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The rich young man

Muslims give us the following quotation from Matthew 19:16
Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?".17"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."

Our friends say that this passage proves to two things:
1)Jesus is not God, since He asked the rich man "Why do you call me good"?

2)Salvation depends on keeping the Law, as opposed to Christian teachings.


In this topic, we will see whether these claims have any solid ground or not.

Firstly, we have to understand is that Jesus is not directly denying His Divinity.He did not say to the man"DON'T call me Good, since only God is Good"?.Rather He said"why do you ask what is good, only God is good"?.So to rephrase the statement, Jesus is asking the rich man "if Only God is Good, are you calling me God"?

In fact, this passage shows in the light of the Old Testament and the Qur'an that Jesus is God!.Look at these verses:

Jesus said in Matthew 19:
Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother, ' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.20"All these I have kept, " the young man said. "What do I still lack?"21Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come,  follow me."

In response to the rich man's first question, Jesus told him to obey the commandments.But when the man asked which ones, Jesus only quoted the commandments which specified man's relation with other men.He did not quote the commandments which relate to God (the 1st 4 in the 10 commandments).And when the man said, "I already follow them, what else?", Jesus said "Now follow me!"

This is worthy of note.Why did Jesus omit the commands of how to worship God when instructing the rich young man and after that commanding the man to follow Him?.This only shows that Jesus believed Himself equal to God.

Secondly, the Qur'an says:

Sura 3:195
So their Lord accepted of them (their supplication and answered them), "Never will I allow to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female. You are (members) one of another, so those who emigrated and were driven out from their homes, and suffered harm in My Cause, and who fought, and were killed (in My Cause), verily, I will remit from them their evil deeds and admit them into Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise); a reward from Allah, and with Allah is the best of rewards."

In this passage, Allah says that whoever suffered and died for His cause will be rewarded in heaven.But this is the same claim Jesus makes for Himself in this passage!

29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life

So how can you even claim that Matthew 19 refutes Jesus's deity?.It only affirms it.

Now coming to the 2nd point, did Jesus really say that salvation depends on the Law and not on Him?.Let's read the text again:
21Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Look at what Jesus says"if you want to be perfect........".The Law can only grant you salvation if you obey it fully, that is, perfectly, without breaking it.However, the rich young man proved that it is impossible.In fact, look at what Jesus says to His disciples:

25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"

26Jesus looked at them and said,  "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

There you have it, Jesus Himself says that man cannot save Himself and that God has to provide a way, that is Jesus, who said "The come, follow me".If the Law was enough, as the Muslims assert, why did Jesus tell the young man to follow Him?

Think about it.


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