Is Jesus God because He said Honor him as you Honor the Father?
Answering Christianity has employed Muhammadan propagandists Sami Zaatari to write articles specifically attacking Christian core beliefs such as the Deity of Jesus Christ. In his latest article Mr. Zaatari goes out of his way to misinterpret John 5:23 while ignoring the obviously clear meaning. Here we will expose his shallow eisegesis and reveal the false logic behind his reasoning. Zaatari begins by saying:
By Sami Zaatari
Christians often claim that since Jesus said honor him as the Father, then this means Jesus is God since he asking for the same honor as the Father. The verse reads:
23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father
Christians use this and then shout Jesus is God! However so let us read on the verse, since Christian do not like to quote the rest of the passage:
That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him
So now since we have the entire verse quoted for us it makes things easier. So let us now respond, my response will be separated into two points:
Yes Christians do use this verse as proof that Jesus is God Almighty. I’m surprised it took Osama’s team of writers to finally present a rebuttal of this verse. We’ve been using this for the last 8 years and no answer was given or even attempted by “Answering-Christianity”. It is very obvious these propagandists have a problem in addressing this verse. As you will see, Zaatari fails miserably also and his explanation is merely his own personal opinion not substantiated by any Biblical facts. Zaatari begins his response by saying:
1- Notice Jesus says that if you do not honour him then you do not honour the Father. Now what does that mean? You see folks, any person who does not believe in a prophet of God disbelieves in God also, why? Because God is commanding you to believe in those prophets, and God is sending them revelations, to deny the prophet is to deny God.
Basically Zaatari takes “honouring Jesus as you would honour his father” as assuming that Jesus is a prophet and therefore believing in him would allow you to believe in God. The immediate problem that arises, if we assume that his comments to be true, is that if you:
honour the Son, even as they honour the Father
This fact is inescapable because the NT verse makes no distinction between Jesus and the Father here, since it says to honour Jesus as you would honour the Father. This means that both must be honored in the same way and to the same degree. Zaatari loves to claim that Christians don’t quote everything in the immediate context and yet he apparently forgot to quote the previous verses before it:
Jesus said to them, 'Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, THE SON DOES LIKEWISE. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, SO ALSO THE SON GIVES LIFE TO WHOMEVER HE WISHES. The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, SO THAT ALL MAY HONOR THE SON JUST AS THEY HONOR THE FATHER. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.’ John 5:19-23
The immediate context shows the reason why Jesus must be honoured JUST AS THE FATHER because he has the ability to do “whatever the Father does” which includes giving life to whomever he wishes. The passage also says that GOD THE FATHER will judge no one but has entrusted this to Jesus alone. In the Quran, it is Allah and only Allah alone that judges on the Day of Judgment:
The Jews say: "The Christians have naught (to stand) upon; and the Christians say: "The Jews have naught (to stand) upon." Yet they (profess to) study the (same) Book. Like unto their word is what those say who know not; BUT ALLAH WILL JUDGE between them in their quarrel on the Day of Judgment. S. 2:113
Behold! Allah said: "O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection: Then shall ye all return unto Me, and I WILL JUDGE between you of the matters wherein ye dispute. S. 3:55
(These are) the ones who wait and watch about you: if ye do gain a victory from Allah, they say: "Were we not with you?"- but if the unbelievers gain a success, they say (to them): "Did we not gain an advantage over you, and did we not guard you from the believers?" BUT ALLAH WILL JUDGE BETWIXT YOU on the Day of Judgment. And never will Allah grant to the unbelievers a way (to triumph) over the believers. S. 4:141
This lets us know that the person who will judge on the Day of Judgment (sometimes mentioned as "that day" in the Bible) would be God. Therefore if Jesus said that he would judge and both the Quran and the Bible say that God judges during the Day of Judgment then Jesus is clearly claiming to be God. Are there any references to Jesus judging in the future? The answer is clearly yes:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" Matthew 7:21-23
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world'... Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'" Matthew 25:31-34, 41
According to the OT it is God who will gather the nations in judgment, separating them as one separates the sheep from the rams:
"As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats." Ezekiel 34:17
"In those days and at that
time, when I restore the fortunes of
Thus, Jesus’ claim to judge provides a direct witness to his Deity, and also indicates that the reason why the Father entrusted the Son to judge is so that all may recognize him as God. In other words, by claiming to be the Judge Jesus is claming to be God since the OT, including the Quran, says that God will judge the nations. Jesus own words mentioned above claimed that he will judge everyone and that God gave all judgment to him! If Jesus is claiming to Judge all and then the O.T. and the Quran says that only God judges then apparently Jesus is saying that HE IS GOD. If he isn't they why say that God judges and then say that he is the one to judge. In a court of law this would be an explicit statement or claim. To simplify this even furthers, the reason why individuals must honor Jesus like they honor God is because Jesus is God and proves it by performing a Divine function which both the Hebrew Scriptures and the Quran attribute to God!
So therefore by honouring Jesus, you honour the Father, because you believe in Jesus, which means you believe God sent him with his doctrine, and in doing so this honours the Father. In fact let us continue quoting the verses:
23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Notice what Jesus is saying, he is saying the person who believes what he is saying, which is basically the doctrine of God, and believe in the ONE THAT SENT HIM will have everlasting life, which is heaven and they shall not be sent to eternal condemnation which is hell.
This makes things even more clear now, to honour Jesus simply means believe in him, believe in him as a prophet, once you do this, you honour the Father since you believe the Father sent Jesus, and you believe in the doctrine of the Father, therefore you shall go to heaven!
Zaatari believes that Jesus words are intended to direct the honour ultimately back to “THE ONE THAT SENT HIM”. The problem with this logic is that Zaatari wants to simply exclude Jesus out of the equation by putting the emphasis all on ‘the Father’, despite the fact that the context is focusing on the Person of the Son and his central role in God’s program of redemption.
Note, for instance, the following citations which Zaatari apparently forgot or didn’t read:
And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son AND BELIEVES IN HIM may have everlasting life; and I WILL RAISE HIM UP AT THE LAST DAY." John 6:40
Most assuredly, I SAY TO YOU, he who believes in Me has everlasting life John 6:47
Jesus again claims to be able to perform a function of God, namely resurrect the dead and give them eternal life, which again demonstrates his full Deity. And notice that Jesus says that the Father’s will is that all persons take the Son as the object of saving faith, that individuals must believe in Christ as God’s Son in order that the Son may grant them resurrection life and immortality.
Christ also said:
For God so loved the world that He gave HIS ONLY begotten Son, that WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send HIS SON into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17
Again the Bible tells you how to “believe on the one who sent Jesus” by “BELIEVING IN JESUS AS THE SON OF GOD”. This is something Islam considers as blasphemy since Allah has no sons.
Jesus continues to reiterate these Divine truths:
He who believes in Him is not condemned; but HE WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE is condemned already, because he has not believed in the THE NAME OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD. John 3:18
Jesus doesn't say that salvation comes in the name of God the Father but in the NAME OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, referring to himself. Again, Muslims don't believe this so according to Jesus’ own words they are condemned to eternal damnation. Why do Muslims not like this to be known by Christians? Jesus has the answer:
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For EVERYONE practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."
The condemnation talked about by Jesus centers on the rejection of belief in his unique Sonship, that to reject Christ as God’s only begotten Son results in eternal wrath. Since Muslims fall under this category Jesus says that people like this will love evil and hate the light revealed by and about him. This clearly tells us that people are viewed as being evil in the sight of the Father and the Son Jesus for rejecting the SON OF GOD. Therefore we must conclude that Islam is evil.
2- Now Christians will be saying 'but Jesus said honor me AS you honor the Father'. Now I have already shown what that meant from the context, but however so, for the sake of argument, let us just take this verse alone, out of context, which will read:
23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father
Christians think they have a great argument now, a great verse! But let us see, how can you honour Jesus like the Father? Well here is a list of ways to honour Jesus as the Father:
1- Believe in Jesus as a prophet and not a liar
2- Help him
3- Obey him
So this is how you would obey Jesus as you honour the Father.
Zaatari apparently has not pondered the consequences of what he is saying here. Take the verse in question again
SO THAT ALL MAY HONOR THE SON JUST AS THEY HONOR THE FATHER
Hence, if we honour Jesus LIKE THE FATHER WHO IS GOD THEN:
If you give a person the same reverence as someone else you must commit the same acts and think the same way of the other person also. In fact the word used for “EVEN AS” or “JUST AS” is Kathos and is defined as:
King James Word Usage - Total: 182
as 138, even as 36, according as 4, when 1, according to 1, how 1, as well as + (2532)&version=kjv 1
This word means that you must honour Jesus EQUALLY AS YOU WOULD HONOUR GOD ALMIGHTY HIMSELF. The late A.T. Robertson, one of the foremost Greek NT scholars of our time, has this to say about this verse:
That all may honour the Son (ina panteß timwsin ton uion). Purpose clause with ina and present active subjunctive of timaw (may keep on honouring the Son). He that honoureth not the Son (o mh timwn ton uion). Articular present active participle of timaw with negative mh. Jesus claims here the same right to worship from men that the Father has. Dishonouring Jesus is dishonouring the Father who sent him (Matthew 8:49; Matthew 12:26; Matthew 15:23; 1 John 2:23). See also Luke 10:16. There is small comfort here for those who praise Jesus as teacher and yet deny his claims to worship. The Gospel of John carries this high place for Christ throughout, but so do the other Gospels (even Q, the Logia of Jesus) and the rest of the New Testament. (Source)
Using the Greek text disproves Zaatari completely and his so-called explanation. Christians are right to believe that Jesus is to be worshipped like God Almighty since that is what the ancient NT text is explicitly saying. Hence, Zaatari has no case whatsoever. There can be no differentiation here as Zaatari tries to claim. The following examples show this very well:
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; EVEN AS I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. John 15:10
Notice here that “Kathos” refers to EQUALLY KEEPING THE COMMAND AND ABIDING IN LOVE LIKE JESUS DID WITH HIS FATHER.
They are not of the world, EVEN AS I am not of the world. John 17:16
“Kathos” here is equally saying that Jesus’ followers do not belong to this fallen, sinful world just like he isn’t since they belong to God.
You cannot honour Jesus by praying to him like you do with the Father, why? Well because Jesus himself taught you to pray to the Father and not to himself:
Matthew 6 1 Take heed that ye do not your alms
before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father
which is in heaven. 2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound
a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the
streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have
their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know
what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy
Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
So notice Jesus teaches men how to pray to the Father and so on, not to himself, there you cannot pray to Jesus in honor to him, because Jesus never asked for it, and the reason he never asked for it is because HE IS NOT GOD.
Zaatari assumes that just because Jesus asks men to pray to the Father, this somehow refutes his claim to Deity or denies that we can also direct our prayers to Christ. Apparently Zaatari is ignorant of the fact of Jesus giving his followers the following instructions:
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” John 15:16
“And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full… At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you.” John 16:23-24, 26
You will notice that in all of these passages Jesus tells His disciples to pray to the Father in His (Jesus’) name. We know that the way we talk to God is through prayer. However in order to pray to the Father it must be done in Jesus’ name WITH JESUS ANSWERING THE PRAYER!
In verses 14:13-14 Jesus expressly says that he will do whatever they ASK HIM DIRECTLY IN PRAYER and yet 15:16 says that “the Father will do it”. Hence we have both God the Father and the Lord Jesus answering prayers. If Jesus strictly told men to pray to the Father alone then why is he including his name in the supplication of prayer WITH GOD? This is “shirk” (associating partners with God or Allah) according to Islam for no creature can answer prayer but God!
Moreover, performing something in someone else's name has two
implications. First, it is the authority of another person that allows someone
to perform the work. In other words, it is because someone else authorized you to
take these actions that you are able to perform them; a person is not doing
them in his own authority. For example, when David fought Goliath he came unto
him "in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of
Second, when you come in someone’s name, you come in his stead. The person to whom you come is expected to respond to you, not on the basis of who you are, but on behalf of the one you represent, in whose authority you have come. They are to treat you as they would treat the one who authorized you to come. For instance, when David sent servants to Nabal to ask for food, “they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David” (1 Samuel 25:9). Therefore, when Nabal insulted David's servants (who came in David's name), he insulted David just as if he had spoken directly to him to his face.
Hence, the apostles performing miracles and having their prayers answered in Jesus’ name shows that Christ is God and coequal with the Father. This is because the name of Jesus carries an authority which only God has since he alone is capable of answering prayers and can empower persons to perform miraculous feats.
Secondly, Jesus himself stated that the Father is greater than him:
28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
Jesus here states the Father is greater than him, so this also shows you cannot honour Jesus as the Father, to do so would be a SIN. How can you honour a creation, a man who is lesser than God with God! How? This is a major sin to make this man Jesus equal with God when this man Jesus said the Father is GREATER THAN ME.
As we have seen, this verse does not prove Jesus is
God, not even close. When read in context it proves Jesus is not God but a
prophet of God who is sent to the children of
It is quite obvious that Zaatari has nothing useful to bring against the Deity of Jesus. This passage doesn’t prove that God is greater than Jesus in the same way that God is greater than a man. Zaatari assumes that this is what Jesus meant, that just as God is greater than any creature he is also greater than Christ. Robertson notes:
Greater than I (meizwn mou). Ablative case mou after the comparative meizwn (from positive megaß). The filial relation makes this necessary. Not a distinction in nature or essence (cf. 10:30), but in rank in the Trinity. No Arianism or Unitarianism here. The very explanation here is proof of the deity of the Son (Dods). (Source)
The Greek text isn’t saying that God is greater than Jesus in the way that the Creator is greater than a creature. The Father is greater than the Son in the same way that the president is greater than the vice-president. Would Zaatari claim that the one human being is more human than the other since one happens to be greater by virtue of being the president? Of course not, since both the president and vice-president ARE EQUAL IN NATURE, having the same human dignity and value in the eyes of God, with the difference in greatness being one of rank and position only.
In light of this backdrop, let us now deal with what Jesus intended to convey to his disciples that the Father was greater than he. In the first place, the term for "greater" (Greek - meizon) does not necessarily imply one who is greater in nature or essence. It can refer to someone or something being greater in position and/or authority, just as the following passages show:
"I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater (meizon) than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." Matthew 11:11
John being greater than all those born of women does not imply that the rest were less human than John, or that they were inferior to John in nature. Here, the term must mean that John was greater in position and rank.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater (meizon) than his master, nor is one who is sent greater (meizon) than the one who sent him." John 13:16
Both the slave and the one sent are just as human as the master and the sender, having the same human essence and nature that the master and sender have. Thus, greater here must mean in position and authority, not in essence and nature.
"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater (meizona) things than these, because I am going to the Father." John 14:12
Jesus' disciples did not perform better works, but performed a greater number of works than Christ since they reached far more people than Jesus did while he was on earth. Hence, the term "greater" refers to quantity, the amount of works, as opposed to quality since the disciples performed the same type of works but in far greater number.
The preceding data shows that the word meizon can either mean, depending upon the context, greater in nature, position, or even both. Thus, the only way we can know for certain what Jesus meant by saying that the Father was greater than him is by reading his statement in its immediate context. A careful look at the entire chapter of 14 shows the Lord Jesus claiming to have all of God's omni-attributes. Here is the same text again which we cited earlier:
"And I WILL DO whatever you ask IN MY NAME, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask ME for anything in my name, AND I WILL DO IT." John 14:13-14
Christ is capable of personally answering all prayers that are directed to him or are addressed in his name. The only way that Christ can both hear and answer all these prayers is if he is both omniscient and omnipotent!
"On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, AND I AM IN YOU. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." John 14:20-21
Christ says that he is IN all the disciples, an impossible claim if he was only a man, or even an angel. But since Jesus is God, and since God is omnipresent, it therefore makes perfect sense for Christ to say he is able to dwell in all the believers at the same time.
"Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and WE will come to him and make OUR home with him.’" John 14:23
Both the Father and the Son make their home with all true believers! Christ is clearly claiming co-equality with the Father since he is present with every believer in the same way that the Father is! What the foregoing basically shows is that Christ, although equal with the Father in the Divine essence, was lesser than him in position while on earth, obviously as a result of his assuming the role of a slave. The inspired and blessed Apostle Paul sums this up best:
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: WHO, BEING IN VERY NATURE GOD, did not consider equality (isa) with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became OBEDIENT TO DEATH-- even DEATH ON A CROSS! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the NAME OF JESUS every knee should bow, IN HEAVEN and ON EARTH and UNDER THE EARTH, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11
Although Jesus is in very nature God, and therefore equal in essence with God, Paul says that Christ did not cling to his equality but set it aside in order to assume the form of a slave by becoming a man.
In fact, even those who heard Jesus knew that he was claming to be equal to his Father:
"And this was why the Jews persecuted Jesus, because he did this on the sabbath. But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father is working still, AND I AM WORKING.’ This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal (ison) with God." John 5:16-18
We read in Scoffield’s notes that:
Literally, “His own Father”-Greek- patera idion. It is clear that the Jews understood that Jesus was claiming to be God.’” (Scoffield NKJV, footnote on John 5:18; pg 843; 1989)
Jesus by his own admission is claiming to be God here! As Scoffield noted the words “patera idion” differentiates from metaphorically usage of Father. Jesus was literally saying that God was his very literal Father (yet not in a physical sense, but in a purely spiritual sense)! This would clearly mean that Jesus himself was saying that his very nature WAS THE VERY SAME NATURE OF GOD HIMSELF. Since both fathers and sons share the same nature, without the son being less than his father in essence, similarly Jesus being God’s unique Son indicates his equality with the Father in essence as well as his personally distinction, that they are two distinct Persons who have the same Divine nature.
Interestingly, even the Old Testament writers knew that God has a Divine Son who was equal with him in nature:
"Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, AND THE NAME OF HIS SON? Tell me if you know!" Proverbs 30:4
According to the Jewish OT the One who established the earth is none other than Yahweh God:
For thus says the LORD, WHO CREATED THE HEAVENS, WHO IS GOD, Who formed the earth and made it, WHO HAS ESTABLISHED IT, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: "I am the LORD, and there is no other. Isaiah 45:18
Agur is asking about the name “of the Son of God”, with name here signifying the nature and essence of the subject. What Agur was basically saying is that not only are God’s nature and ways incomprehensible to man, but that the nature and acts of the Son are just as incomprehensible as well. This is similar to what Jesus himself said:
“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Luke 10:22
Just as the Father is incomprehensible so is his Son, and just as no one completely knows the Son except the Father in a similar manner no one comprehensively knows the Father except his Son!
Because we know that Jesus claimed to be THE Son of God the OT tells us how to treat him:
Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. Psalms 2:11-12
In Psalm 2 we have a prophetic picture which should be read
in its entirety. It describes ~(vv. 2 and 3) the time when the nations will
stand against God and against his Anointed One (Mashiho, from which our English word
Messiah comes). God says in verse 6 that he will nevertheless establish this
Messiah as his King on
Why have nations tumultuously assembled? And do peoples
meditate vanity? Station themselves do kings of the earth, And princes have
been united together, Against Jehovah,
AND AGAINST HIS MESSIAH (Mashiho):
`Let us draw off Their cords, And cast from us Their thick bands.' He who is
sitting in the heavens doth laugh, The Lord doth mock at them. Then doth He
speak unto them in His anger, And in His wrath He doth trouble them: `And I --
I have anointed My King, Upon
In verse 7 Messiah steps forward to declare the decree by which his coronation shall be accomplished, saying: "I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: "He said to me, 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations (goyim) your inheritance."' Furthermore, in Psalm 2:11-12 we are solemnly instructed:
Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. KISS THE SON (nashqu bar), lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. Psalms 2:11-12
The Hebrew for "kiss the Son" is nashqu bar. Even if this is translated, as some would have it, "Do homage in purity," the homage is to the Lord of verse 2 and to the Son of verse 7. The Tanakh clearly indicates that there is a Divine personality who is called the Son of God!
Some Muslims have attempted to link this passage to David, particularly Psalms 2:7; however this is easily refuted since neither the Holy Bible nor the Quran call David the Messiah nor do either claim that one must put their trust in David. Hence, to call David “the Son” in this verse would refute all of Islam and the Quran because this passage explicitly refers to THE MESSIAH, who is Jesus according to Islam!
In light of the foregoing, it is quite clear what the Lord Jesus meant that the Father was greater than him. It referred to position and not nature or power! As A.T. Robertson noted:
But also called God his own Father (alla kai patera idion elege ton qeon). "His own" (idion) in a sense not true of others. That is precisely what Jesus meant by "My Father." See Romans 8:32 for o idioß uioß, "his own Son." Making himself equal with God (ison eauton poiwn twi qewi). Isoß is an old common adjective (in papyri also) and means equal. In Philippians 2:6 Paul calls the Pre-incarnate Christ isa qewi, "equal to God" (plural isa, attributes of God). Bernard thinks that Jesus would not claim to be isoß qewi because in John 14:28 he says: "The Father is greater than I." And yet he says in John 14:7 that the one who sees him sees in him the Father. Certainly the Jews understood Jesus to claim equality with the Father in nature and privilege and power as also in John 10:33; John 19:7. Besides, if the Jews misunderstood Jesus on this point, it was open and easy for him to deny it and to clear up the misapprehension. This is precisely what he does not do. On the contrary Jesus gives a powerful apologetic in defence of his claim to equality with the Father (verses John 19-47). (Source)
Hence, both the NT data along and the clear evidence from the OT show that Christ is Divine and that he made explicit claims to Deity. That’s why the Jews wanted him killed:
"The Jews answered him, ‘We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he has made himself THE SON OF GOD.’" John 19:7
"And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, ‘Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?’ But he was silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE BLESSED?’ And Jesus said, ‘I AM; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.’ And the high priest tore his garments, and said, ‘Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?’ And they all condemned him as deserving death." Mark 14:60-64
Claiming to “be the literal (albeit spiritual) Son of God himself” was equivalent to claiming to be God which would be blasphemy if the person wasn’t who claimed to be. Yet if a person is indeed the actual, unique Son of God then such a person must be worshiped as Deity.
And because Jesus is the only Son of his kind, the One whom God was a father to in a unique and special way, honoring him is honoring the Father. And as God’s unique Son Christ had accessibility to God that no one else has. That is why Jesus said:
Jesus said to him, "I AM the way, the truth, and THE LIFE. NO ONE comes to the Father EXCEPT THROUGH ME. "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and FROM NOW ON YOU KNOW HIM AND HAVE SEEN HIM." John 14:6-7
Jesus said that HE SPECIFICALLY IS THE RESURRECTION and the only way a person could have access to the Father. Now if God is the Resurrection and Life in both the Quran and the Holy Bible, and yet Jesus claims to be the same thing, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that he is clearly claiming to be and do what only God is and does. This is verified by what Jesus says in this verse:
“Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? HE WHO HAS SEEN ME HAS SEEN THE FATHER; so how can you say, “Show us the Father”?’” John 14:8-9
No other prophet ever claimed that looking at him or her was to see God himself. This would be utter blasphemy for a creature to say, which Jesus clearly knew, and yet he could claim this because he is the unique Son who has the same make and nature of his Father.
What is amusing is that even Allah and Muhammad recognized the implication of Jesus calling himself God’s Son “in a literal (albeit spiritual) way”:
Then God will say: ‘Jesus, son of Mary, did you ever say to mankind: "Worship me and my mother as gods besides God?"’ S. 5:116
This is why the Quran instructed Muhammad to say:
Say: "If the Lord of Mercy had a son, I WOULD BE THE FIRST TO WORSHIP HIM". S. 43:82
Ibn Kathir comments:
Allah has no Offspring Allah says:
(Say) -- `O Muhammad' --
[إِن كَانَ لِلرَّحْمَـنِ وَلَدٌ فَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْعَـبِدِينَ]
(If the Most Gracious had a son, then I am the first of the worshippers.) meaning, `if this were so, then I would worship Him on that basis, because I am one of His servants; I obey all that He commands me and I am not too arrogant or proud to worship Him.' This conditional phrase does not mean that what is described could happen nor that is possible as Allah says:
[لَّوْ أَرَادَ اللَّهُ أَن يَتَّخِذَ وَلَداً لاَّصْطَفَى مِمَّا يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَآءُ سُبْحَـنَهُ هُوَ اللَّهُ الْوَحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ ]
(Had Allah willed to take a son, He could have chosen whom He willed out of those whom He created. But glory be to Him! He is Allah, the One, the Irresistible.) (39:4). Allah says here:
[سُبْحَـنَ رَبِّ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ رَبِّ الْعَرْشِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ ]
(Glorified is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, the Lord of the Throne! Exalted be He from all that they ascribe (to Him).) meaning, exalted and sanctified and glorified be the Creator of all things far above having any offspring, for He is Unique, One and Eternally Self-Sufficient. There is none equal to Him or like Him, and He does not have any offspring.
(So leave them (alone) to speak nonsense) means, in their ignorance and misguidance,
(and play) in their world,
[حَتَّى يُلَـقُواْ يَوْمَهُمُ الَّذِى يُوعَدُونَ]
(until they meet the Day of theirs which they have been promised.) which is the Day of Resurrection, i.e., then they will come to know what their end and destination will be on that Day. (Source; Tafsir Ibn Kathir; S. 43:82 emphasis ours)
In order to further solidify our position that Christ is Divine, and therefore deserving of the very worship given to God, we provide some non-Christian Jewish writings regarding the Person and work of the Messiah. There are plenty of ancient Jewish sources claiming that the Messiah was God’s Son in a unique manner, or that he was pre-existent and had parity with God in some sense. For example, the introduction to I Enoch, taken from “The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (2 volumes)” [Charlesworth (ed), Doubleday: 1983], says:
The Messiah in 1 Enoch, called the Righteous One, and the Son of Man, is depicted as a PRE-EXISTENT HEAVENTLY BEING who is resplendent and majestic, possesses all dominion, and sits on his throne of glory passing judgment upon all mortal and spiritual beings. (Ibid, vol. 1, pg. 9)
Here is a quote from the book itself:
At that place, I saw the One to WHOM BELONGS THE TIME BEFORE TIME. And his head was white like wool, AND THERE WAS WITH HIM another individual, whose face was like that of a human being. His countenance was full of grace like that of one among the holy angels...'Who is this?'...And he answered me and said, 'This is the Son of Man, to whom belongs righteousness, and with whom righteousness dwells.... this Son of Man whom you have seen is the One who would remove the kings and the mighty ones from their comfortable seats and the strong ones from their thrones... I Enoch 46.1ff
At that hour, that Son of Man was given a name, in the presence of the Lord of the Spirits, the Before-Time; EVEN BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE SUN AND THE MOON, BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE STARS, he was given a name in the presence of the Lord of the Spirits. He will become a staff for the righteous ones in order that they may lean on him and not fall. He is the light of the gentiles and he will become the hope of those who are sick in their hearts. All those who dwell upon the earth shall fall and worship before him; they shall glorify, bless, and sing the name of the Lord of the Spirits. For this purpose he became the Chosen One; he was concealed in the presence of (the Lord of the Spirits) prior to the creation of the world, and for eternity. And he has revealed the wisdom of the Lord of the Spirits to the righteous and holy ones, for he has preserved the portion of the righteous because they have hated and despised this world of oppression (together with) all its ways of life and its habits and it is his good pleasure that they have life. ...For they (the wicked kings and landowners) have denied the Lord of the Spirits AND HIS MESSIAH. I Enoch 48.2-10
Notice that the Messiah in ancient Judaism was WITH GOD and is described as existing before time!
From the above we gather that there were certain Jews who believed that the Messiah existed before creation and was their hope of salvation. They saw him as being worthy of receiving worship from all peoples on earth without any hint of polytheism whatsoever. And these Jews saw no problem with their belief in the Messiah’s preexistence and his Deity even though they held to a very strict monotheism.
Moreover, if you read the entire NT or study early Christian history you’ll notice that none of Jesus’ opponents denied that Jesus was wrong for claiming that the Messiah was “the Son of God” or “equal with God” or “pre-existent”. They only denied that he didn’t fit the bill because they seemed to have embraced the view, current among some Jews, that the Messiah was a divine figure.
Yet Muhammad’s ignorance of ancient Judaism led him to assume that the Messiah only came into existence when he was born. This is obviously a concept that doesn’t agree with what either the Hebrew Bible teaches or with certain Jewish views such as those represented in books like 1 Enoch.
In trying to refute Sam Shamoun on the issue of Jesus’ claim to Deity in the book of Revelation Zaatari claimed that:
I must say this is very funny, why? Because I SPECIFICALLY ADRESSED THESE VERSES IN THE DEBATE!!!!!!!!
So Shamoun is LYING, these verses were brought up in the debate and he was REFUTED ON IT, so once again this missionary gets exposed for what he is.
Here is the response I gave which was basically from a previous article of mine:
Revelations 21: 1-8
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for
the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more
sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of
heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great
voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he
will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be
with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes;
and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall
there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that
sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me,
Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6 And he said unto me, It is
done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him
that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7 He that
overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my
son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and
whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their
part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
This is not Jesus speaking but rather the Father. As it says I will be his God and he will be my son. Or does Jesus have a son now? (Source)
Zaatari’s article was very amusing to say the least! In the book of Revelation we see that both God the Father and the Lamb share the same divine throne:
"To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father ON HIS THRONE." Revelation 3:21
"Therefore, 'they are
before THE THRONE OF GOD and serve him day and night in his temple; and he
who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they
hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any
scorching heat. For the Lamb AT THE
The references do not speak of the thrones of God and of the Lamb, but rather of their throne (singular). What makes this even more interesting is that John was given a vision where he saw all creation, not just the angels, worshiping the Lord Jesus::
"And I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals; and I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’ And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I wept much that no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Weep not; lo, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.’ And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth; and he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down BEFORE THE LAMB, each holding a harp, and with 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 scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain and by your blood did ransom men for God from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on earth.’ Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’ And I heard EVERY CREATURE in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all therein, saying, ‘To him who sits upon the throne AND TO THE LAMB be blessing and honor and glory and might for ever and ever!’ And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ and the elders fell down and worshiped." Revelation 5:1-14
Notice here that although God is explicitly shown as sitting on the throne, the Lamb IS ALSO WITH GOD AT THE CENTER OF THE THRONE AND RECEIVES WORSHIP FROM ALL CREATION!
More importantly, notice that in this text Jesus receives the very same exact honor that God receives. This proves that what Jesus meant in John 5:23 was that everyone must give Christ the very same exact worship that the Father receives.
In light of the above let us look at Revelation 21 once again:
THEN HE WHO SAT ON THE THRONE said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, AND I WILL BE HIS GOD and he shall be My son. Rev. 21:5-8
According to Revelation the One “WHO SAT ON THE THRONE” is
That Jesus also sits on the throne shows just how little merit Zaatari’s argument holds since he must be able to prove, not simply assume, that it is the Father, not the Son, who is speaking at this point. In fact, since both the Father and the Son are sitting on the same throne it may even be that both are speaking in Revelation 21:5-8 which means that both of them maybe identifying themselves as the one God of all believers!
Hopefully, we have been able to prove that Jesus received worship as God, sat on God’s very throne in Revelation, and that some (perhaps) many of the ancient Jews viewed the Messiah as pre-existent Divine being who was with God. In light of these factors it is not surprising that that Christ demands to be honored like his Father since he is God!