Did Jesus claim to be God?
This is a weighted question. The God of the Jews is “God the Father” from a Christian perspective. Did Jesus ever claim to be God the Father? Confusion over this issue has led to modalism, known today as the “Oneness” doctrine, which in the simplest terms is the idea that God was the Father in the Old Testament, the Son in the Gospels, and the Holy Spirit from the days of the book of Acts forward.
Beyond Jesus’ baptism, which shows all three ‘persons’ of God present at one time, Jesus makes a clear distinction between himself and his Father. Examples include:
“I ascend to my Father and your Father, and my God and your God.” (John 20: 17).
“If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28).
So Jesus did not claim to be his Father, and he recognized his Father’s sovereignty. However, Jesus did not refute the claim that he was God: “Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” (John 20:28-29)
Jesus also claimed equality with God: “I and the Father are one.” The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” (John 10:30-33). [Read more...]