10 ways That Jesus Surpasses Muhammad by Mateen Elass (May 2013)

These are my notes from Mateen Elass’ presentation “10 ways That Jesus Surpasses Muhammad” on May 4, 2013, at the annual Mo-Ranch Men’s Conference in Hunt, Texas. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS. Matten’s blog is mateenelass.wordpress.com. Mateen is the pastor of our church (First Presbyterian Church of Edmond, Oklahoma) and will be the keynote speaker at the 2014 Mo Ranch Men’s Conference next year.

Mateen has written 3 books to date
– new book out in March 2013: “The Teachings of Jesus and Mohammad”
– looks at 60 themes between Jesus and Mohammad and how they differ

Why are you not a Muslim?
– not born into a Muslim family?
– Never been invited to the “straight path?”
– am happy I was born into a Christan home
– never had the slightest interest
– I belong to Christ, period
– Never investigated the claims of the Koran and its prophet Muhammad

How does Muhammad compare to Jesus?
– the West is just beginning to open its eyes to Islam and its claims

1 Jesus is Alive; Muhammmad is Dead
– Orthodox Muslim theology acknowledges that Jesus was take nup to heaven and presently awaits being sent back to earth (orthodox Islam agrees with this)
– Muhammad died in 632; his tomb is located in Medina. He never claimed to have power or authority over death
– Jesus claimed to be the Author of life and to hold the keys to death and Hades
– The NT record is that Jesus defeated death by dining himself and rising to life beyond death’s reach

2 Jesus was Sinless; Muhammad was a Sinner
– Though Muhammad is seen as the perfect example of humanity, the Quran makes clear that he sinned throughout his life
— “Then have patience (O Muhammad). Lo! the promise of Allah is true. And ask forgiveness for they sin and sing the praise of thy Lord at fall of night and in the early hours. (40:55) [Meccan]
— Know thou therefore that there is no god but God, and ask forgiveness for thy sin, and for the believers, men and women. (47:19) [Medinan]
— …That Allah may forgive thee thy sins of the past and the future and complete His Favour on thee, and guide thee on the Straight Path… (48:2) [Medinan]

Muslims interpret the Quran to affirm Jesus’ sinlessness:
– “And when she was delivered she said: My Lord! Lo! I am delivered of a female – Allah knew best of what she was delivered – the male is not as the female; and lo! I have named her Mary, and lo! I crave Thy protection for her and for her offspring from Satan the outcast (3:36)
– “Narrated Said bin Al-Musaiyab: Abu Huraira said, “I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, ‘There is none born among the off-spring of Adam, but Satan touches it. A child therefore, cries loudly at the time of birth because of the touch of Satan, except Mary and her child.” then Abu Huraira recited: “And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from the outcast Satan” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, 4.55.641)
– this is one of 8000 traditions in addition to the Quran for Muslims
– This particular one is regarded as the most authoritative

The immaculate conception refers to Mary being conceived of a virgin birth, conceived in a way that was free from sin

– He said, “I am the messenger of your Lord, to grant you a pure son.” (19:19, see also v. 31)

The NT witness makes clear Jesus’ self-assessment, as well as that of his followers:
– “Who among you convicts me of sin?” (John 8:46)
– He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips (1 Pet 2:22)
– 1 Jn 3:5
– 2 Cor 5:21

3 – Jesus Performed Many Miracles: Muhammad Performed None

Even according to the Quran, Jesus’ miracles were prolific:
– to be a Messenger to the Children of Israel saying, “I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. I will create for you out of clay as the likeness of a bird; then I will breathe into it, and it will be a bird, by the leave of God. I will also heal the blind and the leper, and bring to life the dead, by the leave of God. I will inform you too of what things you eat, and what you treasure up in your houses. Surely in that is a sign for you, if you are believers. (3:49)

– His birth and early life show supernatural power and work: virgin birth, speaking form the cradle
— Muslims believe in the virgin birth of Jesus and also believe he spoke from the cradle (a newborn baby Jesus stands up in his cradle and addresses a crowd criticizing his mother

Christian community doesn’t have anything written about Jesus / stories before his earthly ministry started at age 30
– we have apocryphal gospels
– that story of Jesus making a bird from mud and breathing on it, that story is also found in the Koran

MY COMMENT: THIS IS VERY INTERESTING CONSIDERING THE RESTRICTED SECTION OF THE VATICAN LIBRARY. I’VE READ AND HEARD OTHERS SUGGESTIONS

The NT of course records significantly more of Jesus’ miracles than the Quran, most notably his resurrection from the grave

Muhammad, on the other hand, is denied any miraculous abilities in the Quran
– Say: “Glory be to my Lord. Am I aught but a mortal, a Messenger?” (17:93)
– And the disbelievers say, “Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord? You are only a warner, and to every people there is a guide (13:7)

So God tells Mohammad “he is only a warner”

4- Jesus Claimed to be God Incarnate; Muhammad Was Only a Man
– Though the Quran asserts that Jesus, like Muhammad and all others, was only a man, it does so against the backdrop of claims to his divinity
– Hamlet: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks…”
– It (the Quran) also grants him unique titles: Word of God, Spirit from Allah, Messiah, Son of Mary
– The NT makes clear Jesus’ own divine claims, as well as those of his disciples

Mohammad continues to protest against Jesus’ divinity repeatedly

Semitic world always referred to someone as the son of their father, unless they were a bastard child and you didn’t know their father
– Mohammad spoke of Jesus as “Son of Mary” to focus on Jesus humanity, but he’s also disclosing his divine origin

As to Muhammad’s nature, the Quran makes no pretensions to anything beyond mere humanness
– He is often spoken of as Warner, Announcer, Prophet, Messenger
– Say, “I am but a man like yourselves; but it is revealed to me that your God is One God.”
– Say, “Glory be to my Lord. Am I any more than a human messenger?” What prevented the people from believing when the guidance came to them is their saying, “Did GOD send a human being as a messenger?” (17:93-94)
– To shore up his claim to be God’s final messenger, he could not allow for Jesus’ stature to outshine his (or the prior prophets.) Thus the Quran denies Jesus divine stature while asserting his uniqueness in other ways.

Hebrews says there are no more prophets because Jesus who knows the heart of the father has come

5- Jesus Honored All; Muhammad Used People for His Own Advantage
– Jesus never owned any slaves; though he never married, he honored the creation marriage covenant mandate; one man, one woman in lifelong, inviolable union
– Jesus accepted women as disciples
– Muhammad owned many slaves and traded them freely. Gave followers permission to do the same. Mulsims were free to have sex with their female slaves (“as many as their right hands possess”).
– Muhammad had somewhere between 11-14 wives
— also an unnumbered number of female salves

Though it is often claimed Mohammad raised the stature of women in Arabia, inequality between the sexes is enshrined in Islam
– In court, a woman’s testimony has half the weight of a man’s
– A female typically receives half the inheritance of her brother
– women cannot have more than one husband, though men may have up to four wives
– A husband may beat his wife if she is disobedient
– Husbands can easily diverse wives (for most minor of infractions or unhappiness)
– Women are by definition “unclean” during their menstrual periods and so cannot pray or engage in other religious acts as those times

Stories from Sahih Burhari
– 1.2.28 (story about Hell-fire who are ungrateful to their husbands for the good done to them – Mohammad saying there will be more women in hell because they are complainers)
– 1.6.301 (saying women are ‘deficient in intelligence and religion,’ testimony is worth half a man, can’t do the required rituals of Islam during their menstrual times. Islam is a religion of duty so each Muslim must do what is required each day, like prayer 5 times per day)

6 – Jesus’ Coming Fulfilled Long Line of Prophesies: Muhammad’s Didn’t
– Though Quran claims (7:157) that the Bible predicts the coming of Muhammad, none of the relatively few biblical texts put forward lives up to the claims (Dt. 18:15; John 14:16)
— discussion of paracletas
– According to the Gospels and the epistles, the life of Jesus is the culmination of the trajectory of God’s work reported in the OT. He is the fulfillment of God’s salvation-history prophecies
— Luke 24:27

Jesus is at the center of God’s purposes; Muhammad isn’t

7 – Jesus’ message was gospel; Muhammad’s message was law
– Jesus offered sinners forgiveness and restoration as the free gift of God’s love
– He taught followers to call God Father, and to sacrifice personal rights/privilege so as to serve others
— called yuma beings into personal relationship with the “I Am” by becoming incarnate
– Agape love, even for enemies
— not a quid pro quote, is willing to give itself away with no strings attached

Muhammad required his followers to keep the laws of Allah, promising that if they were faithful enough, perhaps God would show them mercy
– no assurance of forgiveness, except for those who die fighting in the way of Allah
– Islam is a system of demanding good works, field by debilitating fear of uncertainty (you never know if you’ve done enough good works)
– power and submission are the measure of life, not love and freedom
– Allah is beyond relationship and personal love (MY THOUGHT: THIS IS REALLY A BIG POINT)
– Muhammad taught ruthlessness against enemies (4.101; 48:29; 9.123; 66.9; 9.29; 47.4; 5.51; 60.13; 28.86; 2.191; 5.33

with works theology, you are always being graded

Even in the Islamic view of heaven, God is not present in heaven, he is on his throne above looking down
– opposite of Biblical view in book of Revelation, when heaven comes down and God wipes every tear from their eyes (that is the height of intimacy)

Romans 5: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us
– if while we were enemies of God, Christ died for us, how much more

God didn’t wait till humans asked for forgiveness, God acted while we were still rebels

Muhammad ordered the massacre of 600-900 male Jewish captives from the Banu Quraizah tribe of Medina on the pretext that they broke their treaty with him
– Muslims are not apologetic at all for this story and incident, this is a story told in Muslim literature
– book “The Life of the Prophet” or “The Life of translated by Alfred Geome, a Frenchman
— written by Ibn Ishaq
— goes back to 900 AD, oldest and most authoritative biography of Mohammad, it includes this story

tradition in Islam still practiced by Muslims, you are guilty of a capital crime and will be killed (beheaded)
– that is not in Islamic law, it is an Islamic tradition

being baptized in a Christian church is the point of no return for a Muslim
– becoming an apostate

Mohammad ordered assassinations of those who had mocked or opposed him
– at least 12 were ordered or ‘wished’ by Muhammad
– upon conquering Mecca, he had 10 enemies put to death
— 3 of these were slave girls who had previously enjoyed mocking him

People of Mecca didn’t resist the tens of thousands of Muhammad’s soldiers who came to attack

8 Jesus Suffered Torture, But was Never Tortured: Muhammad Tortured but Never Suffered Torture
– crucifixion was the Roman Empire’s worst form of torture leading to execution. Jesus suffered this excruciating death to bear the since
– Jesus never used pain or torture on his enemies

Mohammad did use both pain and torture on his enemies, however.

MY THOUGHT: THAT IS WHY THE BEHAVIOR OF US SERVICEMEN IN ABU GRAHB IS SO TERRIBLE. IT REVELS THAT

Muhammad died as a result of being poisoned by a Jewess from Khaibar who had lost her father, uncle and brother to Muslim killings.
– he died as the result of a revenge killing attempt, he didn’t give his life for others

Muhammad expelled all 3 Jewish tribes which had originally lived in Medina

9 – Jesus Sent an Army of Evangelists: Muhammed Sent an Army of Soliders
– the great commission

Islam’s answer to the Great Commission might be found in Surat al-Anfal (8:39) or in the bulk of Surat al-Tauba (esp 9:29)

10 – Jesus Will come Again as Judge; Muhammad Will Answer to Him
– even Islamic tradition teachers that Jesus will return at the end of time, not Muhammad. However Jeus will not be the Eternal Judge for Muslims, because theta role is reserved for Allah
– In the apostolic and post-apostolic Church, the preferred title for Jesus was “Lord”
– the second was “judge”
– Mt 25:31-46

Conclusions
– 1.5 billion Muslims do not know these truths
– Islam is growing in part by teaching a false understanding of Christianity and Christology (this is built into the Quran)
– The frontier of Christian missions for the foreseeable future is the Muslim world
— God is on the move in this arena like never before
– We must be prepared to clearly articulate the challenge of the gospel of Jesus Christ to this system of Islam, for the salvation of 20% of the world’s present population
– You’ve now been prepared and commissioned!

There are more documented cases of Muslims being converted to Christianity in the last 30 years, since 1980, since the preceding years from 1980 to 632 AD

MY COMMENT: I AUDIO RECORDED THIS SESSION WITH MATEEN’S PERMISSION AND WILL POST IT LATER! WOW THIS WAS REALLY EYE OPENING AND IMPORTANT.

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