The Bible’s answer
Jesus’ opposers accused him of making himself equal to God. (John 5:18; 10:30-33) However, Jesus never claimed to be on the same level as Almighty God. He said: “
The Father is greater than I am.”
Jesus’ early followers did not view him as being equal to Almighty God. For example, the apostle Paul wrote that after Jesus was resurrected, God “
exalted him [Jesus] to a superior position.” Obviously, Paul did not believe that Jesus was Almighty God. Otherwise, how could God exalt Jesus to a superior position? —Philippians 2:9.
1. How did Jesus’ life begin?
Unlike any other human, Jesus lived in heaven as a spirit person before he was born on earth. (John 8:23) He was God’s first creation, and he helped in the creation of all other things. He is the only one created directly by Jehovah and is therefore appropriately called God’s “only-begotten” Son. (John 1:14) Jesus served as God’s Spokesman, so he is also called “the Word.”—Read Proverbs 8:22, 23, 30; Colossians 1:15, 16.
2. Why did Jesus come to the earth?
God sent his Son to earth by transferring his life from heaven to the womb of a virgin Jewess named Mary. So Jesus did not have a human father. (Luke 1:30-35) Jesus came to the earth (1) to teach the truth about God, (2) to set us an example in how to do God’s will even when we are in difficulties, and (3) to give his perfect life as “a ransom.”—Read Matthew 20:28.
3. Why do we need a ransom?
A ransom is the price paid to release a person from the threat of death. (Exodus 21:29, 30) Death and old age were not part of God’s original purpose for mankind. How do we know that? God told the first man, Adam, that if he committed what the Bible calls “sin,” he would die. So if Adam had not sinned, he would never have died. (Genesis 2:16, 17; 5:5) According to the Bible, death “entered” the world of mankind through Adam. Thus, Adam passed on to all his descendants sin and its penalty, death. We need a ransom to release us from the penalty of death that we inherited from Adam.—Read Romans 5:12; 6:23.
Who could pay the ransom to free us from death? When we die, we pay the penalty only for our own sins. No imperfect man can pay for the sins of others.—Read Psalm 49:7-9.
4. Why did Jesus die?
Unlike us, Jesus was perfect. So he did not need to die for his sins—he never committed any. Instead, Jesus died for the sins of others. God expressed extraordinary love for mankind by sending his Son to die for us. Jesus also showed love for us by obeying his Father and giving his life for our sins.—Read John 3:16; Romans 5:18, 19.
5. What is Jesus doing now?
When on earth, Jesus cured the sick, raised the dead, and rescued people in peril. He thereby demonstrated what he will do in the future for all obedient mankind. (Matthew 15:30, 31; John 5:28) After Jesus died, God restored him to life as a spirit person. (1 Peter 3:18) Jesus then waited at God’s right hand until Jehovah gave him power to rule as King over all the earth. (Hebrews 10:12, 13) Now Jesus is ruling as King in heaven, and his followers are announcing that good news worldwide.—Read Daniel 7:13, 14;Matthew 24:14.
Soon, Jesus will use his power as King to bring an end to all suffering and to those who cause it. All who exercise faith in Jesus by obeying him will enjoy life in a paradise on earth.—Read Psalm 37:9-11.