Yeshua claimed to be the God of Israel at the same time that he was a human being, a Jewish carpenter who lived in the town of Nazareth and had human emotions and feelings. In the Hebrew Bible, God conveys His name to Moses:

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:13-14, NIV)

Jesus applied God’s very name to himself:

(Jesus speaking) “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 Judeans* said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:56–58, NIV)

The implication was understood by his listeners:

“We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Judeans, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” (John 10:33, NIV)

Yeshua did things only God can do, such as forgiving sins:

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralytic, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” (Mark 2:5–12, NIV)

Some Jewish people object that a man can’t become God. That is true! However, there is nothing that prevents God from taking on humanity if He wishes. For more on this, see the links on “How can God become a man?” as well as these articles:

Don’t Christians believe in three gods?

Jews have the Shema; do Christians believe in three gods?

* Many Bibles translate this as “the Jews.” It is better translated as “the Jewish leaders” or else “the Judeans” — since Jesus’ followers were also Jews!

Section II: Part 6 of 10