John 17: Showing Jesus to be a Prophet of God and Not Divine

 Secularism is our focus for politics, governance and human rights.  We believe theology and religion is a separate and independent discussion

Secularism is our focus for politics, governance and human rights. We believe theology is a separate and independent discussion

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

After Jesus said the following, he looked towards heaven and prayed:

Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.  (John 17:1-3, New International Version)

Not to speak of the Gospels of Mark, Matthew or Luke, even in the Gospel of John, which was the last to be written, 60-70 years after crucifixion, as the status of Jesus was being unduly raised and he was evolving into a deity, Jesus is still a prophet and not God, in the whole of the chapter 17.  In this chapter Jesus, may peace be on him, acknowledges several times, “you have sent me” and “you have given me,” as he addresses God the Father.

The confusion arises only when people try to explain, what is central and fundamental in the light of what is peripheral and allegorical.

Jesus, may peace be on him, is not only praying in the beginning of this chapter, but, through out, to God the Father.  Not once or twice, but over and over again and towards the end he mentions again that he is a prophet of God.

In the words of Sir Francis Bacon’s advice, “Read not to contradict … but to weigh and consider.”

Exterior of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher: The site is venerated as Golgotha, where Jesus was put on cross

Exterior of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher: The site is venerated as Golgotha, where Jesus was put on cross

Trinitarians allege that Jesus was perfect man and fully divine.

The portrait of Jesus, in John 17, as you will read below, is not of some one who is fully divine, but a humble man, who is not Omnipotent and does not know the future and is praying to God the Father, for help for himself and his followers.  Read for yourself, I have taken the liberty to highlight in red color, what I mean to emphasize:

 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (John 17:4-26, New International Version)

The emphasis is constantly on God the Father, His message and His glory and Jesus is constantly praying to him.

Read the whole chapter again and again, until you begin to see that Jesus, may peace be on him, is not co-equal to God the Father, as suggested in the Nicene creed.

In the last paragraph, Jesus is loud and clear that he is a Prophet of God and no literal son of God.  I rest my case!

Now, I link two debates between Unitarian Christians and Trinitarians:

Debate: Who was Jesus? Man or God? Sir Anthony Buzzard vs Drew Ayers

The Great Debate: Is Jesus God? ( 1 of 3 ) Sir Anthony Buzzard vs Dr. James  White

Suggested reading

Joel Osteen: Enlarging the Circle of Love

24 Video lectures: The Great Courses: How Jesus Became God?

The Best Collection to Introduce Islam to the Fellow Christians


29 replies

  1. I Agree, Jesus,..Is So Much More Though? He Was Here In the Beginning As Well as Will Be Here In The End, He Will Rule, This World,..And All – People’s ,..Will See And Here Him, In His Holyness! The “Holy Sprit “,..Will Shine, In Its Holyness, As Well!
    I Have Seen First Hand, In Prayer,..And The Holy Spirt, Is Brightness, Unlike, Any I’ve Ever Seen? It’s Love, Unlike Any, I’ve Ever Felt? The True, Spirt Of God, The Father And The Holy Sprit And Jesus,….Is So Brite And Clear, That It Lights, Any And All Darkness Around It.
    I Have Nothing But Tears Of Joy, Over Come Me, when Ever, I’m Aloud To Share Within,..This Joy, Of Father God. He Wants, All Of Belivers, The True, Faith, Those, willing To Change,…The Change, Of Heart!
    I See And Feel,..This World And It’s Chages! Unlike Most, Around Me,..I Cry Out Loud, For The Return, Of My Father God And Jesus, And A Full Helping, Of Love, Peace And The Holy Spirt. O Master,…Come To Us, Your People, Come With The
    Countless Angels And All Of Your Glory!
    Our, Jesus, Has Done, As You Have Asked,…Showing Us, Believers Of Faith And Changed Of Heart,..The Trueness Of Your Words, From The BIBLE.

    Yes, You Are The One And Only Man, From – The Father God! You And Only You, Had Enough Care Of This World,..Too Give Your All,…For Others Too Fellow, With There Own,..Foot Steps,..There Own, New Heart,…There Own Cross!!!! On One Has The Right,..To Say Any Different! No One,..Can’t Say,…We Didn’t Kill,..The Son Of God, My Brother, My Save Your,…My life! The Truth Of Life, The One And Only Way Of Life, As It Should Be, The Way,…Father God, Plain It To Be, In The First Place. By His Hands,…Are We ,…Able To Inter Into A True Life With Him!!!

    Jesus Is,…And Always Will Be, The Only One,…”The Man”,,,,That Did So Much More Than Simpley,..Walked Around Talking About Father God?

    He – “Jesus”, Showed Us All, First Hand, How Hard Life Would Be Without Him. And How Lost This World Is Without His Father God, Words And Ways Of Truth…Being Able, To Change, Anyone Who “Beleive’s”,.. In His Name, As A “Man”, And Of God, And If,..We Are Welling To Give Up Everything,…In Order, Too Walk The Walk,..Of Life,….In Return, Showing Others, Your Faith,…Into Something, Bigger Than Your Self.
    Yes, Jesus, Was One Of A Kind In Ever Way? His, Love, For Father God, And His Love For Us All,…He, “Jesus”,..Gave, Everything He Had, For Us,….To Feel, And See, So Much More, Of Father God, And What He Has Waiting For Us All,…If Only, You Would Here His Words Of Truth And Ways,…Too Happyness,…Feel, First Hand, His Love, For You,…Then Change, Awaits You, My Brother, Along With, A New Heart And Soul.
    Know This,…After You Been Touched By Jesus, Your Life, As You Know It, Will Never Be The Same Again! No Matter, If You Beleive Or Not!! That’s How Deep, His Love Is For You,…His Words, His Touch, His Love,…Unlike Anything, You’ve Ever Felt Before?
    Because,…His Love,…Is From Father God,…First Hand!!!! What A “Man”,..His Only Care,….Was About Us! And Only Us,…You And I,…Are So Speial,…To Father God, Never Let, Anyone Or Anything, Ever Tell You,…Anything Different Either!
    The “Man”,…Of God, Matters,…A Whole Lot More,…Than Any Person,..Of This World, More Than Any,…”President,..Or …”Church”, Want To Be Leader,..Out Their Or Is To Come!
    The True, Truth Of Life, Is In That Wonderful Name, The “Man” – Of Flesh, And The Man,..Of The One And Only Father God,..The Only ” Jesus “,..Of The World And Of The BIBLE,…THE ONLY WAY,..TO HEAVEN, THERE IS NO OTHER WAY!!!!
    Through His Name, In His Name,…I Die, Too, My Old Ways,..Of Life! Only Too Find Another, Better Way Of life,…Jesus,…Showed Us All How To do Just That!

    Amen,…..With love, Terry

    May Your Life,…Shine,…With More Happyness Than You Could Ever Know?

  2. I read the bible and saw the signs of the end time. I see it happen around the world today. I still contemplate to become Christians as it’s teachings are signs unfolding.

  3. From OP: Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:1-3, New International Version)

    It shows that Jesus a.s. is praying to God Almighty and says “that they know you, the only true God.”

    The verse is also telling that Jesus a.s. was a messenger (Rasool). He was sent by God almighty.
    There are many signs in Bible and Quran. I post a few verses from the beginning of Al-Takweer, chapter 81 of Quran.

    [81:1] In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.

    [81:2] When the sun is wrapped up,

    [81:3] And when the stars are obscured,

    [81:4] And when the mountains are made to move,

    [81:5] And when the she-camels, tenmonth pregnant, are abandoned,

    [81:6] And when the beasts are gathered together,

    [81:7] And when the seas are made to flow forth one into the other,

    [81:8] And when people are brought together,

    [81:9] And when the girl-child buried alive is questioned about,

    [81:10] ‘For what crime was she killed?’
    Most of the above signs have been seen (proved) in present times. So we are now living in the later times. It means that the promised man of God has appeared in the world.

  4. Terry Garner: why all the capital letters? The fact that you write ‘Save Yours’, which makes no sense, instead of ‘saviour’, makes me think you are simply regurgitating stuff you have heard with no understanding of what it means!

  5. God(Allah) is peace,why do we use so much violence and killings to convert others to accept our religion? I think we should present ours with peace and show the beauty in it,to attract others. 2percent out of 100 violence around the world are done by other religions. The rest are Islamic sects. Personally I hate violence and can’t Identify with it for there is no justification.

  6. Dear halima sefiyat, where is the violence here. This is simply a discussion about theology, as to how should we see Jesus as we read the different Gospels.

    We love your name as it was also the name of the foster mother of the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him.

    Tell us why a discussion about God and His prophets suddenly made you think of violence.

    Is it possible that this may be your excuse to stay away from the pure Monotheism of Islam and continue to make a man into a god?

    An apple cannot be a rock and a monkey at the same time, for these are different things.

    Likewise, a man cannot be a god or an apple at the same time. A man’s actions can be godly or angelic but he cannot be god. Pure and simple.

    A man can eat an apple but cannot become one.


  7. Let’s begin the New Year of 2014 on the right foot by saying Jesus is still the Son of God the same today, yesterday and forever. The One foretold in the Old Testament by the Jewish Prophets and here Christians and Jewish people are linked. However as Jesus come to fulfill the prophecies and the words handed down from many generation to generation. As they all didn’t suffer from a spiritual alzheimer’s the inspired word God is reflected back. In that we look from Jesus Christ back through the Old Testament and see clearly the hand of God manifest and the confirmations of His word. Here we stand tall and proud. The Muslim faith is included in the hand of God and Pope Francis would bind us all to respect the Islam. Christians are in the business of Joy so we share in your joyful times of EID and through the various occasions of the year.

    It seems there is much confusion and multifarious interpretations from among the Muslim faith and Muslims are against muslims and Imams are fighting against Imams ….to the point that some Muslims say don’t listen to muslims and the mistakes and misinterpretations that go on but look to Allah. Well how can you have the Head without the Body? Its very clear in Christianity that the body and the Head the heart and the soul all work together. There is no envy nor should there be.

  8. Mike: Jesus has never been accepted as the messiah ‘As foretold in the Old Testament’, because he did not meet the criteria laid down there. For one thing, he could not have descended from King David, since God was supposedly his father and if I remember rightly, his mother was from the tribe of Levi. And yes, you are wandering off topic.

  9. Halima Sefiyat: why are you a doom-monger? There have been people like you claiming the ‘end is nigh’ ever since Jesus died. He clearly stated on several occasions that his second coming would happen within the lifetime of his companions and it did. It happen, neither did the End of the world! He was delusional. Why would you wasn’t to believe that Armageddon would happen and billions die? I can only think that you have had some great disappointment in your own life for you to have such a pessimistic outlook!

  10. I shouldn’t write using my phone late at night -I meant to say Jesus said he would come back but it did not happen.

  11. Jo; you are really idiotic and seriously unreasonable and if you want more of d name calling, bring it on Bro. Cos if u think saying nasty things to people is a joke? Think again. Besides this isn’t the right place for that kind of attitude.

  12. Zia shar; yes pardon me,I strayed there cos I read lots of this post and probably sent response from another post on this one. Of all the Christians countless that I know,heard and seen,im still yet to see one who proclaimed Jesus as God. From John 17 as you have posted ;“the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world” I find this rather mysterious as I see here he existed even before the creation of the world, so I wonder what entity he would be assuming here. From the advice of Bacon; read not to contradict but to weigh and consider” The highlights makes no sense without the entire body.

  13. Halima, you are right Jesus, as soul, may have existed before like other prophets and other humans, in a blue print, at the time of original creation.

    However, please do not forget that Jesus, may peace be on him, was born around 1 AD to mother Mary.

    According to conventional Christian belief, Jesus has two natures, human and divine. As you stress the divine part please do not forget the human nature of Jesus.


  14. How can I beat about the bush when you fundamentally fail to see the wood for the trees. Jesus Christ is the son of God. Never lose sight of that in the jungle of your own thinking.

    You keep skewing the Christian faith and avoiding the essentials.

    I suppose it is a blessed relief for you to go sorting out Christianity and avoid the mess of your own Muslim faith.

  15. Mike this thread is about, whether an apple can be a rock and a monkey at the same time or not.

    As regards, many of the short comings of the Muslims, we do not deny that and are trying to lead the way in universal brotherhood, human rights and separation of Mosque-Church and State.

    Let me link our most recent Op-Ed here:

    General Musharaf and Pakistan

  16. Hi,

    If Jesus is God. And as per believes of Christianity. Can God be hanged?

    Most of the Christians think Jesus pbuh died on the cross and will return. Then Questions is can God die at first position?

    We as Muslims Love Peace and teac the same to world! Terror exist in all the religion that is battle that each religion fights. But that’s not actual teaching itself.

    Muslims faith is not complete untill we believe in Jesus pbuh. Visit to read more about Peaceful Ahmadiiya community and second coming of Jesus pbuh.

  17. Dear Halima

    As a Muslim, please don’t be offended if we say Jesus is not the ‘son’ of God, but a ‘prophet’ of God. According to Christianity, prophets are capable of sinning. However, according to Islam since God is all-Knowing, He is capable of choosing prophets from among men who are morally and spiritually perfect. That means, all prophets of God, starting from Adam (as), to Noah (as), to Abraham (as), to David (as), to Solomon (as), to Jesus (as), and to Prophet Muhammad (saw) – all were perfect human beings chosen and protected by God as His Messengers. I’ve only listed the well-known ones, there are certainly many more.

    All prophets of God share this characteristic, among others, and this is what points to their common ‘unifying’ source: One God!

    So no offense: Jesus (peace be upon him) is a prophet of God and not a literal son. He is a spiritual son, as all prophets are, and as we should all strive to be.

    As for Jesus existing “before creation” – this idea only formed because in the Old Testament, God is referred to as “We” and “Us” and Christians cite this as proof of Jesus’ existence with God before creation. However, what Christians forget is that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and in the Hebrew language, the forms “We” and “Us” are used not in the plural sense, but in the royal sense. The glory and greatness of God is emphasized, not His plurality. The Qur’an uses the same expressions, but Muslims have never confused such expressions as denoting a plurality of God’s Being. And Jews, who were the recipients of God’s Word through Moses never took these expressions to mean plurality of gods either since they know very well how their language is spoken.

    Only a clarification. No conflict initiated.

    p.s: Prophet Muhammad (saw) is also prophesied in the Bible! 🙂 Another discussion!

  18. Zia Shah has jumped to Jn 17 this time with his team to continue their battle against God.There is nothing you can do to defeat the purpose of God!There is no satanic or negative or wrong or errornous interpretations you will give to God’s word that can remove the truth thereof!Rather the more you speak the more you manifest whom you are and the spirit in you.And I can certify you that,by the word of The Lord,no sheep of Jesus Christ will follow you.
    Always remember that those like us who ‘foolishly’ believed the gospel of Jesus Christ and recieved His Spirit has been judged already here on earth unto life eternal;but those that ‘wisely’ ,intellectually refused His word shall be judged unto condemnation.Jn 8:23-24;Mk 16:16;2Thess 1:7-9.He that hath an ear let him hear what The Spirit is saying.

  19. Br Gabriel, this is no war against God. It is just some sharing of ideas in our age of information.

    At any rate, thank you for your rhetoric, now also present some evidence, for what you are suggesting.

  20. Let mysteries be mysteries. No one can really say God’s ways,because he is God alone, we only see his acts. Christians live evidently of all their believes so do other religions including Islam.there is only one God,its the methods of accessing and worshipping him that differs. So stop the scrutiny,hatred,judgements,destruction and all them bad stuffs. Embrace love and care for each other. Help the world grow rather than try to interpret according to personal dictates. Better still keep some of the questions and ask them in heaven if the answers won’t already be there. Cos personally I wanna see the virgins that are reserved in heaven for the jihadist.also wondering if after first sex,these virgins will still remain virgins.

  21. God is Ineffable and Subtle, indeed. But, He has given us some insight into His attributes through the prophets.

    If God was completely mysterious and incomprehensible, the humans could not enjoy a relationship with Him.

    Let us build our world and human compassion on realities of the universe and not on make belief and fairy tales, please.

  22. Fairies like the existence of virgins and the allocation of same to those who slaughter fellow beings in the name of religion. I like your conclusion ZIA. I wish every one could reason like you.

  23. Zia Shah,I have presented my evidence time after time which you termed ‘rhetoric’ but you have rejected The Truth,The Way and The Life.What other evidence do you need again other than the truth of God’s word you are negating?Zia Shah,your messages are even more dangerous than the message of the serpent because he that cometh to Jesus shall be saved from the damage caused by that message of the serpent in Gens 3.But whosoever that believeth your message have no solution to that but shall SURELY,MOST CERTAINLY be condemned without remedy.Zia Shah,my evidence is always clear even now:your messages is WORSE than the message that brought sin and death into the world;you are showing people the ways to final destruction without remedy.The death of Jesus Christ on the cross(to shed His blood for atonement/remission of sins)His resurrection and the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the only and final solution for the souls of men to escape from destruction.Jesus Christ alone conquered sin and death;any man that believe this and receive Him has passed on from death to life he shall never perish.Have you not read that in His word?Of course you have.Zia Shah I want to let you and the people like you know that The Lord Jesus Christ is preaching and teaching His word even in The Muslim Times for a witness against you.You don’t know how God works.Whereas you think you are wise you don’t know that God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise…So you can go on to contradict the truth of God’s word but you have to know that Judas heared every word of Jesus and was part of the ministry,an Apostle for that matter yet his heart was full of evil waiting for the opportunity to betray Christ.Yes,he succeeded but the money he got in the process did he use it?Who killed him?Zia Shah continue your war against God’s programme of redemption.But remember Judas.I have said that and I say it again that everybody must fufil what is written concerning him in the Holy Bible.I’m free from your blood and that of they of TMT because Jesus Christ has used me as well as many others to tell you the truth.He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying even now.

  24. According to Islam, the bounties (pleasures) of the next world are spiritual; no man or woman knows about them, no one has seen them or imagined them. Those are, however, described in physical manner with milk and honey and pure partners. Perhaps, the word virgin can be applied to man also who has never indulged in sex before marriage.
    Let us not be disappointed. Let us come to a common ground about God Almighty. The Christians believe in One God. So do the Jews and the Muslims. That is a common ground. The Christians can keep their other two gods for themselves if it suits them. We are then together.
    The Christians should not press the Jews and Muslims for another god. There is nothing about another god in old testament which is attached with new testament (or new testament is attached with old testament). Balance is in favor of One God only whom Jesus a.s. described as father and as his God.

  25. Thank you Br Gabriel for your “kind,” words. Your message is the typical Christian teaching of “Original Sin,” and how Jesus offered “atonement.”

    You believe as Christians used to do in the past before European Enlightenment that “Original Sin,” brought death and destruction in the world and even labor pain did not exist before Adam and Eve.

    The Western Christians have become wiser in the last 3-4 centuries and now according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, they downplay the dogma of “Original Sin.”

    Likewise, the theory of evolution has provided enough evidence to debunk this Pauline dogma. I have a collection of articles on this issue.

    Just like “Original Sin,” is in your imagination, so is your accusation, “Zia Shah, your messages are even more dangerous than the message of the serpent.”

    This is why, I have little choice, but, to call your comments, empty rhetoric, to say the least.


    In the Bible do we find God the Father and Holy Ghost praying to the other two in the Holy Trinity?

    If our open minded Christian brethren and sisters ask themselves these questions, they may be led to more pure form of Unitarianism.

    Peace and Love!

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