Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog


By Anthony Rogers

Because God alone knows and is sovereign over everything, Muslims practice saying inshallah, if Allah/God wills, after any mention of what they plan to do or think will happen. This teaching can be found in the following passage of the Qur’an:

Nor say of anything, “I shall be sure to do so and so tomorrow” – Without adding, “So please Allah!” (an yashaa l-lahu) And call thy Lord to mind when thou forgetest, and say, I hope that my Lord will guide me ever closer (even) than this to the right road.” S. 18:23-24, Yusuf Ali

This command was supposedly given to Muhammad after he erringly told the pagans he would give them an answer the next day to their question(s) about the story of “the Men of the Cave” when he consulted his spirit-guide, whom he called Jibril,[1] a presumptuousness for which Allah was said to be sorely displeased with Muhammad.[2]

The author(s) of the Qur’an also put such words back into the mouths of prophets and righteous men of the past: 

Then when they entered the presence of Joseph, he provided a home for his parents with himself, and said: "Enter ye Egypt (all) in safety if it please God (in shāa l-lahu)." S. 12:99

Moses said: "Thou wilt find me, if God so will (in shāa l-lahu), (truly) patient: nor shall I disobey thee in aught." S. 18:69

Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: "O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!" (The son) said: "O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if God so wills (in shāa l-lahu) one practising Patience and Constancy!" S. 37:102

They said: "Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us what she is: To us are all heifers alike: We wish indeed for guidance, if God wills (in shāa l-lahu)." S. 2:70

He said: "Truly, God will bring it on you if He wills (l-lahu in shāa), - and then, ye will not be able to frustrate it! S. 11:33

He said: "I intend to wed one of these my daughters to thee, on condition that thou serve me for eight years; but if thou complete ten years, it will be (grace) from thee. But I intend not to place thee under a difficulty: thou wilt find me, indeed, if God wills (in shāa l-lahu), one of the righteous." S. 28:27

In spite of a lack of awareness on the part of many Muslims, because the Bible teaches that God is all knowing and sovereign, 

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. Proverbs 19:21, ESV

Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come? Lamentations 3:37-38, NIV

the above practice of qualifying a statement of intent and saying this or that will happen only if the Lord wills, pleases, permits or the like, did not originate with the Qur’an but with the Bible. For example: 

Then the king said to Zadok, "Take the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the LORD's eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again. But if he says, 'I am not pleased with you,' then I am ready; let him do to me whatever seems good to him." 2 Samuel 15:25-26

When they asked him [Paul] to stay for a longer time, he did not consent, but taking leave of them and saying, “I will return to you again if God wills,” he set sail from Ephesus. Acts 18:20-21

For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you. Romans 1:9-10

Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints; so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and find refreshing rest in your company. Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen. Romans 15:30-33

And this we will do if God permits. Hebrews 6:3, ESV

In fact, the locus classicus in the Bible for this teaching is even strikingly similar to the later Qur’anic formulation cited above:

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit" — yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (James 4:13-17)

Of course, in spite of the thematic and verbal parallels, Muslims are likely to say that all this is not proof for another example of borrowing on the part of Muhammad, and that instead it constitutes proof that the Qur’an came down from the same God and is a continuation of what the Bible teaches about God and His sovereign Lordship. 

However, as will be shown, this practice actually proves on the one hand that the Bible teaches that Jesus is the sovereign Lord, something the author(s) of the Qur’an anxiously, even if clumsily and unsuccessfully, tried to deny, and that the Qur’an is actually inconsistent on this score and in the process undermines its own witness to the idea that Allah is the sovereign Lord, both of which facts together show that the expedient of accounting for this practice being found first in the Bible and later in the Qur’an because they both proceeded from the same God is altogether false.

Jesus, the Sovereign Lord of James

To begin with, a good case can be made for the idea that the one James is referring to as Lord in the context of 4:13-17 is the Lord Jesus Christ, in which case James is here identifying Jesus as the sovereign Lord whose will is the ultimate determining factor in what does or does not happen in the universe. 

That this is in the first place possible arises from the fact that the word “Lord” in the New Testament in general and especially in the New Testament epistles ordinarily refers to Jesus when used in a religious sense. This fact is easily demonstrable and as such is rarely contested by scholars.  

Moreover, the word Lord, kurios, when used for Jesus in the New Testament, is often to be understood as the Greek word that substitutes for Yahweh, YHWH, the name of God found throughout the Old Testament. This is certainly the case when an Old Testament passage that contains the word Yahweh is quoted in the New Testament, many of which are directly applied to Jesus, but is also evident at other times when the word Lord is used in a way that alludes to or otherwise clearly has Old Testament teaching about Yahweh in the background:

The Gr. word for lord (kyrios), like its Heb. counterpart adonai, embraces thoughts of power, firmness and competency. It also includes the ideas of lawfulness. When used in the LXX to tr. the two Heb. words for God, YHWH and adonai, names of relationship, it describes God in general as the sovereign of the universe, and in particular as the master of mankind, and as the One who has the right to exercise such authority.

Kyrios is found also in the NT. It was used here, as in the OT, to designate the sovereign God in relationship to His creation (Matt 1:20; 11:25; Luke 4:18).

But it is also the supreme title give to Jesus. “Jesus is Lord,” was perhaps the earliest creedal statement formulated and recited (prob. chiefly at baptism [Acts 8:16; 19:5]) by the Church. Although frequently found in Paul’s writings (Rom 10:9; 1 Cor 7:22; 12:3; 2 Cor 4:5), it was by no means original with him, nor was it borrowed by him, as some have suggested, from the Hel. mystery religions (so Bousset). Peter knew and used it (Acts 1:21; 2:36). The early Aramaic-speaking church, too, had worshipped Jesus as Lord, and its Aram. Prayer, marana tha, “our Lord, come,” still stands in the text as witness to this fact (1 Cor 16:22). Indeed, if Philippians 2:6-11 is a primitive Christian hymn, as some have claimed, then Paul was the recipient of an earlier tradition about the Lordship of Jesus rather than the originator of a new title to describe his own understanding of Him. This title stood also in the tradition Paul had received concerning the Lord’s Supper.

By referring to Jesus as Lord, the Early Church declared Him as standing above the human level, an object of prayer (Acts 7:59, 60; 1 Cor 12:8; 16:22), and trust (Acts 5:14; 9:42; 11:24; cf. also the fourth gospel), sharing with God in His sovereign rule (Acts 2:34), and ultimately sharing with God in His nature. For being conscious that the OT regularly used kyrios to designate YHWH, early Christians, even Jewish Christians, nevertheless, chose that title as the supreme title to convey their understanding of Jesus. By it, therefore, they intended to identify Him with the God of the OT. This intent is seen most clearly in those NT passages where OT texts originally referring to YHWH are now boldly quoted as referring to Jesus (Rom 10:13; Heb 1:10; 1 Pet 2:3; 3:15).

The use of this title also meant that Jesus was master, worthy to receive power, glory and blessing (Rev 5:12). It meant He possessed all authority (Matt 28:18), and was the One before whom every knee must bow in submission (Phil 2:10), the universal sovereign (Rom 10:12; 14:9; Phil 2:11), King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev 19:16). Especially was He Lord to the Church (John 20:28; Rom 5:1; 2 Tim 1:8). “Slave” quite naturally, therefore, became a common designation of early Christians (Rom 14:4; 1 Cor 7:21-24). They served Him (Rom 12:11), ordered their lives in a manner worthy of Him (1 Cor 11:27), and paid Him obeisance, obedience being the only proper response of slave to master (Heb 5:9). The will of this exalted Master was often communicated to the Church through the revelatory word of His apostles and prophets (1 Cor 14:37; Rev 2; 3). (G. F. Hawthorne, “Lord,” in Merril C. Tenney, General Editor, The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), p. 959-960

When we look specifically at the book of James, out of fifteen occurrences of the word “Lord” the only unambiguous time this word is used for the Father is found in the following verse:

But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. James 3:8-10

Other references explicitly apply the term Lord to Jesus, as in the following passage where James identifies Jesus as Lord and himself as Christ’s bondservant, the latter of which is simply the correlative of acknowledging that Jesus, as Lord, is his Sovereign:

James, a SERVANT of God AND OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, to the twelve tribes in the dispersion: Greetings. James 1:1

And the following passage, 

My brethren, do not hold the faith of OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, the Lord of glory, with partiality. James 2:1

which, in so far as it employs an Old Testament motif associated with Yahweh and applies it to Jesus,

Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of gloryThe LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates, and lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in! Who is this King of gloryThe LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Psalm 24:7-10

For I, declares the LORD, will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.’ Zechariah 12:5

shows that James, steeped as he was in the Old Testament, and therefore surely aware that such language was used and reserved for Yahweh, identified Jesus as Lord in the highest sense of the term, which necessarily means, once again, that for James, Jesus is his Sovereign, the one he submits to and whose will governed the course of his life. 

In all other references to someone as “the Lord” in the book of James nothing explicit is said to identify the particular person who is in view, and furthermore such verses say nothing about “the Lord” that cannot be said about the Lord Jesus or that is not said about Jesus in the other writings of the New Testament, including not only the writings of Paul but those of Peter and John. These references in James can, therefore, just as easily be taken as references to Jesus as they can to the Father. This fact is of some consequence, showing as it does that James demonstrated no concern for the possibility that the lack of definiteness in his manner of expression might lead to the idea of Jesus as the one being spoken of in such instances, including the passage where James instructs people to say “If the Lord wills” after saying they will do this or that. When we add to this the fact that the word Lord in the New Testament ordinarily refers to Jesus; that James’ definite references to Jesus as Lord (1:1, 2:1) clearly and unambiguously indicate that James recognized Jesus as his master, and therefore as the one whose will he was to submit to and not presume upon without warrant; and that the first reference to Jesus as Lord coordinates Jesus with the Father, and the last reference calls Jesus Lord in a way that could hardly be more exalted, it is not only possible that James has Jesus in view in 4:13-17,  but altogether impossible to think James would have excluded Him. In other words, at the very least James intended for people to think of Jesus and not just Father when he taught people to qualify statements of intent by saying, “If the Lord wills.”

Jesus, the Sovereign Lord of Paul

Secondly, in the case of Paul, it is not just an occasional practice of his to sometimes call Jesus Lord, nor is it even only a regular practice for him to refer to Jesus as Lord; rather, whenever Paul makes the positive affirmation of the word “Lord” (kurios) in a religious sense to someone he is, virtually without exception, referring to Jesus.  

Obviously the significance of the title ‘Lord’ as applied to Jesus by Paul is not uninfluenced by its constant employment of God in the Greek Old Testament, and especially in those Old Testament passages which Paul applies to Jesus, in which ‘Lord’ is the divine name (e.g. 2 Thess 1:9, 1 Cor 1:31, 10:9, 26, 2 Cor 3:16, 10:17, Rom 10:13, Eph 6:4, 2 Tim 2:19, 4:14: Isaiah 45:23 is cited with reference to God in Rom 14:11, and with reference to Jesus in Phil 2:10). Under the influence of these passages the title Lord’ becomes in Paul’s hands almost a proper name, the specific designation for Jesus conceived as a divine person in distinction from God the Father. It is therefore employed of Jesus not merely constantly but almost exclusively. It is doubtful whether it is ever once employed of God the Father, outside of a few citations from the Old Testament: and in any case such employment of it is very exceptional. It is accordingly in point of fact the determinate title for Jesus as distinguished from God the Father. As such the Lord Jesus Christ is coupled with ‘God our Father’ (or ‘the Father’) as the co-source of that grace and peace which Paul is accustomed to invoke on his readers in the addresses to his Epistles (1 Thess 1:1, 2 Thess 1:1,2, 1 Cor 1:3, 2 Cor 1:2, Gal 1:3, Rom 1:7, Eph 1:2, Phil 1:2, 1 Tim 1:2, 2 Tim 1:2, Titus 1:4, cf Eph 6:23, 1 Thess 3:11, 2 Thess 1:12). And throughout the Epistles Jesus as ‘the Lord’ and the Father as ‘God’ are set over against each other as distinct and yet conjoined objects of the reverence of Christians, and distinct and yet conjoined sources of the blessings of which Christians are the recipients. (B. B. Warfield, The Lord of Glory: The Designations of Our Lord in the New Testament with Especial Reference to His Deity (Birmingham, Alabama: Solid Ground Christian Books, 2003), pp. 226-227)

In light of this, the following passages from Paul’s writings conclusively show that for Christians Jesus is recognized as Lord in the highest sense:

But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. 1 Corinthians 4:19, NASB

For I do not want to see you now just in passing. I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 1 Corinthians 16:7 

[Interestingly enough, it is in this same epistle that Paul refers to Jesus as “the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:8), similar to James. Of course it is not surprising that Paul taught the same high view of Jesus that James did, for each one affirmed the apostleship and/or divine calling of the other (q.v. Acts 15 and Galatians 2)].

The same idea is present in the following passage where Paul acknowledges that his ability to minister in Troas was made possible because the Lord, obviously having willed it, opened a door for him:

When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, 2 Corinthians 2:12

In fact, in the following passage, where Paul once again speaks in a similar fashion, he explicitly says that the Lord he is referring to is Jesus:

I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you…. and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also. Philippians 2:19, 24

Since Paul also uses the expression “If God wills” (Acts 18:20-21; Romans 1:9-10, 15:30-33; cf. Hebrews 6:3), the aforementioned passages show that he saw no relevant difference in this connection between the Father and the Son.  

Thus far the testimony of God’s Word.

Allah, the Not-So-Sovereign Deity of Muhammad

When we turn to the Qur’an, whereas it affirms the need to qualify statements of intent with an acknowledgment that Allah’s will is determinative of whether such a thing will be realized as we have already seen, it nevertheless has a falling out with itself in the following verse, showing that Muhammad’s Allah was not sure if what he said would happen:

Allah, well intentioned, fulfilled what He presented to His Messenger’s mind in his sleep: "You" Allah said, "Shall enter the Sacrosanct Mosque, ALLAH WILLING (in shaa l-lahu), with peace of mind and rightly free from apprehension, with heads shaved by some and hair cut short by others, free of fear". Allah takes the matters of fact He knows and you do not, and circumstances them in His own manner and He accorded you besides Hodaibyiah quite a near event. S. 48:27, Al Muntakhab

Here is the same passage in some other translations:

God made the dream of His Messenger come true for a genuine purpose. (In this he was told), "IF GOD WILLS You (believers) will enter the Sacred Mosque, in security, with your heads shaved, nails cut, and without any fear in your hearts." He knew what you did not know. Besides this victory, He will give you another immediate victory. S. 48:27, Muhammad Sarwar

Now hath God in truth verified unto his apostle the vision, wherein He said; ye shall surely enter the holy temple of Mecca, IF GOD PLEASE, in full security; having your heads shaved, and your hair cut: Ye shall not fear: For God knoweth that which ye know not; and He hath appointed you, besides this, a speedy victory. S. 48:27, George Sale

Now hath God in truth made good to His Apostle the dream in which he said, "Ye shall surely enter the sacred Mosque, IF GOD WILL, in full security, having your heads shaved and your hair cut: ye shall not fear; for He knoweth what ye know not; and He hath ordained you, beside this, a speedy victory." S. 48:27, John Meadows Rodwell

It might be pointed out by Muslims that although Allah uses an expression that properly belongs on the lips of creatures because they do not know and are not sovereign over what will happen, that the whole verse actually says Allah did know, ordain, and fulfill what he said to Muhammad. The problem with this is, not only would it mean that the expression, “If Allah will(s),” can mean the very opposite of uncertainty and resignation of the outcome of what is spoken to one who is greater, but when we look to the occasion that these words refer to, it actually turns out that Allah did not know and was not sovereign over the outcome. 

According to the Islamic sources, Muhammad said he had a dream showing that he and his followers in Medinah would be able to enter Mecca and circumambulate the Kaaba. Believing Muhammad to be a prophet and the dream or revelation he reported having to be a true one, Muhammad’s followers set out with him fully expecting his words to come to pass, but things did not happen according to plan. Instead, the Muslims were stopped in their tracts by a deputation of Meccans, and even though Muhammad requested that he and his followers would be permitted to enter Mecca, their request was denied, though a treaty was signed, in which Muhammad made all sorts of embarrassing concessions, saying they could come back the following year and would be allowed to enter. The Muslims were humiliated by the whole affair, and in an effort to mitigate the damage, Muhammad claimed that the whole event was a victory, for he never said they would enter Mecca that very year, and the treaty they made with the Meccans to enter next year would be the true fulfillment of the dream, and that in the meantime Allah would grant them a victory over the Jews at Khaibar and the Muslims would secure their possessions. It was in this context that Surah 48:27 was revealed. 

This is why, in the present passage, in the face of a manifest defeat, the author(s) of the Qur’an is(are) hard pressed to insist that Allah did know and did fulfill the word Muhammad said Allah spoke to him in his dream. In other words, this verse is an example at damage control, nothing more. Allah did not know that the Muslims would not enter Mecca that year, and so it is more than appropriate and altogether telling that he would qualify his own statement by adding “if God wills.”

For more on this debacle and the evidence for it from the Islamic sources, see the following articles:

Muhammad and the Treaty of Hudaybiyya
Muhammad’s False Prophecies


In conclusion, the Bible consistently puts the expression “if God wills” or some equivalent in the mouths of creatures, and directs them to the Lord Jesus Christ, whom the New Testament Scriptures identify as the one who is Lord over all, indeed, the very Lord of Glory, while the Qur’an puts such expressions not only in the mouths of creatures but even in the mouth of Allah who is supposed to be the sovereign creator and ruler of everything. This shows that the Qur’an cannot be cleared of the charge of borrowing this teaching from the Bible on the grounds that they are both revelations from the same God, for the God of the Bible is consistently presented as sovereign and the Allah of the Qur’an is not, and the Bible includes Jesus in the identity of God while the Qur’an seeks to deny this; it also shows that the testimony of the Bible is self-consistent, putting these words only in the mouths of creatures, and only as directed towards one viewed to be a divine person, and the Qur’an’s testimony is self-refuting, putting these words in the mouth of Allah who is supposed to be subject to the will of no one and to know what is planned for or going to happen in the future.[3]


[1] At the beginning of his tafsir on Surah 18, Ibn Kathir gives the following account about what occasioned this “revelation”:

Muhammad bin Ishaq mentioned the reason why this Surah was revealed. He said that an old man from among the people of Egypt who came to them some forty-odd years ago told him, from `Ikrimah that Ibn `Abbas said: "The Quraysh sent An-Nadr bin Al-Harith and `Uqbah bin Abi Mu`it to the Jewish rabbis in Al-Madinah, and told them: `Ask them (the rabbis) about Muhammad, and describe him to them, and tell them what he is saying. They are the people of the first Book, and they have more knowledge of the Prophets than we do.' So they set out and when they reached Al-Madinah, they asked the Jewish rabbis about the Messenger of Allah. They described him to them and told them some of what he had said. They said, `You are the people of the Tawrah and we have come to you so that you can tell us about this companion of ours.' They (the rabbis) said, `Ask him about three things which we will tell you to ask, and if he answers them then he is a Prophet who has been sent (by Allah); if he does not, then he is saying things that are not true, in which case how you will deal with him will be up to you. Ask him about some young men in ancient times, what was their story. For theirs is a strange and wondrous tale. Ask him about a man who travelled a great deal and reached the east and the west of the earth. What was his story. And ask him about the Ruh (soul or spirit) -- what is it. If he tells you about these things, then he is a Prophet, so follow him, but if he does not tell you, then he is a man who is making things up, so deal with him as you see fit.' So An-Nadr and `Uqbah left and came back to the Quraysh, and said: `O people of Quraysh, we have come to you with a decisive solution which will put an end to the problem between you and Muhammad. The Jewish rabbis told us to ask him about some matters,' and they told the Quraysh what they were. Then they came to the Messenger of Allah and said, `O Muhammad, tell us,' and they asked him about the things they had been told to ask. The Messenger of Allah said,

(I will tell you tomorrow about what you have asked me.) but he did not say `If Allah wills.' So they went away, and the Messenger of Allah stayed for fifteen days without any revelation from Allah concerning that, and Jibril, peace be upon him, did not come to him either. The people of Makkah started to doubt him, and said, `Muhammad promised to tell us the next day, and now fifteen days have gone by and he has not told us anything in response to the questions we asked.' The Messenger of Allah felt sad because of the delay in revelation, and was grieved by what the people of Makkah were saying about him. Then Jibril came to him from Allah with the Surah about the companions of Al-Kahf, which also contained a rebuke for feeling sad about the idolators. The Surah also told him about the things they had asked him about, the young men and the traveler. The question about the Ruh was answered in the Ayah; (And they ask you concerning the Ruh (the spirit); say: "The Ruh...'') ﴿ 17:85. (online source)

[2] Speaking presumptuously regarding God’s truth is the very definition of a false prophet in Deuteronomy 18:20-22, which is part of the context of a passage that Muslims widely (and wrongly) believe includes a prophecy about Muhammad. 

‘But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’ When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)

Muslims cannot excuse Muhammad for this gross error and sin on the makeshift grounds that he did not yet know of this teaching, for some of the passages showing that this was the practice of the prophets and righteous men of old according to the Qur’an were already “revealed” to Muhammad before Surah 18 (q.v. Surah 12:99, 37:102, 11:33, 28:27). Simply put, Muhammad knew of the prophetic-precedent not to speak presumptuously, not even in mundane matters, and he proceeded headlong to do it anyway, and that in spiritual matters.

[3] It might be objected that Jesus does say something like this in the garden of Gethsemane, “Not as I will, but as you will,” but this expression on the Lord’s lips is altogether dissimilar to the others. Jesus’ words are not to be construed as an expression of uncertainty regarding the future or God’s will; ironically, they are actually the very opposite. Jesus knew exactly what the Father’s will was on this occasion, and faced with the awful ordeal that He was about to undergo for the redemption of His people, Jesus comes face to face with the ultimate test of submission to the Father: dying as an innocent and perfectly righteous person for guilty and sinful men. In light of this, it might be (and often is) asked, How Jesus could submit to someone higher than Him if He is in fact the pre-existent, divine Son of God: the answer to that question is central to the Gospel and is pointedly answered in Scripture itself, which, affirming that Jesus is the Son, says He was sent into the world, that He submitted to the law and the Father’s will for Him, and all of that in order that through His perfect submission and obedience He might become the source of eternal salvation:

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 5:7-10