A gracEmail subscriber from England writes: “Edward, can you give us just one scriptural verse that adds to the fact of Jesus’ virginal birth (from Mary’s womb), the ‘fact’ that Jesus is deity, i.e., that he pre-existed his human birth when the ONE true God (John 17:3; 1 Cor 8:6) became his literal father?”
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Three scriptural affirmations come quickly to mind. “In the beginning,” John’s Gospel begins, “was the Word (Logos) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). The “beginning” here is at least as early as Creation, for the Word was God’s agent in that process (v. 3). Further, the Word was divine (theos). The one we know as the man Jesus of Nazareth, this Gospel says — long before he became a man and in some manner other than as a man, both pre-existed and was divine. And the Gospel tells us all that in 17 words in both Greek and English, most having three letters or less.
Jesus affirms the same things for himself. As he approaches his betrayal and crucifixion, the Savior prays: “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed” (John 17:5). Jesus believed that long before he became Mary’s human son, he had pre-existed (though not as “Jesus” the human being) and had shared the glory of God. As he approaches inglorious abandonment on the cross, Jesus asks his Father to restore that eternal glory to him in the Father’s presence.
Paul repeats (not invents) these two claims about Jesus, stating that “in [Jesus] the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Col. 2:9). Whatever “deity” involves (someone has called it “godship”), the man Jesus of Nazareth truly incorporated it all. As true man, Jesus was “home” to deity and pre-existed before he became Mary’s human son. The New Testament repeatedly identifies this man Jesus of Nazareth as “the Son of God” — sometimes (as you note) with reference to his miraculous conception (Luke 1:34-35), but also with an eye on his faithful and well-pleasing life (Matt. 3:17), on his resurrection out from among the deceased (Rom. 1:4) and even on his pre-human, pre-Jesus existence with the Father (John 6:40-51).