John 17:3 – Scripture Twisting 101

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?