Overview > Did Jesus Claim to be God?
Did Jesus Claim to be God?
- Evidence in addition to his claims in the New
- The concept of Jesus as divine existed within
at least 10 to 20 years of his crucifixion, and therefore likely
to have been asserted by Jesus himself.
- The claims of Jesus to be God make sense of
his trial and crucifixion i.e. blasphemy
- The early enemies of Christ would have declared
that Jesus never made such claim
- A parallel movement, that claimed Jesus as
merely a good teacher, would have emerged alongside Christianity
Jesus' use of Divine Titles
- Yahweh - claiming the sacred Old Testament
name for God. Yahweh means "He who is" or "I am"
- Son of God - claiming to be of the same nature
as God, co-equal and co-eternal with God
- Son of Man - claiming to be the Messiah /
King / Deliverer of the Jews. Used to proclaim his divine identity
- Lord - claiming to be "Adonai" - a term applied
to God in the Old Testament
- Abba - referred to God as father - uniquely
using the familiar word of closest intimacy
- People responded to these claims by wanting
to kill Jesus as this was the punishment required for blasphemy
- Additional claims to be God
|· To be pre-existent
||"before Abraham was
born, I am!" John 8:58
|· To be omnipresent
|| "and surely I am
with you always" Matthew 28:20
|· To be omniscient
|| "you know all things
… You believe at last!" John 16:30
|· To be omnipotent
|| "All authority in
heaven and on earth has been given to me" Matthew 28:18
|· Should be worshipped
|| "And if anyone causes
one of these little ones who believe in me to sin…" Mark 9:42
|· Divine authority
|| To forgive sins
, To have authority over the laws of the Sabbath, That the elect
and angels are his, To be able to give authority over evil to
others, To have authority over all people
|· Word will outlast
|| "my words will never
pass away" Mark 13:31
|· To be sinless
|| "Can any of you
prove me guilty of sin?" John 8:46
|· That all God has
|| "All I have is yours,
and all you have is mine" - said praying to God - John 17:10
|· To give freedom
|| "If the Son sets
you free, you will be free indeed" John 8:36
|· To send prophets
|| "Therefore I am
sending you prophets" Matthew 23:34
|· To deserve highest
|| "Anyone who loves
his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me" Mt 10:37
|· To be equal with
|| that a response
to him is the same as a response to God. John 15:23
that he is to be honoured to the same extent as God is honoured.
that to see him is to see God. John 14:9
that to know him is to know God. John 8:19
that him coming to the Jewish people was the same as God being
there. Luke 19:43
that he operates with and to the same extent as God. John 5:17
that he is directly equal with God. John 10:30-39
|· To be able to raise himself from the dead
||"I lay down my life -- only to take it up again... I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again" John 10:17,18
|That people's eternal
destiny depends on their response to him.
|| Mathew 7:21-23,
The Importance of the Issue
This issue is crucially important for at least five reasons
- The divinity of Christ is the most distinctively Christian belief
or doctrine of them all. A Christian is most essentially defined as
one who believes that Jesus was God. And no other religion has a doctrine
that is even similar. Buddhists do not believe that Buddha was God
and Muslims do not believe that Muhammad was God. [1
- This doctrine works like a skeleton key, unlocking all the other
doctrinal doors of Christianity. Christians believe each of their
many doctrines not because they have reasoned their own way to them,
but on the divine authority of the One who taught them, as recorded
in the Bible and transmitted by the church. If Jesus Christ was only
human, he could have made mistakes. Thus, anyone who wants to dissent
from any of Christ’s unpopular teachings will want to deny his divinity.
And there are bound to be things in his teachings that each of us
finds offensive - if we look at the totality of those teachings rather
than confining ourselves to comfortable and familiar ones. [1
- If Christ is divine, then the incarnation (God taking on human form)
is the most important event in history. It is the hinge of history.
It changes everything. If Jesus Christ is God, then when he died on
the cross, he provided a means for God and humans to be reconciled.
No event in history could be more important to every person on earth
than that. [1 p. 152]
- It has tremendous implications for us now. For if Jesus Christ is
God, then, since he is omnipotent and present right now, he can transform
you and your life right now as nothing and no one else possibly can.
[1 p. 152]
- If Christ is divine, he has right to our entire lives, including
our inner life and out thoughts. If Christ is divine, our absolute
obligation is to believe everything he says and obey everything he
commands. [1 p. 152]
The difficulty of this issue
Christians ought to realise how difficult, how scandalous, how objectionable,
how apparently unbelievable and absurd this doctrine is bound to appear
to others. 
The difficulty is a double one. First, there is the immediate, instinctive,
intuitive shock. Second, on the reflective, rational level this claim
seems absurd. It is the claim of a man who came from a woman’s womb,
grew from a baby, got hungry and tired and angry, suffered and died
– to be divine! It is not only intuitively shocking, but it also seems
logically self-contradictory. [1 p. 153]
Before we attempt to address these difficulties and the validity of
Christ’s claim to be God, we need to establish that he did indeed make
such a claim. Many suggest that Jesus either never made any claims to
deity; that His claims were altered by His biased followers; or, that
His claims were misunderstood by His ignorant followers. 
Did Jesus make any claims to deity?
When we examine the New Testament documents, we find that Jesus makes
numerous claims to deity - to be God. The sceptics who doubt this, generally
doubt the accuracy and credibility of the documents themselves, but
as we have shown in the previous sections, the New Testament documents
are historical reliable. They more than satisfactorily pass each of
the tests of historicity and are therefore reliable in their accounts
of the life of Jesus.
It may also be worth noting a few additional points that support the
fact that Jesus did make claims to deity.
- There is ample indication that the early church based its doctrine
on things Jesus said and did, including His claims to divinity, rather
than inventing what He said and did after formulating the doctrines.
Those that deny Jesus made any extraordinary personal claims face
the very severe problem of explaining how it is that the worship of
Jesus as Lord and God came about at all in the early church. 
This is even more problematic when we realize that within twenty years
of the crucifixion a full-blown Christology (theory/doctrine) proclaiming
Jesus as God incarnate (God in human form) existed. How does one explain
this worship by monotheistic Jews of one of their countrymen as God
incarnate, apart from the claims of Jesus himself? 
The oldest liturgical prayer recorded, in 1 Corinthians 16:22, is
dated at around 55 AD. It refers to Jesus as Lord - a divine title reserved
for God. Paul's letters, written between 49 and 65 AD exhibit the same
fully evolved Christology; logically, he must have gotten it from sometime
earlier than 49 AD. Paul cites creeds, hymns and sayings of Jesus that
must have been come from earlier (Romans 1:3-4; 1 Corinthians 11:23;
Colossians. 1:15-16; Philippians. 2:6-11; 1 Timothy. 3:16; 2 Timothy.
2:8). These items translate easily into Aramaic and show features of
Hebrew poetry and thought-forms, which allows us to trace their origins
to Jesus' first followers in Judea, between 33 and 48 AD. 
The oldest Christian document shows Paul repeatedly calling Jesus
'Christ' (the title "Christ" is a Greek equivalent to the Jewish term
"Messiah" - the king and deliverer / saviour expected by the Jewish
people). He does this in a way that suggests that, within twenty years
of Jesus' death and resurrection, this comprehensive title for Jesus'
identity and powers was simply taken for granted by Paul and his readers.
The title had almost become Jesus’ second (personal) name (1 Thessalonians
1:1, 3; 5:23, 28). In his letters Paul uses 'Christ' 270 times but never
considers it necessary to argue explicitly that Jesus is 'the Christ'
whom Israel expected. 
All of this leads to the inevitable conclusion that the concept of
Jesus as divine quite definitely existed within, at the very least,
a decade of the crucifixion, and therefore, was likely to have been
asserted before His death by Jesus Himself, as is recorded in the Gospels.
- The claims of Jesus to be God make sense of his trial and crucifixion.[1
The Jewish sensitivity to blasphemy was unique; no one else would
so fanatically insist on death as punishment for claiming divinity.
Throughout the Roman world, the prevailing attitude towards the gods
was “the more, the merrier”. [1 p. 163]
The political excuse that he was Caesar’s rival was a lie trumped up
to justify his execution, since Roman law did not recognize blasphemy
as ground for execution and the Jews had no legal power to enforce their
own religious laws of capital punishment under Roman rule. [1
- The enemies of Christianity would have declared that Jesus never
made such claims 
If Jesus never claimed to be divine, and never claimed it in the sense
that is indicated in the Gospels, it is reasonable to expect that the
enemies of Christianity and the early church would have declared that
Jesus never made such claims, or that he was misunderstood. Some did
indeed do this, but wrote quite some time after the fact. There is no
record contemporary or closely contemporary with Jesus (first century
AD) that indicates that He never made any special claims for Himself,
or that the church invented the claims. Even after that time, however,
the major sceptics of the first several centuries never argued this
point. The Jesus-never-claimed-divinity argument had not been advanced
by sceptics of the time, and if it was used, perhaps by some sceptic
whose works we have totally lost, it was so easily dismissed or so lacked
adequate credibility that it could not be used by the best anti-Christian
- A parallel movement, that acclaimed Jesus as merely a good teacher,
would have emerged alongside Christianity. 
As it is, there are no existing texts from the first century, or even
from the century thereafter, that represent Jesus as claiming to be
only human or only a prophet. He is always portrayed as making exalted
claims to a super-human status. 
Was Jesus Misunderstood?
What about the idea that Jesus did say some or all of the things the
Gospels attribute to Him, but that He was misunderstood by his followers.
Regrettably, with this objection often comes either some outrageous
interpretation of the claims of Jesus that would never have held water
in Judaism - or nothing at all but the suggestion itself without alternative.
(One must, of course, when making this suggestion, should actually name
some alternative interpretations of the claims of Jesus and show that
these "alternative interpretations" would hold water within the social
and historical context of the New Testament records). 
It may be objected that Jesus spoke rather cryptically at times, so
that perhaps He truly was misunderstood. But as we will see, it is hardly
plausible that Jesus' claims were misunderstood; they are too clear-cut
when understood in the context of the time and place they were made.
We are also told that Jesus did explain things to His disciples privately
after the crowds were gone: "He did not say anything to them without
using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained
everything." (Mark 4:34). This was standard practice for an inner circle
of disciple. For a practical example of this, see the ‘Parable of the
Sower’ in Matthew 13. These disciples, of course, represent the people
who wrote (Matthew, John) or else supplied information (Mark, Luke)
for the Gospels. 
This argument is best defeated by examining the actual claims attributed
to Jesus in the New Testament. 
Evidence for Jesus’ Deity
Not one recognized religious leader, not Moses, Paul, Buddha, Mohammed,
Confucious, etc., has ever claimed to be God; that is, with the exception
of Jesus Christ. Christ is the only religious leader who has ever claimed
to be deity and the only individual ever who has convinced a great portion
of the world that He is God. [5 p.89]
Jesus' use of divine titles / names
YHWH - Lord
In the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), the sacred name for God was YHWH,
likely pronounced Yahweh. Yahweh (see Exodus 3:14) basically means "He
who is", or "I am who I am". [31 p. 78]
The Jewish people out of sheer reverence refused even to pronounce this
name. [5 p. 99] Jesus, however, used
this name when referring to himself!
John 8.24: "I told you that you would die in your
sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be [or 'I am
he'], you will indeed die in your sins."
John 8.28: "… then you will know that I am the one I claim to be [or
'I am he']…"
John 8.58-59: "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham
was born, I am!" At this, they picked up stones to stone him…
Notice how, in the last reference, the listeners immediately understood
his claim. They picked up stones to execute him - the punishment for
blasphemy (Leviticus 24:16). 
Buy using this title to refer to himself, Jesus was making an explicit
claim to be YHWH, to be God!
Son of God
A son is of the same nature, the same species, the same essence, as
his father. Jesus called God his Father, thereby saying that he is of
the same nature as God. [1 p. 150]
Jesus makes it clear that he is not just 'a son of God' or one of
the 'sons of God' but 'the son of God' (the phrase 'sons of God' is
sometimes used to refer to men or angels in the Old Testament). In every
instance where Jesus refers to himself as 'God's Son', or to God as
'my Father', he implies that he is the one and only Son of God; co-equal
and co-eternal with God. [5 p. 100]
Matthew 16.15-17: "But what about you?" he asked.
"Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ [Messiah],
the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son
of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father
Mark 14.62: Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the
Son of the Blessed One?" "I am," said Jesus.
John 5.17-23: 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.
Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing
by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever
the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and
shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even
greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and
gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to
give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment
to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.
He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
Notice several things about this important passage: 
- Jesus claim to be the Son is understood by the audience as blasphemy--a
claim to deity!
- Jesus response is NOT to say 'hey, but I am using sonship differently
than that-I am NOT claiming to be God'--instead He simply continues
describing the incredible unity between Himself and the Father (the
Father's works are the Son's works, the Son knows everything the Father
does, the Son gives life just like the Father does, the Father entrusts
all judgment to the Son, the Son is supposed to be honored 'just as'
the Father is honored, dishonoring the Son is equivalent to dishonoring
These are incredible claims. Jesus' disciples and his enemies clearly
understood from their Jewish backgrounds that by Jesus applying the
term 'Son of God' to himself, he was claiming to be equal to God. [5
Son of Man
Jesus often used the title "Son of man" to refer to himself. This
title occurs in the Old Testament (Daniel 7: 13,14), and by the time
of Jesus had tremendous messianic significance.
Daniel 7.13,14: "In my vision at night I looked, and
there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of
heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.
He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations
and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting
dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never
Notice too the many divine qualities that are associated with the
'Son of Man'. By using this title, Jesus clearly believed himself to
be the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah -
the King and deliverer / saviour expected by the Jews. [5
p. 102] It is also worth noting there was a belief that the Messiah
was to be divine [31 p. 83]
Matthew 11.6,7: "… But so that you may know that the
Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…" Then he said to
the paralytic, "Get up, take our mat and go home." And the man got up
and went home.
Matthew 16:13-17 "When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi,
he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" They
replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others,
Jeremiah or one of the prophets." "But what about you?" he asked. "Who
do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ [Messiah],
the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son
of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father
Mark 14.62-64: Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ,
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 high priest tore his clothes. "Why do
we need any more witnesses?" he asked. "You have heard the blasphemy.
What do you think?"
Notice too the response of the High. Jesus' claims to be the Danielic
messiah and to be the Son of God were understood by the 1st century
Palestinian Jew to be claims to deity! 
Once one takes together, the 80+ passages in which Jesus makes use
of the title "Son of Man", we see indisputable evidence that Jesus proclaimed
His divine identity through the title "Son of Man." 
Abba - Father
Jesus asserted that He had a relationship with God, which no one had
ever claimed before. It comes out of the Aramaic word Abba which He
often used, especially in prayer. Nobody before Him in all the history
of Israel had addressed God by this word.
The Jews were accustomed to praying to God the Father: but the word
they used was Abhinu, a form of address which was essentially an appeal
to God for mercy and forgiveness. There is no appeal for mercy in Jesus'
mode of address, Abba. It is the familiar word of closest intimacy.
By using it, he differentiated between His own relationship with God
as Father and that of other people. [5
The Jewish leaders of the day, immediately, realized the implications
of the word Abba, and charged Him with blasphemy. [5
John 5.17-18: 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.
Jesus' claims to be God
The New Testament reveals that Jesus claimed to have attributes that
only God could posses.
Jesus' claims to pre-existence
Jesus claimed the have been pre-existent before his birth--he was
around before Abraham. 
John 8.58-59: "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered,
"before Abraham was born, I am!" At this, they picked up stones to stone
him--Notice: This statement actually goes beyond pre-existence--it is
an explicit claim to be YHWH. 
Jesus claimed to have been pre-existent in heaven with glory before
His incarnation (God taking on human form) 
John 3.13: No one has ever gone into heaven except
the one who came from heaven -- the Son of Man
John 6.38: For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to
do the will of him who sent me
John 8.23: But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You
are of this world; I am not of this world"
Jesus' claims to be omnipresent
Jesus makes claims to be omnipresent - everywhere present at the same
time. [31 p. 76]
Matthew 18.20: For where two or three come together
in my name, there am I with them."
Matthew 28.20: "… And surely I am with you always, to the very end of
Jesus' claims to be omniscient
Jesus makes claims to be omniscient - to have infinite knowledge.
[31 p. 77]
John 16.30: "Now we can see that you know all things
and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This
makes us believe that you came from God." "You believe at last!" Jesus
John 13.21,26: "After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit
and testified, "I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray
me…. It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have
dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it
to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon."
Matthew 12.25: "Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them…"
Matthew 24:25: "… See, I have told you ahead of time"
Luke 22:31: "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat"
Jesus' claims to be omnipotent
Jesus makes claims to be omnipotent - to be all powerful. [31
Matthew 28.18: Then Jesus came to them and said, "All
authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me."
John 5.227: "And he [God] has given him authority to judge because he
is the Son of Man."
John 10.17,18: "… I lay down my life… I have authority to lay it down
and authority to take it up again"
John 6.37,39: "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever
comes to me I will never drive away… I shall lose none of all that he
has given me, but raise them up at the last day"
John 1.3: Through him [Jesus] all things were made; without him nothing
was made that has been made.
Luke 4.38-40: Jesus … rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up
at once and began to wait on them. When the sun was setting, the people
brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his
hands on each one, he healed them.
Mark 4.41: They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even
the wind and the waves obey him!"
Luke 4.36: All the people were amazed and said to each other, "What
is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits
and they come out!"
Jesus asks for and accepts worship as God
In the Jewish culture worship is reserved for God. [5
Jeremiah 17.5: This is what the Lord says: "Cursed
is the one who trusts in man…"
Matthew 4.10: Jesus said to him… "Worship the Lord your God, and serve
However, Jesus makes claims pertaining to the worship of himself!
He holds himself out as a legitimate object of religious faith. 
Mark 9:42: "And if anyone causes one of these little
ones who believe in me to sin…"
John 9.35-38: Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he
found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" "Who is he,
sir?" the man asked. "Tell me so that I may believe in him." Jesus said,
"You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you." Then
the man said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshipped him.
Notice: In this passage Jesus affirms himself as both a legitimate
object of religious faith and as a legitimate object of worship! (No
rebuke is given to the man at all for worshipping Jesus--even in the
presence of the Pharisees!) 
It is important to note that Jesus never corrects those who accuse
him of making himself equal to God, or those who called him "God". 
John 5.17: See the previous note in the discussion
of Jesus' "Son of God" title
John 8.58-59: See the previous note in the discussion of Jesus' "YHWH"
John 20.28-29: Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus
told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are
those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Jesus' claims to authority - authority that only God has
- Jesus claimed to be able to forgive sins. 
Luke 7.48-49: Then Jesus said to her, "Your
sins are forgiven." The other guests began to say among themselves,
"Who is this who even forgives sins?"
Mark 2.5-10: When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
"Son, your sins are forgiven." Now some teachers of the law were sitting
there, thinking to themselves, "Why does this fellow talk like that?
He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" Immediately
Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in
their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things?
Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,'
or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? But that you may know
that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...."
A rather strong statement of divine authority, and the context shows
that it was a blasphemous assertion if He was not God!. Notice that
He does not answer their charges with a "Hold on now! I am not claiming
to be God! I am claiming something less!" 
- Jesus had authority over the laws of the Sabbath - laws created
by God. 
Mark 2.28: So the Son of Man is Lord even of
- Jesus claims that the elect, and that the angels are his. 
Mark 13.26-27: "At that time men will see the
Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will
send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the
ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
Notice: Jesus identifies himself with the Divine figure in Daniel
7.13, talks of his coming with 'great glory', calls the angels 'HIS
angels', calls the elect "HIS elect", and somehow is able to gather
them together from all places on the globe. There are quite a few
strong deity claims in this little passage! 
- Jesus implied that he had the ability/authority to abolish the law.
Matthew 5.17: "Do not think that I have come
to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them
but to fulfill them…"
- Jesus implied a divine authority. 
Matthew 5: The "you have heard...but I say
to you" passages are generally considered to be statements of divine
- Jesus had the authority to give authority over evil to others. 
Luke 10.19: I have given you authority to trample
on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy;
nothing will harm you
- Jesus claims to have universal authority. 
John 17.2: For you granted him authority over
all people. 
- Jesus has authority to confer a kingdom in the same manner that
the God does. 
Luke 22.29: And I confer on you a kingdom,
just as my Father conferred one on me
Jesus makes claims that make no sense if he is not God
- His claims that his words will outlast time itself. 
Mark 13.31: Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will never pass away
- His claims that the eternal destiny of people depend on their response
to Him. 
Matthew 7:21-23: Not everyone who says to me,
'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does
the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that
day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name
drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them
plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
Notice that Jesus makes people's eternal destiny contingent upon HIS
approval of them! What an incredible claim! 
- His claims to be absolutely perfect / sinless. 
John 8.46: Can any of you prove me guilty of
Would a normal human being, with ethical standards as high as Jesus,
ever claim to be sinless? 
- Other claims that are ludicrous if Jesus is not God.
John 15.5: "I am the vine; you are the branches.
If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart
from me you can do nothing.
Note: this is another passage that makes no sense without a divine
Jesus. How could the phrase 'apart from me you can do nothing' make
any sense--if Jesus were not God--omnipotent, omnipresent deity? 
John 17.10: All I have is yours, and all you
have is mine. -- Note that Jesus is praying to God in this verse
Unless Jesus is truly God, this statement is ridiculous. 
Additional claims about his nature and powers
- Jesus is often linked to the word 'Lord'.
Mark 11.3: If anyone asks you, `Why are you
doing this?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here
Mark 5.19: Jesus… said, "Go home to your family and tell them how
much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."
So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus
had done for him."
He even states he will be addressed as “Lord” (Mt 7.21-22a). This
word is equitable with the title "Adonai" applied to God in the Old
Testament, which logically means that Jesus thought of Himself as
being God, or worthy of God's divine title - which amounts to the
same thing! 
- Jesus claimed to be greater than the Temple, than the prophet Jonah,
and than King Solomon. 
Matthew 12.6: I tell you that one greater than
the temple is here
Matthew 12.41-42: The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment
with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching
of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here. The Queen of the
South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it;
for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom,
and now one greater than Solomon is here
- Jesus claims to be able to give freedom.
John 8.36: So if the Son sets you free, you
will be free indeed
- Jesus claims to be able to raise himself from the dead.
John 10.17,18: The reason my Father loves me
is that I lay down my life -- only to take it up again. No one takes
it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to
lay it down and authority to take it up again.
This incredible passage has Jesus affirming that He can 'raise Himself
from the dead' 
- Jesus claims that he is responsible for sending prophets. 
Matthew 23.34: Therefore I am sending you prophets
and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify;
others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town
In Jewish belief, it is God who is responsible for sending prophets.
In saying that He will send prophets, Jesus is equating Himself with
God - assuming a role reserved for God alone. 
- Jesus claims loyalty greater than all human loyalties. 
Matthew 10.37: "Anyone who loves his father
or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son
or daughter more than me is not worthy of me
Notice that Jesus claims allegiance and loyalty greater than the strongest
of relationships--the family. Only a relationship with God supersedes
those relationships! 
Jesus' claims to equality with God
- He claims to be, and is repeatedly called, the potentially blasphemous
title "Son of God".
See the previous discussion on the title "Son
- Jesus claims that one's response to Him is equated to one's response
to God. 
John 15.23: He who hates me hates my Father
This passage is preposterous if Jesus is not 'identical' in both character
and action with God the Father
- Jesus claims that he should be honoured to the same extent as God
is honoured. 
John 5.22: Moreover, the Father judges no one,
but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the
Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does
not honor the Father, who sent him
- Jesus claims that to see Him is to see God. 
John 14.9: Anyone who has seen me has seen the
Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
John 12.44, 45: When a man… looks at me, he sees the one who sent
- Jesus claims that to believe in Him is to believe in God. 
John 12.44: When a man believes in me, he does
not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.
- Jesus claims that to know Him is to know God. [31
John 8.19: If you knew me, you would know my
- He never corrects those who accuse him of making himself equal to
nor those who called him "GOD". 
See the previous discussion on this point
- He claims that his coming to the Jewish people was the same as God's
Luke 19.43,44: The days will come upon you when
your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you
and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you
and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone
on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming
- He claims to operate with, and to the same extent as God 
John 5.17: 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.
- He claims direct equality with God 
John 10.30-39: I and the Father are one." 31
Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to
them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which
of these do you stone me?" 33 "We are not stoning you for any of these,"
replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim
to be God." 34 Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law,
'I have said you are gods'? 35 If he called them 'gods,' to whom the
word of God came -- and the Scripture cannot be broken -- 36 what
about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into
the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said,
'I am God's Son'? 37 Do not believe me unless I do what my Father
does. 38 But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe
the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is
in me, and I in the Father." 39 Again they tried to seize him, but
he escaped their grasp.
This passage is so very clear as to the intent and content of Jesus'
claims--they were explicitly claims to being God! His affirmation
of unity (30) is understood immediately as being a claim to deity
(33). Jesus defends his affirmation with a technical argument in Rabbinic
style. The general argument type is like this: "If it is okay to use
the term X in a limited sense on Y, then it is certainly okay to use
it in an expanded sense on a Z that is so much more than Y". In this
passage, He thus argues that if it was okay in the psalms to call
the Israelite leaders 'elohim' once, then it was certainly appropriate
to call the pre-existent One, special of the Father, perfect image
of the Father's character and actions, "GOD". And, once again, they
understand that claim to real deity and try to seize him! His claims
were quite clear - He was claiming to be fully God. 
How those around Jesus Christ responded to Him 
- God calls him "Son" and declares that He is "pleased" with Jesus
- God tells some of the disciples to pay attention to Jesus (Matthew
- Evil spirits knew he was the Son of God (Matthew 8.28-29; 3.11)
and the Holy One of God (Matthew 1.23)
- His enemies knew he was claiming to be God (Matthew 9.3; 26.63;
John 5.18; 10.33)--and accused him of blasphemy.
- Some of the general populace called/considered him God (Luke 7.16;
- John the Baptist recognized Jesus' radical superiority to himself
(Matthew 3.13; John 1.26-30,34)
- The disciples and those whose lives He touched worshipped Him (Matthew
14.33; John 9.35)
- He was repeatedly called the Son of God (Matthew 14.33; 16.16; John
1.26-30,34; John 1.49; 11.27)
- He was called "God" directly (John 20.27)
- Later Rabbinical writings 'remember' some of these exorbitant claims
If we step back from the data at this point, and look at it in its
entirety, we cannot but be overwhelmed by the massiveness of it! We
might be able to argue away a little here, and a little there, but the
sheer bulk of this cannot be moved. One cannot stop an avalanche 'one
rock at a time'. We come face to face with the reality that the Jesus
shared all of the attributes, glory, and status of God. The claims above
are simply too numerous and to consistently understood as being claims
to deity. 
The argument that Jesus never claimed to be divine is in fact nothing
more than an unsupportable conjecture, an argument from silence competing
against the scream of the available data. Each of the above claims,
and every known document of the church, even the heretical ones, acknowledge
that Jesus claimed divinity. There is absolutely no evidence to the
contrary that can be cited. 
Jesus claimed to be God. No matter how hard we try to dissect it or
explain it away, the evidence points directly to that most special claim
made by Jesus. One must now answer His question: "Who do you say that
I am?"  We now look at the
truth of Jesus’ claims.
For a detailed examination on the concept of God (Father, Son and Spirit),
please see the Trinity series by Glen Miller .
The data in Scripture is very, very clear: there are three ‘individuals’
in the Bible who may be called God without error and without blasphemy,
who interact with one another and with us. These three individuals affirm,
however, that there is only one God. As one can imagine from the above,
this belief has been a source of much controversy, much discussion,
much polemic, much error, much confusion, and many sceptical attacks.
In simplest terms, the concept of the Trinity is that there are three
Persons who can accurately be called 'the One God'. Some feel a little
uncomfortable with the notions of 'being' and 'essence' so they prefer
the notion of 'unit'. So they get "three Persons in one ultimate unit".
While the relationship between God the Father, Son and Spirit may be
difficult one to grasp, the most important, undeniable point is this:
Jesus claimed to be God