Did Jesus (PBUH) claim that he is a real son of Allah (S.W) and he is equal to Him?
One of the Christians’ allegations of Christ’s (PBUH) divinity is that he declared that he is equal to Allah (S.W) considering what came in the Gospel according to John. “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” (John 5:18) No doubt, that reading this passage out of context would make it evidence that indicates Jesus’ (PBUH) declaration of his real son-ship to God. This, only the unknowledgeable and ignorant people can accept, for, it is not true.
To understand this passage, we have to read it in context. Jesus (PBUH) had treated an ill person on the Sabbath, which the Jews considered wrong; therefore, “the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the Sabbath day.” (John 5:16) but he explained to them why he had done so. “But Jesus answered them, My Father worked hitherto, and I work.” (John 5:17), which means that, as God works on all days, I am also doing a good deed.
The Jews, who wanted to create a problem with Jesus (PBUH), considered his words “My father worked” as praising himself and a claim of the real son-ship to God. They considered this son-ship, which they commonly used metaphorically, as blasphemy and it meant that he was making himself equal to Allah (S.W); therefore, increased their desire to kill him. “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” (John 5:18)
With a long meaningful speech, Jesus (PBUH) answered them, explaining and refuting their claim, and proving to Christians their incorrect understanding. (John 5:19 -47) I will summarize these meaningful points according to their subject.
1- Jesus (PBUH) assured all that he was following Allah’s (S.W) path when he worked on the Sabbath, for he did not do something but what agrees with Allah’s (S.W) statute. “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he see the Father do: for what things so ever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” (John 5:19)
2- He spoke about many great things that Allah (S.W) has given him, “For as the Father raised up the dead, and quicken them; even so the Son quicken whom he will. For the Father judges no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son… For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also.” (John 5: 21- 27), but all these gifts, were from Allah (S.W), and that did not mean that Jesus (PBUH) is Allah (S.W), for Allah (S.W) can do all that Himself without needing any one to give Him anything.
Jesus (PBUH) had clarified why he did so. It was because Allah (S.W) has given him these things considering his humanity and not divinity. He says, “And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” (John 5: 27)
He affirmed that he had no authority by himself, and he could not do any thing except what Allah (S.W) permitted him to do. “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (John 5: 30) That is to prove that he is the son of man, not the Son of Allah (S.W) in reality, or the second hypostasis in Trinity as the Church’s Councils claimed.
The great miracles that Allah (S.W) gave to Jesus (PBUH) were for two reasons. The first, is as he (PBUH) said, “For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that himself doeth”.The second is to prove his prophet-hood and make the people believe in him.“And he will show him greater works than these that ye may marvel.That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him… for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.” (John5:20, 23, 36)
3- Jesus (PBUH) assured that Allah (S.W) confirms his honesty. He said, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true… And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.” (John 5:31, 37)
The record of this testimony is in the previous sacred books that foretold about him. “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me… For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.” (John5:39, 46)
Moses’ (PBUH) books, which Jesus (PBUH) and the Jews accept, do not contain a line regarding any prophecy about an incarnated or crucified God. They testify the coming of a noble prophet. Do the Christians not claim that Moses had prophesized Jesus (PBUT) when he said, “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee?(Deut. 18:18)
One of the people, who testify for Jesus (PBUH), is John the Baptist (PBUH). However, Jesus (PBUH) dispensed this true testimony with Allah’s (S.W) one-ness, which is in their scriptures. “Ye sent unto John, and he bore witness unto the truth. But I receive not testimony from man… But I have greater witness than that of John” (John 5:33, 36)
There is nothing in the Baptist’s (PBUH) words that conveys the divinity of Christ, for he sent his disciples to ask Jesus (PBUH) whether he was the expected prophet or not. (Matt. 11:3)
4- Jesus (PBUH) declared that there was a difference between him and Allah (S.W) when he said, “For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that himself doeth…There is another that beareth witness of me… And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me… Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father”. (John5:20, 32, 37, 45) All these prove that Jesus (PBUH) is not Allah (S.W), for the lover is unlike the beloved, the witness is unlike the one who witnessed for, the sender is unlike the consignee, and the complainant is unlike the judge.
5- Jesus (PBUH) told the Jews that the way to eternal life is to believe in him and in his words. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24)
Those who did not believe in him will face as he said. “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? (John 5:40 - 44)
From the above mentioned, we have seen that Jesus (PBUH) did not claim that he was equal to Allah (S.W), neither did he claim that the authority he had was his own, but he declared that Allah (S.W) had honored him and given it to him.