I admit it. There was a time, years ago, when I made the comment that Jesus never claimed to be God. I was a newly committed believer who had never really studied the Bible. Even then I knew I was ignorant of things Scriptural (in fact that was one of the reasons I went to seminary. I wanted to learn how to study scripture)but that seemed pretty obvious. I was dead wrong. The thing is, though, that having made that claim early on, I was alert to evidence to the contrary.
The evidence is all over Scripture if you have eyes to see it and (inner) ears to hear it. One excellent example can be found in John Chapter Five. I especially like this passage be cause people sometimes refute Jesus’ divinity by making bold claims just like I did long ago and adding that He just claims to be the “Son of God” which any believer might do. The idea is that being some one’s son implies two separate identities. The problem with this refutation of Jesus’ divinity is that we’re talking about God here so our language does not precisely apply to Him. That is to say that any definition we come up with to describe our Lord will by its nature (and more importantly, His nature) be imperfect. In other words, Jesus maintains His own identity vis a vis our Father even while being God just as our Father is God along with the Holy Spirit.
They got it. They just didn’t like it.
We must remember that Jesus was speaking to His own contemporaries as well as to us and even if they didn’t always grasp the full meaning of His messages, they did get much of what He taught about Himself. They just didn’t like what they heard. In fact, the leaders of the Jews got Jesus’ message so well that they arrested Him and got Him crucified.
See? They got it. They just didn’t like it. It’s an essential truth to salvation to acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This means recognizing His divine nature as the Son of God. This is definitely what the Bible teaches and to say otherwise is dead wrong. I mean that literally as well as figuratively. Go back and read “God So Loved the World Redux” and you will see what I mean.
This is a shortish post, but, you know, sometimes Scripture is just so plainly obvious that too many words just cloud its message. Basically put: The Bible says that Jesus claimed to be God and the people who heard Him at the time knew exactly what He was saying when He said it. This is irrefutable Biblical evidence of the divinity of Jesus. He was no mere prophet as some claim.