The idea that Jesus never made any claims to be God is absurd. Indeed Christ did claim to be God, and the Jews took up stones to kill Him for claiming to be God, for that was the proper punishment for blasphemy (Lev. 24:16).
The claim of Jesus to be God is found in John 8:58. “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” “Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by” (John 8:59).
The claim of Jesus to be God is found in John 10:30. Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.” The Jews understood perfectly what Jesus was saying and tried to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God” (John 10:32-33).
The claim of Jesus to be God is found in John 14:9. “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”
Not only did Jesus claim to be God, the disciples of Christ were convinced that Jesus was divine. “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).
Furthermore, the authors of Scripture were convinced that Jesus was divine. John said that the Word was God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. …14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:1; 1:14).
Luke recorded how Paul preached that God purchased His church with His own blood. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).
Paul wrote of Jesus as God our Saviour. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
The author of Hebrews wrote of Jesus as God. “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom” (Heb. 1:8).
Jesus has to be God, for only God could pay the infinite penalty for sin against God. Only God can forgive sins. “And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” (Luke 5:21). “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21). “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).
There is such a unity in the Godhead, that, to see the Son is to see the Father. That is what Jesus was telling Phillip. The hearts of those who believe Christ, rejoice. If you know the Son, you know the Father. To believe in Jesus, is to believe in the Father. Conversely, the same is true. If you know the Father, you will know the Son. If you see the Father, you will see the Son. To believe in the Father, is to believe in the Son. “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. 31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. 32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. 33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. 34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. 35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. 36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. 37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape” (John 5:30). The way to the Father, is through the Son. The way to see the Father, is to see the Son.
As Jesus is the Way, so He is the Truth. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).Though many are skeptical of truth, and ask in mockery with Pilate, “What is truth?”, Jesus did believe in ultimate truth, and claimed that He is the source of all truth. There are several ways to confirm that Jesus is the truth.
The Old Testament. The Bible speaks of Christ. “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life” (John 5:39).
His sinlessness. “Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?” (John 8:46).
He spoke without error. “And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so? 23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?” (John 18:22).
Jesus prefaced all of His remarks by saying that what He taught was not His own teaching but that of God. Furthermore, He would teach without error. Finally, He is the embodiment of all truth. Either such claims of Jesus are the claims of a liar, who knows He is lying, a egotistical maniac, or the claims of an honest person who really is who He claimed to be, the Son of the Living God.
The Liberal scholars and nonbelievers are wrong to say that Jesus is a great Moral Teacher if in fact He erred in what He said, was delusional, or a lying charlatan. No Moral Teacher would make exalted claims about himself. Jesus taught with authority. Ignorance would not allow Jesus to be wrong. In the modern culture, truth is despised, even in the church. It is often said that doctrine is not important, relationships are important. It is said that truth is relative. It is said that what is true for one person, may not be true for another person.
For those who say doctrine is not important, but relationships are important, what is really being said is that this is truth, getting along. Here then is the logical fallacy of illogical reasoning. There must be an understanding of truth if an axiom is to be evaluated. To set relationships against truth is illogical. It is the Word of God which defines truth. Jesus is the Word incarnate. Truth cannot be despised, without at the same time despising Christ because He is the truth.
If you want to know the truth, go to the source of truth, which is to say, go to Christ. Go now. Go quickly. Go without delay. To go to Christ is to have life, eternal life. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).