For Islam, “Jesus cannot be God”. How to respond as a Christian?

When it comes to talking about Jesus in front of our Muslim friends, many questions get in the way of Christians.

  • There is no clear Bible verse that says “I am God, worship me”!
  • A God who dies: it is totally illogical!
  • Three gods in one is impossible.
  • Mary shows concern for Jesus. This therefore means that she knows that he is not God, because what creature can want to protect his Creator?
  • If Jesus is God, why was he praying? And who was he praying to?
  • If Jesus is God, how could he have been tempted?

Since Muslims do not believe that Jesus can be God, then one of their ways of arguing is to compile everything that makes Jesus human, to refute his divinity.

Now, in the Bible, the verses announcing the divine nature of Christ are legion. Christians believe in the dual nature of Christ: fully human and fully God. We will thus find many references to his human nature, which also includes his limits and his fears, because Jesus was in all respects a man. And that doesn't take away from the fact that he was also God in every way.

In reality, on this dimension as on so many others, Muslims ask themselves questions of great relevance, which many Christians secretly ask themselves. Or do not arise but which they do not know how to answer.

Christians with little roots and weak knowledge of the Bible can let themselves be convinced by Islamic reasoning based on non-biblical presuppositions: their vision of God, of the world, of Christ is not built on the same foundations.

On the other hand, when Christians have a more solid faith and know – at least a little – Jesus, then contact with Muslims becomes an excellent school for strengthening their own faith. Indeed, while believing in God, Muslims do not draw the same outlines, do not attribute to him the same qualifiers or the same identity. Going to them leads us to want to dig into why we believe what we believe.

For those wishing to understand and deepen their Christian faith, Muslims are an outstretched hand to ask themselves the right questions… And it turns out that the Bible contains the right answers. Sometimes the Bible does not say things explicitly. However, a bundle of converging elements comes to prove the relevance of an affirmation. The traps and pitfalls, the misunderstandings and gray areas legitimately raised by Muslims, are all resolved in the biblical texts themselves.

Let’s end by answering the first question raised in this article:

“There is no clear Bible verse that says 'I am God, worship me'! »

There is also no verse where Jesus would say "I am not God, do not worship me." »

On the other hand :

  • several verses explicitly announce that Jesus is God: John 1:18; John 1:28-29; Romans 9:5; Philippians 2:5-6; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8; 2 Peter 1:1; 1 John 5:20; Revelation 1:8.
  • Jesus also has divine names: God, Son of God, “I am”, Lord.
  • Jesus accomplishes divine works: creation of the world, forgiveness of sins, self-resurrection, redemption, judgment.
  • He also possesses divine attributes – such as eternity and glorious pre-existence (John 17:5; John 8:58) or omnipotence (Matthew 28:18).
  • Finally, divine honors are rendered to Jesus by all types of earthly and heavenly creatures (Revelation 5:13).

Indeed, “There is no clear Bible verse that says 'I am God, worship me'! ". But a body of evidence leads Christians to conclude that Jesus is God.

This point and many others are brought together in Rémi Gomez's work "La divinité de Christ face à l'Islam", whose you can download an extract here.

This extract is offered to you in partnership with Editions BLF and the eXcaléo marketplace.

Pascal Portoukalian

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