Yes He did!
1…in John 8:58 Jesus said “Before Abraham was born, I am”. The Greek words for ‘I am” are ‘ego eimi’. In Exodus 3:14 Moses asks for God’s name and He replied “I am who I am”. In ther Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures (the Septuagint) completed in 250BC, the second ‘I am’ is ‘ego eimi’. Jesus was claiming the personal name of God for Himself. The Jews understood this which is why they took up stones to kill Him. Blasphemy was claiming to be God and was punishable by death.
2…in John 10:30-33 the Jewish leaders wanted to kill Him again for blasphemy (claiming He was God).
3…in Mark 2:5-7 Jesus forgives a man his sins. The Jewish leaders were outraged because only God could forgive sins, yet that is what Jesus was doing. He knew it and they knew it.
4…in the final hours before His death, the High Priest asked Jesus if He was the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One. Jesus said ‘I am’, again claiming God’s personal name for Himself. The Jewish leaders understood what He was saying and demanded that He be put to death (Mark 14:61-64).
5…in John 1:1 it says that the Word is God. In verse 14, it identifies this Word as Jesus.
6…in Hebrews 1:8, God the Father is calling the Son (Jesus) God.
7…in John 20:28 the apostle Thomas calls Jesus God and Jesus doesn’t correct him.
8…in Colossians 1:19 & 2:9 all the fullness of the Deity is in Jesus and God will not share His glory with anyone (Isaiah 42:8).
Other places where the Bible equates Jesus with God:
Old Testament ref. to God; New Testament ref. to Jesus; Both are called;
Isaiah 44:6 Revelation 1:17 the 1st and the last
Isaiah 42:8 John 17:5 God’s glory shared
Isaiah 62:5 Matthew 25:1 Bridegroom
Psalm 23:1 John 10:11 Shephard
Psalm 27:1 John 8:12 Light
Joel 2:12 Matthew 25:31 Ultimate Judge
Isaiah 10:21 Isaiah 9:6 Mighty God
Exodus 20:1-5 Matthew 8:2 & 14:33 Receives worship
Isaiah 45:23 Philippians 2:10,11 Every knee will bow
Could Jesus’ followers have fabricated these stories?
A…prove it. The burden of proof is on the one who makes this claim.
B…reasons why this didn’t happen…
1. His followers included embarrassing details about themselves…
a. they were dim-witted – Mark 9:32
b. they were rebuked…Peter is called ‘Satan’ by Jesus (Mark 8:33), Paul rebukes
Peter publicly (Galatians 2:11)
c. they were cowards. They deserted Jesus at the cross
2. They included embarrassing details & difficult sayings of Jesus…
a. his mother & brothers thought He was crazy (Mark 3:21,31)
b. He was thought to be a deceiver (John 17:12)
c. He was deserted by most of His followers (John 6:66)
d. He was thought to be demon-possessed(Mark 3:22)
e. He is seen cursing a fig tree for not having figs when it wasn’t even the season for it
3. They left in demanding sayings of Jesus…
a. anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in
his heart (Matthew 5:28)…if thinking about sin is a sin, then everyone is guilty.
b. He makes divorce much, much harder than it was previously (Matthew 5:32)
c. He tells people not to seek revenge, to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39-42)
d. You’ll be judged by the same judgement that you give out (Matthew 7:12)
4. They included more than 30 historically confirmed people in their writings, people like
Pilate, Caiaphas, Festus, Felix, Tiberias Ceasar & the entire Herodian bloodline. These
are people that you didn’t want mad at you.
5. They challenged people to check out their facts (Luke 1:1-4 & 2nd Corinthians 12:12)
6. They describe miracles like any other historical event with simple, unembellished
accounts not embellishing them like most other ancient writers.
7. They & thousands of their followers abandoned their long held sacred beliefs &
practices and adopted new ones and did not deny these under threat of death.
8. Legends take time to evolve. This Jesus story took hold IMMEDIATELY.
“The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel, page 144
“True for You but not for Me” by Dr. Paul Copen, page 115