Islam & Christianty

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  • Islam & Christianty

  • The Life and Mission of Jesus Christ

    Jesus Christ (pbuh) was born about 7-5 B.C. in a humble home in Palestine. Very little is known about the early years of his life. All we can say, in the words of Luke, is that he "increased in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and men". When he was between thirty-three and thirty-five years of age, a prophet appeared in Palestine preaching "the baptism of repentance for the remission of sin." The name of this prophet was John the Baptist, and Jesus went to him and was baptized by him. At that moment, it was revealed to Jesus that he had been chosen by God as the Messiah of the Jews to revive the true Religion and complete the long line of Israelite prophets.


    The Religion of God was not unknown to the children of Israel, but at the time when Jesus began his ministry, the spirit of true Religion had been stifled by the worldliness of the Sadducees and the formalism and trivial legalism of the Pharisees. They declared, in the words of the Talmud, "He who lightly esteems hand washing will perish from the earth". And Jesus rebuked them, saying "Full well ye reject the Commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition" They had absurd rules about the Sabbath. For instance, a man might walk two thousand cubits on the Sabbath, but no more. Vinegar, if swallowed, could be used to relieve a sore throat but it could not be gargled. In case death threatened, a physician could be summoned, but a fracture should not be attended to on the Sabbath. Jesus impatiently brushed aside all such elaborate and artificial regulations. He told them that the Sabbath was for man and not man for the Sabbath, and he warned them:


    "Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel"


    The essence of his religion was the Love of God and the love of His fellow-men, which he tried to instill into the hearts of his people by means of his inspired sermons and beautiful parables.


    The Sadducees and Pharisees, instead of acknowledging him as the Messiah about whose coming the earlier lsraelite prophets had given glad tidings, turned to be his mortal enemies and pressed the Roman Procurator to pass the sentence of crucifixion on him.


    This man who was treated as a common malefactor by his blind people was one of the most inspiring characters of history. He led a pure, noble and godly life. He showed a rare combination of mildness and courage in doing the Will of God and in dealing with his misguided compatriots. He was all gentleness, selflessness and humility; serving his friends and praying for his enemies. He worked many wonders, yet never took pride over them, ascribing them always to the "Finger of God" and even admitting others ability to do the same. His compassion for the sinners and sufferers was truly admirable. About him it may well be said that he had conquered the Devil.


    The Prophecies of Jesus about Muhammad The crime of Jews against Jesus (pbuh) deprived them of God's Blessings and Favors. Jesus told them that after him no prophet would appear among them and that the Kingdom of God would be taken away from them and given to a nation more worthy of it. Moreover, he announced that the stone which the builders had rejected, the same had been chosen by God to become the corner-stone. Meaning thereby that the children of Ishmael, whom the children of Israel had rejected and disowned, were chosen by God for His greatest Blessings. The World Prophet would appear from among the Ishmaelites. Jesus (pbuh) gave the prophecy of his coming in no uncertain terms:


    "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth."

    (John 16: 12,13)


    In a non-canonical Gospel, the Gospel of St. Barnabas, Jesus mentioned the Spirit of truth or the Comforter - the Prophet who was to come after him to guide the world "into all truth" – by name thus:


    "Then said the Priest, 'How shall the Comforter be called, and what signs shall reveal his coming? " Jesus answered, ' The name of the Comforter is admirable, for God gave him the name when he had created his soul, and placed it in Celestial Splendour. God said: (Wait Muhammad, for thy sake I will create paradise, the world, and a great multitude of creatures, whereof I make thee a present, in so much that whoso shall bless thee shall be blessed, and whoso shall curse thee shall be cursed. When I shall send thee into the world, I shall send thee as My Messenger of salvation, and thy word shall be true, in so much that heaven and earth shall fail, but thy faith shall never fail} Muhammad is his blessed name. Then the crowd lifted up their voice saying: O God, send us thy Messenger. O Muhammad, come quickly for the salvation of the world."[1]


    [1] The Gospel of Sr. Barnabas, edited and translated from a Manuscript in the Imperial Library at Vienna by Lonsdale and Laura Ragg, Oxford.


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