Today we are going to take a look at another passage from the New Testament. This one comes from John 17:3, another one of our Muslim friends’ favorite passage to use to try to contradict the deity of Christ. Here’s what this verse reads: And this is the eternal life, that they know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
How can we respond to our Muslim friends whenever they say “There are two entities here, two persons.” In John 17, we again have very clear affirmations that Jesus is God but there’s this verse right here, verse 3: This is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. You’ve got God and you’ve got Jesus Christ but God is the only God and since there’s a distinction between God and Jesus Christ, therefore Jesus Christ isn’t God. Christianity is false and the Islamic view is true because notice it’s God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. So Jesus has been sent, that makes him a messenger, that’s exactly what he is according to Islam. Once again Islam is amazingly proven true by clear statements in the Bible. Is any problem whatsoever with my airtight argument?
Let’s look at John 17 in context, not at verse 3. Let’s start at verses 1 or 2 and see whether Jesus’ words are compatible with the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad. If they just had started at verse 1 look at 2, they would see the major problems the words of our Lord Jesus Christ poses to the Quran and Muhammad’s position as a prophet. John 17 verses 1-3 When Jesus spoke these words, he lifted his eyes towards heaven and said “Father, the hour is come. Glorify your son so that your son may also glorify you.” Number 1- the only true God whom Jesus Christ is confessing, acknowledging and praying to happens to be his father, not only his father but the father who glorifies him, Jesus, as his son in the same way that he, the son, glorifies the father. Is this at all compatible with Islam? Of course not.
Surah 9:30 And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they!
According to chapter 9 verse 30, if you say Messiah is the son of Allah, that is grounds for Allah to attack you and fight you through the medium of the jihadists. But here Jesus says God is his father and he is the son of God and not only the son but the son that the father glorifies in the same way that the sun glorifies the father. How in the world is this compatible with the Quran? How does this establish that Jesus is a Muslim? How does this lead a Christian to become a Muslim? Verse 2 “as you have given him authority over all flesh, he will give eternal life to all whom you have given him.” Notice what Jesus says about himself, the son. The father has given me authority over all flesh, meaning Jesus is the sovereign Lord over all humanity. Mohammed was flesh, so this verse shows that the son of God, the unique glorious son of God, has authority, sovereignty over Muhammad and all Muslims and all peoples now. Which Muslim would believe this passage and say “Amen. Jesus is the glorious son of God who is Lord over our Prophet Muhammad and who was Lord over all of us.”? I don’t know of any Muslim who’d say that. But then it gets even worse. Notice what the son is capable of doing and this is going to be now relevant to explain what Jesus did not mean. When Jesus said the father is the only true God, he didn’t mean it to the exclusion of the Son or the Spirit. He wasn’t excluding himself. He was affirming the deity of the father without denying his own deity. The father is the only true God in contrast to all the false gods out there, which does not include the Son or the Spirit. The Son will give eternal life to all whom you have given him. The kind of life that Jesus gives all true believers is not just never-ending life but he gives them never-ending morally incorruptible, physically indestructible life, a life in which believers will become physically immortal, no way of dying, and morally incorruptible, no way of sinning ever again in order to make sure that we don’t sin against God and start this whole mess over again. In order for the Lord Jesus to be able to give this quality of life to multitudes of believers, Revelation 7:9-17 says that those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb are so numerous they can’t be numbered, cannot be counted. In order for Christ to be able to do that, he has to be omnipotent and he has to be omniscient because he has to know who the believers are that the father gives to him and he has to have the power to preserve them immortal, incorruptible forever. So how can verse 3 be taken as a denial of the deity of Christ when in the verse right before it, he claims to be able to do and possess the attributes that only God possesses and only God can perform? In other words, what you’re saying is a Muslim, just by using this, have affirmed the deity of Christ? Yes, if they read verses 1 and 2. To further solidify that Jesus is not excluding himself from the father being the only true God, but that he’s also one with him so that he’s one with the only true God, and therefore just as much God as the father is, John 10:27-33 is relevant because it talks about eternal life.
John 10:27-33 My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life. They shall never perish nor shall anyone snatch them from my hand. Notice I personally give every one of them everlasting life, this quality of life that’s incorruptible, immortal. There is no power that can pluck them out of my hand because there’s no power equal to mine or greater than my ability to preserve my flock. In that context he says “My father who has given them to me is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them from my father’s hand. No one can snatch them out of my hand, no one can snatch them out of my father’s hand. Why? My father and I are one. The verb “are” (“esmen” in Greek) means “we are”. So he’s affirming he’s not the father but he’s one with the father in the ability to preserve believers immortal, incorruptible. Sure sounds like he thinks he’s one with the only true God in essence and ability. This is what Jesus meant. Notice the reaction of the Jews. Again the Jews took up stones to stone him. Jesus answered them “I’ve shown you many good works from my father. For which of those works do you stone me?” The Jews answered him “We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy because you, being a man, claimed to be God?” Why did the Jews think Jesus was claiming to be God? Because of what he said “My sheep hear my voice, they are in my hand, I give them everlasting.” Psalm 95:6-8 with Deuteronomy 32:39. Tell me if Jesus was speaking the language which the Old Testament ascribes to God alone. He says “My sheep hear my voice, they are in my hand, I give them eternal life.” Psalm 95-6 Oh come let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord Jehovah our Maker for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. (Jesus says) “My sheep in my hand.” Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. Sure it sounds like what Jesus said “My sheep in my hand, hear my voice and I give them everlasting life.” Deuteronomy 32:39 See now that I, even I myself, am he. There is no God beside me. I kill and I make alive. I wound and I heal and there is none who can snatch or deliver out of my hand. Jesus said “There’s no one that can deliver, snatch out of my head.” Sounds like Jesus thinks he’s the God of the Old Testament. So if you read John 10 in light of John 17, clearly Jesus, saying the only true God is the father, but he’s not the only true God to the exclusion of me and the Holy Spirit. He’s the only true God in union with me and the Spirit. He’s the only true God in contrast to false gods. So Jesus wasn’t denying his deity, he’s affirming the deity of the Father and in that same context affirms he’s one with the true God because he is one in essence and therefore just as much God as the Father, which is confirmed by the final point.
John 17:5 He says “Now father glorify me together with yourself with the glory I had with you before the world began. According to Isaiah 40:8-11 and Psalm 29:1-2 Yahweh’s glory isn’t conferred upon any creature no matter how exalted and the angels of Psalm 29:1-2 ascribe glory to Yahweh. They don’t share in that glory. And yet Jesus says I personally existed with the father in the same glory before the world began and that glory will be mine once again when I return to heaven. Does that sound like Jesus is denying?