66At daybreak all the leaders of the people assembled, including the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. Jesus was led before this high council, 67and they said, “Tell us if you are the Messiah.”
But he replied, “If I tell you, you won’t believe me. 68And if I ask you a question, you won’t answer. 69But the time is soon coming when I, the Son of Man, will be sitting at God’s right hand in the place of power.”
70They all shouted, “Then you claim you are the Son of God?”
And he replied, “You are right in saying that I am.”
71“What need do we have for other witnesses?” they shouted. “We ourselves heard him say it.” (Luke 22:66-71, NLT)
The Daily DAVEotional
Have you ever heard people say that Jesus never claimed to be God? It’s a popular view among non-Christian religions and skeptics alike.
There’s just one problem….Jesus clearly DID claim to be God. There are a number of verses and situations that demonstrate this but this passage in Luke is a clear example.
Jesus has been arrested and at his trial, He’s asked directly if He is the Messiah. Jesus, in his typical fashion, doesn’t answer the question directly. It’s this tactic that often gives people the impression that Jesus never claimed deity. The theory is that Jesus is so cryptic and elusive in his responses that he could not be God, as Christians claim. If Jesus really WAS God, then surely he would have been more direct.
Instead of giving a direct answer, Jesus gives a reference to Him being seen sitting at the right hand of God.
The reaction of the Jewish leaders tells you all you need to know about what Jesus was really saying.
The text says they shouted, “Then you claim you are the Son of God?”
The Jewish leaders understood that Jesus’s reference to sitting at the right hand of God was a direct reference to deity. They recognized that Jesus was claiming a special relationship with God that was putting Him on par with God, hence, the claim to deity.
In response to Jesus’s reference and subsequent admission to being the Messiah, the Jewish leaders recognized that they now didn’t need witnesses in order to convict Jesus of blasphemy. They had all the evidence they needed straight from Jesus’s own lips. Jesus was not only claiming to be the Messiah, but was also asserting deity and the Jewish leaders now had the necessary motive and reason to crucify Jesus.
You can reject Jesus’s claim to deity as perhaps being false, but you cannot say that Jesus never made the claim. For if he didn’t make the claim, the Jewish leaders would have not had a basis to crucify Him.
What has been your view of Jesus? Do you see Jesus as a great teacher, or do you recognize Him as God incarnate?
Why do you think Jesus did not always respond directly to the questions people were asking Him?
Why do you think the Jewish leaders were so set on arresting and killing Jesus instead of embracing Him as the long-awaited Messiah?