Question: "Is Jesus God? Did Jesus ever claim to be God?"
Answer: Some who deny that Jesus is God make the claim that Jesus never said that He is God. It is correct that the Bible never records Jesus saying the precise words, “I am God.” This does not mean, however, that Jesus never claimed to be God.
Is Jesus God? — Jesus claimed to be God.
Take for example the words of Jesus in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” We need only to look at the Jews’ reaction to His statement to know He was claiming to be God. They tried to stone Him for this very reason: “You, a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33, emphasis added). The Jews understood exactly what Jesus was claiming—deity. When Jesus declared, “I and the Father are one,” He was saying that He and the Father are of one nature and essence. John 8:58 is another example. Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth … before Abraham was born, I am!” This is a reference back to Exodus 3:14 when God revealed Himself as the “I AM.” The Jews who heard this statement responded by taking up stones to kill Him for blasphemy, as the Mosaic Law commanded (Leviticus 24:16).
Is Jesus God? — His followers declared Him to be God.
John reiterates the concept of Jesus’ deity: “The Word [Jesus] was God” and “the Word became flesh” (John 1:1, 14). These verses clearly indicate that Jesus is God in the flesh. Acts 20:28 tells us, “Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own blood.” Who bought the church with His own blood? Jesus Christ. And this same verse declares that God purchased His church with His own blood. Therefore, Jesus is God.
Thomas the disciple declared concerning Jesus, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Jesus does not correct him. Titus 2:13 encourages us to wait for the coming of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ (see also 2 Peter 1:1). In Hebrews 1:8, the Father declares of Jesus, “But about the Son He says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.’” The Father refers to Jesus as God, indicating that Jesus is indeed God.
In Revelation, an angel instructed the apostle John to only worship God (Revelation 19:10). Several times in Scripture Jesus receives worship (Matthew 2:11; 14:33; 28:9, 17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38). He never rebukes people for worshiping Him. If Jesus were not God, He would have told people to not worship Him, just as the angel in Revelation did. Beyond these, there are many other passages of Scripture that argue for Jesus being God.
Is Jesus God? — The reason Jesus must be God.
The most important reason that Jesus must be God is that, if He is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). A created being, which Jesus would be if He were not God, could not pay the infinite penalty required for sin against an infinite God. Only God could pay such an infinite penalty. Only God could take on the sins of the world (2 Corinthians 5:21), die, and be resurrected, proving His victory over sin and death.
Is Jesus God? Yes. Jesus declared Himself to be God. His followers believed Him to be God. The provision of salvation only works if Jesus is God. Jesus is God incarnate, the eternal Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8; 22:13), and God our Savior (2 Peter 1:1).