Witnesses tell us that Jesus really did claim to be God. He said that he was God, that he was the Son of God and that he was the long-awaited Jewish Messiah.
We have the words of people who knew Jesus and who tell us that he said that he was God:
- When Philip asked Jesus to show him the Father, Jesus replied “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)
- Jesus took God’s own name ‘I am’ and applied it to himself on a number of occasions. One example is a very robust discussion with a group of Pharisees, recorded in John 8. Jesus concluded the discussion by saying: “I tell you the truth. Before Abraham was born, I am.” (John 8:58). It’s not surprising that they started picking up rocks to try to stone him to death.
- Jesus equated himself with God by calling himself the Son of God. “For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was not only breaking the Sabbath, but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God”. (John 5:18)
While talking to the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus explicitly stated that he was the long-awaited Messiah (John 4:25-26).
After his death and resurrection Jesus said that he was now the ultimate power in the universe. “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me’”.(Matthew 28:18)
Jesus claimed to be God. So, he either was God or he was suffering from delusions – he was mad. Perhaps the best way to decide whether or not he was mad is to look at what he said and ask ourselves if his words sound like the words of a madman. A good place to start is the commands that he wants his followers to obey. I’ve listed them on the home page of this site.