The Divinity Jesus: More Than a Prophet
Muhammad Said Jesus Was Just a Prophet, But Who Did Jesus Really Claim To Be?
The Gospels, the ones that Muhammad repeatedly affirmed to be reliable and to be from God (Surah 3:3-4, 5:47, 5:66, 5:68, 7:157, 10:94), are clear about who Jesus is.
Jesus Claimed to be God:
In John 8:58 Jesus claimed to be the "I AM" of Exodus 3:14. God gave Himself the title of “I AM” in Exodus when he was talking to Moses, and Jesus used this title for Himself. So in this verse in John, Jesus is clearly claiming to be God
John 8:56-59 says the following:
(56) "'Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.' (57) So the Jews said to him, 'You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?' (58) Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.' (59) So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple." (ESV)
What Jesus said in John 8:58 is clear. In the original Greek language, what Jesus said in John 8:58 is "ego eimi" (ἐγὼ εἰμί), which actually means "I, I Am." It's not translated that way because that's not proper English. So what Jesus was saying was this: "before Abraham was, I was 'I Am.'" Furthermore, eimi also means "I exist" as well. So Jesus was clear that He preexisted Abraham and that He was the "I Am." When the Jews heard this, they sought to stone Him because they knew this meant He was placing Himself in the position of God.
Jesus Accepted Worship That is Due Only to God:
Jesus affirmed the commands in the Old Testament Scriptures (Exodus 34:14, Deuteronomy 6:3) that people are to worship and serve God, and God only (Matthew 4:10; Luke 4:8), yet Jesus Himself accepted worship from others that is due only to God: Matthew 14:33, 28:9, 28:17; Luke 24:51-52; John 9:38.
In the following versus "bowing down" and "knelt down" is showing that He was worshiped: Matthew 8:2, 9:18, 15:22, 25, 20:20 (He was also worshiped after He was born in Matthew 2:11, but He was only a baby so how could He accept it or refuse it? But this is still an important verse). So Jesus was, assuming that He wasn't a lunatic, either a false prophet (a liar) or He was God. He accepted worship from others after He affirmed that only God is to be worshiped. So this is one way Jesus is clearly showing us that He is God.
Jesus Accepted the Title and Position of God:
Jesus accepted the title of God. Thomas called Jesus "my Lord and my God" in John 20:28-29 and Jesus praised him for it and confirmed those titles. Jesus was called "Lord" in Matthew 15:22 and John 9:38 and He accepted it. In John 1:49-50 Nathanael called Jesus “the Son of God” and Jesus confirmed this.
In John 10:30-33 the Jews tried to kill Jesus after He made Himself to be God by affirming equality with the Father.
In John 8:58, Jesus claimed to be the "I AM" of Exodus 3:14. So here Jesus is clearly claiming to be God.
In Mark 14:62 Jesus claimed to be the Divine Son of Man of Daniel chapter 7. In Mark 14:63 the high priest tore his garments because he knew this meant that Jesus was claiming to be God.
After Satan tempted Jesus in Matthew 4:7 and Luke 4:12, Jesus responded to Satan by quoting Scripture about not tempting God. By responding this way Jesus showed that to tempt Him is the same as tempting God, thus confirming that He was God.
Jesus Spoke with the Authority of God:
In the Old Testament, the prophets would say "thus says the Lord" and would appeal to God as the source of their authority (Exodus 10:3; Exodus 11:4; Joshua 24:2; 1 Samuel 10:18; 2 Samuel 7:5; 1 Kings 17:14; 2 Kings 1:16; 2 Kings 2:21; 1 Chronicles 17:4; 1 Chronicles 21:11; 2 Chronicles 11:4; Isaiah 10:24; Jeremiah 4:3; Ezekiel 5:5; Amos 1:3; Obadiah 1:1; Micah 2:3; Nahum 1:12; Haggai 1:2; Zechariah 1:16), but when Jesus spoke He would say "I say unto you" (Matthew 5:18, 22, 28; Luke 6:27). Jesus put Himself in the place of God and showed that He was the source of authority.
Jesus Was the Fulfillment of Old Testament Prophecies of God Coming to Israel:
Jesus fulfilled the prophecies in the Old Testament of God (Yahweh) coming to Israel, and Jesus even affirmed this as well:
• In Malachi 3:1, the LORD (Yahweh in Hebrew) says He will send a messenger "before Me." So this messenger, who was John the Baptist (affirmed by Jesus in Matthew 11:10 and mentioned in Mark 1:2 as well), was sent before the LORD. John the Baptist was sent before Jesus, so Jesus is "the LORD."
• In Isaiah 40:3, there is a prophecy of John the Baptist preparing the way of the LORD (Yahweh in Hebrew). John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus (affirmed by John the Baptist himself in Matthew 3:3 and John 1:23, and also mentioned in Mark 1:3 and Luke 3:4). So again, Jesus is equated to "the LORD."
• In Micah 5:2, written over 500 years before Christ was born, the prophet Micah prophesied that the eternal Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. In this prophecy, Micah said the One to come would have everlasting origins; His origin would be from eternity. Jesus fulfilled this prophecy in Matthew 2:1 when he was born in Bethlehem. The word "ancient" (translated as "everlasting" in NKJV) in Micah 5:2 in Hebrew is 'olām, which means "eternity." So the Messiah's origins, which is Jesus, is eternal. So even according to Old Testament prophecies Jesus existed forever and was not created, further proving that He was God.
Jesus Had the Attributes of God:
Jesus claimed and showed to have attributes that belong only to God (the claims below are said by Jesus Himself, not by His followers):
(1) Jesus claimed to be able to forgive sins (Mark 2:5-11).
(2) Jesus claimed to have preexisted the world (John 17:5).
(3) Jesus claimed to have glory before the world began (John 17:5).
(4) Jesus claimed to be the Resurrection and the life (John 11:25) and that He will resurrect the dead (John 5:25-29, 6:39, 44, 54).
(5) Jesus claimed to be the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
(6) Jesus claimed to be the door (John 10:7-9).
(7) Jesus claimed to be the light (John 8:12).
(8) Jesus claimed to be the key to eternal life (John 3:16, 6:40) and that He gives eternal life (John 17:2).
(9) Jesus claimed that the only way to God and heaven was through Him (John 14:6). He wasn't pointing to someone or something else, He was pointing to Himself.
(10) Jesus claimed to be omnipresent, or at least have a special inhuman ability to be present until the end of the world with His followers, by claiming to always be with the disciples (Matthew 28:20).
(11) Jesus claimed to be the one who will judge the world (Matthew 7:21-23, 25:31-32) and to have all judgment (John 5:22).
(12) Jesus claimed to be able to answer prayers (John 14:13-14).
(13) Jesus claimed that He has all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18).
(14) Jesus claimed that all people must honor Him just as we honor the Father (John 5:23).
(15) Jesus claimed to the the bread of life (John 6:35).
(16) Jesus claimed to have power over angels and called them "His angels" (Matthew 24:31).
(17) Jesus claimed to be from heaven (John 6:38, 51), yet those who are just human come from their parents, not from heaven.
(18) Jesus claimed to be the one who can truly and completely fulfill mankind's need (John 6:35).
(19) Jesus claimed to be able to offer rest to mankind (Matthew 11:28).
(20) Jesus claimed that all that the Father has was His (John 16:15).
Clearly these attributes and abilities Jesus displayed are beyond human abilities. Jesus clearly showed He is more than just a man and a prophet. He showed that He is God incarnate.
Jesus’ Disciples Claimed He Was God:
• John said Jesus is God in John 1:1-3.
• Peter said Jesus is God in 1 Peter 3:15, 2 Peter 1:1.
• Thomas said Jesus is God in John 20:28.
• Paul said Jesus is God in Romans 9:5, Colossians 1:15-20, Titus 2:13.
Jesus' Followers Also Acknowledged Jesus as Having Attributes Belonging Only to God:
• The Apostle John said all things were created through Jesus: John 1:1-3.
• The Apostle Peter said that Jesus was the judge of the living and the dead and that angels, authorities, and powers were subject to Him: Acts 10:42; 1 Peter 3:22.
• The Apostle Paul said all things were created by Jesus, through Jesus, and for Jesus: Colossians 1:16.
Jesus' Disciples Prayed to Him as God:
• Stephen prayed to Jesus: Acts 7:59.
• Ananias prayed to Jesus: Acts 9:14 (Ananias says "your name" while praying, which is letting us know that he is talking/praying to Jesus).
• Paul talks about praying to Jesus: Romans 10:13 (read Romans 10:9 for context).
The Jews Repeatedly Accused Jesus of Blasphemy and Tried to Kill Him for Claiming to be God:
In Mark 14:63-64, John 10:33, and John 19:7 the Jews tried to kill Jesus because of His claim to be equal with God.
It obviously wasn't blasphemy for someone to claim to just be a prophet (there had been plenty of Jewish prophets), but it was blasphemy for someone to claim to be God. Therefore, this is the reason why the Jews tried to kill Jesus on multiple occasions, and eventually had Him crucified.
Jesus Introduced A New Covenant That Replaced What God Had Already Established in The Old Testament:
In Jeremiah chapter 31, the LORD (Yahweh) said, "I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah" (Jeremiah 31:31 ESV), and Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20, and 1 Corinthians 11:25 records Jesus introducing this New Covenant. Now the only one who could do this, who could introduce a New Covenant to replace the Old Covenant, a Covenant God had already established, would be God. When Jesus did this, He showed His authority and that He was God. When Jesus did this, He put Himself in the place of God (Yahweh).
Jesus’ Divinity is Affirmed and Acknowledged by Numerous Sources:
In the very Gospels that Muhammad repeatedly affirmed to be reliable and to be from God (Surah 3:3-4, 5:47, 5:66, 7:157, 10:94, 18:27), we see that Jesus is called the Son of God by various sources:
• The Father: Matthew 3:17, 17:5; Mark 1:11.
• Jesus Himself: Mark 14:62.
• The Holy Spirit: Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10.
• Angels: Luke 1:35.
• Prophets: John 1:34 (John the Baptist was a Prophet (Matthew 11:9)).
• Jesus' Apostles: Matthew 14:33, 16:16; John 1:49.
• Martha: John 11:27.
• The Jews: (Martha, the Apostles, and John the Baptist were all Jews).
• A Roman soldier: Mark 15:39.
• Demons: Matthew 8:29; Mark 3:11; Luke 4:41.
Virtually everyone who could possibly identify Jesus as the Son of God identified Him as such. Then, 600 years later, Muhammad came along and told his followers that Jesus was not the Son of God. This shows that Muhammad was a false prophet.
The Lord Revealed Himself to Paul as Jesus, and This Revelation was Confirmed by Jesus' Own Disciples as Being True:
Luke recorded in the book of Acts that when the Lord revealed Himself to Paul (who was Saul at the time) He revealed Himself as Jesus (Acts 9:1-7). Furthermore, Paul met with Jesus' disciples in Jerusalem on multiple occasions (Acts 9:26-30; Galatians 1:18-19, 2:1-10). In fact, Paul specifically said that on one occasion he met with Jesus' disciples "in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain" (Galatians 2:2. ESV). So Paul met Jesus' disciples to literally make sure he was not preaching a false gospel. So if Paul's experience wasn't truly from God and if his teaching wasn't true (and if Jesus wasn't God then it obviously wasn't) then Jesus' disciples would have corrected Paul and told him that Jesus wasn't God and that his experience and teaching wasn't truly from the Lord. They didn't. Instead, Jesus' disciples confirmed Paul's message and extended fellowship to him that he might go proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:7-9). So this further shows that Jesus did, in fact, claim to be God and that His disciples claimed He was God as well, thus contradicting the Quran and confirming that what Muhammad said about Jesus and His disciples was a lie (Surah 3:52, 4:171, 5:17, 72, 75, 111-117, 61:14). Jesus is Lord, and Jesus' disciples agreed with this fact as well.
Even According to the Quran Jesus Had the Attributes of God:
According to the Quran, the Bible is reliable (Surah 3:3-4, 5:47, 5:66, 5:68, 7:157, 10:94), and according to the Bible, not only is Jesus God, but Jesus also had the attributes of the God as described in the Quran. If a Muslim accepts what the Quran says about the Gospels then they must believe that they are the Word of God, and if they believe that they are the Word of God they are forced into the uncomfortable position of accepting that Jesus not only claimed to be God but that he also had the attributes of God even according to the Quran:
1) According to the Quran, God is the first and the last (Surah 57:3), and according to the Bible that Muhammad affirmed to be true, Jesus is the first and the last (Revelation 1:16-18).
2) According to the Quran, God is the only one who can forgive sins (Surah 3:135), and according to the Bible that Muhammad affirmed to be true, Jesus is the one who can forgive sins (Mark 2:1-12).
3) According to the Quran, God will be the final judge (Surah 22:56-57), and according to the Bible that Muhammad affirmed to be true, Jesus is the final judge (Matthew 16:27, 25:31-32).
4) According to the Quran, God is the truth (Surah 22:6), and according to the Bible that Muhammad affirmed to be true, Jesus is the truth (John 14:6).
5) According to the Quran, God will raise the dead (Surah 22:7), and according to the Bible that Muhammad affirmed to be true, Jesus will raise the dead (John 5:25-29).
6) According to the Quran, God does not share His glory (Surah 57:1), and according to the Bible that Muhammad affirmed to be true, Jesus shared glory with God (John 17:5).
So the Quran tells us that the Bible is reliable, and the Bible shows us that the attributes of Jesus are the same as the attributes of Allah in the Quran. So, even according to the Quran, Jesus had the attributes of God, meaning ultimately that even the Quran puts Jesus in the place of God.
In conclusion, the evidence shows that:
He admitted He was God,
He was addressed as God,
He did the actions of God,
He had the aliases of God,
He was adored as God,
He had the attributes of God,
He accepted worship as God,
He was acknowledged as God,
He was affirmed as God,
He spoke with the authority of God,
He was followed as God,
He was served as God,
He was prayed to as God,
He was prophesied to be God,
He was called God, and
He said He was God.
So, what should we conclude about Jesus? That He didn’t claim to be God and was instead just a prophet, as Muhammad said? Or that He was God, who He said He was?