Whom do men say that I Am?
Jesus Christ is the Son of God, equal with God, and with authority from the Father
“Then they all said, ‘Are You then the Son of God?’ So He said to them, ‘You rightly say that I am’” (Luke 22:70).
“For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother" (Matthew 12:50).
“Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth’” (Matthew 28:18).
“Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God” (John 5:17-22).
Bear in mind that while a man claiming to be God is a radical thought, Jesus is the only leader of a world religion to have made the claim - not to mention backed it up. How?
Jesus Christ lived a sinless life
“Can any one of you convict me of a single misleading word, a single sinful act? But if I'm telling the truth, why don't you believe me?” (John 8:46, The Message).
Jesus had the ability to sin; if He weren’t able to sin, He could not have been tempted genuinely and would be unable to be our sympathetic High Priest (Hebrews 4:15). When He was tempted, He always rebuked the thought with scripture (Luke 4:1-13).
Because He didn’t sin, God was able to accept His sacrifice. 1 Peter 3:18 says, “Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.”
Jesus Christ said He is the one and only way to God
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6).
It’s also interesting to note that Jesus did not call himself the destination, but the way, indicating that while salvation is immediate for the confessed and forgiven sinner, our Christian walk is a journey.
Jesus Christ had the power to forgive sins and provide everlasting life
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25).
“When Jesus saw their faith, He said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.’ The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, ‘Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’” (Luke 5:20-21).
"For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:40).
“I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.” (John 6:47).
Jesus Christ predicted his own death and resurrection
“Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, ‘We are going up into Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again’” (Luke 18:31-33).
Jesus Christ said He would come back
Matthew 24:27-30 "So as the lightening comes from the east and flashes to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man... At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory."
Mark 14:61-62 "Again the high priest asked him, 'Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?' 'I am,' said Jesus. 'And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.'"
Jesus clearly knew He was the Lamb of God, the Messiah spoken of in the Old Testament. He knew He had to live a life without sin, no matter what. When He returns, He will judge the sins of the world… except for those who have already acknowledged conviction, entered a plea of guilty, and sought His mercy by believing on Christ
Who Jesus is Not -
JESUS WAS NOT SIMPLY A GOOD MORAL TEACHER.
How, in the name of logic, common sense, and experience, could an impostor -- that is a deceitful, selfish, depraved man -- have invented and consistently maintained from the beginning to end, the purest and noblest character known in history with the most perfect air of truth and reality? How could He have conceived and successfully carried out a plan of unparalleled beneficence, moral magnitude, and sublimity, and sacrificed His own life for it, in the face of the strongest prejudices of His people and age? (Philip Schaff, The Person of Christ. New York: American Tract Society, 1913, 94-95)
C.S. Lewis, one-time atheist and author of The Chronicles of Narnia, put the dilemma this way:
A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said [about Himself] would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -- on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg -- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon, or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come away with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. (Mere Christianity)
Jesus would have to have been lying or insane (not the qualities of a good moral teacher) to call Himself the Son of God and the Savior of mankind if it weren’t true.
Therefore, to separate what is comfortable about Jesus - His kindness, His message of unconditional love, His healing of the sick - from that which is less comfortable (He was born of a virgin, He claimed to be God, He rose from the dead) isn’t really possible.
There are four options open to a person dealing with Jesus. You may consider Him: a legend, a liar, a lunatic, or Lord and God. If He existed, then He's not a legend. If He's a liar, that goes against everything else we know about His character. If He's a lunatic, how to explain the consistency in His message, the constancy of His love? If those options are removed, where does that leave you?
JESUS WAS/IS NOT A POLITICAL MESSIAH
This is one reason some Jews of Jesus’ time could not believe He was their Savior - He didn’t deliver them from the oppression of their Roman occupiers. He never actually intended to. The deliverance Christ offered and still offers today is of a spiritual nature, reconciling mankind to God (Matthew 11:27). The peace this Messiah brings is internal. His hope is for each human to be restored to a relationship with God, which sin has broken.