The question of whether or not the disciples believed Jesus was God is one that has been debated for centuries. Some argue that the idea of Jesus being divine was a later development in Christian theology, while others believe that it was present from the very beginning. Let’s take a closer look at what the Bible says about this topic.
What Did Jesus Say About Himself?
One of the main pieces of evidence used to support the idea that Jesus was God is his own words. Throughout the Gospels, he makes statements that suggest he had a higher understanding of himself than simply being a human being.
For example, in John 10:30, he says, “I and my Father are one.” This statement suggests a unity between himself and God that goes beyond what would be expected for a mere mortal.
What Did Others Say About Jesus?
Another piece of evidence that is often cited is the way that others talked about Jesus. In John 1:1-3, it says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.. All things were made by him.” This passage suggests that Jesus existed before time began and played a role in creating everything in existence.
Additionally, when Thomas saw Jesus after his resurrection in John 20:28, he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” This statement would seem to indicate that Thomas believed Jesus to be divine.
The Early Church’s Beliefs
While it’s clear from these passages and others like them that there were some who believed Jesus to be divine during his lifetime and shortly thereafter, there are also those who argue that this belief wasn’t widespread until much later. However, there are several pieces of evidence to suggest otherwise.
For example, in Philippians 2:5-7, Paul writes about how Jesus “did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave.” This passage suggests that even in the early days of the Christian church, there was an understanding that Jesus had some sort of divine status.
While there is certainly room for debate on this topic, it seems clear that at least some of Jesus’ disciples believed him to be divine. Whether or not this belief was widespread among early Christians is more difficult to determine, but there is evidence to suggest that it was present from the beginning. Ultimately, though, what matters most is what you believe about Jesus and his place in history.