In this article https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/more-quranic-proof-for-the-deity-of-christ-pt-1/ I am going to show how the Islamic concept of Unitarianism, commonly referred to as Tauhid, can actually be used to show that Jesus did in fact claim to be God in the flesh (even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit but one with them in the divine essence).
The Lord of all Creation
According to Islamic theology one of the essential names of God is ar-Rabb, “the Lord.” Next to the word Allah, ar-Rabb is considered to be the greatest name of God:
The Meaning of Ar-Rabb, the Lord
Ar-Rabb is the owner who has full authority over his property. Ar-Rabb, linguistically means, the master or the one who has the authority to lead. All of these meanings are correct for Allah. When it is alone, the word Rabb is used only for Allah. As for other than Allah, it can be used to say Rabb Ad-Dar, the master of such and such object. Further, it was reported that Ar-Rabb is Allah’s Greatest Name. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=79&Itemid=35; underline emphasis ours)
Rabb is the exclusive attribute of Allah
The Arabic word ‘Rabb‘ (Lord) is applied to a person who not only possesses a certain thing, but is also fully capable of and responsible for nurturing it properly. Obviously, no one can act as ‘Rabb‘ with regard to the whole universe except Allah. So, the word, used in an absolute sense, is exclusive to Allah, and it is not permissible to address or describe anyone other than Allah as ‘Rabb. ‘ A hadith in the Sahih of Muslim explicitly forbids a slave or servant to call his master a ‘Rabb‘. The word may, however, be employed in the case of a man too in a relative sense — that is, in relation to a particular thing, for example, ‘rabb al-dar‘ (master of the house) etc. (Qurtubi). (Maariful-Quran, by Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi, translated by Prof. Muhammad Hasan Askari & Prof. Muhammad Shamim, revised by Justice Mufti Taqi Usmani, Volume 1 (Surah Al-Fatihah, Al-Baqarah), p. 85 https://ia802707.us.archive.org/2/items/maarifulquran-english-pdf/MaarifulquranEnglishPdf-Vol1-Page001-741ByMuftiShafiUsmaniRah.pdf)
What the foregoing implies is that Jesus would never have referred to himself in the NT documents as ho Kyrios or “the Lord”, which would be the Greek-English equivalent of the Arabic phrase ar-Rabb, if he were nothing more than a human prophet/messenger of Allah. Nor would his disciples ever think of worshiping him as such, if they were Muslims as the Quran claims (cf. Q. 3:52; 5:111).
On the other hand, if Jesus and his followers believed that he was actually God in the flesh, being the unique divine Son of God, then it shouldn’t surprise us to find them ascribing this unique divine name to Christ all throughout the inspired Christian Scriptures.
So what do we find?
Unfortunately for Muslims, we find Jesus and his Jewish disciples identifying Christ as THE Lord of all creation!
Note, for instance, what Christ said to his Apostles on the night of his betrayal:
“ye call me, The Teacher and THE Lord (ho Kyrios), and ye say well, FOR I AM; if then I did wash your feet — THE Lord (ho Kyrios) and the Teacher — ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” John 13:13-14 Young’s Literal Translation
Christ is not just the Teacher, he is also the Lord (ar-Rabb).
In other instances, Christ speaks of himself as the Lord who must be obeyed:
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: he is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:46-49
Jesus even taught that the Holy Spirit inspired David to know, believe and confess that the Messiah is his sovereign Lord who sits enthroned at God’s right hand:
“And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David? For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said to my Lord (TO Kyrio mou), Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.” Mark 12:35-37 – cf. Matthew 22:41-46; Luke 20:41-44
That’s not all. Christ speaks of himself as Lord in the same context where he refers to himself as the Son of Man who rides the clouds and comes with his angels to judge his enemies by bringing swift destruction upon them:
“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of THY coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many… For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be… Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send HIS angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together HIS elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other… nd knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be… Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour YOUR Lord (HO Kyrios hymon – THE Lord of all of you) doth come… Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom HIS lord (HO Kyrios autou – THE Lord of him) when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, MY lord (HO Kyrios mou – THE Lord of me) delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; THE lord of that servant (HO Kyrios tou doulou) shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 24:3-4, 29-31, 39, 42, 44-51
What makes these claims so remarkable is that Jesus is identifying himself as the very same Son of Man that the prophet Daniel saw, the One who is worshiped by all the nations as he rules over them forever and ever!
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” Daniel 7:13-14 New International Version (NIV)
This shows that the historical Jesus actually believed that he is truly the sovereign Lord and eternal King of all creation.
What makes this so interesting is that even the Quran acknowledges that the Lord who descends upon the clouds accompanied by all his angels is Allah, i.e. God Almighty:
Do they then wait for anything other than that Allah should come to them in the shadows of the clouds and the angels? (Then) the case would be already judged. And to Allah return all matters (for decision). S. 2:210 Hilali-Khan
Nay! When the earth is ground to powder, And your Lord comes with the angels in rows, And Hell will be brought near that Day. On that Day will man remember, but how will that remembrance (then) avail him? S. 89:21-23 Hilali-Khan
Hence, by referring to himself as the Son of Man who rides the clouds accompanied by his angels Jesus was basically claiming to be God Almighty in the flesh.
On a related point, the Quran describes God as the exalted King who is the Truth, and who is seated as Lord on his honorable throne:
Wherefore let God be exalted, the king, the truth! There is no God besides him, the Lord of the honourable throne. S. 23:116 Sale
Astonishingly, Jesus says that he is the Truth (as well as the Life!),
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, THE TRUTH, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
And the exalted King who reigns on his throne of glory as the sovereign Lord of all!
“And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of HIS glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matthew 19:28
“When the Son of man shall come in HIS glory, and all the holy angels with HIM, then shall he sit upon the throne of HIS glory: and before HIM shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and HE shall set the sheep on HIS right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on HIS right hand, Come, ye blessed of MY Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world… And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels… Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” Matthew 25:31-34, 40-41, 44-46
In light of the foregoing, could Jesus have been any more explicit in identifying himself as God Almighty in the flesh (even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit)?
We’re still not done since we have more statements from both the Lord Jesus and his blessed disciples confirming Christ’s Divine Identity https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/16/islamic-theology-confirms-that-jesus-claimed-to-be-god-pt-2b/.