Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Part 4: Jesus & Muhammed

Review: Jesus the “Anointed One”

Last time, for a brief review, I shared how only Jesus - and no one else, not even Muhammed - is affirmed as the “anointed One” in both the Bible and the Qur’an.  As such, as I already stated, it would make sense to suppose Jesus must be of far greater significance and superiority than Muhammed.  There were two points made showing Jesus’ superiority over Muhammed:
  • First, the Arabic “masih” may be translated “very anointed” or “most anointed.”
  • Second,  the word “masih” needs to be understood from its use in the Hebrew Bible from where the word is translated.  As such, “messiah,” is mentioned in the New Testament,  alongside the title, “Son of God,” which, at the very least, identify Jesus as more than a mere man and  vastly superior to Muhammed.
Here I will be brief so as not to take advantage of my reader's time.

Part 4:  Jesus is the Object of Faith

In Sura 4:170, the Qur’an reads, “O mankind!  The Apostle hath come to you in truth from God; believe in him: it is best for you,  But if ye reject Faith, to God belong all things…” (The last phrase seems to suggest God will know if you have rejected his Apostle and, consequently, will judge you accordingly).

It seems to me from the context that the identity of the “Apostle” points specifically to Jesus for the next verse warns of believing that Jesus was more than an apostle, that is, God (cf. vs.171ff).  However, even if its reference is meant to understood as a general reference to all messengers of God, nevertheless, the Quran teaches that one must believe, if not specifically in Jesus, at least, all the messengers of God in whom Jesus was one.  Therefore, if one chooses not to believe in Jesus, it seems to suggest that he or she places their life in eternal danger.

Even the Bible says that one should believe in the prophets of God and for pretty much the same reason as stated in the Qur’an:  “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper” (2 Chronicles 20:20).  And, if we are to believe that Jesus is a prophet of God, then we are obligated as God-followers to trust in him.

However, Jesus goes further when he says, “If you trust in God, then trust also in me” (John 14:1).  In addition, he claims, “I m the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father unless he comes through me.”

As the Qur’an teaches that the prophets of God must be trusted, so the Bible also teaches the same.  And if we are to obey the prophets of God, then we must believe in Jesus,the prophet sent by God, to tell us that if we are trusting in God, then we must also trust him; and that it is only through him that access to God is given.  No man, Jesus says, can come before God except through the One whom he sent, namely, Jesus himself.

Unfortunately, this may be where the rubber meets the road because, although both the Qur’an and the Bible teach that we are to obey the prophets of God, these two books believed to be sacred hold contradictory positions regarding Jesus’ person.  Whereas the Bible seems to show that Jesus is God in the flesh, the Qur’an teaches that he is no more than a man and not God.

I think it would be a good idea to quickly review what we learned the Qur’an teaches about Jesus.

First we learned that Jesus is the embodiment of peace.  We also leaned that he is sinless and that he is Messiah, that is, the deliverer or savior.  And we saw that all these attributes are possessed only by God.  In God is peace, and if Jesus is peace, it is in him alone where we can find our peace.  God is holy, without sin.  The man that can claim sinlessness can claim to be God.  The Qur’an teaches the Jesus was sinless.  In spite of the Qur’an’s denial of Jesus divinity, nevertheless, Jesus is asserted to possess an attribute uniquely God’s and God’s alone.  Whoever is said to be sinless necessarily, by definition of what God is in his essential nature, is also shown to be God.  Finally, Jesus is named Messiah (the “anointed one”), a name given to no other person, not even the prophet Muhammed; he alone is savior of men.  While God has his many men as divinely-gifted prophets, God has only one Anointed Messiah/Savior; and his name is Jesus “who will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).  And, finally, we saw that Jesus is an apostle to whom credence is to be rendered by the command of God.

The cumulation of all these facts, at least to me, points to the truthfulness of the Biblical attestation that Jesus is God in the flesh: “…the Word was God…and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:1,14).

Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

Islam teaches it is impossible; Jesus cannot be God.

However, if God is God, and it is affirmed that God can do the impossible, then God can become a man without lessening his divine essence or becoming anything less than human.  If it were not impossible, if it were something that was easy to do, there would be no more reason to believe that Jesus is God than to believe that ice can turn to water or that wood in the fire can turn into ash.

The proof of divinity is might be clearly seen in the fact that its occurrence of the impossible and only God is capable of accomplishing the impossible.

In my next installment, I wish to discuss what in my opinion is conclusive and irrefutable evidence that Jesus is God.

No comments:

Post a Comment