Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Quick Evidence Proving Jesus is Muhammad’s God and Lord Pt. 2

Sam Shamoun

We now come to the exegesis of Mark 13:32 in order to see whether this passage undermines the Deity of the Lord Jesus.

Here is the verse once again so the readers can follow along our discussion:

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”

To begin with, this text is a classic example of an anabasis where Christ places himself far above all creation. The following Christian scholars explain:

“Earlier we learned about the Principle of Embarrassment as applied to the women as primary witnesses to the empty tomb. It is unlikely that an author would invent an account so as to include details that are embarrassing and potentially discrediting. In Mark 13:32, the Gospel writer states that there is something that Jesus does not know, the time of his coming. One would think that in an evolving theology where Jesus was assigned a divine status, even of being God himself, a statement emphasizing his limitations of knowledge would not be included. This is why most scholars agree that this verse is an actual statement of Jesus.

“If Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, what did he mean by it? In the passage we just considered, Mark employs a figure of speech called anabasis, an ascending scale with increasing emphasis. An example of anabasis would be my saying, 'I wouldn't do such and such for a thousand dollars. I wouldn't do it for a hundred thousand dollars. I wouldn't even do it for a million dollars.' Here we see an ascending scale in the amounts of money that could theoretically be offered. We also see an increasing emphasis, stressing the idea that I will not do such a thing.

“In Mark 13:32, we also see the use of anabasis. Jesus says that no human knows the time of his coming. Not even the angels in heaven know, who are greater than humans. The Son does not know either, even though he is higher than the divine angels. Thus, this Son of God is higher than humans (including kings, prophets, and pious followers of God), higher than the angels in heaven, and is only lower than the Father. Therefore, in this verse that is regarded as an authentic saying of Jesus, he claims that he is the Son - the divine Son of God.” (Gary R. Habermas & Michael R. Licona, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus [Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI; First Edition edition 2004], p. 169; underline emphasis ours)

To say that this is a remarkable assertion would be a wild understatement when we take into consideration the following points.

First, angels dwell in the heavenly presence of God where they behold his visible glory just as the following verses affirm: 

“I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:9-10

“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 6:1-8

“but ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” Hebrews 12:22-24

“And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. And the Lord said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will persuade him. And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee.” 1 Kings 22:19-23

“Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 18:10

“And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.” Luke 1:19

And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.” Revelation 8:2-3 – cf. 4:1-11; 15:5-6

This means that these angelic beings have access to God’s visible presence and communicate with him in such a way that humans that are on earth do not. Therefore, if anyone would know the day or hour it surely would be them seeing their close proximity to God and his throne. And yet even they have not been given such knowledge.

Second, the Holy Bible divides the world of rational creatures into two groups, that of men and angels:  

“For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” 1 Corinthians 4:9

Therefore, by placing himself above both men and angels the Lord Jesus was basically claiming to be superior to every created thing.

This is borne out by the immediate context where Christ identifies himself as the Son of Man who rides the clouds and sends forth his angels to gather his elect to himself:

“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send HIS angels, and shall gather together HIS elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.” Mark 13:26-27

Here we see Jesus not only commanding angels but also claiming to be that same Son of Man whom the prophet Daniel saw and wrote of:

“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve (yipelachun) him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:13-14

This particular Son of Man whom the prophet saw is no ordinary human since he rides the clouds like Yahweh does,

“who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot:” Psalm 104:3 – cf. 68:4, 33-34

“The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.” Nahum 1:3 – cf. Exodus 13:21-22; 14:19-20, 24; 33:7-11; 40:34-38; Numbers 10:34; Deuteronomy 33:26; Isaiah 19:1

Reigns forever like Yahweh does,

“I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end.” Daniel 6:26

“Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.” Psalm 145:13

And even receives the same exact worship that Yahweh receives,

“And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve (yipelachun) and obey him.” Daniel 7:27 – cf. 3:12, 14, 17-18, 28; 6:16, 20, 26

What makes this all the more interesting is that even the Quran acknowledges that it is Allah that rides the clouds and who shall eventually descend with his angels to judge the earth: 

“Do they wait until Allah comes to them in the shadow of the clouds and the angels and their affair has been judged? And to Allah the affairs return.” S. 2:210

“Certainly not, when the earth is ground, grinding, grinding. And your lord came and the angels in rank, rank. On that day, hell will be brought forth; on that day, the human will remember. And how is the remembrance to him?” S. 89:21-23

It is therefore obvious that this particular Son of Man is actually God Almighty appearing as a human being, even though he is also personally distinct from another divine figure called the Ancient of Days whom the NT identifies as God the Father.

Moreover, Jesus as the Son of Man will come with his holy angels in the glory of his Father:

“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh IN THE GLORY OF HIS FATHER with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38

And yet the OT is quite explicit that this is a glory that belongs to Yahweh who does not share it with anyone else:

“For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give MY GLORY unto another.” Isaiah 48:11

Hence, by referring to himself as the Son of Man Jesus was essentially claiming to be God Almighty in human flesh, the divine Son who fully shares in his Father’s own glory!

What’s more, in the verse right before 13:32 Jesus refers to his words as having the same binding and lasting authority that Yahweh’s words have.

“Heaven and earth shall pass away: but MY WORDS shall not pass away.” Mark 13:31

Now contrast this with the following OT texts:

“ל Lamed For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” Psalm 119:89

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” Isaiah 40:8

The following NT scholar helps bring out the implication of Jesus’ statement:

“To assure the disciples of the certainty of his promises, Jesus goes on to state that his words will never pass away, not even upon the dissolution of the universe as we know it (13.31). The Scriptures of Israel know of only one character who makes such claims: Yahweh himself (Isa. 40:6-8; cf. 51:6; 54:10; Ps. 102:26-27). If Jesus’ saying is read as an allusion to Isa. 40.8, he claims even more for himself than what the relevant passage of Scripture claimed for Yahweh. Whereas Isa. 40.6 mentions the prospective passing away of the grass and the flower, Jesus makes the claim absolute by mentioning heaven and earth instead. His authority is second to none, not even that of God.” (Sigurd Grindheim, Christology in the Synoptic Gospels: God or God’s Servant? [T & T Clark International, 2012], God’s Coming: Christology in Mark’s Gospel, pp. 50-51; bold emphasis ours)

This is a truly astonishing statement to make, to say the least!

Hence, by claiming to be the Son who transcends both men and angels Christ was separating himself from all of creation and placing himself in the same unique category which the Father belongs to, one which only God Almighty belongs to!

This now brings us to the conclusion of this part of the discussion. Please proceed to Part 3.