I was prompted to write this post by a painful visit (2 Corinthians 2:1) to my home by one of my good friends (sarcasm is difficult to convey in the written word) from the local Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall. Amongst other things, they believe that they are the only true church and that all other denominations are apostate, that the doctrine of the Trinity is a heresy, and that Jesus was a created being.
Theologians have written thousands of pages on the divinity of Christ, and it doesn't take that much effort to find a theological dictionary that catalogues every verse of the Bible that either directly refers to or alludes to this as well.
Throughout the Old Testament there are numerous instances where the preincarnate Christ appears on earth, or is seen and described in prophetic visions. Here are a couple of examples of these visions.
The prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:24-28) describes a heavenly vision of a man, whose appearance gives off a brilliant light. He responds by falling on his face. The opening verses of Isaiah chapter 6 describe a similar vision. By cross-referencing this passage's description of a glorified king, and chapter 53's description of a suffering servant, the gospel of John (John 12:38-41) draws both of these together to show that Isaiah's vision was of the glorified Christ.
Continuing into the New Testament writings, the gospels of Matthew (17:1-2), Mark (9:2-3), Luke (9:28-29) all give accounts of Christ's transfiguration atop Mount Tabor. Although the description they give is not as detailed as that in the prophetic writings, it is clear that the apostles saw a vision of the future glorified Christ as he would appear in heaven (2 Peter 1:16-18). Furthermore, this is the same vision that the apostle Paul saw when Jesus appeared to him in blinding light on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-5), and by an elderly apostle John in exile on the island of Patmos in Revelation 1:9-17.
The Old Testament prophets, the gospel writers, and the apostles Paul, Peter, and John all saw the same vision. They were left awestruck, and often fell down in reverence.When I read about these visions for the first time, courtesy of a devotional authored by Selwyn Hughes (1928-2006), I was both moved and amazed. It's things like these that deepen your reverence for Jesus, and help you to understand how scripture shows that Jesus is both Messiah and God.