[quote=Ora Et Labora]My friend is reading a book written by a Jewish person that is arguing that Jesus never thought or stated that he was God. I gave the following versus as proof otherwise: John 8:58, John 8:24, John 8:28, John 10:24-30 and John 12:44-45.
I know that you have mentioned this passage from John 10, but I thought that it might be useful to look closely at it:Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”
Here, Jesus claims qualities exclusive to God: the miracles bear witness not of God, but of Jesus; Jesus, not God, gives eternal life; no one can take the sheep from him, which is a claim to omnipotence; Jesus hand is equated with the Father’s hand; Jesus is equated with the Father.
31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”
33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
The Jews regarded this as a claim to divinity. Can we reasonably claim to understand the implications of what he said better than those of his own culture did?
34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’? 35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” 39 Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand.Although this may initially look as though Jesus is talking his way down from blasphemy, he then makes another equation between himself and God, saying that he is to God as God is to him: they are utterly the same.
However, I think that there is another crucial point: the disciples. They claimed that Jesus was God, and were persecuted for it, both by the Romans, who ruled most of the known world, and by the Jews, their own people. In so doing, they exiled themselves from their home culture. If they were all power-mad liars, they were all stupid, because they promoted a teaching which denied power to its leaders. If they were all insane, it was a delusion which showed incredible consistency both over time and between the delusionals, even when they were separated. This is noteworthy because inconsistency is the basic identifying characteristic of a delusion.