Islam in the Bible – Verse of the Week

“And this is life eternal, that they might know you, the ONLY TRUE GOD, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
(John 17:3)

This verse is part of a series of statements Jesus made right before he entered the small garden of Gethsemane outside Jerusalem. This is where Jesus retired with his followers in order to avoid the band of troops of Judas Iscariot, the disciple of Jesus who would betray him and hand him over to the ruling Jews to attempt to crucify him for 30 pieces of silver.

In this verse Jesus explains eternal life in a twofold message. When he says, “This is eternal life,” Jesus is saying that what follows is the criteria to having eternal life (Heaven), as opposed to eternal death (Hell). In the first part of the message, “that they may know you, the ONLY true God,” Jesus says two things. Firstly, one aspect of obtaining eternal life is having knowledge of and acknowledging the existence of God. Secondly, one must know that He is the ONLY true (real) God. Jesus did not say that they may know me or us: he clearly distinguishes himself from God and specifies God as the only true object of worship.

In the second part of this verse, Jesus says that the second part of obtaining eternal life is knowing and acknowledging Jesus Christ is the one sent by God: “and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” The phrase, “whom you have sent” very clearly establishes that Jesus is one sent by God, not one equal with God. So, what was Jesus sent with?

We know from the above verse that Jesus was sent “that they may know you.” Islam teaches that all the prophets sent by Allah, including Jesus, were sent with the same message: acknowledge God (Allah), acknowledge Him as one and unique in his Oneness, and acknowledge that He is the only one deserving and having the right to be worshiped. Islam teaches that we should believe in all of the prophets sent by God to humanity, including Moses, Abraham, Noah, Jacob, David, Jesus and Muhammad, peace be upon them all. These two things make up the core of Islam’s basic teachings.

If you look at Jesus’ words and teachings in this verse and the basic teachings of Islam shown above, you will see that they are one and the same.

May God guide us all to the truth.

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