[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
When (Jesus) the son of Mary is held up as an example, behold, thy people raise a clamour thereat (in ridicule)!
4659 Jesus was a man, and a prophet to the Children of Israel, "though his own received him not". Some of the churches that were founded after him worshipped him as "God" and as "the son of God", as do the Trinitarian churches to the present day. The orthodox churches did so in the time of the Prophet. When the doctrine of Unity was renewed, and the false worship of others besides Allah was strictly prohibited, all false gods were condemned, e.g., at 21:98. The pagan Arabs looked upon Jesus as being in the same category as their false gods, and could not see why a foreign cult, or a foreign god, as they viewed him, should be considered better than their own gods or idols. There was no substance in this, but mere mockery, and verbal quibbling. Jesus was one of the greater prophets: he was not a god, nor was he responsible for the quibbling subdeties of the Athanasian Creed.