One of the most heavily contested aspects of Christianity is Jesus’s duality as both a man and God himself, and his role as Messiah. In fact, these two fundamental beliefs are what separate Christians from other faiths, namely Islam and Judaism. But it separates us also from the rest of humanity. The existence of Jesus Christ, and the history of his ministry is not questioned by historians. Even his execution is considered historical fact. It is his role as Savior and God, and his resurrection as such, that make sets Christians apart in belief.
While many argue that the belief that Jesus was divine as well as man is foolish and unfounded (unfounded with Biblical evidence), Jesus said and did things that confirmed his powers as God himself. No, during his ministry Jesus did not come out and say “I am God,” but he said things that only God could say, and did things only God could do. I intend to show with Biblical evidence that not only did Jesus claim his being as God, but backed up the claim with acts none other than God could perform. If one is to believe that the Bible is inherently true, then one cannot deny Jesus’s role as Christ and God once they see these examples.
In this first part of this series, I want to look at the individual acts that Christ performed than none other than God himself could do. These miracles were more than just the healing of diseases and ailments, but acts over nature itself. These give testament that Jesus has power over the Earth because he is its creator.
The first, and perhaps most widely known of these acts is found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The account in Mark reads thus.
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
An important note about this passage, and one that gives evidence to his divinity, is that he did not ask the storm to die down. He didn’t even have to say please. The verse says he “rebuked the wind.” The word rebuke indicates that he did not have the power to speak to the wind and request it obey him, but he has complete authority over it. It must bend to his will, as he has dominion over it. Christ demonstrates further power over the seas and weather 2 chapters later in Mark.
47 And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48 And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night[a] he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, 50 for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 51 And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased.
Once again, Christ demonstrates that he has dominion over nature in that not only can he command the seas and wind to die down, but he can walk on top of the water itself. Another interesting note about this passage is in the translation of “Take heart; it is I.” In particular, the declaration “it is I.” is translated from the Greek for “I Am.” This declaration of “I Am” is of great importance to Jewish tradition regarding God and how he will reveal himself to his people, and I will focus more on this later in this series.
These two instances of Christ showing power over the seas and weather cause his followers to ask the question many today are still asking (if they still have not accepted his role as God and Man). “Who is this that even the wind and sea obey him?” These are powers only God has. Even when others in Jewish history have demonstrated similar powers (Moses parting the Red Sea, Joshua parting the Jordan, Elijah praying for the rain to stop), the scriptures clearly state that it is God who did the work, the men could not nothing more than ask God to do so.
Christ further shows his command over nature in his other miracles. He is able to heal the blind, the lame. He commands (commands, not asks) a fig tree to wither and die. He even has power over death itself, which he proves three times including his own resurrection (he raises the daughter of Jairus in Mark 5, and raises Lazarus in John 11). His miracles with food (feeding the 5,000) indicate he has the power of creation, and greatly parallels God’s provision of manna in the desert.
These acts over nature and the earth stand as monuments of his power over creation, which he holds because he is the creator. No one else and nowhere else in scripture is that power demonstrated, except by God.
Next in the series I will focus on times Jesus actually claims to be God (in sly, sneaky ways).