Did Jesus claim to be God?

Many cults and false religions attempt to disprove Christianity’s claim that Jesus is God by declaring that Jesus never claimed to be God. Some religious scholars assert that Jesus never claimed to be God. Is this true? Are Jesus’ words empty of any claim to be Divine? Does the Bible tell us that Jesus believed He was God? The easiest way to answer this is to read any of the four gospels, but especially Mark and John. In those two gospels the claims of Jesus’ deity are repeated over and over again in many different ways. The disciples claimed Jesus is God, the demons who opposed Jesus claimed He is God, some of those Jesus healed claimed He is God and God claimed Jesus is God. Jesus Himself claimed to be God.

Two of the most frequent claims to be God made by Jesus are not well understood by people today because of a misunderstanding of the meaning of the phrases Jesus used. Jesus claimed God is His Father and to be equal with His Father. This is no claim of parentage or familial relationship. This is a theological statement that declares the speaker to be God. When Jesus said to the Jews, “I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30), they began picking up rocks to stone Him to death. Jesus asked them why they wanted to stone Him. The answer given by the Jews show they understood exactly what Jesus was saying. They knew Jesus was claiming to be God and they wanted to stone Him “for blasphemy, and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” (John 10:33)

Jesus claimed for Himself the name I Am. The name I Am is not a mere statement of one’s current existence, as it is used in Descartes’ famous assertion, “I think, therefore I am.” The name I Am is the key name of God given in the Old Testament. I Am is the name of God given to Moses to tell the Israelites who was leading them out of Egypt. It is the source of the name Jehovah, or Yahweh, found throughout the Old Testament. When Jesus told the Jews, “Before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58), He was claiming to be God. The Jews responded by attempting to stone Jesus. They understood His claim, and because they did not believe Jesus to be God they wanted to put Him to death for blasphemy.

These are just two examples of Jesus’ claims to be God. They are not isolated examples, but could be joined with many other statements in the Bible in which Jesus made explicit claims to be God. Added to these claims are the many times Jesus claimed to do that which only God can do. The person who would consider who Jesus is must confront these claims. He can disregard Jesus’ claims or to accept Jesus as the God He claims to be. One cannot brush Jesus aside a great teacher or a moral example. If Jesus is not God as He claimed, Jesus is not good. He may be a charlatan perpetuating a fraud on millions. He may be a maniac believing the delusions of an addled mind. Jesus claimed to be God. Do you believe Him?