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Jesus: The Qur’anic & Biblical Understanding

Published by Steven Masood - January 6th 2018

In their conversations many Muslims tell their Christian neighbors and friends that they believe in Jesus and love him more than Christians. So where does such an acceptance come from? The source for a Muslim is primarily the Qur’an and what Muhammad said about Jesus.  The Qur’an affirms Jesus’ supernatural birth. The miracle starts with Mary the Virgin being ‘dedicated to God’s service from the womb’. Her childhood was ‘fully accepted’ by God and as an adult she is ‘devout’, ‘purified’ and ‘chosen above the women of the world.’ (Sura 3:33-37, 42-44).

Mary is visited by angel Gabriel who confirms her ‘chastity’ and her Jewish identity as a ‘sister of Aaron’ (Sura 19:16-21, 22-33). God ‘blows’ his spirit into her to conceive Jesus (Sura 66:11-12). This Jesus is described like Adam and one wonders if the Qur’an presents him as a ‘second Adam’ (Sura 3:59). He is one who speaks truth literally from the ‘cradle’ (Sura 19:29-34). He is a teacher and confirmer of ‘the Book’ (i.e. Torah and Gospel) – the ‘straight path’ (Sura 3:43; 5:110).

Jesus the Messiah is ‘healer of the blind and leper’; the ‘bringer of life from the dead’. He uses the divine honorific: “Peace be upon me” and being the Word from God, he is known as Kalimatallah- i.e. God’s word. (Sura 3:19:22-33, 45-51; 4:171; 21:91).

Although Jesus is mentioned among the prominent Jewish names: Moses, Joseph, Solomon and David, the real purpose of him being sent as Savior, Redeemer and Restorer is absent from the ministry of Jesus in the Qur’an. In spite of his origin and position, to Muslims, he is a messenger only. He is one who prophesied the coming of Muhammad (Sura 61:6) and those who believe in the divine origin of Jesus are blasphemers (Sura 19:88-93; 112:3; 6:101).

The Biblical understanding

In contrast, the Bible doesn’t merely describe the start of Jesus’ life but it explains that Jesus is the origin of all life (John 1:1,3; Hebrews 1:2). What a glimpse into the meaning of “incarnation”: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

The gospel (i.e. good news) about Jesus is profoundly “relational”. ‘The law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ’ (John 1:17).  Jesus who was ‘full of grace and truth’, ‘made his home among us’, and taught us how to be restored back to God through  the relationship that was lost through the first Adam, now restored through the last Adam - Jesus (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:45-48; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

Since God created all through his Word, Jesus, to restore us back to Him, He sent the very Word incarnated into flesh to bring us back to God by fulfilling both His mercy and justice. While this process is taking place, he has not left us alone to our demise. Jesus in turn sent the Holy Spirit, the comforter on the Day of Pentecost who works as an advocate and helper. Jesus said, ‘He is with you and will be in you… He will remind you what I have said and will lead you further in to the Truth’ (John 14:16; 15:26; 16:13; Acts 1:8 ff).

It is on Jesus that God has placed his seal of approval (John 6:27) so we may know Him as our Father through Jesus (John 6:27).

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The above is explained in detail in Steven Masood’s book, Jesus or Muhammad: A Question of Assurance. For more info or to buy the book, click here.

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