New Arguments Muslims are learning challenge the Deity of Christ – Part 3

Tom Wallace

I want to start today by looking at John 10:30:

I and my Father are one. (John 10:30)

When Muslims quote this verse to us, they want to compare it with another passage, John 17:22-23, and make it one in unity.

And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:22-23)

They want us to believe that when Jesus said I and my Father are one, He only meant one in agreement.

Our Reply

None of us are going to say that we are equal to God. We understand that John 17 is talking about one in unity. They want us to believe that Jesus is only speaking of being one in unity with God, not a union with God, in John 10. The reaction of the Jews in verse 33 shows us they understood clearly what he was saying, Jesus is ONE with God.

The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. (John 10:33)

I want to take the time to show why the Jews thought what Jesus said was blasphemy. There is a difference between being in union and being in unity. Let me give you a crude example.

You can tie the tails of two cats together and you will have union, but I can assure you that you will not have unity.

A group of people can be unified together, and this is certainly what John 17 is talking about. In John Chapter 10, Jesus is not talking about this kind of unity, He is going much deeper. This is proven by reading the next few verses. The problem with Muslims, and others who do not believe in the deity of Christ, is, they don’t want to deal with the context.

They don’t want to deal with the context of their own scriptures either. Here is an example:

If a man kills someone, it is as if he has killed the whole world. (Surah 5:32)

The context of this is what was taught to the Jews. It is not talking about Islamic law. The next verse tells what is expected of Muslims. It says if someone has committed and offense in the land, you are to kill them, crucify them, dismember them, etc. Context is important.

When we look at the context of John 10:30 we see that it is probably the most clear expression Jesus gave of His deity. There were five times when Jesus made His deity clear, and each time the people understood exactly what He was saying and accused Him of blasphemy. If a man was saying these things, it would be blasphemy, but if it was God in the flesh saying them it would not be.

After Jesus said that He and His Father were one, the very next verse shows that they fully understood what He meant.

Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. (John 10:31)

They were going to kill Him for a crime, the crime of making Himself God.

Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. (John 10:32-33)

From this it is clear that they knew exactly what Jesus was saying. They understood that He was saying He is the same as His Father. Had He not meant what they understood Him to mean, He would have corrected them on the spot to avoid being killed.

Later, He did die on the cross for proclaiming His deity. In Matthew 26 the high priest asked Jesus if He was the Christ.

But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. (Matthew 26:63)

The title Christ means the Holy One of Israel, the Redeemer, the One who has come to deliver us. They were asking if He was the Messiah. Notice Jesus’ response:

Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. (Matthew 26:64)

In essence, Jesus said, you got it right. Notice the high priest’s response:

Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. (Matthew 26:65)

They sent the witnesses away because they said that His own words condemned Him of blasphemy. In other words, they understood His claim to deity and hung Him on a cross because of what He said.

This was foretold in the Old Testament. All of the Old Testament sacrifices looked forward to this event. God came to earth, in the person of Jesus Christ, for the purpose of saving mankind from their sins. He came to lay down His life for crimes that He had not committed. It did it to pay the debt of sin that we all owe. He took our sin upon Himself that God might remain just and be able to justify mankind.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5)
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Romans 3:24-26)

For God to be just the penalty of sin had to be paid. It had to be paid by someone who themselves was not guilty of sin. A good judge cannot let crimes go unpunished, nor could a righteous and just God.

Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. (Exodus 34:7)

Since the penalty had to be paid by someone who was without sin, God took on the form of a man and went to the cross to pay our debt.

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

God became man in Jesus Christ and shed His blood to pay for our sins so we would not have to.

All who will see their guilt before a holy God, turn from their own efforts to save themselves, and receive by faith the grace that God offers freely to all of mankind, will be saved.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Have you done this? If so, let’s share it with others that they might be saved from the consequences of their sin.

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