Even in passages clearly emphasizing Jesus’ deity (e.g., Jn 1:1–18), such a theological emphasis is secondary to the historical emphasis that the Word who preexisted as God has become flesh and dwelt among us as Messiah. The double mention of John the Baptist, Messiah’s forerunner, reveals that the messianic framework is primary (Jn 1:6–8, 15).
Even Jesus’ miracles weren’t primarily to prove His deity but to prove His Spirit-anointed identity (e.g., Jn 6:1–15). However, they prove He is the Messiah as well as God. Also, the confession Jesus spent three years soliciting from His disciples was not “You are God” (which He is) but “You are the Christ” (Mt 16:16; Mk 8:29; Lk 9:20). Moreover, rejection of Jesus’ works is not a rejection of His deity per se but rather is a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit who has empowered these works by the Anointed One (Mt 12:22–32; Mk 3:20–30). Last, Jesus’ resurrection is the occasion of His coronation or official installation as the messianic ruler (Ps 2, esp. vv. 7–12; Mt 28:16–20; Rm 1:1–5; Acts 13:30–33; Heb 1:1–14).
In defending Jesus’ identity, we should confidently set forth, as the NT does, that “Jesus is Messiah!”