"The Jews answered Him (Jesus), 'For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make yourself out to be God.' ” (John 10:33)
Jesus had obviously claimed to be God. So just what had He said to upset His Jewish audience so much?
“I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30)
He didn’t say that He was simply like the Father. He said that they were “one.” In verse 36, Jesus makes it clear that He had referred to Himself as the “Son of God.” Logic alone would tell us that the “Son” of God would possess the same deity as the Father. Man begets man. God begets God. The Jews, however, didn’t believe any of His claims. Getting nowhere with them, Jesus then focused their attention on the works that He had done and would continue to do. If He wasn’t God, He reasoned, how could He have performed all those miracles? He supported His claim to be God by saying,
“…that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father." (John 10:38)
During the Last Supper, just after washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus made a bold statement:
“You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.” (John 13:13)
The New Testament was originally written in Greek. The Greek word for “Lord” is Kurios, meaning “God—supreme in authority. Jesus was making the point that they were to follow the example (serving one another) set by God Himself. Later that evening, He reiterated His claim by saying to Philip,
“…He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)
Perhaps the most direct and profound example of Jesus claiming to be God is found at the end of the eighth chapter of John.
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham as born, I am.” (John 8:58)
This may seem like a confusing answer, but the Jews knew exactly what He was claiming. By using the term “I am,” He was making Himself out to be Yahweh (God) of the Old Testament. We know that the Jews understood His claim, since verse 59 tells us that they wanted to stone Him. He was claiming to have existed not only before Abraham, but eternally. We find the name “I AM” first used when God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. Not being crazy about the whole idea, Moses started making excuses. If he told the “sons of Israel” that the God of their fathers had sent him to them, what should he say if they asked, “What is His name?”
And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”
Here, God, in giving this name, gives the essential meaning of Yahweh—I am the One who is. By referring to Himself with the same name, Jesus is unmistakably claiming to be God. Anyone who argues that Jesus never made such a claim simply hasn’t bothered to search the Scriptures for themselves.