Over the last couple of weeks I have sought to answer this question. This is THE most important doctrine because the answer affects everything else we believe and understand about the Bible.
Is Jesus God? Yes! Did He see Himself to be God? Of course! We know He did because 1) He taught with His own divine authority, and 2) He had a unique, divine relationship with God the Father. We also know Jesus viewed Himself to be God because, in His teaching, Jesus emphasized HIS OWN IDENTITY.
Jesus came teaching the Kingdom of God. In other words, Jesus came proclaiming and establishing God’s Kingdom. Well, to say either the Kingdom of God or God’s Kingdom, Jesus was declaring that God was/is the King. You can’t have a kingdom without being king, right?! But what is so amazing here is that the NT clearly tells us Jesus is the King (Matt 27:11; John 18:37; Acts 17:7)! Yes, He came preaching and teaching about God, but we must recognize that He came preaching and teaching about Himself.
His teaching dealt with many topics, but it was centrally about Himself, who He was and who people thought He was. His question to His disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” (Matt 16:15), is the ultimate question of His ministry. The truth of everything He said and the importance of everything He did depended on who He was. Who is Jesus? He is God, and He knew it! That changes everything.
John 8:24, “unless you believe that I AM who I claim to be, you will die in your sins” (NLT). Next week, we will see that Jesus must be God because He receives worship. Only God is worthy to be worshipped. Stay tuned!