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Bible Correspondence Course

11. The Person of Isa al-Masih

By now, you have probably already learnt a number of things about Isa al-Masih (his peace be upon us) that are new to you. We have seen how Muslims and Christians share the belief that Sayyidna Isa Kalimatu'llah wa Ruhu'llah - the Word and Spirit of God. The Qur’an acknowledges this, “Behold! The angels said: “O Mary! God give thee Glad tidings of a Word From Him: his name Will be Christ Jesus, The son of Mary, held in honour In this world and the Hereafter And of those Nearest to God.””[1]

Now to help you understand more fully the person of Sayyidna Isa, we turn to consider some further characteristics.

In Hebrew history, before Isa al-Masih, miracles had been mostly associated with prophets. The Qur’an ascribes to Hazrat Musa (Moses) similar miracles to those mentioned in the Bible. Now as people saw Sayyidna Isa performing miracles, their natural response was to think that He was a prophet. On occasion they exclaimed that a great prophet had appeared among them.[2]

For example, the Bible states that after Sayyidna Isa al-Masih miraculously fed a crowd of more than 5,000 people, using five loaves of bread and two small fish, the people said, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.”[3]

The Prophet they were referring to was someone that Hazrat Musa had said would come. Sayyidna Isa Ruh-u'llah certainly claimed that He was “The Prophet”. He told the unbelieving Jews, “If you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.”[4]

The remaining question is, however, “Was He more than a prophet?”

1) Sayyidna Isa al-Masih's Sinless Life

From the time of His birth He remained innocent and pure. In both the Bible and the Qur'an, several prophets like Hazrat Ibrahim (Abraham), Hazrat Musa (Moses) and Hazrat Dawud (David), asked God for forgiveness, but there is no verse which says that Sayyidna Isa ever asked for forgiveness. He challenged His enemies openly: “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?”[5] Yet no one was able to point out any fault in Him. Even at His trial before the Roman governor, Pilate was compelled to admit, “I find no basis for a charge against Him.”[6]

We also have the testimony of those who lived with Him. The Disciple Peter quotes a verse from the Old Testament in reference to Isa bin Maryam: “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.”[7] It says elsewhere in the Injil, that Sayyidna Isa was "tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin.”[8]

What Sayyidna Isa Kalimatu'llah taught – He lived out completely. His teaching in “The Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew chapters 5 to 7) is a reflection of the pure life He led. His extraordinary claim was that He had come to fulfil the law of the Old Testament (Tawrat).

2) His Authority over Sin

It is believed that only God can forgive sins. We see, by reading the Injil, that Sayyidna Isa Kalimatu'llah had the same authority.

One day Sayyidna Isa was teaching in a house. Some people came carrying a paralysed man on a mat. They tried to take him into the house but because it was very crowded they could not find a way in. So they went up on the mud roof, made a hole, and let the man down through it to where Sayyidna Isa was.

When Isa al-Masih saw their faith, He said to the paralysed man, "Friend, your sins are forgiven." The man must have been shocked to hear this. The Jewish leaders who were also present said to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Sayyidna Isa knew what they were thinking, and asked them, “Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’, or to say, ‘Get up and walk?’”. To show them that He has the authority to forgive sins, He said to the paralysed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” Immediately he stood up in front of them, took his mat and went home praising God.[9]

Another time, a woman who knew Sayyidna Isa was the Messiah, Al-Masih, came to anoint Him with a jar of expensive perfume. The men who were with Isa bin Maryam were astounded when He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven . . . Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”[10]

3) Authority over Creation

Not only had He authority to forgive sin, but Sayyidna Isa al-Masih had control over the normal workings of nature as well. People were amazed at His power and exclaimed, "Even the winds and the waves obey Him!"[11]

When we think about Sayyidna’s works, we see the unlimited authority He has: He healed the sick by a word, or by His touch. He also gave this authority to His Apostles and they performed miracles in His name. Surah Al’Imran describes some of these acts by Sayyidna Isa al-Masih. “By God’s leave: and I heal those Born blind, and the lepers, And I quicken the dead, By God’s leave; And I declare to you What ye eat, and what ye store In your houses” (Surah 3:49). Isa bin Ruh-u'llah Himself once said, "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."[12]

4) Sayyidna Isa Ruh-u'llah, the Lord of Resurrection

There was a man called Lazarus who had died, and had been buried for four days. Sayyidna Isa walked up to Lazarus’ grave and shouted: "Lazarus, come out!", and the dead Lazarus came out alive and well.[13]

Sayyidna Isa Ruh-u'llah said: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies."[14] At other places in the Injil we read that it is only through Sayyidna Isa al-Masih that we can be forgiven and saved from eternal destruction.[15]

We therefore see that His deeds proved His claims. He is more than a prophet — He is the Lord of Life… What do you think?

References:

  1. [1] Qur’an 3:45
  2. [2] Luke 7:11-17
  3. [3] John 6:14
  4. [4] John 5:46, Deuteronomy 18:15-22
  5. [5] John 8:46
  6. [6] John 18:38, 19:4,6
  7. [7] Peter 2:22, (Isaiah 53:9)
  8. [8] Hebrews 4:15
  9. [9] Luke 5:17-26
  10. [10] Luke 7:36-50
  11. [11] Matthew 8:23-27
  12. [12] John 14:14
  13. [13] John 11:1-44
  14. [14] John 11:25
  15. [15] John 14:6, Acts 4:12, Hebrews 7:25

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