9 Ways Jesus Tells Us He is God in the Four Gospels

Whether indirect or not, Our Lord’s claims to divinity are definitely, massively and undeniably present.

Matthias Atom, “The Incredulity of St. Thomas,” c. 1645
Matthias Atom, “The Incredulity of St. Thomas,” c. 1645

An anti-theist atheist, whose ramblings against the Bible I have now refuted almost 60 times, argued that “Jesus claimed to be divine only in the Gospel of John.”

There are actually many indications of the divinity or deity or Godhood of Jesus in the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), but one has to be familiar with the Bible and Hebraic thinking in order to see them (as they are often deductive in nature). Whether indirect or not, they are definitely, massively and undeniably present.


1. Jesus is Savior

Matthew 13:15 (RSV) For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn for me to heal them (cf. Matthew 13:13-14 and Isaiah 6:9-10).

Jesus is citing an Old Testament passage about God and applying it to himself. But only God can be the savior of mankind:

Isaiah 43:11 I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior (cf. 43:3; 45:15, 21; 49:26; 60:16, 63:8; Hosea 13:4; Jude 1:25).


2. Jesus is Judge of Mankind

Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man… will repay every man for what he has done (cf. Revelation 22:12; Psalm 62:12; Isaiah 40:10; Ezekiel 34:17; Matthew 25:32).

The Old Testament plainly taught that God was the judge of men (see, e.g., 1 Samuel 2:10; Psalm 50:6; Isaiah 2:4, among many others).


3. Jesus is the Divine “I” 

Jesus teaches in his own authority (“I say to you”) in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:18-34, etc.), and many other passages. The prophets, in contrast, spoke as God’s messengers in the second person (“The Lord says…”). He often talks in a way in which only God could speak, and distinguishes himself from the prophets (Matthew 13:17). Perhaps the most striking example of this occurs in Matthew 23:

Matthew 23:34, 37 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes… O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! (cf. Judith 6:8; 2 Kings 17:13; 2 Chronicles 24:19; Jeremiah 7:25; 25:4; 26:5; 29:19; 35:15; 44:4; Haggai 1:12; Zechariah 7:12)
Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! (cf. Matthew 23:37; Deuteronomy 32:11-12; Ruth 2:12; Psalm 36:7; 57:1; 63:7; 91:4)


4. Jesus Accepts the Worship of Men (Reserved for God Only)

Matthew 28:9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Hail!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. (cf. 28:17; 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 20:20)
Mark 5:6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped him; (cf. 5:22; 7:25) 

God alone is to be worshiped — as Jesus himself noted (Matthew 4:10; Luke 4:8; Exodus 20:3; 34:14; Deuteronomy 8:19; Jeremiah 16:11; many others).


5. Jesus is Omniscient (All -Knowing)

Omniscience is implied (though not proven) in many passages that describe Jesus’ extraordinary knowledge; these are consistent with omniscience (Matthew 9:4; 12:25; Mk 2:8; 14:13-15; Luke 5:22; 6:8; 9:47; 22:10-13).

The Old Testament taught that God alone is omniscient (1 Chronicles 28:9; 1 Kings 8:39; 2 Chronicles 6:30; Psalm 44:21; Isaiah 66:18; Ezekiel 11:5; Matthew 6:8; Luke 16:15; many others)


6. Jesus is Omnipresent (Present Everywhere)

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Matthew 28:20 “…I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

God alone is omnipresent (1 Kings 8:27; 2 Chronicles 2:6; Psalm 139:7-8; Jeremiah 23:24).


7. Jesus Forgives Sins in His Own Name

Mark 2:5, 10 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.”… [10] …the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins… (cf. Matthew 9:2-6; Luke 5:20-24; 7:47-48).

God alone can do that (Exodus 34:7; 2 Samuel 12:13; 1 Kings 8:34; Daniel 9:9; Micah 7:18; many others).


8. Jesus taught that the Messiah (“Christ”) — which he claimed to be — is Lord (Kurios) and God

Matthew 22:43-45 He said to them, “How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, [44] ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put thy enemies under thy feet’? [45] If David thus calls him Lord, how is he his son?” (cf. Mark 12:36-37; Luke 20:42-44)

Every time the New Testament refers to Jesus as Christ, it is declaring that He is the Messiah, since Christ is the Greek for the Hebrew Messiah:

Matthew 16:16-17, 20 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” [17] And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”… [20] Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. (cf. Mark 8:27-30; 9:41; Luke 4:41; 9:18-21)
Mark 14:61-62 But he was silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” [62] And Jesus said, “I am; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” (cf. Matthew 26:63-65; Luke 22:67-71; 24:25-27)


9. Jesus Will Come Again

Matthew 24:30 then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; (Matthew 16:27; 26:64; Mark 14:62)

The Old Testament presents God coming in judgment in an identical way (Isaiah 40:5, 10; 59:20; 66:156-16; Psalm 96:13; 98:9; Joel 2:11; Zechariah 2:10; 9:14; 12:10; 14:3-5)

The synoptic evidence is overwhelming.