In response to whether Jesus of Nazareth would have been aware of his own “deity” N.T. Wright says the following (from Jesus and the Victory of God, p. 653):

“Jesus did not….’know that he was God’ in the same way that one knows one is male or female, hungry or thirsty, or that one ate an orange an hour ago. His ‘knowledge’ was of a more risky, but perhaps more sufficient sort: like knowing one is loved. One cannot ‘prove’ it except by living it. Jesus’ prophetic vocation thus included within it the vocation to enact, symbolically, the return of YHWH to Zion. His messianic vocation included within it the vocation to attempt certain task which, according to scripture, YHWH had reserved for himself. He would take upon himself the role of messianic shepherd, knowing that YHWH had claimed this role as his own. He would perform the saving task which YHWH had said he alone could achieve. He would do what no messenger, no angel, but only the ‘arm of YHWH’, the presence of Israel’s god, could accomplish. As part of his human vocation, grasped in faith, sustained in prayer and doubt, and implemented in action, he believed he had to do and be, for Israel and the world, that which according to scripture, only YHWH himself could do and be. He was Israel’s Messiah; but there would, in the end, be ‘no king but God’.”

In other words, pre-resurrection, the incarnation had to be understood seriously in that Jesus would not have been aware of deity as we understand it now. Rather, he would have seen himself as an ’embodiment’ of YHWH. This would be that which upon later Christology could build.

Thoughts?