YES, Jesus said He is.
Genesis 15: 1-6 … After these things the Word of Yahweh came to Abram in a vision, saying: ( paraphrased) ” Look up and count the stars, if you can count them.” And he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
What an interesting text. Observe, that it is the “Word of Yahweh” who comes to Abraham in a vision. ( capital W used in the ‘Word’ when visible divine manifestation is indicated ) The Word here is something that can be seen— why else call it a vision? Verse 4 indicates that the Word “brought Abraham outside” to continue the conversation. This isn’t the kind of language one would expect if Abraham was hearing the only a sound. Ref: pg 129, M.Heiser, THE UNSEEN REALM.
These appearances of the Word of Yahweh are necessary to understand the apostle John’s language and his gospel that Jesus was the Word.
The most familiar instance is John 1:1 ( “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Then John 1:14 ( “And the Word became flesh and took up residence among us, and we saw his glory, glory as of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
In John 8:56, Jesus, the incarnate Word informs his Jewish antagonists that he appeared to Abraham prior to his incarnation: “Abraham your father rejoiced that he would see my day, and he saw it and was glad.” The Jews object to this claim, whereupon Jesus utters his famous statement, ” Before Abraham was, I Am.” ( John 8: 58 )
Friends, I am standing on the shoulders of a great author Michael Heiser, and his fantastic book THE UNSEEN REALM. I am doing so because I am fearful that you will not get around to reading this, and having a deeper understanding of our Lord and Saviour.
I want to pose a question to all readers: What other religion, “would be God”, world view, or belief system, comes close to the beautiful depth and history of the gospel of Christ? What other belief system focuses on the matter of ‘life-and-death? What other “would be God” claims to be the creator and designer of the entire universe and humanity? What other ‘would be God’ claims to have a plan of redemption and comes into his creation to save it?
What other ‘would be God’ expresses such love? Having said this, I want to emphasize that I realize God is not just love, love, love. ( John Lennon) If you study the Bible closely, you will find that God is a two-sided coin, he is either your advocate or your judge; a warm comforter to those that believe, and a fierce consuming fire to those that do not. Sorry, I did not make the rules, yet I believe God is always JUST. Humans have trouble accepting the truth of God’s justice, mainly because a lot of us humans want to be God, and don’t like being held accountable for our actions. I sincerely hope this post stirs your curiosity as to who Jesus is. Frankie The Earthman.