Jesus is a point of difference between Muslims and Christians. Christians believe Jesus was the incarnation of God in human form. In the early days of the church there was a big debate over the nature of Jesus. Was he God or was he man was the question. During the Council of Nicea the pope decreed that Jesus was both God and man, a demigod, and that ruling is reflected in what is known as the Nicean Creed. Christians believe that Jesus will return one day to bind Satan for 1000 years and bring forth a new heaven and new earth. What most Christians do not realize is that Muslims also believe Jesus will come again also.
The Qur’an speaks numerous times about “Messiah Jesus the son of Mary.” The word “Messiah” means “anointed one.” Muslims do not believe Jesus was God incarnate nor that he was half man and half god. Christians believe Jesus is the Savior. Muslims believe Jesus was a great Prophet of the Lord. Muslim belief is that Jesus will come again to help the Madhi bind Satan and bring about a just and new world and restore righteousness. Muslims believe that in those last days everyone will become a Muslim as they will totally submit themselves to God. “Muslim” means “one who submits themselves to God.” “Islam” means “Submission to God.”
So, when it comes to Jesus, Muslims and Christians differ in their theology about him. But, both agree that Jesus is important and that he was a significant and blessed figure sent from God to bring forth God’s message to humankind once again as the prophets of old did. It is the same message. God gave Jesus the Gospel to bring forth and God’s message is the same be it in the Torah, Qur’an, or Gospel. That message is that God wants us to be faithful to Him. He wants us to submit ourselves to Him fully and serve Him and Him alone. He wants us to attend to our prayers and help the unfortunate with whatever He has given us. He wants us to spread His message to those who have not heard. God wants us to act with compassion, mercy, dignity, wisdom, and love. The New Testament put it simply when it speaks of the nature God. In various places it says this:
“God is Spirit.”
“God is Light.”
“God is Love.”
Muslims too believe that God is Spirit and that He brings Light. And Muslims also believe God is Love and Loving.
We can choose to argue over the nature of Jesus until we are blue in the face. We can fight over his nature endlessly. And for what purpose? To cause more strife and contention between Muslims and Christians? And what would be the result of that? More hurt, more killing, more sorrow.
I choose to recognize commonalities and one of those commonalities is the both Muslims and Christians believe Jesus was special and that he will come again. He will help to create a new heaven and a new earth in which there will be no sorrow, no sickness, no hatred. A Paradise on earth! And isn’t that what we should be focused on instead of our differences? Shouldn’t we be focusing on the great love that Jesus showed when he walked this earth for all people? Shouldn’t we as both Muslims and Christians take the example of Jesus and emulate it in our own lives? Jesus had perfect faith in God. Shouldn’t we mold and strengthen our own faith into that like Jesus had? Jesus had submitted himself fully to God to serve Him. As Muslims and as Chrsitians and Jews we should all be doing the same.
The world already has enough hatred in it. Do we as Jews, Christians, and Muslims really need to add anymore hate than already exists? As believers and as the Faithful it is NOT God’s desire that we spread hatred but that we spread Love, Compassion, and Mercy. These three things are the things of Light. Hatred comes from Darkness and if we spread hate then we do the work of Satan not of God. Love….Compassion….Mercy…..these things are our work as members of the community of the Faithful. So let us set aside differences and look at what we hold in common and go forth to do the work God desires us to do.