Thursday: Jesus, the Divine Messiah

Peter knew not only that Jesus was the Messiah but that He was the Lord, as well. That is, by the time of these epistles, Peter knew that the Messiah was God Himself. Though the title “Lord” can have a secular meaning, the term also can be a clear reference to divinity. In 1 Peter 1:3 and 2 Peter 1:8, 2 Peter 1:14, 2 Peter 1:16, Peter is referring to Jesus, the Messiah, the Christ, as the Lord, as God Himself.

Jesus Protecting Earth

Image © Lars Justinen

Like other writers in the New Testament, Peter describes the relationship between Jesus and God with the words Father and Son. For example, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:3, NKJV; compare 2 Pet. 1:17). Jesus is described as the beloved Son (2 Pet. 1:17), and some of Jesus’ authority as Lord, and His heavenly status, comes from this special relationship that He has with God the Father.

Read 2 Peter 1:1, John 1:1, and John 20:28. What do they tell us about the divinity of Jesus?

Second Peter 1:1 says “our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (NKJV). In the Greek original, the same definite article (that is, “the”) is used for both God and Savior. Grammatically this means that both “God” and “Savior” are used of Jesus. Second Peter 1:1, then, stands as one of the very clear indications in the New Testament of the full divinity of Jesus.

As the early Christians struggled to understand Jesus, they gradually put the evidence of the New Testament together. In the writings of Peter, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are distinct (for example, Father/Son:

1 Pet. 1:3, 2 Pet. 1:17; Holy Spirit: 1 Pet. 1:12, 2 Pet. 1:21), as indeed they are in the rest of the New Testament. Yet, at the same time, Jesus is portrayed as fully divine, as is the Holy Spirit. Over time, and after much discussion, the church developed the doctrine of the Trinity to explain as well as possible the divine mystery of the Godhead. Seventh-day Adventists include the doctrine of the Trinity as one of their 28 fundamental beliefs. Thus, we see in Peter a clear depiction of Jesus as not only the Messiah but as God Himself.

When you think about the life and death of Jesus and then realize that He was God, what does this tell you about the kind of God we serve and why we should love and trust Him? Bring your answer to class on Sabbath.

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons