18. What Does “Jesus Is Lord” Mean?

Does the Koran imagine that Christians have “divinized” Jesus?

Formerly the Judaeans said to Jesus: You “make yourself God” (John 10, 33). They made it seem as if they believed that Jesus, the true king of the Jews, was posing as a Pagan king like Antiochus IV, for example, who loved to be called “Epiphane,” that is to say a manifestation of God, or again like Julius Caesar who - after his death in the year 44 before J-C , it is true – was given the title of “divine” (Imperator Iulius Caesar Divus).

In his manner, the Jew Philo of Alexandra responded to this absurdity shortly after in the year 41, in his Legatio ad Caium:
“Rather would God change himself into man than man into God” – in reference to the startling scene he had seen at Rome, when Emperor Caius Caligula exhibited himself disguised as Jupiter [1].

All said, Philo makes allusion to the Jewish hope of a God who must visit his people and manifestly he has heard that the disciples of Jesus were saying.

To the accusation “make yourself God” (according to the Pagan mode), Jesus retorts that he is consecrated by the one God. He utilizes the word “consecrated-sanctified” of which the root QDSh refers to the sanctuary [2]. The sanctuary is the place of prayers, the place where God manifests his presence. This response of Jesus, pronounced in the midst of the feast of Dedication is heavy with meaning:

“Do you say of him
whom the Father consecrated [root QDSh]
and sent into the world,
‘You are blaspheming?” (John 10, 36).

On another occasion, Jesus (‘Issa) explains that it is a too carnal judgment that prevents belief in him:

“You judge according to the flesh, I judge no one.
Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true,
 for it is not I alone that judge, but I and he who sent me” (John 8, 15-16).

All this signifies that Jesus (‘Issa) is Son “Ibn,” and that there is Life in God. Besides, “Allah” is a plural word, as the Arabic grammarians know. And yet He is One. Jesus (‘Issa) is the one sent (rasul) from God among men; on earth, he is the “image” of the Father and makes us know him. If God is truly living, he does not rest confined in himself, he wants to truly reveal himself. He does not want only to give orders, he wants to communicate himself. Now it is written: “no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor 12, 3). It is the Holy Spirit (the holy breath) who makes something to be touched in this Life which is in God.


[1] PHILON d’Alexandrie, Legation a Caius, translated by Delaunay, Paris: Didier, 1870, p. 310 (118).

[2] This root gives in Hebrew the “Qiddush,” the prayer over the bread and wine during the Shabbat, or the exclamation “Qadosh” “Holy, Holy, Holy” of the Seraphims in the Temple (Is 6, 3).