Frequently, those of the Muslim persuasion will claim, “There are no Jewish writings that prophesied the appearing of ‘God’ on earth in the form of a man.” They deny that Jesus of Nazareth possessed the nature of God in the flesh.
In fact, they assert that Christ never even claimed that he was the Son of God.
We are compelled to comment upon these fallacious allegations.
Actually, these charges accurately present the Mohammedan view of Jesus Christ.
One apologist for Islam has argued that “Jesus never claimed to be a god or the Son of God.” He contended that Christ “was only the servant and apostle of the Lord” in the very same sense that others (like Moses) were messengers of God before him (Adbalati, 158).
Another Islamic writer claims that there is no authentic biblical evidence that Jesus ever affirmed that he was the “Son of God” (Mufassir, 22).
The assertions are striking examples of how those so inclined can fabricate religious theories of their liking by thrusting aside all relevant evidence.
Let us briefly examine each of these claims.
Old Testament Prophecy About the Deity of the Messiah
Is there any evidence within the body of Old Testament literature that a divine Being would come to earth in human form?
Yes, without question.
The prophet Isaiah declared that “the virgin” would conceive and bear a son. The child would be designated as “Immanuel,” which signifies “God is with us” (Isa. 7:14; Mt. 1:22-23).
Though this Personage would be adorned with a human body, he would possess the God-nature as well. “Immanuel” was not intended to be the personal name of the Son of God (cf. Mt. 1:21). Rather, the appellation was indicative of his intrinsic essence. Deity had come to earth in a human form (cf. Jn. 1:1,14).
For further study of this passage, see Edward Hinson’s, Isaiah’s Immanuel (pp. 46ff).
Isaiah further announced:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).
The humanity of the Messiah is indicated by the terms “child” and “son.” But the Savior’s deity is reflected in the phrases “Mighty God” and “Everlasting Father.”
Professor Barry Webb has noted that “the language of verse 6 can apply only to one who is God incarnate” (69).
Then consider this. The prophet Micah wrote:
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of you shall one come forth unto me who is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting” (Mic. 5:2).
That this was fulfilled by Christ is obvious (see Mt. 2:6). The humanity of Jesus is suggested by his birth in Bethlehem. But his divine nature is indicated by his relationship to Jehovah. He is one who is to come forth to Jehovah and rule over Israel.
Further, the Messiah’s “goings forth” are said to “reach back into eternity.” As C. F. Keil noted, this characterization “unquestionably presupposes His divine nature” (481).
On the night before his death, at the conclusion of that meeting with the disciples at the Passover supper, Christ quoted from the book of Zechariah, making application to himself. The prophet had written these words.
“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man who is my fellow, says Jehovah of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered; and I will turn my hand upon the little ones” (Zech. 13:7; cf. Mt. 26:31; Mk. 14:27).
Two points are of special interest in view of our present study.
First, Jehovah’s shepherd is identified as a man who was to be put to death.
Second, this victim is called “my shepherd” and “my fellow,” revealing the intimacy of labor. The latter term “fellow” is used commonly in the book of Leviticus for a companion, one who is on “equal” standing with another (Lev. 6:2; 18:20).
“There is no stronger statement in the OT regarding the unimpeachable deity of Israel’s Messiah, the Son of God” (Feinberg, 910).
Did Jesus Claim to be the Son of God?
Let us now give momentary consideration to the misguided charge that Jesus never said that he was the Son of God. Such a statement is an irresponsible affirmation that defies rational explanation.
There is ample evidence in all four gospel accounts to the contrary.
Matthew records that Christ referred to God as “my Father who is in heaven” (Mt. 7:21; cf. 10:32; 16:17). In his parable of the marriage feast, the Lord represented himself in the role of the King’s [God’s] Son (Mt. 22:1ff).
It is important to note that when the Lord alluded to God as my Father, he always made a distinction between the relationship that he possessed with the Father and that which obtained with reference to ordinary human beings (cf. Jn. 5:17-18; 20:17).
Christ depicts himself as the beloved Son in the parable of the wicked husbandmen, as recorded in Mark 12:6. Further, under oath before the high priest, Jesus confessed that he was the “Son of the Blessed [One]” (Mk. 14:61-62).
Luke notes that Christ acknowledged God as his Father in a unique way when he was but twelve years old. “I must be about my Father’s business” (Lk. 2:49).
And further observe this from the record of the “beloved physician.” Christ said:
“All things have been delivered unto me by my Father: and no one knows who the Son is, except the Father; and who the Father is, except the Son, and he to whomever the Son chooses to reveal him” (Lk. 10:22).
Nowhere is the Father-Son relationship more pronounced than in the Gospel of John. The Lord refers to himself as “the Son of God” repeatedly (Jn. 5:25; 9:35; 10:36; 11:4).
He even claimed, “I and my Father are one” (Jn. 10:30). The Greek term rendered “one” is a neuter form, suggesting that the Son shared the divine nature with his Father.
The Islamic assertions as set forth by our Muslim friends are not correct. They thrust aside the testimony of an indisputable historical record. They are the manufactured claims of false religion.