Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Is Jesus God’s Servant or Son?

More Evidence of Biblical Corruption? Pt. 6

Sam Shamoun

This brings us to the final part of our rebuttal.


The Arm of Yahweh Has Come!

The prophet Isaiah announced that Yahweh would send an envoy ahead of him to prepare the people for his coming where he would rule and shepherd his flock with his own mighty Arm, and recompense everyone according to his/her deeds:

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. A voice of one calling: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.’ … You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’ See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and he rules with A MIGHTY ARM. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11

According to the NT that envoy was none other than John Baptist, which means that Jesus is the mighty Arm of Yahweh, in fact Yahweh himself, since he is the One for whom the Baptist came to prepare the way!

“The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way’—‘a voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.”’ And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: ‘After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’” Mark 1:1-8


And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, “He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.”’ No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained HimHe said, ‘I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Make straight the way of the Lord,” as Isaiah the prophet said.’… John answered them saying, ‘I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.’ These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, “After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.” I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.’ John testified saying, ‘I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, “He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.” I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.’ Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’” John 1:14-15, 23, 26-36

Christ himself stated that he is the good Shepherd who tends his flock and who shall also repay everyone according to their thoughts and deeds:

“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.” Matthew 16:27

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep… I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” John 10:11, 14-16

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.’ … He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” Revelation 22:12-13, 20

Christ is also the One who has come to redeem human beings from the entire earth:

“When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.’ Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.’ And EVERY CREATED THING which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, AND TO THE LAMB, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.’ And the four living creatures kept saying, ‘Amen.’ And the elders fell down and worshiped.” Revelation 5:8-14


“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne AND BEFORE THE LAMB. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, AND TO THE LAMB.’ All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: ‘Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!’ Then one of the elders asked me, ‘These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?’ I answered, ‘Sir, you know.’ And he said, ‘These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’ Therefore, ‘they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” Revelation 7:9-17

Thus, Revelation not only says that Jesus has saved men from all over the world, it also goes as far as to depict him as receiving the worship of every creature in the same way that God is worshiped!

In light of the foregoing, could the NT be any clearer that Jesus Christ is the eternal Arm and divine Servant of Yahweh who has come to bring God’s salvation to all the inhabitants of the earth?


Muslims – You Have A Problem!

Isaiah’s claim that the Servant shall share in Yahweh’s exaltation over the nations contradicts the Quran which emphatically teaches that Allah would never allow such a thing from taking place:

Knowest thou not that it is Allah unto Whom belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth; and ye have not, beside Allah, any guardian or helper? S. 2:107 – cf. Q. 3:189; 5:17-18

“… Allah is the inheritor of the heavens and the earth and Allah is aware of what you do.” S. 3:180 Aisha Bewley (*)

And say: Praise be to Allah, Who hath not taken unto Himself a son, and Who hath no partner in the Sovereignty, nor hath He any protecting friend through dependence. And magnify Him with all magnificence. S. 17:111   

This means that Muhammad not only contradicted the theology of the Lord Jesus and his followers, but he also stands condemned by the proclamation of the OT prophets!


Concluding Remarks

We have thoroughly examined the Muslim argument that the Greek word that is used to describe Christ in Acts 3:13, 26, 4:27 and 30 somehow proves that the disciples didn’t preach that Jesus is God’s Son, but rather taught that he was God’s Servant. We have seen that not only is this a rather desperate attempt of brushing aside the explicit biblical witness to Jesus being the unique, divine Son of God, it also ignores the fact that the disciples used pais to describe Jesus as the Servant spoken of in the book of Isaiah. According to Isaiah, this particular Servant comes to offer his life as a vicarious sacrifice for sins in order to bring God’s salvation to the ends of the earth so that all the nations can turn to Yahweh and be saved.

This Servant is also said to share in God’s exalted status over creation and is even called the Arm of Yahweh, a position and title which points to the divine identity of the Servant. As we demonstrated in our rebuttal, the only way that the Servant could be identified as the Arm of Yahweh and share in Yahweh’s exalted position is if he himself is truly divine, and fully participates in Yahweh’s own uncreated and infinite Being. As the blessed Apostle Paul testified by inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;” Colossians 2:9-10

God’s whole nature is living in Christ in human form. Because you belong to Christ, you have everything you need. He is the ruler over every power and authority.” New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

The inspired writer to the Hebrews makes basically the same point:

“In the past [Long ago] God spoke to our ancestors [forefathers; fathers] through the prophets many times [or in a fragmentary/partial way; in many parts] and in many different ways. But now in these last days God has spoken to us through his Son [or a son; 1:3]. God has chosen [appointed] his Son to own [be heir/inheritor of] all things, and through him he made the world [universe; ages; comprising both space and time; John 1:3]. The Son reflects [or radiates; shines forth] the glory of God [John 1:14] and shows exactly what God is like [is the exact representation/imprint/stamp of his being/essence/nature]. He holds everything together [sustains/upholds all things] with his powerful word. When the Son made people clean from their [provided purification/cleansing for] sins [9:14], he sat down at the right side [hand; the most honored position beside a king; Ps. 110:1] of God, the Great One in heaven [the Majesty/Preeminence in the highest places; a Jewish way to avoid saying the divine name of God].” Hebrews 1:1-3 Expanded Bible (EB)

Hence, instead of being a term which undermines Jesus’ divine status, the use of pais in the context of Acts is actually one of the clearest and strongest proofs that the disciples could have employed to confirm Christ’s absolute Deity and supremacy over creation as its risen and sovereign Lord!

So much for the desperate polemics of these particular Muslim apologists.

Please make sure to also read the addendums (1, 2) to our rebuttal.

Unless noted otherwise, all scriptural quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).