Did Jesus say he is God?

By Steven Masood on 03/06/2023
Did Jesus say He is God?

The Qur’an indicates that Jesus is the Spirit and Word from God. Although according to Islam, God is Al-Batin (hidden) and az-Zahir (manifested), Jesus is not seen or considered as being the manifestation (az-Zahir) of God. In contrast to that, in the Bible, we learn that Jesus was the manifestation of God. Jesus said: “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). God still calls people to live in fellowship with Him through Jesus. People who believe in Jesus recognize that they can come into the presence of God through him. Jesus said: “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Many Muslims raise objections when Christians say: “Jesus is God.” They demand to show them in the Scriptures where Jesus says: “I am God.” Indeed, no such direct exact statement by Jesus is found in the Bible. The question is, why? Notably, when believers in Jesus say he is God, they mean that Jesus Christ, as the Word and Son shares God’s divine nature with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He took on the human form and voluntarily chose to subject himself to the limitations of humanity. This is the reason why the Bible declares about him: ‘Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!’ (Philippians 2:5-8).

Some Muslims argue that “nowhere in the Gospels or the Epistles is it said that Jesus referred to himself as God, or implied that he was God.” They want to see a definite statement from Jesus: "I am God.” In response, I share with Muslims how in 922 CE, Muslims executed Al-Hallaj, a Sufi saint of Islam - because he said of himself: “Ana al Haqq,” which means, “I am the Truth.” Such a statement in orthodox Muslim’s ears is equivalent to identifying himself with God. Why? The Qur’an states: “Allah Huwa al-Haqq,” - “God, He is the truth” (Sura 22:6, 62). Well, my friend, Jesus, 600 years before Islam began, said the same thing about himself: “Ana Huwa as-Sirat, al-Haqq, al-Hayat,” “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). Yet many Muslims are still asking: “Show us where did Jesus say, “I am God?”

An important factor is that had Jesus made the blunt statement: “I am God,” he would have excluded the Father and the Holy Spirit. For this reason, he used the term “I am” (John 8:58), which is a reference to God in the Old Testament (Exodus 3:14). His opposing audience clearly understood this as a claim to be equal to God because they tried to stone him after he spoke those words. In other places, we see Jesus allowed himself to be called “The Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16-17).

−Taken from Steven Masood’s ‘One God, One Mediator, One People’ available here. 

One God