-35
Once again, the Lord’s comments are rather astonishing when we consider that, according to Luke’s narrative, Christ has yet to visit Jerusalem since his public ministry started!
All of this shows that Christ deliberately made himself out to be God since, according to the Hebrew Bible, it is Yahweh that sent his prophets to his people in order to gather them to himself. In fact, even the very metaphor that the Lord used where he compared himself to a hen that tries to gather her chicks under her wings is one that the OT applies to Yahweh’s protection of his people!
“For the LORD’s portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance. He found him in a desert land and in the howling waste of a wilderness; He led him about, He instructed him, He protected him like the pupil of His eye. Like an eagle stirs up her nest, that flutters over her young, He spread out his wings and took him; He lifted him on His pinions; the LORD alone guided him, and there was no foreign god with him.” Deuteronomy 32:9-12
“How excellent is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore mankind seeks refuge in the shadow of Your wings.” Psalm 36:7
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.’ Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the hunter and from the deadly pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall find protection; His faithfulness shall be your shield and wall.” Psalm 91:1-4 – cf. 17:8; 57:1; 61:4; 63:7
We, thus, have another line of evidence showing that the historical Jesus did in fact claim to be the Lord God of the OT who became flesh (even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit).
All Scriptural citations taken from the Modern English Version (MEV) of the Holy Bible.
Jesus Christ: The God of the Prophets https://answeringislam.net/Responses/Osama/zawadi_sending_prophets.htm
The Lord Jesus – The Lord God who sends forth the prophets! https://answeringislam.net/authors/shamoun/rebuttals/zaatari/sending_prophets.html