"I and the Father are one."
The central claim that sets true Biblical Christianity apart from other world religions and the cults is the belief that Jesus is God. He is not merely a son of God, but He is the Son of God, even being One with the Father. Jesus said in John 10:30, "I and the Father are one." Now some would try to reason around this claim, trying to say that Jesus meant He was similar to the Father in certain ways while not being Himself the Father. Yet the religious leaders of the day clearly understood what He was saying, for the next verse explains that they picked up stones to stone Him. They unequivocally understood Jesus to be claiming to be Jehovah God, and they took this to be blasphemy and worthy of death. They knew Jesus was making a claim to be God, and they rejected Him and His claim. In so doing, they rejected God.
Jesus’ claims to being God are all through the gospel accounts. In fact, I would suggest that the very reason the book of John, for example, is written is to show that Jesus is God. John 1:1-3 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." There is no doubt John is speaking of Christ, and his message is that Jesus has always existed from the beginning along with the Father. In fact, Jesus is God Himself, having created the world along with God. This squares with Genesis 1:26 when God says "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness." From the beginning, there is a plurality in the Godhead and a perfect unity at the same time. The Son of God was and is God, and He created the world with the Father. Some cults claim that Jesus did not exist prior to His incarnation, which is obviously wrong, given that He was involved in creating the world itself. John 1:15 says, speaking of John the Baptist, "John testified about Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, "He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me."’" Even though Elizabeth had conceived John the Baptist before Mary had conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit, John rightly understood that Jesus existed before him, having always existed and only now having come in the flesh. This is a clear indicator of the Deity of Christ, and John the Baptist affirmed this. Jesus, like the Father, has no beginning and no end, being eternal. Jesus says of Himself in Revelation 22:13, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." He is God, sharing all of the same attributes. John, from the beginning of his gospel, is plainly clear about this reality.
As the gospel accounts unfold, the authors explain various evidences of Jesus’ Deity. If Jesus was God, we would expect supernatural things to occur to prove it, which indeed occurred. The Spirit of God descended upon Christ, and a voice from heaven declared that God was pleased in His Son (Luke 3:22). Jesus did countless miracles such as turning water into wine (John 2:9), healing the blind, raising the lame to walk, making the mute speak (Matthew 15:30), calming the storm (Matthew 8:26), raising the dead (John 11:43-44), and rising from the dead Himself (Matthew 28:6), the exclamation point for His claim to Deity (1 Corinthians 15:14). And there are many more miracles than these. If Jesus was God, there would be no way He could be killed altogether and forever. Indeed, He rose from the dead, proving His authority over sin, death, and all things because He is God.
It is impossible to read what is recorded concerning the life of Christ in the Bible and conclude that Jesus was not God but rather a mere prophet or teacher. Jesus didn’t claim to be a mere human being who was nice, friendly, charismatic, and extremely wise. He was much more than that because wise people don’t talk to storms and calm them and command the dead to come out of their graves and watch them do just that. He was unique, coming out of His own grave. It is plainly irrational to conclude that Jesus was not God, given His consistent claims to be God. John 14:7 says, "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him."
Given the vast amount of evidence for Christ’s Deity, it makes no sense to call Him a liar (that He said He was God when He knew He really wasn’t) or a lunatic (that He really believed He was God even though He actually wasn’t). The reality is that He was and is and always will be God. Still, there are some who try to get around this reality by arguing that He didn’t exist, although these are few and far between. There is just too much history, eye-witness accounts, and even secular documentation (e.g. Josephus), to discount Christ’s existence. Thus, there really is no escaping the reality of Jesus Christ and the reality of His Deity.
It is one thing to believe in God and another to accept that Jesus is God. Many people believe in a God of some kind, but few declare Jesus as Lord. This is a very narrow claim, but it is central to Biblical Christianity and to saving faith. Fortunately for those who choose to receive Jesus, the evidence is replete that indeed He was and is God, just as He said.