The title of this article is “Did Jesus Claim to be God?” It is a question that is asked very often and it is important to have a proper defense (i.e. apologetic) to respond to this crucial question. It is vital because if Jesus is not God in the flesh then you and I as Christians are wasting our time. There are many passages in scripture that attribute divinity to Christ, and there are many that were spoken by the Lord himself. The spoken words of Christ in regards to his divinity will be our focus for today’s article.
“In his defense, Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.“
In this passage Jesus directly attributes Divinity to himself by calling God his father. The significance of this was not lost on the Jewish leaders of the day. They knew the Messiah would be called by various titles including the “Son of God.” To claim divinity in the ancient Jewish world was not something that was swept under the rug, but was considered blasphemy. In making the statement he was making himself equal to God, and for that, the Jewish leaders attempted to kill him for blasphemy.
“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
This seemingly insignificant verse brings with it huge implications. It alluded to Exodus 3:14 where God reveals himself to Moses at the burning bush. God tells Moses to confront Pharaoh, and Moses asks God’s name just in case the Jewish people ask. Exodus 3:14 states, God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” Again the Jewish leaders attempted to arrest Jesus and have him executed for blasphemy. By using this name, he was directly calling Himself God.
“I and the Father are One.”
This is not just a statement of unity such as when a husband agrees with his wife, but a statement of authority. It is a unity of purpose and of essence. This is another occasion where the Jewish leaders knew exactly what Jesus was saying. They knew that He was saying that he was God, and this is another occasion where they sought to destroy him.
“But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
The Jewish leaders were successful and were able to arrest Jesus. He is asked point blank in this verse if He is the Son of God, and his answer is so much more than “yes.” He calls himself the Son of Man which alluded to Daniel 7:13-14. This prophecy in Daniel is about the Sovereign reign of the Son of God, and his preexistence before all time. By stating this, Jesus is saying that he was around before the creation of the world. Not only that but he will be the judge of it, and its redeemer!
There are many more places where Jesus claimed to be more than a man. There are also many more verses in which the inspired writers claim him as God as well. One such passage is Titus 2:13 which states, “while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Some will say that Jesus did not say the words “I am God.” Because of that, they will say that he was not, but we must read things in their context and ancient works, such as scripture, must be read in their proper context. When done so Jesus claimed over and over to be God in the flesh. We are just scratching the surface and the biblical proofs of Christ’s divinity as there are many more verses in the Old and New Testaments that can be looked at.