Is Jesus God’s Son? How could Allah, being one, have a Son?

Question: "Is Jesus God’s Son? How could Allah, being one, have a Son?"

Being from God, Jesus is called God's Son. Jesus is one with His Father in deity yet distinct in the Trinity.

One God, one Lord
As monotheists, Muslims, Christians, and Jews all agree that there is only one true God. Jesus Himself upheld monotheism. When asked for the greatest command, Jesus responded, “. . . The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:29-30).

The Apostle Paul, leader of the early church, also taught monotheism: “There is no God but one. . . the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him (1 Corinthians 8:4-6).

As followers of Jesus, the early Christians preferred to reserve the title “God" for the one whom Jesus called "my Father and your Father" (John 20:17) and the title "Lord" for Jesus. This title indicates that Jesus is both Master and deity.

The Son of God
Christians alone believe that Jesus is God's Son. Rest assured, the Bible (which the Qur’an commends in Surah 4:136) does not teach a parental relationship between God and Mary. That idea is as blasphemous to Christians as it is to Muslims. Rather, the concept of Christ’s being God’s Son demonstrates the relationship between the two and the shared nature of deity. At Isa’s birth, the angel told the virgin Mary:

    “‘Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!’ But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. . . . of his kingdom there will be no end.’ And Mary said to the angel, ‘How will this be, since I am a virgin?’ And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God’” (Luke 1:26-35).

Previously, God had spoken to man through His prophets, but then He sent One from Himself:

    "In the past God spoke to our forefathers by the prophets at many times and in various ways. But in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son whom He has appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in the heaven" (Hebrews 1:1-3).

This Jesus, who came to provide “purification for sins”, has the exact same essence as God yet is distinct in Person as His Son. He was the instrument through whom God created the universe (John 1). Sharing the nature of God, Jesus is one with His Father in deity.

The doctrine of Jesus as God’s Son is hard to understand, but the Word of God clearly teaches it. Who are we to limit God to our own understanding? God has revealed Himself as one God manifest in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.

Man’s testimony that Jesus is divine
Is Jesus really God’s Son? When people witnessed His miracles, teaching, death, and resurrection, they believed and testified that He was divine: “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God” (1 John 4:14-15).

  • Followers of Jesus testified after he calmed a storm: “And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God’” (Matthew 14:32-33).

  • Peter, Jesus’ disciple, testified: “Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven’” (Matthew 16:13-17).

  • A woman testified: “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world’" (John 11:25-27).

  • Military officer and soldiers who were guarding Jesus at his death on the cross testified: “When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!’” (Matthew 27:54).

  • Thomas testified after God raised Jesus from the dead: “Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.’ Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:24-31).

Jesus’ own testimony

  • When some Jews were plotting to kill Jesus, He testified: “This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill [Jesus], because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has everlasting life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life’” (John 5:18-24).

  • At Jesus’ trial, He testified: “. . . Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’ And Jesus said, ‘I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven’" (Mark 14:61-62).

God the Father’s testimony

  • God testified at Jesus’ baptism: "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17; see also Luke 9:35).

  • God’s testimony is truth: “If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us everlasting life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have everlasting life” (1 John 5:9-13).

Religion vs. relationship
Although mankind consists of many races and nations, speaking many languages and adhering to many religions, we all share a common need. Our greatest need is this: to know personally our Creator. If knowledge of Him depended upon man's investigations and experimentations, then it would be essential for us to find the answers to such questions as, "If God is one, how can Jesus be His Son?" But because knowledge of God depends upon His revelation of Himself, believing His revelation found in His Word, the Bible, is more important than having our difficult questions answered. In the Bible, trusting that God's revelation is true and obeying that truth is called faith.

We will die with many hard questions yet unanswered. But we must not die without responding personally to God's promise of salvation through His Son. Before Jesus came to earth in the form of man, He was with God the Father. God sent His Son to be born of a virgin. As God in the flesh, Jesus lived a perfect life.

He didn’t deserve the punishment for sin: separation from God by death. But by dying on the cross and rising from the dead, he paid the penalty for sin and broke the dominance of sin for those who believe.

God is calling sinners to turn from their own way to the living Lord Jesus in repentance and faith. "God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God" (John 3:16-18).

Believe in God’s Son today, trusting Jesus to save you from the penalty and power of sin and to give you everlasting life in heaven.

Through reading this article, have you trusted Jesus as Savior from your sin and Leader of your life? If so, please click on the "I have received Jesus today" button below.

Recommended Resource: Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross by Norm Geisler.

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Is Jesus God’s Son? How could Allah, being one, have a Son?