Why did Jesus not say, “I am God,” if he is God?

I made a blog post addressing how Jesus claimed to be God without using the exact words I am God.  I received a question on that post from someone wanting to know why he didn’t actually use the words, “I am God,” if he actually is God.  I think it’s a great question.  Usually I have heard answers like,”Even though he didn’t say, “I am God,” the Jews of his day recognized that he was saying he was God.  We just miss it not knowing the culture and theology of 1st century Judaism.”

Well, here’s a reply that came to my mind recently when this question was asked in my apologetics class.  Let me know what you think of this answer, because, I don’t think I’ve ever heard or read anyone else use this reply:

It’s troublesome to us that he didn’t actually say “I am God.” However, I think he didn’t say this because he isn’t God, he’s Jesus the Son. Whenever Jesus said God, and when the apostles wrote God in their letters, they were referring to the Father, and not the Trinity, a majority of the time. If he said that he is God, it might be taken to mean that he and the Father are the same person, which they are not. God exists in three distinct persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, all of whom share in the same divine essence (nature).

 

I think his language is used this way because part of his role as Savior was to reveal the Father to us, and I think his use of Trinitarian language does just that.

 

In John 10:30-33, Jesus says that He and the Father are one. I have read that the Greek indicates that He and the Father are one not in person, but in deity. The translation might be read in English as “I and the Father, we are one.” The word used for one is neutered. The Greek language is like Spanish in that words have gender. Using the neutered, asexual “one” instead of the masculine one, indicates they are one in nature, not personhood.

 

As difficult as it may be for us to understand why Jesus didn’t say, “I am God,” the Jewish leaders of the 1st Century had no problem understanding that he was making himself equal to the Father and thus they wanted to kill him for blasphemy!

 

Read the previous article about how Jesus claimed to be God:

 

 

 

Modern Day Worship Service Compared to 1 Corinthians 14

Check out this parody video of a modern day “contemporary” service:

What stood out to me in the video was the part that says, “And only one man has the answers.”  Many churches operate this way.  Only one person speaks to the congregation.  Only one person has the answers.  There isn’t time during the gathering to question that man, either in questioning for clarification or any confusion you have about what he is teaching or to question if what he is saying is in accord with God’s Word.  When he is finished speaking, there is no confirmation or affirmation of the message by those who heard it built into the service agenda/outline.

How does this common service outline of a “contemporary” service match what is found in 1 Corinthians 14?  How does a common “liturgical” or “traditional” service match what is found in 1 Corinthians 14?

I think we all need to read 1 Cor. 14 and pray over that chapter and the type of worship order that Paul describes. A lot of churches hold strong and firm to the part about not speaking in tongues unless there is an interpreter, and if there is speaking in tongues to not have more than 2-3 people do it, but completely skip the part about having more than one speaker (prophet) or the time for others to share revelations and other Scripture passages that affirm the message or correct it, as this video pointed out, in our modern day services, “One man alone has the answers.” It creates a be fed mentality and not a learn to feed yourself and feed others congregation.  We often times call our services fellowship, but is there much fellowship in them if everyone is facing forward and singing only what is told for them to sing, standing and sitting when told to do so, and communicating with one another only when told to shake hands and greet people, and only interacting briefly or none at all with the person who was up front teaching, while not knowing the individual needs of those around us, or being able to use our gifts of encouragement, prayer, teaching, generosity, prophecy, healing, and etc. unless we’re on the stage?