THE MUSLIM CHALLENGE REFUTED: WHERE DID JESUS SAY HE IS GOD?

In this post I am going to help Christians address and refute the challenge of Muslims to show a single verse in the Holy Bible where Jesus explicitly stated that he was God or demanded to be worshiped in those exact words.

EQUAL WEIGHTS AND MEASURES

To begin with, Muslims must apply their demand consistently otherwise they will be seen to be quite dishonest. Therefore, the challenge is very simple. Quote a single passage from the Quran where Jesus is quoted as saying the following:

“I am the Messiah.”

“I am a Word from Allah.”

“I am the Word of Allah which he cast down to Mary.”

“I am a Spirit from Allah.”

Further show where Muhammad in the Quran says “I am the prophet of Allah.”

A POSSIBLE RESPONSE

A Muslim may retort and say that the Muslim scripture doesn’t need to have Jesus or Muhammad make any of these statements for them to be accepted or believed in, since the Quran is Allah’s speech. Therefore, it is enough that Allah himself affirms these facts in his scripture.

By the same token, Christians are not required to produce a single passage where Jesus comes right out and says he is God or must be worshiped, since we believe the Holy Bible is God’s inspired Scriptures, his sovereign Voice which summons mankind to salvation:

“But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: ‘I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” Matthew 22:31-32

“which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.” 1 Corinthians 2:13

“For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13

“You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:14-17

“But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” 2 Peter 1:20-21

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near… I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, saying, ‘Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.’… Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things. As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.’” Revelation 1:1-3, 9-11, 19-20

As such, it is sufficient for the Christian to show where God in his Word testifies that Jesus is indeed God Almighty in the flesh, being the unique divine Son and eternal Word of the Father that became human.

And this is precisely what we find declared all throughout sacred Scripture:

“But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them…. For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:1-2, 6-7 – Cf. 10:20-21; Matthew 4:12-16; Luke 1:26-45, 78-79

“Now muster yourselves in troops, daughter of troops; They have laid siege against us; With a rod they will smite the judge of Israel on the cheek. ‘But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.’ Therefore He will give them up until the time When she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren Will return to the sons of Israel. And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the LORD, In the majesty of the name of the LORD His God. And they will remain, Because at that time He will be great To the ends of the earth.” Micah 5:1-4 – Cf. Matthew 2:1-6; Luke 2:1-7; Habakkuk 1:12

“For to which of the angels did He ever say, ‘YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU’? And again, ‘I WILL BE A FATHER TO HIM AND HE SHALL BE A SON TO ME’? And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, ‘AND LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM.’ And of the angels He says, ‘WHO MAKES HIS ANGELS WINDS, AND HIS MINISTERS A FLAME OF FIRE.’ But of the Son He says, “YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER, AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER IS THE SCEPTER OF HIS KINGDOM. YOU HAVE LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS; THEREFORE GOD, YOUR GOD, HAS ANOINTED YOU WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS ABOVE YOUR COMPANIONS.’ And, ‘YOU, LORD [the Son], IN THE BEGINNING LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH, AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS; THEY WILL PERISH, BUT YOU REMAIN; AND THEY ALL WILL BECOME OLD LIKE A GARMENT, AND LIKE A MANTLE YOU WILL ROLL THEM UP; LIKE A GARMENT THEY WILL ALSO BE CHANGED. BUT YOU ARE THE SAME, AND YOUR YEARS WILL NOT COME TO AN END.’ But to which of the angels has He ever said, ‘SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET’?” Hebrews 1:5-13

Since God in his Word glorifies Jesus as the Mighty God who is from eternity, the Eternal Father who reigns on David’s throne forever, his uniquely begotten Son whom all the angels must worship, being the immutable Lord who created and sustains all creation, what further testimony is needed?

WHY CHRIST NEVER SAID HE WAS GOD IN THOSE EXACT WORDS

With the foregoing in mind, there is a very good reason why Jesus didn’t simply come out and say he was God in those exact words. During the time of Christ, the term “God” was used primarily for the One whom the Jews identified as the Father, specifically as their Father, just as the following passage suggests:

“… They said to Him, ‘We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.’… Jesus answered, ‘If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, “He is our God”;’” John 8:41b-42, 54

For Jesus to, therefore, simply say he was God without qualification would have been misleading since the Jews would have thought that Christ was making himself out to be God the Father. This is why Jesus made sure to speak in such a way that his audience would realize that even though he was indeed God in the flesh, he wasn’t claiming to be the Father. And they got it, as these next verses illustrate:

“Jesus said to him, ‘Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.’ Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was the Sabbath on that day. So the Jews were saying to the man who was cured, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet.’But he answered them, “He who made me well was the one who said to me, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk.They asked him, ‘Who is the man who said to you, “Pick up your pallet and walk”?’ But the man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, ‘Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.’The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. But He answered them, ‘My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.’ For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.” John 5:8-18

“‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.’ The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, ‘I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?’ The Jews answered Him, ‘For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.’” John 10:27-33

“The high priest stood up and came forward and questioned Jesus, saying, ‘Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?’ But He kept silent and did not answer. Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, ‘Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One? And Jesus said, ‘I am; and you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.’ Tearing his clothes, the high priest said, ‘What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?’ And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.” Mark 14:60-64

“The Jews answered him, ‘We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.’” John 19:7

JESUS’ DIVINE CLAIMS

In this section I will show several examples from the Quran and God’s true Word, the Holy Bible, to establish that Jesus made claims that even the Muslim scripture acknowledges can only be made by the one true God.

ALLAH

That is because God — He is the Truth, and brings the dead to life, and is powerful over everything, and because the Hour is coming, no doubt of it, and God shall raise up whosoever is within the tombs. S. 22:6-7 Arberry

To Him belongs the Kingdom of the heavens and the earth; He gives life, and He makes to die, and He is powerful over everything. He is the First and the Last, the Outward and the Inward; He has knowledge of everything. S. 57:2-3 Arberry

JESUS

“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son EVEN AS they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” John 5:21-29

“‘For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.’ Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, ‘I am the bread that came down out of heaven.’ They were saying, ‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, “I have come down out of heaven”?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day… He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.’” John 6:38-44, 54  

“Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to Him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.’” John 11:23-27  

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’” John 14:6

“‘These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; an hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but will tell you plainly of the Father. In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father.’ His disciples said, ‘Lo, now You are speaking plainly and are not using a figure of speech. Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe?’” John 16:25-31

“He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’ And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.’ Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.’” John 21:17

“When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.’” Revelation 1:17-18

“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this: ‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.’” Revelation 2:18-23

ALLAH

who, when they commit an indecency or wrong themselves, remember God, and pray forgiveness for their sins — and who shall forgive sins but God? — and do not persevere in the things they did and that wittingly. S. 3:135 Arberry

Say: ‘O my people who have been prodigal against yourselves, do not despair of God’s mercy; surely God forgives sins altogether; surely He is the All-forgiving, the All-compassionate. S. 39:53 Arberry

JESUS

“When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them. And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’ But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, ‘Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone? Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, ‘Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven”; or to say, “Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk”? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’–He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.’ And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this.’” Mark 2:1-12

“Then He said to her, ‘Your sins have been forgiven.’ Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man who even forgives sins?’ And He said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’” Luke 7:48-50

ALLAH

No indeed! When the earth is ground to powder, and thy Lord comes, and the angels rank on rank, and Gehenna is brought out, upon that day man will remember; and how shall the Reminder be for him? S. 89:21-23 Arberry

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah, who said that the Messenger of Allah said:

Allah (mighty and sublime be He) will say on the Day of Resurrection: O son of Adam, I fell ill and you visited Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so had fallen ill and you visited him not? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him? O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you fed Me not. He will say: O Lord, and how should I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so asked you for food and you fed him not? Did you not know that had you fed him you would surely have found that (the reward for doing so) with Me? O son of Adam, I asked you to give Me to drink and you gave Me not to drink. He will say: O Lord, how should I give You to drink when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: My servant So-and-so asked you to give him to drink and you gave him not to drink. Had you given him to drink you would have surely found that with Me. It was related by Muslim.

Reference: Hadith 18, 40 Hadith Qudsi (Forty Hadith Qudsi https://sunnah.com/qudsi40/18)

JESUS

“For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.” Matthew 16:27

“‘But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.”Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?”The King will answer and say to them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.”Then they themselves also will answer, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?”Then He will answer them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.”These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’ When Jesus had finished all these words, He said to His disciples, ‘You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be handed over for crucifixion.’” Matthew 25:31-46; 26:1-2

To sum up Jesus’ claims: Christ is the Truth, the Resurrection, the Life, and the First and the Last who has power over life and death, being the all-powerful Son who spiritually resurrects all believers whose sins he forgives, and who raises the dead physically from out of the graves at the last hour, on the last day. Jesus is also the omniscient Lord and King of the judgment day who comes with his angels to judge all the nations and recompense them for their deeds.

Since the Muslim scripture acknowledges that these are titles, functions and characteristics which belong only to God, this proves that Jesus did indeed make himself out to be God Almighty in theflesh, even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit.

JESUS IS WORSHIPED AND ANSWERS PRAYERS

ALLAH

The Islamic scripture testifies that God alone is to be worshiped and invoked:

And when My servants question thee concerning Me — I am near to answer the call of the caller, when he calls to Me; so let them respond to Me, and let them believe in Me; haply so they will go aright. S. 2:186 Arberry

Your Lord has said, ‘Call upon Me and I will answer you. Surely those who wax too proud to do Me service shall enter Gehenna utterly abject.’ S. 40:60 Arberry

He is the Living One; there is no god but He. So call upon Him, making your religion His sincerely. Praise belongs to God, the Lord of all Being. S. 40:65 Arberry  

The places of worship belong to God; so call not, along with God, upon anyone. S. 72:18 Arberry  

JESUS

Christ accepted worship in various contexts where he either fulfilled specific prophecies or carried out certain function that point to his divine identity, such as giving sight to the blind, raising the dead, controlling the winds and the waves, casting out demons etc.:

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.’… And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.’… After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2:1-2, 8, 11  

“While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.’ So Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples. And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. For she said to herself, ‘If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.’ But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, ‘Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.’ And the woman was made well from that hour. When Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing, He said to them, ‘Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.’ And they ridiculed Him. But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. And the report of this went out into all that land. When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, ‘Son of David, have mercy on us!’ And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord.’ Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith let it be to you.’ And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, ‘See that no one knows it.’ But when they had departed, they spread the news about Him in all that country. As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed. And when the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marveled, saying, ‘It was never seen like this in Israel!’ But the Pharisees said, ‘He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.’ Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” Matthew 9:18-36 New King James Version (NKJV)

“Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ And He said, ‘Come!’ And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, ‘You are certainly God’s Son!’” Matthew 14:22-33

“Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Lord, help me!’ But He answered and said, ‘It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.’ And she said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Jesus answered and said to her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour.” Matthew 15:25-28 NKJV  

“Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.” Matthew 20:20 Authorized King James Version (AV)

“And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him… But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’” Matthew 28:9, 16-20

“Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.’” Mark 5:1-7 NKJV

“And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy,” Luke 24:50-52

“As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.’ When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, and said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing. Therefore the neighbors, and those who previously saw him as a beggar, were saying, ‘Is not this the one who used to sit and beg?’ Others were saying, ‘This is he,’ still others were saying, ‘No, but he is like him.’ He kept saying, ‘I am the one.’ So they were saying to him, ‘How then were your eyes opened?’ He answered, ‘The man who is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, “Go to Siloam and wash”; so I went away and washed, and I received sight.’… Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ He answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.’ And he said, ‘Lord, I believe.’ And he worshiped Him.” John 9:1-12, 35-38

Jesus even exhorted his disciples to pray directly to him, assuring them that he would be the One who would personally answer all of their requests:

“Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14  

That’s not all.

The Bible astonishingly depicts every created being in all of creation worshiping Jesus in the exact same manner that God the Father is worshiped, and for the exact same duration!

“When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.’ Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing. And EVERY CREATED THING which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, AND ALL THINGS IN THEM, I heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, and TO THE LAMB, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.’And the four living creatures kept saying, ‘Amen.’ And the elders fell down and worshiped.” Revelation 5:8-14

This conclusively proves that Jesus is no mere creature since he is separate and distinct from every created thing in existence, being coequal with God the Father, which explains why he is worthy to receive the same exact worship that the Father receives.

The above helps us appreciate why Jesus is given the same worship that the Hebrew Bible ascribes to Jehovah.

For example, like Jehovah,

“I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.” Isaiah 45:23

Every created thing in all of creation will bow down confessing that Jesus is Lord:

“For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

And like Jehovah,

Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth.” Psalms 31:5

“then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.” Ecclesiastes 12:7

Jesus receives the spirits of believers at death and forgives sins from heaven:

“They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit! Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them!’ Having said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:59-60

And in the same way that the Israelites would call on the name of Jehovah their God,

“I love the LORD, because He hears My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live. The cords of death encompassed me And the terrors of Sheol came upon me; I found distress and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the LORD: ‘O LORD, I beseech You, save my life!’… I shall lift up the cup of salvation And call upon the name of the LORD… To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, And call upon the name of the LORD.” Psalms 116:1-4, 13, 17

Jesus’ followers were known for their habit of calling upon the name of the risen Christ!  

“Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ And he said, ‘Here I am, Lord.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.’ But Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to YOUR SAINTS at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call ON YOUR NAME.’ But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of MINE, to bear MY NAME before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for MY NAME’s sake.’ So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; and he took food and was strengthened. Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, ‘He is the Son of God.’ All those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, ‘Is this not he who IN JERUSALEM destroyed those who called ON THIS NAME, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?’” Acts 9:10-21

“To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:” 1 Corinthians 1:2

In light of this consistent pattern, it shouldn’t surprise us that Jesus himself went so far as to quote the following Psalm, which speaks of Jehovah ordaining praise from infants in order to shame his enemies,

“For the choir director; on the Gittith. A Psalm of David. O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens! From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength Because of Your adversaries, To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.” Psalms 8:1-2

To silence his opponents who were livid over the fact that Christ allowed children to praise him aloud while in the temple:  

“But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ they became indignant and said to Him, ‘Do You hear what these children are saying?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes; have you never read, “OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABIES YOU HAVE PREPARED PRAISE FOR YOURSELF?’” Matthew 21:15-16

Jesus could do so because he is none other than that same Jehovah referred to in the Psalm who had become flesh, and whom even the children realized was their very God that was (and still is) worthy of their worship and adoration!

With the foregoing in view, can there be any doubt left that Jesus did in fact claim to be God Almighty in the flesh, while also distinguishing himself from both the Father and the Holy Spirit?

Unless noted otherwise, biblical references are taken from the New American Standard Version (NASB) of the Holy Bible.  

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