The thing about Islam’s Jesus is that he’s not the same Jesus Christians know and love. He is not the Jesus of Christians. Just about the only thing Islam’s Jesus shares with Christianity’s Jesus is that both think they speak about the same “Prophet”. However, not even the name is the same. Muslims call Jesus “Issa”.
Christians will no doubt be astonished by how different Islam’s Jesus is to their own Jesus. For example, take this introductory passage:
“The Qur’an claims that Jesus was not killed or crucified, but that it was made to appear so to them… Allah saved Jesus and took him to be in Paradise until the hour came to complete his mission in the end-times.”
The first point to make is: what’s the point of Muslims saying “we share Jesus” – at interfaith meetings – if their Jesus is not only fundamentally different to the Christian Jesus, but he does not believe or do any of the things which importantly made Jesus a special part of their religion? What’s the point of a “shared Jesus” who was not “crucified for our sins”? It gets worse.
Muslims “believe that Jesus predicted the coming of Muhammad”. And if Jesus predicted the coming of Muhammad, then he surely also predicted “the replacement of Christianity with Islam”; which was one of Muhammad’s goals. For Christians to accept the Islamic Jesus is for them to believe in a Jesus who negates himself on the cross of Islam. It is to believe in a Jesus who also negates Christianity itself and much of what it Christians believe and holds dear.
Jesus, in Islam, is a tool of interfaith Muslims. His name, if not his reality, is a tool to get Christians to convert (or “revert”!) to Islam, the religion “into which they were born” (according to Muslims – see later).
This is not a mad interpretation of Islam’s Jesus. Muslims often make their position explicit. As in the following:
“According to the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, Jesus will speak to the Christians and Jews of the world and convert them to Islam. He will succeed in breaking the worship of the cross and will stop them eating pork.”
What an insult to Christians! Christians do not worship the cross; unless the metaphorical nature of that statement is made clear and accepted. They either worship the cross as a symbol of the man who was crucified on the cross. The idea of worshiping a cross is clearly a devious hint at either Christian animism or the Islamic sin of worshiping idols.
The Islamic Jesus – the Church of Interfaith’s Islamic Jesus! – departs further and further away from the Christian Jesus and in so doing becomes the Muslim that other Muslims want him to be. Again, Muslims say that Jesus “will visit Mecca and Medina”. He will also “marry and have children”.
However, it is not the case that Muslims have Jesus all wrong. It is Christians who have him all wrong. And one of the main reasons for this, according to Muslims, is that the “so-called Gospels in the New Testament are really biographies of Jesus written by spectators and not the Gospel of Jesus”.
That is, it is not the Gospel of Jesus in the way that the Koran is of Allah. The Gospels are not the words of Jesus, whereas the words in Koran certainly are the words of Allah (according to Muslims). That is a massive difference to Muslims, right or wrong. It is because of this situation that the Gospels were written merely by “spectators” and why Muslims think that “it is precisely because the Holy Book [not Books] of Jews and Christians is faulty [and that they therefore] deviated from God’s universal way as enshrined in the Qur’an”. Again, Muslims will back this anti-Christian thesis by quoting from the Koran itself. They may well quote this passage:
“The Jews say, ‘The Christians are not on the right track,’ [certainly a modern translation], and the Christians will say: ‘It is the Jews who are not on the right track,’ yet both read the same books!… Allah will judge between them in their dispute on the Day of Judgement.” – Koran, 2:113