Jesus did claim to be God. In the book of John, we read that He repeatedly used the phrase, “I AM.” To the Jew, the phrase “I AM” was a title for God Himself (Exodus 3:13-15).
Jesus claimed equality with God the Father. “Jesus said to them, ‘My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.’ For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:17-18).
Jesus declared in the temple courts, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own, but he who sent me is true…'” (John 7:28-29). “Then they asked him, ‘Where is your father?’ ‘You do not know me or my Father,’ Jesus replied. ‘If you knew me, you would know my Father also'” (John 8:19) “‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!'” (John 8:58). “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). Thus, the Jews understood fully that Jesus was claiming to be God and for that they sought to kill Him (John 10:36-39).
Jesus also affirmed His deity to the disciples. “‘If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well… Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’ Jesus answered: ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? …'” (John 14:7-11, 20).
And He again confirmed the same truth when “Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 16:16-17).
Before the crucifixion, Jesus declared His Son-ship to the Father when He prayed: “‘Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him…And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began'” (John 17:1-5).
And at His final trial, He declared that He is God in the flesh when “the high priest asked Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:61,62).
Christ is the only person known to history who has claimed divinity and yet accounted sane by the human race. The founders of other religious systems such as Mohammedanism, Buddhism, and Hinduism did not claim to be God incarnate. Christ spoke and lived as a Being whose dwelling place was eternity.
In His service,