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Is Yeshua God?

written by Asher Intrater
December 28, 2002

Jewish believers in Jesus (Yeshua) often struggle with a theological question that other Christians may not find difficult. It has to do with whether it is proper to say, “Yeshua is God,” without any qualifying remarks.

We are not speaking here of His divinity. Everyone accepts His divinity. He is the eternal Son of God, the only Lord, and the fullness of God dwelling in bodily form (Colossians 2:9). He is the Immanuel, meaning God with us (Matthew 1:23). Of these there is uniform agreement.

The question comes that if you say, “Yeshua is God” in a context with religious Jews who say they do believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but do not believe in Yeshua, are you misrepresenting what the New Testament has to say?

To highlight the sensitivity, looking at it from the other side – we could ask, if it is proper to say, “Yeshua is God,” and since Yeshua is Jewish, would it also be proper to say, “God is Jewish?”

Another problem with the statement “Yeshua is God” is that it does not deal with the New Testament position that Yeshua is portrayed as being submitted unto the Father who is “greater” than Yeshua (John 14:28, I Corinthians 15:28, Acts 1:7).

The word “God” is found over 1200 times in the New Testament. In many instances, there are inferences to the divinity of Yeshua, such as the “I Am” statements in John’s gospel, the use of the title “Lord,” the authority of His name, references to His existence before creation, His “oneness” with the Father, and so on.

However, when dealing with direct statements that Yeshua is God – period, I have found the following seven references:

1.) John 1:1
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Here there is no question in the context of the passage that the Word is Yeshua, the Word is God, and Yeshua is God.

2.) John 20:28
“And Thomas answered and said to Him (Yeshua), ‘My Lord and my God.'”
Here Yeshua has appeared to Thomas after His resurrection. Thomas, with the affirmation of scripture, refers to Him directly as God. This is an interesting follow up to Yeshua’s confrontation with Phillip, right before the crucifixion, when Phillip said to Him, “Show us the Father,” and Yeshua answered Him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known me? (John 14:8-9)”

3.) Romans 9:5
“…Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.”
Here Yeshua is referred to not only as Christ (the Messiah) but also as God.

4.) Philippians 2:6
“(Messiah Yeshua) who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God.”
Here Yeshua is portrayed as having changed forms, as it were, at the time of His birth, taking on the form of a man, although in His real nature, He is God.

5.) I Timothy 3:16
“God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
Here Yeshua is referred to as God manifesting Himself into the physical world.

6.) Titus 2:13
Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and savior Jesus Christ.”
This passage is speaking of the second coming of Yeshua. He is referred to here not only as savior, but also as God.

7.) Hebrews 1:8
“But to the Son, He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.”
In this amazing passage, quoting from Psalm 45, the word “Elohim” in the Hebrew is used in two different ways. In this verse it is Yeshua who is called God.

These seven verses give us a clear basis to say that Yeshua is God.

On the other hand, these are only seven verses out of over 1200 – comprising about one half of one percent. Most scriptures portray Yeshua as having a dual nature, a blending of God and man (Romans 1:3), a bridge between God and man.

I Timothy 2:5
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.”

In summary, the New Testament definitely states that Yeshua is God; however its primary presentation of Yeshua is as the Son of God.

The human race as a whole must be challenged with their need of Yeshua as savior and lord. God was in Yeshua reconciling the world to Himself (II Corinthians 5:19). As we grow closer to Him in intimacy, we see more and more dimensions of His divinity.

Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.

He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.

Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.

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