Where Did Jesus Ever Claim to be God’s Son?

Paul Derengowski, ThM

A favorite and oft-repeated question asked by the followers of Muhammad, or Muslims, is “Where did Jesus ever say he was the Son of God?”

The tactic here is the same one they use elsewhere dealing with Jesus’ deity in the respect that if such-and-such statement is not specifically found in the Bible, then the polar opposite result must be true.

Jesus could not be God.

The question fails in this particular instance simply because there are specific references where Jesus does call himself the Son of God.

After Jesus’ exchange with Nicodemas concerning the necessary prerequisites of being born again in order to enter God’s kingdom, Jesus tells him,

16 For God so loved the world, that He gave the only begotten Son,[1] that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.  17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.  18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (Jn. 3:16-18).

Not only is Jesus declaring that God has a Son, but that God sent His Son into the world with a specific mission in mind to save it.

Both of these facts, coupled with Jesus identity as the Son (cf. Mt. 27:43; Lk. 22:70; Jn. 19:7), are affronts to the Muslim ideology that God cannot have a son and that Jesus only came to a certain faction of the human population with his message.

Nevertheless, Jesus is quite clear.  He is the Son of God.

Later, he would reiterate his sonship to the Jews, who understood perfectly what he was saying, which is why they attempted to kill him (Jn. 5:18).

He declared, “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live” (Jn. 5:25).

Now, why were the Jews more capable of understanding what Jesus was saying than the contemporary Muslim, if he was not conveying his message with absolute clarity that he was something much more than a mere man?

Finally, Jesus tells Martha, upon the death of her brother, Lazarus, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified by it” (Jn. 11:4).

Lazarus ends up dying and lay in the tomb four days before Jesus raised him from death unto life or something that no mere human could do.

Of course, these references are only those that Jesus spoke, referring to himself as the Son of God, and are provided here to answer the immediate Muslim question.

There are literally dozens of biblical references where others referred to him as the Son of God as well.[2]

With so much biblical testimony stating Jesus’ sonship, one has to wonder what the real motive is for even asking such a question – repeatedly, ad nauseum.

It certainly has nothing to do with acknowledging the biblical content on the subject.

Whatever the case, Jesus declared himself to be the Son of God, regardless of whether or not the Muslim chooses to accept his personal testimony or not.


[1] Most English translations include “His” before “only begotten,” but the Greek is quite clear that the definite article the precedes “only begotten” and not “His.”  This makes perfect sense, since the definite article serves as a specifier in Greek.  Here it is pointing to “the only begotten Son,” which would be Jesus himself.

[2] Matt. 2:15; 3:17; 4:3, 6; 8:29; 16:16; 26:63; 27:40, 54; Mk. 1:1, 11; 3:11; 5:7; 15:39; Lk. 1:32, 35; 3:22; 4:3, 41, 9; 8:28; 9;35; 22:70; Jn. 1:34, 49; 11:27; 20:31; Acts 13:33; Rom. 1:4; 2 Cor. 1:19; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 4:13; Heb. 1:5; 4:14; 5:5; 6:6; 7:3; 10:29; 1 Jn. 3:8; 4:15; 5:5, 10; 2 Jn. 3; Rev. 2:18.