Of all the Muslim claims about the Bible this one really frustrates me. It frustrates me because words matter. Not only do words matter but actions matter as well. Let me illustrate what I mean: Imagine that I were to say to you, “I have more power than anyone in the entire universe”, you would think I was insane; and rightly so. But that is exactly what Jesus said in Matthew 28:18, “All authority in heaven and on the earth has been given to Me.” Words matter. No one can rightly say Jesus never claimed to be God while ignoring such words. Not dealing with such a statement by Jesus, while making a bold claim that denies one of the central doctrines of Christianity is to not deal honestly with the evidence for Christianity. And these words of Christ found in Matthew 28 are just a small sampling of the sort of things no mere man would say.
But what about actions? If you and I were in a room with several other people, and one of them fell down before me and worshipped me, calling me “God”, and I accepted such worship, you would rightly begin to wonder about our sanity (mine and the dude who worshipped me). Yet that is exactly what Jesus did on more than one occasion (Matt. 14:33, 28:9; Luke 19:37-40; John 20:28). Jesus never told people, “Don’t worship me” when they did. In the Bible we see angels telling humans, “Don’t worship me. Worship God” (Rev. 19:10), but never do we find Jesus saying such things.
It was C. S. Lewis who stated the obvious conclusion that the things Jesus said and did only leave us with 3 options: (1) Consider Him a liar; (2) Consider Him a lunatic; or (3) Worship Him as God.
When we consider more of the New Testament we see even greater evidence that Jesus Christ was and is God the eternal Son. Consider the following:
In John 1:3 we read, “All things were made through Him (Christ who is the Word), and without Him nothing was made that has been made.” This means Jesus Christ is our Creator AND He was not created. We see the same thing in Colossians 1:15-17 where we are told that Christ is the Image of the invisible God, the Creator, and the One who holds all things together. How can Jesus Christ be our Creator and not be divine?
Hebrews 1:6 tells us that angels worship Christ.
John 1:18 uses the term “the only God” in reference to Christ.
Titus 2:13 calls Christ “our great God and Savior.”
In the book of revelation Jesus Christ refers to Himself as “the first and the last” (Rev. 1:17), “the Alpha and Omega” (Rev. 22:13), and “the beginning and the end” (Rev. 22:13).
I have just scratched the surface of the content found in the Bible that convinces the thinking person to conclude — Jesus Christ is divine. He is the eternal Son of God. Jesus the man had a beginning through the virgin womb of Mary, but Christ who is God the Son never had a beginning. He took upon Himself human flesh in the incarnation and He is now forevermore truly God and truly man.
So why do Muslims deny this? Others who reject Christianity just simply deny the Bible as the Word of God. If you don’t want to submit to Jesus Christ as Lord then just deny that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. But Muslims cannot do that because their book, the Quran, affirms the Bible.
Thus they have another dilemma: How can they claim Jesus is only a prophet of God, which is what Muhammad taught, when the Bible they affirm (as previous revelation from God) shows Jesus saying and doing things that only God could and should do? One way they try to escape this dilemma is to say, “the Bible has been corrupted.” I dealt with that falsehood in my last article. But here, as it pertains to the deity of Jesus Christ, is another way they try to escape the dilemma: They deny that Jesus is God by saying, “Jesus never claimed to be God.”
That simply doesn’t work. It doesn’t work because a missing claim about a fact cannot negate evidence about a fact. Do we see Jesus ever saying “I am God” in the New Testament? No, not in those exact words. But we do see many other statements Christ made and things He did, as well as what His apostles wrote, that can only lead to one conclusion: Jesus Christ believed He was the eternal Son of God; that He was fully divine. So did the men who wrote the New Testament (most of whom were martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ).
Now one can reject that as true. Sure. We all must choose. But it is disingenuous to misrepresent the facts about Christ because of a false assumption about Him that your religion forces you into. That is exactly what Islam does as it relates to the subject of His deity.
Thus, if you ever have a conversation with a Muslim about Jesus, don’t be deceived by their talk of “we believe in Jesus”; they mean something entirely different than what orthodox Christianity means when we say in the Apostle’s Creed: “I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.”
Just as the Muslim claim that the Bible has been corrupted is easily defeated. So also the faulty argument that Jesus never claimed to be God is easily defeated.