When Christians say that Jesus (a.s.) said he was God, how can we respond to that? Because it becomes difficult sometimes to continue having a discussion with some of them, if they keep sticking to this claim.
Did Jesus ever claim he was God?!
The holy Quran states that on the Day of Judgment, during the trial of Christians, Allah will ask Jesus if he had ever asked people to either worship him or his mother? The purpose of this rhetorical question is for the Christians to hear from Jesus that he had never had such a blasphemous claim:
“And when Allah will say: O Jesus son of Mary! Did you say unto men: Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah? He will say: Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right to say, Had it said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my inner-self though I do not know what is in Yours; truly, You only You, are the All-Knower of all that is hidden.” [5:116]
Nowhere even in the present gospels has Jesus ever explicitly claimed to be God. The Encyclopedia Britannica states: “Neither the word Trinity, nor the explicit doctrine as such, appears in the New Testament, nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema in the Old Testament: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord. (Deut. 6:4)”.
The worship of God was always focal in Jesus’ life. For instance, when his disciples asked him to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1-2), he taught them to pray to God; the Father, not to himself. Notice that the words “Father! Grant us” indicate that Jesus included himself among the creation of God, acknowledging a high authority; ‘God’, over all of them. Similarly, according to John, Jesus said to Mary Magdalene: “I am going to ascend to my father and your father, to my God and your God.” [John 20:17]
The holy Quran quoting from Jesus states: “But the Messiah (Jesus) said: O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” [5:72]
Imam Redha (a.s); the 8th Imam of Ahlul-Bayt (a.s) in his debate with one of the archbishops of his time named ‘al-Jatheliq’ said: “Everything apparently about Jesus is good except his worshipping? Al-Jatheliq whilst objecting to that said: “Rather he was the most worshipping person.” Imam Redha (a.s) who had this confession from the priest replied to him: “Then who was he worshipping? Himself or another Being?!”. The priest was dumb-founded.
According to Mark, Jesus even did not allow himself to be called ‘good’, let alone ‘God’. Mark narrates that as Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him: “Good teacher. What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” [Mark 10:17-18].
Sheikh Mansour Leghaei