Does Yeshua (Jesus) Being Our Savior Mean He is God?
One of many implicit proofs put forth by those that promote a God-in-the-flesh Messiah is the use of the term “Savior”. They state that since both God and Messiah are called our “Savior”, then Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah must be God. Well, let’s study this.
The argument made by those promoting the implicit proof that Messiah is God because he, like God, is our Savior may begin with the use of verses similar to the following:
Isaiah 43:11 (NASB)
“I, even I, am the Lord, And there is no savior besides Me. (Emphasis mine.)
Hosea 13:4 (NASB)
Yet I have been the Lord your God Since the land of Egypt; And you were not to know any god except Me, For there is no savior besides Me. (Emphasis mine.)
They will then point to the numerous passages that clearly show Messiah to be referenced as our Savior and, along with verses similar to those above, “prove” Messiah to be God by indirectly equating Messiah to God using the common term “Savior”.
And, at first glance it may indeed seem to imply Messiah is God.
God states quite emphatically that there is no savior besides Him. At this point the promoters of a man-God Messiah (Trinitarians, Messianics, etc.) will end the discussion, close their Bibles, and proudly declare they have proven Messiah to be God. But, have they? Have they reached the end of the road on this issue, or have they reached the end of the road for their claim? What of these other verses from the Tanakh (Older Testament)?
2 Kings 13:5 (KJV)
5 And the Lord gave Israel a saviour, so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians: and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents, as beforetime. (Emphasis mine.)
Nehemiah 9:27 (CJB)
27 So you handed them over to the power of their adversaries, who oppressed them. Yet in the time of their trouble, when they cried out to you, you heard from heaven, and in keeping with your great compassion, you gave them saviors to save them from the power of their adversaries. (Emphasis mine.)
Obadiah 1:21 (KJV)
21 And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord‘s. (Emphasis mine.)
The following points are noteworthy regarding these passages:
- The savior that is spoken of in each of these is neither God nor Messiah Yeshua (Jesus); therefore, the term definitely does not apply to either of them.
- The term is shown in two of these verses in the plural form as ‘saviors’; thus, there were definitely more than one! In fact, the historical accounts found in the Tanakh present many saviors sent by God.
- Sometimes, for instance in the verse from Nehemiah, the sending of saviors is seen as occurring in the past, thus providing further evidence that the saviors being referred to were not the Messiah prophesied elsewhere as a future event.
- The Hebrew term for savior is the same term used in the verses mentioned previously, and used by the God-became-man promoters as proof the Messiah is God. So, the argument cannot be made that different Hebrew words are used.
More importantly, Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah is our savior, yet that does not in any way imply he is God. How can I say this? Well, it is simply due to the fact that Yeshua (Jesus) is the shaliach (empowered agent) of God. The Jewish Law of Agency, which describes the role of a shaliach, states that “A man’s agent is like himself.” Therefore, Yeshua (Jesus), as the agent of God, was fully empowered to act on His behalf.
Another relevant analogy is General MacArthur in WWII. Many in the Philippines considered him their ‘savior’; however, how much time did he spend in the jungles fighting? Probably none. The men that fought at all levels of command were also saviors of the Filipinos. Does that mean the General and the common soldier were one and the same person? Furthermore, General MacArthur could do nothing without the consent and backing of the United States. Therein, the United States Government is the primary savior, with General MacArthur falling in line behind. Does that mean the General and the U.S. Government are the same?
Similarly, both God and Yeshua (Jesus) are referred to as our Savior yet are not the same entity. God is the Supreme Creator and Yeshua (Jesus) is the supreme obedient soldier. God planned the strategy and gave the orders – Yeshua (Jesus) carried out the mission. Similarly, God also inspired the many other saviors of Scripture to perform His Will, even though they may not have been completely aware they were doing so.
Certainly, there are other examples I could point to in support of this argument, but I don’t feel they are necessary. An application of common sense applied to direct scriptural text without implying anything, as Trinitarians are forced to do to “make their point”, wins the day.
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