Jesus was just a prophet; a Muslim perspective

Hi,

I am a teenager and I saw your website, and was happy to see that you are very religious. I am a Muslim. My background is Pakistani, but I was born and raised here. I respect your religious beliefs. We have a few different beliefs than Christians. We don't believe that Jesus Christ (May Peace Be Upon Him), was the son of god, or was god. We believe this way, because we believe that God has no family, which includes not having a son. It just doesn't make sense that God would make his son suffer on the cross. We also don't believe that prophets, like Jesus Christ (May Peace Be Upon Him), die a crucial death, and dying on the cross is crucial. We believe that once the soldiers left him their, Jesus Christ's (May Peace Be Upon Him) followers took him down, and healed him. Then, he migrated to Kashmir. We believe this, because when soldiers left people hanging on the cross, they wouldn't die in a couple of hours. It would take them few days to die.

Anyways, that's enough talk. I certainly didn't mean to offend you if I did in any way. I'm also not calling you a liar, if you thought I did. I'm just telling you my beliefs. Also, the section of Islam (Muslim) that I belong to is "Ahmadiyyat". I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks. Take care, and have a wonderful day.

My response is in Green:

Thank you for writing me. You did not offend me in anyway. I hope that I don't offend you either. I have made a couple of assumptions so if I am wrong please let me know. First as a Muslim you believe the Koran, but you also read and believe the Bible. Again if I am wrong about that I am sorry. My point is this; if you read and believe the Bible then you will see that Jesus could not be only a prophet, He was either God (what we call God's Son, although we believe that He is as much God as God the Father is) or He was a liar.

I want to quote from the Koran here to show that it references the Bible: Sura 7:157. "Those who follow the apostle, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures),-in the law and the Gospel;- for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him,- it is they who will prosper."

Now about Jesus: The Jews knew that only God can forgive sins, so they understood what Jesus was saying when He healed the lame man and said: (Mat 9:2 NIV) Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven." In effect He was claiming here to be God and to have the right to forgive sins, which belonged to God alone.

When Moses saw the burning bush, and God talked to him and told him to go to Egypt, Moses asked who should he say sent him. God answered:(Exo 3:14 NIV) God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" Now look at what Jesus said (John 8:58 NIV) "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" A man could not claim that, Abraham was born thousands of years before Jesus. The wording itself tells us that Jesus was claiming that He was the great I AM, or in other words God.

Let's look at another statement that Jesus made: (John 10:28-33 NIV) I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God." There was no doubt in the Jews mind that Jesus was claiming to be God.

(Mat 10:1 NIV) He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. No one but God could give this kind of authority. Not only did He claim to have the authority but He was able to give it to others, who were then able to use it. No prophet or good man could do this.

So you see this is why we believe that Jesus could not be just a prophet, if that is all He was, then He was lying when He said these things. However, if He was the Son of God (also being God Himself) then everything He said is true.

You are right that people did not usually die hanging on the cross for just a few hours. But look at it like this. If Jesus was God (who came to earth as a human being) then no one would be able to kill Him. He even says: (John 10:17-18 NIV) The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again. {18} No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."

So the reason that He died so soon is because He laid down His life. No human can do that, but God can. You say that His followers took Him and healed Him, what about the Roman soldiers? They would have made sure that He was dead before they allowed anyone to remove Him from the cross. They were good at this, they would not have allowed a person who was still alive to be taken down. The reason the soldiers discovered that Jesus was dead was because they were going to break His legs. They did this to speed death, however, the Old Testament said that not one bone of the Messiah would be broken. When the soldier found that Jesus was dead he did not break His legs. He did however, stab Him in the chest with a spear to make doubly sure that He was dead.

You said it makes no sense that if God did have a Son that He would allow that Son to die on a cross. If you don't mind let me tell you what I believe and why I believe it. Again as I quoted earlier even the Koran references the Bible, so then we both should believe the story of Adam and Eve (again this is my assumption). Anyway, when God created Adam and Eve they were sinless and could have a personal relationship with God. But when they sinned, they lost that right. God demands death for everyone who sins. This is because He is holy and cannot stand sin. Yet God loved us. He could not just ignore our sin, we had to pay for it, but because He loved us He did not want us to have to die and be separated from Him for eternity. So He did something that only God could do, He paid our debt for us, by sending His Son to die for us. Only Jesus could pay that debt for all of us, because He (God) is the only one who is without sin. If He had ever sinned as a human then He could not pay for our sins, He would have to die for His own sins.

Now all we have to do is believe on Him and ask Him to forgive us and we can and will live forever with God. We don't have to work at our salvation. God is holy, nothing we ever do no matter how good it is will get us to heaven or please Him. We will always fall short, but if we ask Jesus to forgive us, then when God looks at us He sees His Son in us and He does not look at what we are any longer. That is the beauty of God's love, He loved us enough to save us even though we are not worthy. Again no one, no matter how good they are can please God without Jesus.

Part of the hard part of God to understand is how He can be only One yet Three (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). Again you have to look at the Bible. The Jews for the most part don't believe this either, they, like you, believe God is only one. Yet in the Books of Moses God speaks in the plural: (Genesis 1:26 NIV) Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." Even the word used here for God is plural "Elohim" In may other places the Bible shows that God is more then one person, however, we do believe that He is One being. This is a very hard subject for us to understand, yet there are a couple of ways to look at it. Take you for instance. You are one person, yet you are more than just that, you are physical (your body), and you are spirit (your soul), but we don't say you are two people, you are one person yet there are two parts to you. That is kind of like what we think of with God. He is One, yet there are three parts (persons); Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

I did not mean to go on so long. Sorry. I hope I did not offend you in anyway. I sure did not mean to, I just meant to explain what I believe. I would love to continue writing if you would like to. Take care.

Ralph

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