Many skeptics of Christianity point out that “Jesus never [explicitly] claimed to be God.” Based on this fact, should Christians reject the deity of Jesus? Absolutely not. There are excellent reasons to believe that Jesus did claim to be divine even if he did not do so explicitly. William Lane Craig (PhD, University of Birmingham; ThD, University of Munich) points out the following.
We know from Paul’s letters that within twenty years of Jesus’ death Jesus was regarded and worshipped by his contemporaries as God incarnate (Phil. 2: 5– 7). It’s inexplicable how monotheistic Jews could have attributed divinity to a man they had accompanied during his lifetime if he never claimed any such things himself. Monotheism is the heart of the Jewish religion, and it would have been blasphemous to say that a human being was God. Yet this is precisely what the earliest Christians did proclaim and believe about Jesus! Such a claim must have been rooted in Jesus’ own teaching. And, in fact, we do find in Jesus’ teachings and activities both explicit and implicit personal claims that imply His divinity.