The fifth surah ends today with a return to the Islamic take on Jesus.  It seems the “Feast” for which this surah is named (5:112-15) is actually the Last Supper.

Baby Jesus and Virgin Mary from Ethiopia

In 5:116 the Qur’an depicts a belief amongst Christians of that time that Jesus and Mary were gods alongside God.  Historically, we know that by the seventh century, the divinity of Jesus is a long-established belief in Christianity.  The many controversies over how to describe the trinity are even over.  By this time, the elevation of Mary has obviously also become firmly entrenched in Christianity.  The Qur’anic way of describing the relationship of the three is clearly incorrect.  Christians don’t believe Jesus is a god alongside God as if he is a separate god (Jesus is God, a part of one God), and Catholic theology does not actually teach that Mary is to be worshiped as a God either (Catholics are encouraged to pray through Mary to God, not to Mary as a god; not to say that some Catholics don’t cross the line).  If this is truly how Muslims perceived the Christian view of deity, of course they balked.  Describe the Trinity (or a four-some including Mary) like three (or four) different gods and I would balk at the obvious idolatry of it all too.

Crucifixion of Jesus from Ethiopia

In this passage Jesus says he never claimed he was equal to God and only ever directed people to worship God, never himself.  Jesus says he cannot even begin to know the mind of God; he is only human after all.  This passage mentions miracles done by Jesus — bringing a clay bird to life, healing a blind person and a leper, bringing the dead back to life — but the passage also emphasizes clearly that all of these feats were done because God gave his “leave” or “permission” to do the miracles.  In other words, God is supreme in power and Jesus only ever did what he did because of God. 

There it is: Jesus is not God, from the lips of the Muslim Jesus himself.

Advertisements