It's interesting as I continue to dive into John. I see the teachings of Jesus to be a bit more clear than some think. With a little Hebrew understanding, it's quite clear that Jesus claimed that He was from God, which flies in the face of some who try to re-construct the story to make Jesus into some great prophet.
What's so interesting is, the Pharisees were asking some of the same questions the neo-atheists are asking today. They didn't have the slightest clue to why Jesus was doing what He was doing. And…it was clear He wasn't interested in establishing a counter religious movement.
Jesus' mission was to bring the Glory of God to Earth, to begin a new way of thinking that the Pharisees hadn't even seen in the law, and for sure to march to the cross of crucifixion and subsequent resurrection.
The Pharisees questioned His plan and He replied, "Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God." (v.42-47)
And some might say, "What a cop out. He is claiming to be God, yet unless you know God, then you don't know Jesus." However, if you skim a bit further down in the passage He claims something likened to miraculous.
The Big question at the end of the chapter is Jesus' relationship to Abraham. The Pharisees always wanted to pit Him against the "father" of their faith, and Jesus just answered them quite frankly.
"Jesus replied, "If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad."
"You are not yet fifty years old," the Jews said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!"
"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. (v. 54-58)
And that was that!
I AM is a name for God (El-Shaddai ), and Jesus was claiming to be Him.
Jesus is the same I AM that walked with Adam in the garden.
Jesus is the same I AMthat helped Moses talk to Pharaoh.
Jesus is the same I AM that named Jacob.
He's the same I AM that told the Israelites of the promised land in Leviticus.
The Same I AM who spoke to the prophet Joel.
And He's the same I AM that will be coming back in Revelation.
This is a major revealing of divinity.
Check it out today. It will give an interesting spin with those people in your life that continue to try and argue the lack of divinity in the story of Jesus. And, it will help encourage your faith in a God that claims to simply be I AM.