Though some critics have called Jesus merely a prophet or a good man, many people were witnesses of his divine identity. In Acts 5:31 Peter declared that Jesus is “Prince and Savior” and that he is seated at God’s right hand and able to forgive the sins of the very people who had crucified him. Peter clearly believed that Jesus is God. In Matthew 16:15–16, Jesus asked Peter about this very issue: “Who do you say I am?” and Peter replied, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And the disciple Thomas, coming face to face with the resurrected Jesus, confessed, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).
Even Gentiles proclaimed Jesus’ divinity. When Jesus died, the sky grew dark and the earth shook. Seeing all this happen, the Roman centurion and soldiers who carried out the crucifixion exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54).
In Mark 2:1–12 (see also Matthew 9:1–8; Luke 5:17–26), Jesus not only forgave a paralyzed man’s sins but also proved his authority to forgive by curing the man of his paralysis. Jesus ministered to this man publicly, in front of many witnesses and in full view of the hostile Pharisees. Although the Pharisees rejected Jesus’ claim despite the evidence, those whose spiritual eyes were opened believed there was no room for doubt: Jesus was (and is) the Son of God.