The Religion Of Islam --- (No. 2)
Jesus Vs. Mohammed
It is not Jesus and Mohammed but Jesus versus Mohammed, for both cannot stand as prophets of God. It is utterly impossible for anyone, with the facts before him, to believe that God revealed his will unto both Christ and Mohammed. The teaching of Christ is diametrically opposed and positively condemns much of the doctrine taught in the Koran. Either Christ or Mohammed must be rejected, and, with the knowledge of the facts, it will be impossible to honestly hold to Mohammed. The facts are available and if the 249,530,000 Moslems now living would sincerely consider just three facts together, they would be forced to the conclusion that Mohammed was a false prophet and hence, his testimony, the Koran, is not worthy of credit. These three facts are: 1. Mohammed claimed that God declared to him that Jesus was a prophet of God. (Al Koran chap. 4) 2. Mohammed denied that Jesus was the Son of God. (Al Koran chap. 9) 3. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. (Matt. 16:16, 17) If Mohammed's claim that Jesus was a prophet of God is true, the claim that Jesus made of being the Son of God is the claim of a prophet of God and the denial of that truth comes from a false prophet. If, however, Mohammed's claim that Jesus was a prophet is false, and it is false if Jesus is not God's son, Mohammed is a false prophet. Mohammed is proved to be a false prophet in either case.
Jesus Claimed To Be The Son Of God
Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. He claimed to be the unique Son of God, the Son of God in a sense in which none other, angel or man, is the Son of God. The glory of the relationship claimed by Jesus is "glory as of the only begotten of the Father." (John 1:14)
God's love for mankind was expressed in his action of giving "his only begotten Son." (John 3:16) "God so loved" — the magnitude of the love of God is exhibited in this gift of his Son. A denial of the unique relationship of Jesus to God constitutes a reflection on the greatness of God's love. If Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God, then God only loved the World as to give one man to suffer — one who was no closet related to him than billions of others!
The claim of Jesus is contained in the language of his prayer to God. "And now, Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." (John 17:5) Here Jesus claimed the glory that belongs to deity.
In response to Jesus' question, "Who say ye that I am?" Simon Peter declared, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matt. 16:16) Jesus, whom Mohammed claimed was a prophet of God, said, "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven." (Matt. 16:17) This prophet of God here stated that this truth was revealed to Peter by the Heavenly Father.
The testimony of John the Baptist was, "I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God." (John 1:34) This was said in the presence of Jesus and not one word of denial came from the lips of Jesus.
The voice out of heaven announced at the baptism of Jesus, "Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased." (Luke 3:22)
Again on the mount of transfiguration, the voice out of the cloud announced, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." (Matt. 17:5) As they descended the mountain, Jesus commanded Peter, James and John to "tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen from the dead." (Matt. 17:9) It was by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead that God declared Jesus to be the Son of God. The apostle Paul wrote, "Who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead; even Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 1:4) When by the climactic miracle of the resurrection of Jesus, God declared him to be his Son, the disciples' tongues were loosed. They could and did preach Jesus as the Son of God.
The list of quotations from New Testament writings, which contain Christ's claim to be the Son of God and define the sense in which he claimed to be God's Son, could be extended but these suffice to abundantly prove that he did claim that unique relationship.
If someone should think to get Mohammed out of this predicament by contending that he did not accept these claims as authentic claims of Jesus, it should be noted that in the Koran it is written, "Say, we believe in God, and that which hath been sent down unto us, and that which hath been sent down unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which was delivered unto Moses, and Jesus and that which was delivered unto the prophets from their Lord...." (Chap. 2) The New Testament claims to be "that which was delivered unto.... Jesus", by God and which Jesus in turn revealed unto the writers. The existence of these writings and their acceptance as that which was delivered by Christ can be traced back to the latter half of the first century. These Scriptures were regarded as the claims of Christ for five hundred years before Mohammed was borned, hence, when he says, "We believe in God....and that which was delivered unto Jesus", we cannot believe otherwise than that Mohammed intended the readers of the Koran to think that he was referring to the New Testament.
If Mohammed expressed himself this way in order to gain a more sympathetic hearing from those who claimed to be Christians, but didn't mean the New Testament writings, then he deliberately deceived the people.
The next article in this series will be devoted to a study of the resurrection of Christ as the proof of his deity. The points will be limited in the main to the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians.