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Jesus Is More Than A Prophet
The Qur’an mentions Jesus by name 25 times, and He is alluded to in many other places. It is clear even from a casual reading of the Qur’an that Jesus is highly revered as an important prophet or messenger (Arabic, nabi or rasul) sent by God.
We gave Moses the Book and followed him up with a succession of messengers; We gave Jesus the son of Mary Clear (Signs) and strengthened him with the holy spirit. Is it that whenever there comes to you a messenger with what ye yourselves desire not, ye are puffed up with pride?—Some ye called impostors, and others ye slay! (Surah 2:87).
Jesus is presented in the Qur’an as one of a great succession of prophets and “warners” (Arabic, natheer) sent by Allah to forewarn all people throughout history about God’s coming judgment and to point them to the right path, Islam. These messengers of Allah included the first man, Adam, and many others, like the prophet Hud (Surah 7:65), who is not mentioned in the Bible. Most of the prophets identified in the Qur’an, however, are men named in the Bible:
Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered (Surah 2:136).
Islam teaches that the ministry of Jesus was prophesied by the earlier prophets, and that He was in every way a true prophet who must be obeyed. In fact, those who truly submit to Allah are to make no preferential distinctions between any of Allah’s prophets. This command to accept all the prophets without distinction is to be recited by Muslims (Surah 2:136). In Surah 3, Muhammad was also commanded to recite the command:
Say (O Muhammad): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which was vouchsafed unto Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered (Surah 3:84).
Thus, Muslims are not merely following the prophet Muhammad. Instead, Muslims are commanded in the Qur’an to obey all the prophets whom Allah sent throughout history.
Christians agree that Jesus was a prophet of God, but add that He was more than a prophet. Christians furthermore assert that we have the prophecies of Jesus today, and that many of His prophecies have already been fulfilled and others are yet to be fulfilled. Christians affirm that the prophecies of Jesus were recorded by the Gospel writers—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and that the four Gospels we have today have accurately preserved those prophecies.
Thus Christians not only honor Jesus as a prophet of God, they also possess Scriptures containing copies of His prophecies. We have His prophecies as well as His sermons, teachings, parables, and warnings. This gives Christians the opportunity to evaluate, test, and affirm the teachings of Jesus. We can learn essential truths from both the prophecies that have already been fulfilled and those that are yet to be fulfilled.
Christians agree with Muslims that Jesus was a prophet, but there are important distinctions between the two. While the Qur’an strongly asserts that Jesus was a prophet of God, it is significant that virtually none of the prophecies proclaimed by Jesus can be found in the Qur’an.