By Sam Shamoun
In this series of rebuttals I am going to tackle specific biblical texts that Muslims cite where Jesus is depicted as worshiping and praying to God in order to undermine Christian belief in the Deity of Christ and his essential coequality to the Father. I will show that when these passages are read in their immediate and wider contexts they do absolutely nothing to refute the fact that Jesus is identified as the eternal, divine Son of God who became man for our redemption.
The following arguments are typical of the kind of objections raised by Muslim polemicists against the teaching of the historic Christian faith concerning the Divinity of the Lord Jesus:
Jesus never instructed his disciples to worship him
‘When you pray, say Our Father which art in heaven.’ (Luke 11:2)
‘In that day, you shall ask me nothing. Whatsoever you ask of the Father in my name.’ (John 16:23)
‘The hour cometh and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him.’ (John 4:23)
If Jesus was God, he would have sought worship for himself
Since he didn’t, instead he sought worship for God in the heavens, therefore, he was not God.
Jesus worshipped the only true God
‘that they might know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.’ (John 17:3)
‘he continued all night in prayer to God.’ (Luke 6:12)
‘Just as the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve’ (Matthew 20:28)
How did Jesus pray to God?
‘he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father’ (Matthew 26:39)
‘During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.’ (Hebrews 5:7)
Who was Jesus praying to when he fell on his face? Was Jesus crying in tears to himself pleading to be saved from death? No man, sane or insane, prays to himself! Surely the answer must be a resounding ‘No.’ Jesus was praying to ‘the only true God.’ Jesus was the servant of the One Who sent him.
Can there be a clearer proof that Jesus was not God?
The Quran confirms that Jesus called for the worship of the Only True God:
“It is Allah Who is my Lord and your Lord; then worship Him. This is a Way that is straight.” (Quran 3:51) (The Deen Showwith Eddie, “90 VERSES THAT SAY: JESUS IS NOT GOD NOR THE LITERAL SON OF GOD,” Compiled by Adenino Otari)
With the foregoing in perspective we can now begin addressing these blatant distortions of what God’s revealed Word, the Holy Bible, actually says regarding the Person and majesty of Christ.
Jesus’ Instructions Prove that Islam is a False Religion
To begin with, these texts all call into question the prophetic claims of Muhammad since they all basically affirm that the God whom Jesus prayed to and worshiped is the Father, specifically his Father.
Note, for instance, what John 4:23 says in context:
“The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, but you all say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; WE know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. Yet the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship THE FATHER in spirit and truth. For THE FATHER seeks such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.” John 4:19-24
Since Jesus clearly referred to God as Father, this means that could not have been a Muslim since the deity proclaimed by Muhammad is a father to no one, not even to Jews or Christians:
The Jews and Christians say: We are sons of Allah and His loved ones. Say: Why then doth He chastise you for your sins? Nay, ye are but mortals of His creating. He forgiveth whom He will, and chastiseth whom He will. Allah's is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and unto Him is the journeying. S. 5:18 Pickthall
In fact, the highest relationship one can have with Allah is merely that of a slave to master relationship:
And they say, 'The All-merciful has taken unto Himself a son. You have indeed advanced something hideous! The heavens are wellnigh rent of it and the earth split asunder, and the mountains wellnigh fall down crashing for that they have attributed to the All-merciful a son; and it behoves not the All-merciful to take a son. None is there in the heavens and earth but he comes to the All-merciful as a servant; S. 19:88-93 – cf. Q. 2:116; 6:101; 21:26; 39:4; 72:3
Christ, however, plainly stated that a person must become more than slave if s/he desires to abide in God’s house permanently. S/he must be set freed by God’s unique beloved Son who came into the world for the express purpose of granting his followers the right to become children of the living God:
“The true Light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was created through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. Yet to all who received Him, He gave the power to become sons of God, to those who believed in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:9-13
“Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. Now a slave does not remain in the house forever, but a son remains forever. Therefore if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.’” John 8:34-36
“But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born from a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth into our hearts the Spirit of His Son, crying, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a servant, but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Galatians 4:4-7 – cf. Romans 8:3, 9-17
Hence, the very passages which Muslims thought helped their case end up actually proving that Islam cannot be the religion that Jesus preached. After all, Jesus worshiped and referred to God as his/the Father, whereas the god of Muhammad is a father to no one. As such, Jesus could not have been worshiping the same God that Muhammad proclaimed, and therefore he could not have been a Muslim.
This in turn means that Muhammad wasn’t a true prophet since he erroneously thought that his religion was the same as that of Jesus and his disciples:
When Jesus found Unbelief on their part He said: "Who will be My helpers to (the work of) God?" Said the disciples: "We are God's helpers: We believe in God, and do thou bear witness that we are Muslims. S. 3:52 Y. Ali
"And behold! I inspired the disciples to have faith in Me and Mine Apostle: they said, 'We have faith, and do thou bear witness that we bow to God as Muslims'". S. 5:111 Y. Ali
More to come in the next part of our rebuttal.