Jesus, Al Masih المسیح says to Muslims who refuse to believe and to those like Sami Zaatari, who writes articles like the one linked to below at Paul Bilal Williams blog –
Al Masih المسیح says to you all: “O foolish man and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!” Luke 24:25-27
And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:25-27)
“Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the Messiah”
by Sami Zaatari
Jews, Christians, and Muslims agree in the concept of there being a Messiah. A man who would be a king, a leader, a man of great standing, a man of honor, and a man of God. In the Jewish Bible we read about how the Messiah will usher in a kingdom of God, a kingdom in which the Messiah shall ruler over as the leader, a kingdom in which people will serve God, and a kingdom in which there will be peace and security.
Other OT passages speak of the Messiah as the Son of God – and one who is worthy of worship and one who demands repentance -
Psalm 2:1-12 – the Anointed One, the Messiah will be “The Son of God” (verses 7 and 12), and One who demands worship and repentance – “do homage to the Son, lest He become angry and you perish in the way.” The Jews of Jesus day knew that the Messiah would be “the Son of the blessed one” (Mark 14:60-61; Matthew 26:63-67)
Why are the nations in an uproar;
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed [His Messiah], saying,
3 “Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!”
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
5 Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury, saying,
6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”
7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”
10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth.
11 Worship the Lord with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!
The Son of Man who comes on the clouds and goes up to the Ancient of Days
He has a kingdom of people from all nations;
The people from all the nations will serve and worship Him. (the LXX translation of the Hebrew word into Greek is latreuo (λατρευω), which is only used of the worship of God.)
“The Lord says to my Lord, sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet. “ (Mark 12:35-37 and Matthew 22:41-46 make it clear that Jesus Al Masih was claiming that the Messiah was not only the son of David, but also to be Yahweh (Kurios, the Lord. ), and the one who sits and rules at the Father’s right hand.
“. . . the Holy One. Who has ascended into heaven and descended?
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has wrapped the waters in His garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name or His son’s name?
Surely you know!”
What is His name and what is His Son’s name?
“to make atonement for sin; to finish transgression; . . . “
“. . . Until the Messiah, the prince appears . . .
The Messiah will be cut off and have nothing . . . “ then, later, the temple will be destroyed.
Compare with Isaiah 53:8 – He will be cut off from the land of the living.
Isaiah 52:13-15 (My Servant” – see Isaiah 42:1 ff and Jesus claims to be that suffering servant in Mark 10:45 and Matthew 12 and 20:28 )
In the Gospels of the New Testament we read about how Jesus preached about the upcoming kingdom of God. What about Islam? How does the belief in the Messiah relate to Islam? This is a topic that is not often touched upon, Muslims often say yes Jesus is the Messiah according to the Quran, and often leave at that failing to fully appreciate what this actually means and entails.
Within the texts of Islam we are also told of this kingdom that will be ruled by the Messiah, namely Jesus, and that this kingdom will in fact be ushered in when Jesus returns in his second coming and that this would be a major sign of the end times. Just like how the Jewish Bible teaches, this will be a great kingdom, which will serve God, and a kingdom in which peace and security shall reign.
Interestingly it is the Christian concept of Jesus that has caused problems in it’s own understandings of who the Messiah actually was and what he was going to do. According to the Gospels, Jesus who was the Messiah, was in fact captured, and held to a humiliating death on the cross. So humiliating in fact that Jesus supposedly cried ‘My God my God why have you forsaken (abandoned) me’ as he was about to die. This picture of the Messiah stands in stark contrast with what was actually taught about the Messiah, for the Messiah was not to be humiliated and killed by his enemies as a common criminal, rather the Messiah was to be a king who would reign over his enemies and establish his kingdom.
Jesus did die on the cross and it was humiliating and He did cry out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” (Quoting Psalm 22) – all in fulfillment of many OT texts.
But your spin on denying the OT prophesies of His suffering and death – that is not true, Jesus Al Masih السیح said, “Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer first and then enter into His glory?” Luke 24:25-27
As a result of this the Gospels stand in direct contrast to what and who the Messiah actually was. In fact if one were to read the Gospels themselves, it records the disciples being saddened by the death of Jesus, it was a major jolt to their faith.
Of course it was sad; but Jesus opened their minds to understand the Scriptures – Luke 24:45
“Did not our hearts burn within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was opening the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32
Now why would that be so? Because they believed that Jesus was the Messiah, and according to their correct understanding, the Messiah was not going to be killed by his enemies, rather he was going to establish his kingdom and triumph over his enemies.
They were focusing on their own worldly centered understanding of some of the OT Scriptures, but not the ones that did teach that the Messiah would be the sacrifice for sin – Daniel 9:24-27 with Isaiah 53:8.
Christian missionaries may argue that Jesus did in fact conquer over his enemies by rising from the dead after 3 days, yet the problem for them is that this was not taught about the Messiah,
Yes it was – Isaiah 52:13 – “My servant, will act wisely and prosper; He will be high, lifted up, and greatly exalted.”
Psalm 16:10 – “You will not allow Your holy one to undergo decay”.
this is a Christian concept that they themselves invented.
No, it was the Jewish disciples whom Jesus revealed Himself to and explained the meaning of the Messiah and the passages that pointed to His first coming in humiliation, suffering, death, and resurrection; and that the verses about His glory and peace on earth are about His second coming. (Isaiah 2:1-4, Micah 4:1-5)
The Jews never believed that the Messiah was going to die and rise in 3 days,
You are wrong – Jonah 1:17 – he was in the belly of the great fish for three days – Jesus Al Masih المسیح said this was a sign and prophesy of the Messiah and His resurrection – Matthew 12:38-41
surely if this was such an important cornerstone of God’s divine plan for the Messiah, then surely he would have taught about it.
He did teach it; you just cannot see it. Jesus said that you are “unable” to see without the grace of God; you are enslaved in your own sin and rebellion (John 8:34) and that is why you cannot see the truth of the Messiah in the OT and Jesus’ interpretation of the OT.
Truly, Truly I say to you, whoever commits sin is the slave of sin.” John 8:34
Jesus said to the Jewish leaders and Pharisees that rejected Him:
“Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. “ John 8:43
You are unable to hear His word in your heart!
44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” John 8:44-47
This section is a harsh word from Jesus, but Jesus always spoke the truth, and sometimes we need the harsh truth to shake us.
Human beings do not have the ability to save themselves, do good works, or choose the right way, without the grace of God that causes them to believe in the gospel. That is why Jesus said, “With man, it is impossible, but not with God, all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27 – Mark 10:17-22 is a favorite passage that Muslims try to use – but they don’t keep reading verses 23-27 – like Paul Bilal Williams, who has yet to engage those verses. But that verse in Mark 10 on being “impossible with man”, agrees with John 8:34, 43-47; and John 6:44, 65, that man is unable to come to Christ, slaves to sin, blind, and need the grace of God to open their hearts and give them understanding. )
But as long as you are alive, there is time for repentance – Jesus Al Masih said, “Repent, and believe in the gospel” – Mark 1:15; Luke 13:1-5
” . . . Perhaps God will grant repentence, and you escape the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:24-26
Missionaries may once again argue that God did in fact foretell the death of the Messiah, yet if that was the case, then why were the disciples of Jesus saddened by his death, and why were they totally not expecting it to happen?
The fullness of the meaning of it was explained by Jesus Himself in Luke 24:13-53 They were sad at His death, of course. (Luke 24:17) By the way, you cannot lift that verse out of its context and built your view on that verse alone. You need to keep reading the whole account, all the way until verse 53.
Surely if God had foretold of this, then they alongside all the other Jewish followers of Jesus would have been expecting this, rather than being ignorant about it, and being completely saddened by his death. Secondly when one reads the Gospel of Luke one reads that the disciples were expecting Jesus to establish the kingdom, if God had foretold of the Messiah’s death and rising why did they not say they were expecting Jesus to rise in a few days, and why were they not excited and happy awaiting such a miraculous event if indeed it was foretold in their scripture?
Once Jesus explained the true meaning of the cross and the resurrection to them, the Scriptures says that “they were filled with joy” (Luke 24:52-53) – so you are wrong, they were happy and excited and began to preach the good news to the people in the book of Acts.
Since the New Testament is clear and honest and open about the disciples initial sadness and unbelief concerning the Messiah and His death, and it explains the meaning of His death along with the passages from the OT and Jesus Himself explains how to understand it all together, it is you who are distorting both the OT and the NT.
The answer is simple, it’s because no such teaching existed, there was no belief in a dying and rising Messiah,
Wrong. All the verses quoted and alluded to so far have refuted what you write here.
so future Christians after Jesus simply invented such a teaching
How dare you accuse the disciples of Jesus of being liars and inventing the New Testament teachings! Even the Qur’an says the disciples of Jesus were believers, helpers of Allah, and full of integrity and faith. (Qur’an Surah 5:111; 61:14) And in the Qur’an 3:54-55, along with 61:14, it says the disciples of Jesus were going to be victorious and the uppermost! Yet the Christians, both Jews, Greeks, Romans and others, grew for hundreds of years before Islam and grew under persecution; the ones that became the victorious ones, the uppermost, were those that believed in the incarnation, the Son of God, the Deity of Christ, the crucifixion and resurrection – for the first 600+ years and beyond. The writings of early Christians while being persecuted, Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, Justin, Tertullian, Irenaeus, Cyprian, Origen . . .
then after persecution stopped – Athanasius, Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus, Augustine, Jerome, Hillary, the creeds, the councils. History. Eyewitness Testimony. John of Damascus. Tons of books and letters and writings. over 600 years. Oops. The Qur’an got that wrong, the victorious ones were the ones who believed in the atonement, crucifixion, resurrection, and Deity of Christ. 40 lonely Arabic words written over 600 years later in a different language cannot overturn whole chapters of the Bible and mass amounts of history.
to rescue Jesus from being a false Messiah, for if he was killed by his enemies as a common criminal. So what better way to fix this mess up? Simply say he was actually raised from the dead in 3 days. Yet the problem remains no matter what as the Messiah was not going to be killed by his enemies as a common criminal.
Right . . . Simply say that. All of the evidence of history is against you – the first believers were Jewish, they believed the OT, they interpreted the OT texts in the way that Jesus taught them and opened their minds to understand them, and they were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit, preached the gospel, healed and did miracles and suffered for their faith and this good news went out all over the Mediterranean World – Acts chapters 1-28. All of church history after that tells us you are wrong.
How does Islam play into this? Interestingly enough, for Islam, there are no problems, as Jesus was never killed by his enemies.
This is one of the biggest proofs that the Qur’an is false, because in Surah 4:157 it denies clear history that even unbelievers and liberals know is true – skeptics and unbelievers like Bart Ehrman and John Dominic Crossan know that Jesus was killed on a Roman cross around 30 AD. The Jewish leaders, high priests Annas and Caiaphas, the Pharisees, scribes, Sadducees, the Jewish Sanhedrin, put Jesus on trial for blasphemy and condemned Him to die and then manipulated the Romans to do the actual crucifying for them. This is all clear in Matthew 26-27; Mark 14-15; Luke 22-23; John 18-19. Entire chapters with massive historical detail destroy your argument.
In the Quran we get a contrasting version of events, according to the Quran God performed a miraculous deed and saved Jesus from death, God had saved Jesus from his enemies, and by doing so Jesus had truly triumphed over his enemies as God had foiled their plans.
Yes, the Qur’an does say that in 4:157 and again, this proves the Qur’an is not the word of God, since it denies one of the most established facts of ancient history, the trials, suffering, crucifixion, and death of Jesus. It is the Qur’an that just “makes up a story” out of thin air.
According to Islam God had raised Jesus unto himself, God had raised Jesus into paradise, where he awaits his eventual return, in which he shall establish his kingdom, i.e. the kingdom of God that was foretold in the Jewish Bible, and the kingdom of God that was taught by Jesus in the Gospels.
The Jewish Bible stresses that the Messiah would conquer evil before he establishes his kingdom,
No, it says that the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing – Daniel 9:24-27 and that His death will be an atonement for sin. Isaiah 53:8 speaks of the same thing – “He would be cut off from the land of the living”. Isaiah 52:13-15 and 53:1-12 fill out the details of the Messiah’s atonement, and Jesus uses the language of the suffering servant (the Servant of Yahweh of Isaiah 52:13 and Isaiah 42:1 ff) to teach that He is the suffering servant who would give His life a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45; Matthew 20:28)
And that after that the temple would be destroyed. (Daniel 9:26-27) Jesus predicted this in Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13.
as there would be oppression and an evil force in place of which the Messiah would come and break. This belief and concept of the Messiah is also found and continued within Islam, as Islam teaches that when Jesus returns, he will first slay the anti-Christ, and then he shall establish his kingdom.
So when it comes down to it, Islam doesn’t merely call Jesus the Messiah simply for the sake of it with no meaning, Islam teaches the great significance of Jesus and what he will do, Islam reminds the people of who the Messiah is, and what he will do. The reason why it is important for this to be said is because Christian missionaries often like to claim that Islam has no actual proper understanding of who the Messiah is, and what he will do.
All of the OT and the Injeel (the NT) proves that you are just wrong. Since you deny the crucifixion and death of Jesus Al Masih, you don’t have an actual proper understanding of who the Messiah is and what He would do. Daniel 9:24-27 and Isaiah 52-53; Psalm 2 and Psalm 110 all prove this.
They claim that Islam merely calls Jesus the Messiah but devoid of all substance of what the Messiah actually is. It is very important to know the actual facts and that these claims are completely false as Islam demonstrates that it does hold an important role for Jesus as the Messiah, a role that was taught previously in the Jewish scripture, a role that the Jews had believed in, and if anything it is the Christian missionaries own scripture that contain the contradiction and error in the true understanding of the Messiah.
Interestingly enough a large reason as to why Jews reject Jesus as the Messiah is because of Christianity
No, the first Jews who rejected Christ rejected Him because He claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of Man and the Son of God, and that He is the one who would come on the clouds of glory and sit at the Father’s right hand and judge and redeem a kingdom of people from all nations and that He is worthy of worship. See Mark 14:60-64 – He was accused of blasphemy because Jesus said, “I am” (the Messiah, the Son of the blessed one) and because He quoted Daniel 7:13-14 and Psalm 110:1 in support of His claims.
and what it invented concerning Jesus,
they did not invent that; we have extensive chapters in the gospels that tell us the events were historical and recorded by eyewitnesses.
that he died and rose for the sins of the world, and that he was God and the unique divine Son of God, it is all of these teachings that have made most Jews reject Jesus as their Messiah as all of these concepts are completely foreign to their Jewish Bible and what they were taught within it concerning the coming of Messiah.
Again, the first Christians were Jews! The disciples of Jesus and those that believed through their word in the first century were mostly Jews and they interpreted the OT properly, because Jesus Himself taught them the right interpretation (Luke 24:25-27; 32; 44-49) and opened their minds to understand the Scriptures (Luke 24:45). The other Jews who rejected Jesus the Messiah were mostly the leadership of Israel, who were later judged in 70 AD – Matthew 23:36; 24:1-3; 24:15; 24:34; 21:1-46. After the temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, and over 1 million Jews were killed in the Jewish Wars with Rome from 66-73 AD (that Josephus writes about – extensive eyewitness testimony); at the end of the 7 year war, about 400 Jews committed suicide in 73 AD at Masada, most Jews that survived amounted another final rebellion against Rome in 135 AD led by Bar Kokhba – who claimed to be the Messiah. He was defeated and the surviving Jews fled into surrounding nations and areas. They continued immigrating and many Jews fled to other places, such as Europe, Russia, Egypt, etc. – In 90 AD, at the Council of Jamnia, the Jewish leadership had to find an explanation for why God allowed the temple to be destroyed in 70 AD. They could not understand that, but it is explained in Daniel 9:24-27 and Matthew 24. They had to reinterpret everything in the light of the fact that they no longer had a temple to make sacrifices in. So Rabbinic Judaism was born and they were looked to by the surviving Jews on how to live in the harsh world that God had allowed the temple to be destroyed and for them to be scattered all over the earth.
For more refutation, see here, “Islam denies real history”.