Who did Jesus claim to be?
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really
foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm
ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I
don't accept His claim to be God.' That is one thing we
must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the
sort of thing Jesus said would not be a great moral
teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with
the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would
be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either
this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman
or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you
can spit at Him and kill him as a demon or you can fall
at his feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not
come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a
great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.
He did not intend to."
I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere
man. Between Him and every other person in the world
there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander,
Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on
what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon
force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and
at this hour millions of men would die for Him."
As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and
in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the
luminous figure of the Nazarene...
No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual
presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every
word. No myth is filled with such life."
In any discussion about Jesus and salvation it's important
to first determine what Jesus said about himself and who he
claimed to be. What did Jesus actually claim about himself?
Who Did Jesus Claim To Be? The I AM's Of Jesus
When Moses met God in the wilderness and asked His name, God
replied 'I AM THAT I AM...This you shall to the children of
Israel, I AM has sent me to you.' So the God of Israel revealed
Himself as 'I AM'. Jesus claimed this name for himself showing
He was Israel's God and Messiah, and in doing so, risked being
stoned for blasphemy.
John 8:56-58 'Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of
seeing my day; he saw it and was glad." "You are not yet fifty
years old," the Jews said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!"
"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was
born, I AM!" At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but
Jesus hid himself.
John 8:12 "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me
will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of
John 8:23-24 But he continued, "You are from below; I am
from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.
I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not
believe that I AM, you will indeed die in your sins."
John 11:25-27 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and
the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he
dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?" "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe
that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come
into the world."
John 14:6-7 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and
the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father
John 10:24-33 The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How
long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ,
tell us plainly." Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you
do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak
for me, but you do not believe because you are not my
sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they
follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never
perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father,
who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can
snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are
one." Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but
Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles
from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" "We
are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews,
"but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be
There are so many more passages like these, but even
limiting ourselves to the above quotes, any honest reader
can see exactly what Jesus was claiming about himself. Like
C.S Lewis wrote in the quote above, He was claiming to be
the promised Messiah, God in the flesh. And He also claimed
to be the only way of salvation. At this point, you may be
saying 'I can see that He claimed to be God, but how do we
know that the Bible record of His claims are accurate?' One
of the most compelling proofs that God gives us is in the
fulfillment of prophecy. No other religious books such as
the Koran contain detailed prophecies. The God of the Bible
Isaiah 46:9-10 'I am God, and there is no other. I am God,
and there is none like me. I make known the end from the
beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I
say: My purpose will stand and I will do all that I
Jesus Claimed To Fulfill The Old Testament Prophecies
Luke 24:44-47 Then he said to them, "These are my words that I
spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets,
and the psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds
to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, "Thus it is
written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the
dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of
sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning
John 5:45-46 But do not think I will accuse you before the
Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set.
If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe
what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?"
Mark 14:61-63 Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the
Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" "I am," said Jesus.
"And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand
of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." The
high priest tore his clothes. "Why do we need any more
witnesses?" he asked. "You have heard the
The Son of Man sitting at the right hand and coming on the clouds was a key specific prophecy
about the Messiah from the Old Testament book of Daniel.
So Jesus claimed to be the Messiah that had been prophesied
to come in numerous passages in the Old Testament. What I
would like to concentrate on now, is one chapter in the Old
Testament that specifically tells us about the life and
even death of the Messiah. This chapter is Isaiah 53. The
entire scroll of the prophet Isaiah was found within the
dead sea scrolls and if has been verified to be completely
accurate with the version in our Bibles today. So you be
the judge, for with the discovery we know for a fact that
the following chapter was written hundreds of years before
Jesus was even born.
For a more in-depth look at Messianic prophecy (and
prophecy in general)
For a more in-depth look at Messianic passages in the Old
Testament and what the Rabbis taught concerning them,
Isaiah 53 - The Life And Death Of Messiah Prophesied
The following chapter was written around 700BC. From the
earliest days Isaiah 53 was interpreted by the Jews as applying
to the Messiah. However, with it's clear fulfillment in the
person of Jesus Christ, many Jewish synagogues have carefully
avoided reading this passage! But in this most amazing passage,
God has given us not only the details of the life and death of
the Messiah, but also the reasons and results from His death!
Here are the 12 verses of Isaiah chapter 53 (in blue), followed
by my own comments.
Isa 53:1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of
the LORD been revealed?
Indicates that few would believe in Jesus. (This was
fulfilled. See John 6:66, 12:37-38)
Isa 53:2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a
root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to
attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should
Jesus had humble and poor beginnings, not coming as a royal
King, but as a commoner. (Luke 2:7)
Isa 53:3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows,
and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide
their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Jesus was despised, rejected, and suffered at the hands of
His own people! (Matthew 27:21-23)
Isa 53:4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our
sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by
him, and afflicted.
Even though Jesus would heal many, and take the sorrows for
others, yet the Jewish people would consider Him cursed by
God for it is written in Deuteronomy 21:23 'Cursed is
everyone who is hung on a tree' (Luke 19:41-42)
Isa 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed
for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace
was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Though Jesus was cursed, it was for a reason! He was
crushed for our sins so that we could be healed and have
peace with God! Note also that this prophecy says that the
Messiah would be 'pierced'. The Jewish method of execution
is stoning, though God spoke through the prophet Isaiah and
said He would be 'pierced' because He knew that Jesus would
be crucified, having His hands and feet nailed (pierced) to
Isa 53:6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has
turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the
iniquity of us all.
It would be God the Father's will that all sin would be
laid upon Jesus! (Gal 1:4)
Isa 53:7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his
mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a
sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his
This verse shows how Jesus, the sacrificial lamb, would be
silent before His accusers. This happened as recorded in
Isa 53:8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can
speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land
of the living; for the transgression of my people he was
Jesus was judged and died without having any physical
descendants. (Matthew 27:35)
Isa 53:9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the
rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was
any deceit in his mouth.
Jesus died alongside common criminals but was given a rich
man's tomb in which He was buried! (Matthew 27:57)
Isa 53:10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to
suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt
offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
Even though verse 8 says that Jesus was cut off and had no
descendants (physically) yet this verse says that after
being made a guilt offering (crucified), Jesus would 'see
his offspring and prolong his days'! Amazing prophecy
showing that even though Jesus would be killed, He would
rise from the dead, live again and that spiritually He
would have many offspring! (Mark 16:16)
Isa 53:11 After the suffering of his soul, He will see the light
of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous
servant will justify many, and he will bear their
God the Father saw the suffering of Jesus and was fully
satisfied. Sin demanded a sacrificial death and in doing
so, Jesus opened the way so that through knowledge of what
happened on the cross, humankind could again be justified!
(seen as perfect and spotless in God's sight.) (Romans
5:8-9, 2 Cor 5:21)
Isa 53:12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and
he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he
poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the
transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made
intercession for the transgressors.
Jesus is now exalted by the Father, for He bore our sins,
dying on a cross, and even when He was dying He interceded
for those who crucified Him saying 'Father forgive them for
they know not what they do!' Amazing! (Luke 23:32-34)
With all this in mind, can there actually be any doubt as
to who Jesus was? We have seen that He didn't just claim to
be a teacher, or a spiritual leader. He claimed to be the
one and only Messiah, God in the flesh! His birth, life,
and death all accurately and specifically fulfills
prophecies recorded hundreds of years earlier. So God has
not left us without a means of knowing who the Messiah is!
But you have to decide - for Jesus is either a lunatic, a
great liar, or He is the Lord to whom we all have to bow.
With all this in mind, lets quickly see what the Bible says
about salvation and coming into a relationship with Jesus
Christ - the King of Kings!
What The Bible Says About Salvation
1. That salvation is found in Jesus and Him alone.
We have already stated His claim that no one can come to
the Father except through Him. The Bible constantly
confirms this by saying:
Acts 4:12 'And there is salvation in no one else; for there
is no other name under heaven that has been given among
men, by which we must be saved.'
1 John 5:11-12 'And the witness is this, that God has given
us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has
the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God
does not have the life.'
salvation cannot come by performing good works
but through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for your
Eph 2:8 'For by grace you have been saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a
result of works, that no one should boast.'
Romans 3:20 '...by the works of the Law no one will be
justified in His sight.'
3. God now offers salvation as a gift to
those who will believe.
Romans 3:21-24 'But now a righteousness from God, apart
from law, has been made known... This righteousness from
God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short
of the glory of God, and are justified as a gift by his grace through
the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:23 'For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in
Christ Jesus our Lord.'
4. You need to act to receive the gift of salvation.
John 1:11-12 'He came to that which was his own, but his
own did not receive him.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in
, he gave the right to become children of God.'
Romans 10:9-10 For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the
dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart
that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing
with your mouth that you are saved.
Act 3:19 "Therefore repent and return, so
that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of
refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.'
Questions, queries or comments about Salvation?
Please email us here.