You can't call Jesus a great teacher or just a prophet of God or a great philosopher while at the same time ignoring the fact that He says He is God. Many try to walk that fine line between His deity and His humanity. The compromise is to view Him as a man and accept his "moral teaching" while ignoring the fact that He is God.
If Jesus is not God, then He was a liar and a con man and should not be held up as an example of how we should live our lives. If Jesus was a liar, then how can we explain the fact that He left us with the most profound moral instruction and powerful moral example that anyone has ever left? Could a deceiver teach such unselfish ethical truths and live such a morally exemplary life as Jesus did?
Throughout history, Jesus Christ has captured the hearts and minds of millions of people who have striven to pattern their lives after His. Some may deny that Jesus ever claimed He was God, but scripture tells a different story.
Scripture shows us others recognized that He was God (and Jesus did not refute them):
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. Matt. 16:16-18
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.” John 11:25-27
28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” John 20:28
35 Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.” 38 And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him. John 9:35-38
31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!” Matthew 14:31-33
Jesus Himself said He was God:
60 The high priest stood up and came forward and questioned Jesus, saying, “Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?” 61 But He kept silent and did not answer. Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 63 Tearing his clothes, the high priest said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? Mark 14:60-63
43 He trusts in God; let God rescue Him now, if He delights in Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” Matthew 27:43
24 The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. 26 But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them and they will never perish;, and no one will 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 the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” John 10:24-30
10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. John 15:10
28 So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. John 8:28
58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” 59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple. John 8:58-59
21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. 22 For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. John 5:21-23
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. John 14:23
Since none but God can forgive sins, then Jesus, who forgives sins, is God:
5 And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:5
If you accept that Jesus lived on earth and that the bible gives an account of His life, then you need to take all that Jesus did (as well as what others said about Him and responded to Him) into account when forming an opinion on who He is.
Was He a liar? A con man? Or is He the Son of God who stepped out of eternity and gave up His glory to come to earth, lived the life of a common man (a laborer), and lived a sinless and blameless life as an example of how God intended us to live when He created Adam and Eve? Did He come as just a teacher or prophet, or did He come to redeem us and save us from the penalty of sin by laying down His own life to save ours? Was He God in the flesh?
His teachings were ultimate, final, above those of Moses and the prophets. He spoke with authority. He made Himself equal with God. How can we ignore such vital information when searching the scriptures? How can we strip Him of His divinity and make him nothing more than a man like us?
If you question the divinity of Jesus, then you question the validity of the word of God. If you don't believe that the bible is the true inspired word of God (which is what you're saying when you deny the divinity of Jesus), then your attempts to follow the teachings of the bible are in vain. You will eagerly covet those scriptures that you agree with and try to apply them to your life from a humanistic perspective while ignoring those scriptures that you feel are to difficult to understand and apply, or that seem outdated or intolerant. Cherry picking which scriptures you choose to believe in is like writing your own bible. Following an incomplete bible can only lead to worshiping a false god, and that's idolatry.
You can't compromise on who Jesus is or on understanding that the bible is the complete word of God.
Repent and be forgiven! Believe and be saved!