Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Worshiping Jesus as God –

A Reply to the Late Ahmad Deedat Pt. 2c

Sam Shamoun

We continue our discussion by returning to the issue of individuals kneeling and prostrating before Jesus.

The following is another case where someone runs to worship Jesus begging him to deliver his child from an unclean spirit:

“And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Eli′jah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli′jah.’ He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.’ When the disciples heard this, THEY FELL ON THEIR FACES, and were filled with awe. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Rise, and have no fear.’ And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, ‘Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead.’… And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him AND KNEELING BEFORE HIM said, ‘Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; for often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.’ And Jesus answered, ‘O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.’ And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ He said to them, ‘Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” Matthew 17:1-9, 14-21

Christ not only casts out a demon effortlessly, he even transfigures before his disciples in order to reveal his inner, abiding divine glory that had been veiled by his humanity, with the Father himself descending in a cloud in order to personally bear witness to the disciples that Jesus is his Son whom he loves and whom they had to obey.

That’s not all. We are even told that the 24 elders and the four living creatures that dwell in heaven bow down to the Lord Jesus in the same context where every created thing which exists in every imaginable place gives the risen Christ the exact same worship that God the Father receives!

“And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders FELL DOWN BEFORE THE LAMB, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints; and they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open its seals, for thou wast slain and by thy blood didst ransom men for God from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and hast made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on earth.’ Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘WORTHY IS THE LAMB WHO WAS SLAIN, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’ And I heard EVERY CREATURE in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all therein, SAYING, ‘To him who sits upon the throne AND TO THE LAMB be blessing and honor and glory and might for ever and ever!’ And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ and the elders FELL DOWN and worshiped.” Revelation 5:8-14

The beloved Apostle John wasn’t the only inspired writer to make this assertion, since another blessed servant of Christ stated something similar when he ascribed to the Lord Jesus,

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

The same exact worship that Yahweh proclaimed through the prophet Isaiah that he alone shall someday receive in recognition of his being the only righteous God and Savior in existence,

“Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the Lord? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.’” Isaiah 45:21-23

And which the holy Apostle himself rendered to God the Father!

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,” Ephesians 3:14-15

Such worship of Christ shouldn’t come as surprise since the Lord himself stated that the Father commands everyone to honor him in the same way that they honor the Father:

“The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, EVEN AS they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.” John 5:22-23

To top this all off, the Apostle John records a vision he had where he falls down at Christ’s feet after seeing him in his glorious splendor:

“I John, your brother, who share with you in Jesus the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, ‘Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Per′gamum and to Thyati′ra and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to La-odice′a.’ Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden girdle round his breast; his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters; in his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth issued a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, ‘Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.’” Revelation 1:9-18

Amazingly, the risen Lord not only manifested his divine glory to his beloved servant, appearing to him in the exact same way that Yahweh did in the OT to some of the prophets (cf. Ezekiel 1:24, 26-28; 2:1-10; Daniel 7:9-10), he also applied to himself titles which both the inspired Scriptures,

“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.’” Isaiah 44:6 – cf. 48:12

“At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnez′zar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives for ever; for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;” Daniel 4:34

“And the angel whom I saw standing on sea and land lifted up his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there should be no more delay,” Revelation 10:5-6

And the Quran agree belong to Deity alone:

He is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Immanent: and He has full knowledge of all things. S. 57:3 Y. Ali

In light of the foregoing, could the God-breathed Scriptures be any clearer that Jesus’ own followers were worshiping the risen and exalted Christ as God Almighty in the flesh?

With that said we are now read to move on to the final part of our rebuttal.