Does the Bible claim that Jesus is God?
I recently received a lengthy letter in the mail from a Jehovah’s Witness. The person was very kind and loving, but wanted to push back against some of the things that I have been saying. The biggest disagreement between evangelical, born-again, orthodox Christianity and the beliefs of a Jehovah's Witness surrounds the deity of Jesus. I think Jesus is God, part of the trinity, uncreated. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus was created by God, so the Son of God title doesn’t bother them, but that he is not part of the trinity and so is not truly God.
Since I cannot quote the whole letter here, I just want to pose the question, “Does the Bible claim that Jesus is God?” Yes, it does, in lots of places, but for the sake of building a bridge to talk with the Jehovah’s Witnesses in our county, I would like to simply ask some questions that point to the deity of Christ from one of JW’s beloved passages, the Great Commission.
Matthew 28:16-20 reads:  Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.  And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
If Jesus isn’t God, as Jehovah’s Witnesses claim, I find it odd that he claims that he will be with his disciples always, even to the end of the age. That seems quite challenging to do. I mean, for that to be a reality Jesus would need to be omnipresent. Angels aren’t all places at once. Only God can be everywhere at all times, right? Even if Jesus is claiming to be present only with his followers at all times, that still seems divine to me.
Also, why are Christians to be baptized into the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit? Wouldn’t God the Father be enough? An equality of persons - between the Father, Son, and Spirit - seems to be implied with these verses, and it seems strange to say it at all if they aren’t equal.
If Jesus isn’t God, as Jehovah’s Witnesses claim, why would and how could Jesus say that his followers are to disciple others by ‘teaching them to observe/obey all’ that he has commanded? Shouldn’t they be taught to obey God and God’s commands, not Jesus and Jesus’ commands? If Jesus isn’t claiming to be God, that seems like he is speaking out of turn and, if untrue, perhaps even sinfully.
Even more so, how can Jesus claim that ALL authority over ALL creation has been granted to him? To be honest, I can’t think of a bolder claim in the history of the world. Authority over gravity? Spiritual beings? Sin? Eternity? This isn’t just power, this is authority - the right and power to rule and make decisions. Seems like a lot for someone who isn’t God.
On top of all of this, what’s the deal with his followers worshipping (also translated as bowing or falling down on their faces) before Jesus? When John, in Revelation 22:8-9, fell facedown at the feet of the angel who showed him a vision, the angel replied, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you… Worship God [not angels or created things].” Why was John rebuked? Because no matter how awesome angels might appear, human beings are not to bow before them or any other created being.
Here, in Matthew, they are bowing to Jesus, and there is no protest from anyone, not even Jesus. Jesus accepts their worship as he has done many times before and will do many times again. Why?
The answer is simple, Jesus thinks he is God, he has claimed to be God, he has proven himself to be God, and now he ushers commands as God.
Now, of course, you can say, “Well, I don’t believe it!” and that is your right, but you cannot say that the Bible doesn’t teach that Jesus is God. Anyone who is stating that has never read the Bible and only has learned to regurgitate things that they have been told. This is ONE passage and not even a passage the average pastor would use to argue for the deity of Jesus. Even in this passage, it is clearly seen that Jesus claims to be God.