Does Jesus Claim to Be God?

Kevin Zuber
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The following claims of Jesus affirm that He knew Himself to be equal to the Father and hence one with the Father in divine nature and essence.

Jesus claimed equality with the Father/He claimed to be the son of the Father.

John 5:18-21 (see John 14:23)
For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.”

John 8:19
So they were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.”

John 10:29-30
“My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

John 14:11 (see vv. 7-11; v. 20)
“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.”

John 17:10
“And all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them.”

John 17:11 (see v. 21)
“I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.”

Jesus claimed to be a revealer of the Father.

Matthew 11:27
“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”

John 1:18
“No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”

Jesus claimed to be the unique agent of the Father.

John 5:43a
“I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me.”

John 5:24a
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life.”

John 5:30
“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”

John 5:37-38
“And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form. You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.”

John 6:44
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.”

In these verses (and more!) Jesus claims to be “sent” by the Father. This expression indicates both a mission and the authority to carry out that mission. In effect, Jesus claimed to be the agent or ambassador of the Father while He was here on earth.

Jesus claimed to be “I Am.”

John 8:58
“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.’”

This is the most direct claim to deity made by Jesus. In this declaration Jesus is affirming His preexistence, which is in itself a claim to deity. Even more startling than that, He is claiming to be “I AM.” The Greek expression ego eimi is the emphatic first person singular for the verb “to be” and reflects the Hebrew ’ehyeh, which is the equivalent to ego eimi, that is, the first person singular for the verb “to be.” When Jesus spoke those words, everyone who heard Him would immediately have thought of the text in Exodus 3:14 where God declared His name to Moses as “I AM THAT I AM.” In short, Jesus was making a claim not just to deity, but to be Yahweh. The name Yahweh is actually the third person singular for the verb “to be”—He Is.

For Further Reading:

The Essential Scriptures

by Kevin Zuber

Which Bible verses support that doctrine? All good theology is grounded in the Word of God. Yet sometimes it’s hard to keep track of...

book cover for The Essential Scriptures