In this series we ask some key questions. We start with this: Who is Jesus?
A Muslim would answer that Jesus was a prophet of God, but he cannot be the son of God, for God has no equal, and there can only be one God. The problem with this viewpoint is that this is not in accordance with what Jesus said. The Muslim explanation is that the Christians have made up the scriptures, but given that there are no manuscripts that show any evidence of such tampering, nor is there any evidence of why there would be Christians in the first place if Jesus had not risen from the dead, a unique qualifier for his status, the Muslim explanation lacks rational credibility.
The evidences for Jesus being the divine, i.e. a unique man whose character and mission fully defines him to be also God revealed in human form, include:
- The virgin birth. Mary became pregnant by the activity of the Holy Spirit of God, so physically He is indeed the Son of God;
- The perfection of his character. In any culture, Jesus is perfect, to the extent that if a culture does not regard him as perfect, that culture is defective;
- The miracles he performed would be impossible if God was not doing these things;
- The teaching he gave the world is unsurpassed, to put it into practice is what godliness means;
- The teaching he told the world about himself, such as, ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me, even if he dies, he will live; and everyone who lives and believes in Me may never die– forever. Do you believe this?’ (John 11:25-26) Anyone who said that about himself is either bad, mad or God. The depth of what he said rules out madness, the goodness of what he said and did rules out madness.
- He was in the end crucified, as He had predicted, and on the third day God raised Him from the dead, as He also predicted. He ascended into heaven and will return to judge the living and the dead.
- His life was foretold in the Hebrew Scriptures, for example in Isaiah chapter 53, so the coming of Christ was part of God’s plan.
If Jesus isn’t God, then we all need to demonstrate that to ourselves beyond all reasonable doubt. I tried to and failed. If He is, then we all need to follow Him.
So, the Muslim wishing to serve the living God, confronted by Christ, solves the problem that God has no equal by the realisation that Christ is God, and that, as Jesus himself said: ‘I and my Father are one.’ And again, ‘If you have seen me you have seen the Father.’