Instead of coming to earth announcing his deity with trumpets blaring, Jesus was born in a lowly stable. Instead of parading around the hills of Galilee proclaiming his deity, Jesus healed the sick, fed the hungry and taught us to love one another. Instead of destroying his enemies, Jesus willingly let them crucify him on a wooden cross in order that our sins could be forgiven. Jesus said his mission was to “seek and save the lost,” not boast of his own greatness. He set the example of humility for us.
Yet, Jesus did say “I am God” on several occasions. For example, in John 8:58 he referred to himself as “ego eimi” or “I AM,” the holy name God had used exclusively for himself when speaking to Moses. Jesus also speaks of himself as God in the coming judgment:
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end….The victorious shall inherit these things, and I will be God to him and he will be son to me (Revelation 21:6-7, J. B. Phillips).
What is confusing to some is that Jesus frequently spoke of his Father as God, and said that he came from the Father. He also revealed that he was the only one who knew the Father intimately, and that the Father knew him intimately. But Jesus didn’t stop there; he told both his enemies and his followers that “I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30).
If Jesus had merely meant that he was in agreement with his Father, the Jewish leaders wouldn’t have angrily picked up stones to kill him. They did so because they understood Jesus was claiming equality with God.
Later, Jesus shared with his disciples that he was returning to his Father in heaven. Saddened by Jesus’ impending departure, Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father. In response to Philip’s desire to see the Father, Jesus told him:
Have I been such a long time with you,” returned Jesus, “without your really knowing me, Philip? The man who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9, J. B. Phillips).
In other words, Jesus was saying: “Philip, if you want to see the Father, look at me!”
Jesus wasn’t saying that the Father and he are the same person. However, he was saying that, as God, he and the Father are one essence. The Father, Son [Jesus] and the Holy Spirit are each called God in different Scriptures: one God in three persons.
For further reading we recommend the Y-Jesus article “Did Jesus Claim to be God?”