When He lived on the earth, Jesus was always conscious of the fact that He was God. He told the Jews, “Before Abraham came into being, I am” (John 8:58). The book of Exodus tells us that the name of God is I Am (3:14). When Jesus said, “Before Abraham came into being, I am,” the Jews picked up stones to throw at Him because they knew He was saying that He was God. Jesus as the great I Am is the eternal, ever-existing God.
He called God “Father” (John 17:1), and He was not ashamed to call Himself the Son of God (Matt. 16:16). No religious leader has ever dared to call himself God. Neither Mohammed nor Confucius nor Socrates nor any great leader ever claimed to be God. But Jesus repeatedly proclaimed Himself to be God. He was put to death because He claimed that He was the Son of God (Matt. 26:63-66). His disciples openly declared that He was God.
A person who claims to be God is either a lunatic, a liar, or God. Christ cannot be a lunatic, for His words display wisdom and soberness and have been the foundation of all Western civilization. He is not a liar, for no liar would be willing to sacrifice his own life for his lie. The only possibility left is that He is the very God. Some might admit that Jesus had a high standard of morality, but still not believe that Jesus is God. But if you admit that He has a high standard of morality, this means that you believe He is not a liar, and you must take His claim of divinity as truth. Jesus repeatedly asserted that He is God. If you admire His morality, you must also recognize His deity.
Napoleon Bonaparte, when confined to the rock of St. Helena, “turned to Count Montholon with the inquiry, ‘Can you tell me who Jesus Christ was?’ The question being declined, Napoleon said, ‘Well then, I will tell you. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I myself have founded great empires...upon force. Jesus alone founded His Empire upon love....I tell you all these were men: none else is like Him; Jesus Christ was more than man....He asks for the human heart: He demands it unconditionally; and forthwith His demand is granted. Wonderful!...All who sincerely believe in Him experience that remarkable supernatural love towards Him....Time, the great destroyer, is powerless to extinguish this sacred flame....This it is which proves to me quite convincingly the divinity of Jesus Christ!’”
Another proof of Christ’s deity is the miracles that He performed on earth. One of the learned Jewish teachers of His time, Nicodemus, confessed that no one could perform the miracles that Christ performed unless God was with him (John 3:2). During His three and a half years of ministry He healed lepers (Luke 5:12-13), restored the lame (Matt. 11:5), the dumb (Mark 7:37), and the blind (Matt. 9:27-30), and even raised the dead (John 11:43-44). He cast out demons (Matt. 8:28-32) and quelled the storm (Matt. 8:23-27). He fed five thousand with five loaves and two fish (Matt. 14:15-21). He changed water into wine (John 2:1-11) and walked on the sea (Matt. 14:25). He had power over nature and authority over the demons. He exercised this power and authority to bring in the kingdom of God, and even gave this power and authority to His disciples. Some prophets in the Old Testament were able to perform miracles, but no one was able to perform miracles as Jesus did. Jesus was able to raise the dead to life because He is God and He holds the power of life. He proclaimed that He is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). He proved Himself to be the Lord over nature and over Satan. The Gospel of John says that these miracles manifest His glory (John 2:11) and prove that He is the Son of God (John 20:30-31).
(Christ is God, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)