What credentials back up Jesus’ claim to deity?

This article is from Hank Hanegraaff, The Complete Bible Answer Book—Collector’s Edition (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008)
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Jesus not only claimed to be God but also provided many convincing proofs that he indeed was divine. First, Jesus demonstrated that he was God in human flesh by manifesting the credential of sinlessness. While the Qur’an exhorts Muhammad to seek forgiveness for his sins, the Bible exonerates Messiah saying Jesus “had no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). And this is not a singular statement. John declares, “and in him is no sin” (1 John 3:5), and Peter says Jesus “committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2:22). Jesus himself went so far as to challenge his antagonists asking, “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?” (John 8:46).

Furthermore, Jesus demonstrated supernatural authority over sickness, the forces of nature, fallen angels, and even death itself. Matthew 4 records that Jesus went throughout Galilee teaching, preaching “and healing every disease and sickness among the people” (v. 23). Mark 4 documents Jesus rebuking the wind and the waves saying, “Quiet! Be still!” (v. 39). In Luke 4 Jesus encounters a man possessed by an evil spirit and commands the demon to “Come out of him!” (v. 35). And in John 4, Jesus tells a royal official whose son was close to death, “Your son will live” (v. 50). In fact, the four Gospels record how Jesus demonstrated ultimate power over death through the immutable fact of his resurrection.

Finally, the credentials of Christ’s deity are seen in the lives of countless men, women, and children. Each day, people of every tongue and tribe and nation experience the resurrected Christ by repenting of their sins and receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior of their lives. Thus, they not only come to know about Christ evidentially, but experientially Christ becomes more real to them than the very flesh upon their bones.

Adapted from The Third Day

For further study, see William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, rev. ed. (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1994), chapters 7 and 8.


“When John heard in prison what Christ was doing,
he sent his disciples to ask him, ‘Are you the one who
was to come, or should we expect someone else?’
Jesus replied, ‘Go back and report to John what you
hear and see; The blind receive sight,
the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured,
the deaf hear, the dead are raised,
and the good news is preached to the poor.’”

Matthew 11:2–5

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