A history of Napoleon exists. We also have Napeloen's memoirs. No one interested in the subject could neglect Napoleon's own point of view about himself and his life. Jesus Christ left no memoirs, but an idea of His personal view of Himself can be formed from what the Gospels tell us about His actions, gestures, and words.
It seems that Jesus took pleasure in evoking and maintaining this atmosphere of interrogation about His origins and His true mission. His replies were not always clear, sometimes they sidestepped the question, somtimes He replied in riddles or in parables, but He made sure the question would be repeated.
One day He gave an astounding reply. "Before Abraham was," He said, "I am." A speech with which no utterance of any other man can be compared, a speech impossible for an Evangelist to invent if it had not been said by Him Who had the right to say it. A speech in which without warning eternity erupts into time. A false evangelist, wishing to magnify his hero to the dimensions of eternity, would have made the tenses agree; he would have written: "Before Abraham was, I was." The tranquil affirmation of that solemn present, prior to Abraham, I am, has an authority that takes one's breath.