I laugh when I hear those who wish to discredit the Christian faith make the assertion that Jesus never claimed to be God. That’s literally the elemental premise of John’s Gospel. St. John states, quite explicitly, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:31). But it’s not only the body of work in the Gospels, or even the entire New Testament — it’s the entire corpus of God’s Scripture that brings this to light. Jesus is God’s own Son, the One promised to “reconcile all things unto himself” (Col. 1:20; cf. 2 Cor. 5:18; Rom. 5:11). This he did once for all on the cross. On that cursed Roman tree, the God of all died as the Savior of all. Therefore, we can say along with G. Campbell Morgan, that those “who have seen the face of God are those who have seen it in the Face of Jesus.”1
When we read of Jesus, then, we aren’t just reading of perfect man, we are reading of incarnate deity. God enfleshed. He who is “the image of the invisible God” and in whom dwells the fullness of the Father is the One by whom “we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:14–15, 19). Such is the paradigm by which we must understand the cross. G. Campbell Morgan states in another discourse:
When I see Him at work and listen to His speech, I know I am observing God and listening to God. His tears are the tears of God. His sighs are the sighs of God. His pain is the pain of God. This One Who was contracted to a span for human observation, brought down into human limitation for human outlook, is One in Whom all the fulness of the godhead dwelleth bodily. We shall never understand our redemption until we get this outlook upon the Redeemer. If you tell me Jesus was a Man Who persuaded God to love me, you are uttering that which is almost blasphemy. Jesus is God persuading me back to the love of God and enabling me to answer the persuading. Jesus is the name employed in the text; the sweetest, simplest, human name; employed in order that my frail finite mind may fasten and fix itself upon Someone Whom in measure I can understand, and having done so may find that I have been admitted into the spaciousness of all the eternal Deity.2
Like the apostle Peter, we affirm that there is only one name “under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12), and it is the name of Jesus — a name which literally means, “Jehovah is salvation” (Matt. 1:21). In every way, then, Jesus is the revelation of God’s salvation of sinful men. He discloses to the world the way in which the Godhead has determined to remain just while justifying the unjust (Rom. 3:26). Jesus is God, the perfect Savior for pitiful sinners.
Grace and peace to you, friends.
G. Campbell Morgan, The Westminster Pulpit: The Preaching of G. Campbell Morgan, Vols. 1–10 (Fincastle, VA: Scripture Truth Book Co., 1954), 9:187.
Morgan, Westminster Pulpit, 200.