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Jesus – Savior or Prophet? It Matters!


By Jack Smith

Buried treasure.

Suppose you knew where it was, but you knew you would never have it; and, suppose you knew that others would. Would you help them along? Would you tell them about it, or would you keep it to yourself? Would you hide it from them, or even lie about the treasure itself? After all, if you can’t have it, why should they?

The Treasure is Jesus Christ. The one who will never know Him is the Prince of Darkness; and, he has decided to keep as many people away from the Treasure as he possibly can. Islam is one of his methods of doing so.

1 John 2:1-2 states, “My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”  The word “propitiation” is translated from the Greek word, “hilasmos,” meaning, “. . . the ‘propitiation’ affected by the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross, whose atoning work eradicated the sin of human beings and appeased the wrath of God.” (Quoting, Stephen D. Renn, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Word Studies for Key English Bible Words Based on the Hebrew and Greek Texts, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Pub., 2005), s.v. “PROPITIATION,” WORDsearch CROSS e-book.). Thus, the death of Jesus Christ, the sinless, perfect, eternal, Lamb of God, provides the platform whereby forgiveness is offered to every human being on the face of the earth.  His death ”propitiates” or satisfies the requirements of a holy and just God who cannot ignore sin, but provides the Lamb of sacrifice, Himself, and thereby satisfies the standards of righteousness He has placed upon Himself.  Forgiveness is guaranteed by God, not because God is merciful, compassionate, and loving (although He is all of these things), but because Jesus has “purchased” salvation for the entire world (Galatians 3:13, 1 Peter 1:18).  Salvation is a gift that must be “claimed”; one that must be opened to receive! Think about it: the whole world includes every Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Atheist, etc.  Salvation, forgiveness of sins, is waiting to be experienced by each, for the gift of forgiveness has already been purchased by Christ, on their behalf.

The angel Gabriel is said to have brought Muhammad his first revelation in the year 610 A.D.  The revelations continued over a twenty-three year period of time, and eventually became the Muslim holy book, the Qur’an.  Muslims consider the Qur’an to be the “eternal and immutable word of God.”  (Quoting, Ayoub, Mahmoud M., Afra Jalabi, Vincent J. Cornell, Abdullah Saeed, Mustansir Mir and Bruce Fudge. “Qurʿān.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World.   Oxford Islamic Studies Online, http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t236/e0661 (accessed 09-Jan-2012).  Muslims believe the Qur’an to be the literal word of Allah, and that the earthly version is a replica of the eternal “tablet” form, in heaven, where it is preserved by Allah (Qur’an 85: 21–22). The words written upon this heavenly tablet (and contained in the earthly replica, the Qur’an) are nothing short of the actual thoughts and intentions of Islam’s God, Allah, from the beginning of time.  They reveal the nature of the speaker, his characteristics, attitudes, and values, much like an autobiography might do the same for the author.

What the Qur’an says about Jesus, therefore, is important. Because the Qur’an reveals what Allah thinks of Jesus, believes about Jesus, and commands others to think and believe about Jesus.  The Qur’an tells Muslims that to believe in the Jesus of the Bible is to commit “shirk.” Shirk is the most heinous sin a Muslim can commit.  Shirk is unforgivable.  Here is one definition of the term from a Muslim scholar:  “Derived from the Arabic sharika (to share or participate), shirk in Islamic religious vocabulary means associating other beings with God [Allah]. Since this violates the central Islamic doctrine of the oneness of God (tawhid), shirk is considered the greatest sin in Islam because it is the worst form of unbelief. Often translated as “polytheism” or “idolatry,” the term has broadened its meaning throughout Islamic history.”  (Quoted from Fletcher, Charles. “Shirk.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. Oxford Islamic Studies Online, http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t236/e1080 (accessed 06-Jan-2012)).

Shirk, then, is to believe that Allah has “equals,” to “liken” another to Allah resulting in one’s worship of another than Allah; or to “associate partners” with Allah (Mary and God as sexual partners). Here are a few verses from the Qur’an on the seriousness of associating partners with Allah:

  • Qur’an 4:47, “People of the Book [Jews and Christians], believe in what We have sent down to confirm what you already have before We wipe out [your sense of] direction, turning you back, or reject you, as We rejected those who broke the Sabbath: God’s will is always done. God does not forgive the joining of partners with Him: anything less than that He forgives to whoever He will, but anyone who joins partners with God has concocted a tremendous sin.”
  • Qur’an 4:116, “God does not forgive the worship of others beside Him— though He does forgive whoever He will for lesser sins—for whoever does this has gone far, far astray.”
  • Qur’an 5:72, “Those who say, ‘God is the Messiah, son of Mary,’ have defied God. The Messiah himself said, ‘Children of Israel, worship God, my Lord and your Lord.’ If anyone associates others with God, God will forbid him from the Garden, and Hell will be his home. No one will help such evildoers.”

Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior of the world. He is the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2).  Jesus, to Christians, is worthy of our praise, worthy of our worship because He is the reason we have been reconciled with God (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Hebrews 3:1-6 describes Jesus as worthy of our praise and worship: “Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.”

Amazing, it is as if Allah (from whom the Qur’an originates) needed to make sure no Muslim would ever discover the Treasure – Jesus Christ. The precise meaning that allows Jesus to be the “faithful Son over His House” – is precisely what Islam labels as the most heinous sin, “shirk.”  Hebrew 3 (and many other passages) declares Jesus Christ to be the “Son” “over His house”; hence, Jesus is the “Son of God,” the exact representation of God (Hebrews 1:1-2).  Clearly, the Biblical view of Jesus is that of deity,  God-incarnate in human flesh (John 1:1-3; 14). 1 John 5:10 states, “The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son.” Shirk has clearly occurred– but it is God that has committed it!  The only way Muslims can deal with this is to declare the New Testament the result of Christian corruption. (See “Ahl al-Kitab.”  In “The Oxford Dictionary of Islam.”, edited by John L. Esposito. Oxford Islamic Studies Online, http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e74 (accessed 09-Jan-2012).

Not only is it shirk for a Muslim to believe Jesus is the Son of God, the Qur’an puts Jesus one step further removed for Muslims. The Qur’an misrepresents who Jesus is by declaring Him something that He is not.  The Qur’an declares Jesus to be born of a virgin, a miracle worker, and a prophet chosen of God.  Two of the three proclamations are correct.  The third is not; Jesus was not a prophet. If Jesus were a prophet, He could not be God-incarnate. God-incarnate might prophesy — but that does not make Him a prophet.  He is still God-incarnate, and it is God-incarnate that is sinless.

Describing the Muslim view of Jesus, one scholar puts it this way:

  • It is not widely known that the Christian scriptures are not the only ones that discuss Jesus: the Qurʿān too contains several significant references to him. In particular, his miraculous conception and birth (19:16–33), his status as a prophet sent by God (5:46), and his role as a miracle-worker (3:49) are all affirmed in the Qurʿān. (Quoting,  Goddard, Hugh. “Jesus.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic WorldOxford Islamic Studies Online, http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t236/e0960 (accessed 09-Jan-2012).

Jesus is misrepresented. He was not a prophet sent by God but a Savior given by God to save the world from their sins (John 3:16, Matthew 1:21). The problem with the misrepresentation? If Christ is only a prophet, he is a sinner, and a sinner cannot atone for the sins of the world because he falls short of God’s standard of righteousness (Romans 3:23). Muslims are taught to believe that Jesus was a prophet; and, as a prophet, he is to be respected and valued like all Biblical prophets. In fact, every time a Muslim mentions Jesus’ name he follows Jesus’ name with the phrase, “peace be unto him,” out of respect. Yet, it is precisely this incorrect view of Jesus that hides the real Jesus from Muslims. The real Jesus is hidden so completely that for a Muslim to ever come to know Jesus as Savior, Son of God, is nothing short of miraculous; to do so, the Muslim will commit shirk, the unforgivable sin.  Consider the intensity of Surah 19:88-92 which states, “The disbelievers say, ‘The Lord of Mercy has offspring.’ How terrible is this thing you assert: it almost causes the heavens to be torn apart, the earth to split asunder, the mountains to crumble to pieces, that they attribute offspring to the Lord of Mercy. It does not befit the Lord of Mercy [to have offspring].”

Jesus Christ is the Son of God, confirmed to be such by the resurrection (Romans 1:3-6). He is the perfect, sinless, eternal (Hebrews 5:5-9; 7:26-27) Lamb of God who atoned for the sins of humankind (1 John 2:2) and reconciled mankind to God (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Jesus is the exact representation of God (Hebrews 1:1-2), and, as such, is able to meet the standard of righteousness set by God in order to offer forgiveness for our sins.  He is truly the Treasure; not a treasure, but the Treasure, the One who has atoned for the sins of humanity and offered His atonement to the world, Muslims included.

Satan is a master at disguise; and, he has so disguised Jesus, the Son of God, that Muslims are rarely able to know Him as He truly is; and so, he has hidden Jesus from Muslims much like a treasure is hidden from those who are seeking it.  The words of the Qur’an are the means whereby the Prince of Darkness has disguised Jesus, and rendered Muslims all but blind of knowing who He truly is.

Source – When the Pieces Fit

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  1. Anonymous
    04/29/2012 at 9:46 AM

    What a horrible contradiction of facts, seriously delusional. Jesus Christ was God-Incarnate.. as if God would walk amongst man in such form hence your self image is over inflated. Good luck with that. May GOD/ALLAH/LORD have mercy on you.

    Like

  2. ICA
    04/29/2012 at 11:04 AM

    Anonymous, “What a horrible contradiction of facts, seriously delusional.”

    Please explain what it is you believe, and why you believe it. Then we can discuss.

    Like

    • Anonymous
      04/29/2012 at 11:58 AM

      hey ICA, if I remember right, surah 5:72 also fits with 5:73 and 5:116. Read those together…

      Like

  3. ICA
    04/29/2012 at 12:15 PM

    Qur’an Sura 5:72-73,116, “Pagans indeed are those who say that GOD is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah himself said, ‘O Children of Israel, you shall worship GOD; my Lord and your Lord.’ Anyone who sets up any idol beside GOD, GOD has forbidden Paradise for him, and his destiny is Hell. The wicked have no helpers Pagans indeed are those who say that GOD is a third in a trinity. There is no god except the one god. Unless they refrain from saying this, those who disbelieve among them will incur a painful retribution… GOD will say, ‘O Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Make me and my mother idols beside GOD’? He will say, ‘Be You glorified. I could not utter what was not right. Had I said it, You already would have known it. You know my thoughts, and I do not know Your thoughts. You know all the secrets'”

    Islam’s prophet did not understand the basics of Christianity, evidenced by the fact that the Suras above claim that Christianity makes the Messiah a “helper” of God, evidenced by the fact that the Suras above claim that Christianity teaches that “God is a third in a trinity”, evidenced by the fact that the Suras above claim that Christianity makes “Mary” as one of the members of the Trinity. As I wrote here in “A Few Simple Questions For Muslim Visitors“:

    The Son of God – What Does It Mean?

    The Qur’an teaches that, according to Christianity, God acquired a son through procreation with Mary. In the eyes of Muslims, the term “son of God” is believed to be, and is therefore understood, in a literal sense. But this misrepresentation is so far from the basic tenets of Christianity that any serious student of the Qur’an should begin questioning the veracity of some of the teachings of Islam on this error alone. The term “son of God” in the Bible is an anthropomorphism and is intended to be understood in a figurative sense, not in a wooden literal sense. It is a metaphor to describe a relational identity. In John 3:16, Jesus is called the only “begotten” son of God (the Greek word monogenēs) which means “unique” or “one of a kind” or “one and only”. As Christians, we are all called God’s children (Matthew 5:9; Romans 8:16; Galatians 3:6; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5, etc.). But this term is an analogy to describe our relationship to our Heavenly Father. We are not literal “sons” and “daughters”. Even the angels are called “sons of God” in the Bible (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7). But Jesus is called the only “unique” son of God in Scripture for a very good reason. In the Old Testament, before Jesus came as a child into this world, He appeared before His people as the “Angel of the Lord”. He revealed Himself in the burning bush that spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai. He appeared before Joshua as the Commander of the Hosts of Heaven. And in the New Testament He is the eternal “Word of God”, called the “unique son of God”, because He is God in the flesh and there is no one else like Him.

    John 1:1,14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten [monogenēs] of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

    The Trinity – Monotheism or Polytheism?

    Because of Mohammed’s distorted understanding of what Christians believed and practiced, Islam teaches that the Christian belief of the Trinity is a polytheistic teaching of “three gods”, characterized as the “Father”, and the “Son” and the “Virgin Mary”. Not only does the “Virgin Mary” have nothing to do with the Trinity (it is the Holy Spirit, not Mary), we believe in One God only and One God that is Triune. Not three gods. To use an analogy to illustrate this, consider fire. When we observe the fire of a candle, for example, we observe three distinct things: light, heat, and a flame. Yet, the light is fire. The heat is fire. The flame is fire. Although these three are fire, are there three different fires, or only one? Likewise, the Father is called God in Scripture (Phil 2:1), and so is the Son (John 1:1,14; Col 2:9), and so is the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4). Even though there is a clear distinction, there is only One God. As Deuteronomy 6:4 declares, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” Literally translated, “Hear, O Israel: Yahweh and our Elohim are a united one.” The Old Testament demonstrates a plurality in the Godhead that is a united One, and this distinction is reaffirmed in the New Testament: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23).

    If Islam’s prophet got some of the basic teachings of Christianity wrong, what else did he get wrong?

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