Dear Muslim friend, the greatest contention between Muslims and Christians is whether Jesus is God. Let’s look at the Bible and determine why Christians believe this.
When Moses was asked by God to deliver Israel from Egypt, Moses asked God what his name was; Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” -Exo 3:13-14
I AM in Hebrew is Yahweh, this is God’s name and is used over 400 times to identify God more than any other of his names in the Bible. Yahweh means God is self-existent and eternal.
The name Yahweh was so holy to Jews that they wouldn’t even use it; they usually used Adonai. But Jesus not only used the name Yahweh, but called himself Yahweh. In a Jewish context this couldn’t be clearer that Jesus was calling himself God, and that is the very reason they tried to kill him.
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. -John 8:56-59
Here is another story where Jesus claims he is equal with God, and the Pharisees know he is claiming divinity, saying this is the very reason we are going to kill you.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.” -John 10:27-33
When Thomas saw Jesus after His resurrection, Thomas worshiped him and called him God. Jesus didn’t reject Thomas, but accepted his worship and the title of God.
And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” -John 20:26-29
When we compare the names of Allah in the Qur’an and his attributes to Jesus in the Bible, we find Jesus possesses the same characteristics as Allah:
THE FIRST AND THE LAST
The Qur’an in Surah 57:3 refers to Allah as “the First and the Last, the Most High and the Most Near.”
In Revelation 1:17-18, Jesus says “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.”
Jesus is claiming to be eternal! An attribute only God possesses. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” -Rev 22:13
THE FINAL JUDGE
It is God’s responsibility to judge humanity as shown in the Qur’an, but the Bible reveals Jesus will judge humanity, determining their eternal destination in Heaven or Hell.
Qur’an 22:56-57—The kingdom on that day shall be Allah’s; He will judge between them; so those who believe and do good will be in gardens of bliss. And (as for) those who disbelieve in and reject Our communications, these it is who shall have a disgraceful chastisement.
Matthew 25:31-34,41 says “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you ... “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil.”
Only God has power over life to resurrect the dead as confirmed in the Qur’an, yet Jesus will resurrect the dead at the command of his voice.
“Allah will resurrect those who are in the graves.” -Qur’an 22:7
“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth.” -John 5:25-28
WHO FORGIVES SINS?
The Qur’an confirms that ultimate forgiveness belongs to God, for it says, “Who can forgive sins except Allah?” (3:135).
In Mark 2, Jesus forgives a man’s sins. Jesus’ response leads the religious leaders to accuse him of blasphemy:
And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?” - Mark 2:5-7
This is an ultimate indication that Jesus is God. Sin is what sends people to Hell! Does a man have the ability to forgive sins, thereby determining whether a person enters Heaven or Hell? This is clearly reserved for God, yet Jesus claims he has this power. Jesus then heals the paralytic man proving he has power to forgive sins.
Comparisons between Allah and Jesus by David Wood: http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2011/06/ where-did-jesus-say-i-am-god-worship-me.html
There are many actions, and attributes Jesus did and possessed that are clearly reserved for God:
Jesus commands the angels. It’s only God’s authority to command angels. (Matt 24:30-31)
Jesus is prayed to by the disciples. Only God is prayed to. (Acts 7:59-60, John 14:13-14)
Jesus says to have faith in Him. Our faith should be placed only in God. (John 3:18, John 20:31)
Jesus is all knowing of every intimate details of our lives. (John 16:30, Matt 9:4, John 4:16-18)
Miracles are done by the disciples in Jesus’ name, not God’s name. (Acts 3:6-7, Mark 9:38-39)
Jesus raises the dead and performs other miracles. (John 11:38-44, Matt 14:13-33, Luke 7:21-22, Matt 9:27-31)
Demons even call Jesus the Son of God. (Luke 4:41, Mark 5:1-13, Matt 4:1-3, Mark 3:11)
Muslims are told to ask Christians, “Where does Jesus say ‘I am God’ in the Bible, in those exact words?” But Christians could ask Muslims, “Where does the Qur’an say in these exact words ‘There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger’ in the Qur'an?” It doesn’t say this exact phrase anywhere in the Qur’an, but it would be foolish to say the Qur’an doesn’t call Muhammad a prophet of God, and it is foolish for Muslims to believe that Jesus never claimed to be God in the Bible.
The Bible calls Jesus the Son of God 44 times. This is not about coming up with a clever argument but finding the truth; it’s about where your soul will spend eternity. Dear Muslim, we love your soul, your sin against God condemns you, and your only hope is that Jesus would pay for your sin on the cross. He did this because he loves you. He then conquered death by rising from the grave. Please repent and trust in his sacrifice for you.
“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” -John 3:36