Jesus Claimed to Be God

Muslims say that Jesus never claimed to be God.  Some religious pluralists might say this too.  Some humanists will likely say this also.  And many people will not care.

I believe that we can trust the Gospels to be Historically reliable.  With that being said, I believe Jesus actually claimed to be God and that he backed up such claims by living the perfect life that none of us can live, dying the death that none of us can die, and rising from the grave, something that we all will do, however, some to everlasting life, and others to everlasting condemnation (Daniel 12:1-3).

People struggle to admit that Jesus claimed to be God, because they really like his teachings of universal love and compassion towards others.  They like his don’t pay back evil with evil mentality, because although we all break his commands, we recognize that they are the highest road of morality, and the path that most be followed for world peace.

People who want to embrace the Jesus of pacifism, but reject the Jesus who is the Messiah, will sometimes say, “Well, he never said the exact words, ‘I am God,’ so what Christians interpret to be claims to be God, must somehow be misunderstood.”  So, I’ll change the lyrics of the Animals song slightly to fit this situation, “Oh Lord, please don’t let him be misunderstood.”  Make no mistake, Jesus claimed to be God.  Here is how he claimed to be God as recorded in his biographies, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John:

Divine Titles Proclaimed by or attributed to Jesus Christ:

God (John 1:1, John 20:28, Romans 9:5, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:8, 2 Peter 1:1)
Lord (Mark 12:35-37, John 20:28, Romans 10:9-13, 1 Cor. 8:5-6, 12:3, Philippians 2:11)
Messiah (Matthew 16:16, Mark 14:61, John 20:31)
Son of God (Matt. 11:27, Mark 15:39, John 1:18, Romans 1:4, Galatians 4:4, Hebrews 1:2)
Son of Man (Matt. 16:28, Matt. 24:30, Mark 8:38, Mark 14:62-64, Acts 7:56, Dan. 7:13-14)

Divine Names, actions, or roles proclaimed by or attributed to Jesus Christ:

Creator (John 1:3, Col. 1:16, Hebrews 1:2,10-12)
Sustainer (1 Cor. 8:6, Col. 1:17, Hebrews 1:3)
Forgiver of sins (Mark 2:5-7, Luke 24:47, Acts 5:31, Col. 3:13)
Object of prayer (John 14:4, Acts 1:24, 1 Cor. 1:2)
Object of worship (Matt. 28:16-17, Phil. 2:10-11, Hebrews 1:6)
Object of saving faith (John 14:1, Acts 10:43, Romans 10:8-13)

Divine Attributes or Qualities proclaimed by or attributed to Jesus Christ

Eternal Existence (John 1:1, John 8:58, John 17:5, Hebrews 13:8)
Self-existence (John 1:3, John 5:26, Col. 1:16)
Omnipresence (Matthew 18:20, Ephesians 1:23, Ephesians 4:10, Col. 3:11)
Omniscience (Mark 2:8, Luke 9:47, John 2:25, John 4:18, Col. 2:3)
Omnipotence (John 2:19, Col. 1:16-17)

Jesus equated himself with the Father

To know Jesus is to know God – John 14:7
To see Jesus is to see God – John 14:9
To encounter Jesus is to encounter God – John 14:11
To welcome Jesus is to welcome God – John 5:23
To hate Jesus is to hate God – John 15:23
To obey Jesus is to obey God – John 14:23

Jesus made direct claims that many Jewish religious leaders considered to blasphemous – John 5:17-18, John 8:58-59, John 10:30-33, and Mark 14:61-64.

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...
Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So based on these claims…

Who do you say Jesus is?

Did Jesus Claim to Be God?

Jesus either is God, or he is not God. 

It’s pretty simple logic.  A cannot equal Non-A. 

Since we have four biographies of Jesus’ life, two of which were written by eyewitnesses, Matthew and John, and the other two recorded by men who wrote based on the testimony of eyewitnesses, Mark and Luke, it makes sense that we should look to their accounts to see what they record of Jesus’ opinion of himself.  If Jesus said, “I’m not God,” then I think it’s safe to agree that he isn’t God.  If he said, “He is God,” then we should take a closer look at his claims.  So what did he say about himself?

Some will say that Jesus never said he was God (which Muslims and Jehovah Witnesses claim).  This technically is true, but only in the sense that the gospels never record Jesus  using the direct words, “I am God.”  There are however numerous verses in which Jesus says he is so close or similar to the Father that in fact he is saying, “I am God.”  Jesus also made statements which directly stated his divinity.  To such statement his audience responded with insults and shouts of “blasphemy.”  However, because we are not fully aware of the ins and outs of Jewish culture or even the teachings of the Bible, we might miss the meanings of such direct statements.  It also makes sense that Jesus never verbatim said, “I am God,” because He was sent to give glory to His Father in heaven.  This is why when Jesus usually stated His divinity, he also gave honor to His Father.

Jesus picture spray painted by Josh Conrad.
This is an image of Jesus that my friend, Josh Conrad, spray painted. He took a picture of his work and made stickers to share with his friends. This is a picture of his work on my laptop. Here’s the link to his blog:

Verses in which Jesus puts himself equal to the father:

John 14:23 “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

Look up these other verses for more examples.

Mark 9:37
John 5:23
John 14:1
John 14:7
John 14:6
John 14:9
John 14:21
John 15:23
Statements in which Jesus directly claimed divinity upon himself (evidenced by the audience’s response):

John 10:30-33 “I and the Father are one.” Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

John 5:17-18
John 8:58-59
Mark 14:61-64

Other Verses that show Jesus’ divinity though what Christ said or did or allowed others to do:

Mark 2:5-7
Matthew 28:16-17
John 5:21-27