Jesus never said that he is God, but actually when he was accused by the Jews that he is saying he is God, his answer was actually denying it:
“I and the Father are one”:
Well, this word in itself is not a proof that he claims divinity, for the unity can be unity in aim, for example what Jesus said concerning the disciples:
Joh 17:22 And the glory which thou hast given me I have given unto them; that they may be one, even as we are one;
Of course this verse doesn’t mean that they are one by body, but by aim and faith, it is the same also concerning John 10:30. Dr. Thomas Constable, a Christian commentator acknowledges this on his notes on John 10:30:
“Jesus did not mean that He and the Father were the same person of the Godhead. If He had meant that, He would have used the masculine form of the word translated “one” (Gr. heis). Instead He used the neuter form of the word (Gr. hen). He meant that He and the Father were one in their action. This explanation also harmonized with the context since Jesus had said that He would keep His sheep safe (v. 28) and His Father would keep them safe (v. 29)……..First, Jesus’ claim to oneness does not in itself prove the Son’s unity in essence with the Father. In 17:22, Jesus prayed that His disciples might be one as He and the Father were one, namely, in their purpose and beliefs…….In short, this verse does not say that Jesus was claiming to be of the same essence as God. Here He claimed to function in union with the Father. However the context and other statements in this Gospel show that His unity with the Father extended beyond a functional unity and did involve essential metaphysical unity.”
So Dr. Constable is saying here that this verse in itself doesn’t mean real unity but figurative one, but the context proves that he was claiming to be God, but actually I don’t agree with him on that, because the context disproves his deity, let’s look at what the context says:
Joh 10:32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from the Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? Joh 10:33 The Jews answered him, For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Joh 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, ye are gods? Joh 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came (and the scripture cannot be broken), Joh 10:36 say ye of him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? Joh 10:37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. Joh 10:38 But if I do them, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father. Joh 10:39 They sought again to take him: and he went forth out of their hand.
When we look at the context, we find actually that Jesus is actually disproving the claim that he is God not proving it. The Jews misunderstood what he said, and thought that he was saying that he was God. Actually what the Jews said means that they understood from the scriptures that the Messiah is not God, so anyone who is saying that he is God is blaspheming. if they really misunderstood the scriptures, it should have been that Jesus answers their misconception by quoting a verse from the OT telling that the Messiah will be God as Isaiah (9:6 for example, see my post (Old Testament and Jesus), but the verse he quoted proves the opposite, Jesus referred to Psalms 82
Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, ye are gods?
So simply Jesus is quoting people who were called gods when they are not actually God. Just a metaphorical godhead, Jesus says that as these judges in Psalm 82:6 are called gods metaphorically, I am called son of God metaphorically. So I am called son of God as these were called gods and sons of Most High, if the Psalm wasn’t blasphemed when they called the judges as gods, why do you consider me blaspheming when I am called son of God?
Finally coming to the last point which some may say that Jesus said that he is in the Father and the Father is in him. This is not also a proof, as it only means that he has a good relationship with God since he is a prophet, and this language is very common:
Joh 14:20 In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
1Jo 2:24 As for you, let that abide in you which ye heard from the beginning. If that which ye heard from the beginning abide in you, ye also shall abide in the Son, and in the Father.
As for the 2 verses you quoted here:
“Before Abraham was born, I am!”
This actually is not a proof that Jesus is God because he is eternal, because this language was present in the Bible, it only means that he was in God’s foreknowledge, the same as what said concerning Jeremiah and Paul:
Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee; I have appointed thee a prophet unto the nations.
Eph 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love:
The context also proves this when he said before:
Joh 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad. Joh 8:57 The Jews therefore said unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Joh 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was born, I am.
Jesus (Peace be upon him) meant here is that Abraham (Peace be upon him) rejoiced when he knew that Jesus (Peace be upon him) will be from his descendants, and this is clear through the word “my day”, he didn’t say:”when he saw me”, this clearly means that he meant that Abraham knew that he will be raised one day, so he was rejoiced for that day.
The word “I AM” doesn’t claim divinity, anyone can say I am. The word “ego eimi” if it really meant Jehovah, it wouldn’t have been translated but it have been written Jehovah, especially when we see that the same word “ego eimi” was said by others:
Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” (John 9:9)
Is the beggar God? Of course not, but it actually means “I am the Messiah”, and this is very clear with what he said to the Samaritan woman:
Joh 4:25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messiah cometh (he that is called Christ): when he is come, he will declare unto us all things. Joh 4:26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
Which was said in other translation:
(MKJV) Jesus said to her, I AM, the One speaking to you.
This is a very clear proof that he didn’t mean to Jehovah by this word, and the context can show that as above.
First of all, these are the words of Gospel John’s writer. Actually there is a doubt in theidentity of the writer of Gospel John being John the apostle or an anonymous writer. What is more important is that this verse is mistranslated. The first “God” in “the word was with God” in this verse is “hotheos” in Greek origin which means God (with capital G) and with ho a definite article, while the second which is in “the word was god” is “theos” with no definite article which is supposed to be translated into god (with small g). Of course there is a big difference between both words , since the word “God” means Jehovah of the Old Testament, while the word god, means a god for pagans which is not meant in this verse, or god which means master as told about Moses (Peace be upon him):
Exodus 7:1″ And Jehovah said to Moses, See, I have made you a god to Pharaoh. And Aaron your brother shall be your prophet.”
Or Psalms 82:6 “:
“I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’ (Psalms 82:6)”.
As for John 1:3
Joh 1:3 All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made.
These things doesn’t necessarily mean creation, but it is his religion, and saving the people by faith in God and in Jesus as a prophet, since many scripts prove that Jesus (Peace be upon him) is not God.