When someone claims to be a Christian, it is implied that he or she is a follower of Jesus Christ, but how true is this claim?
Originally the followers of Jesus were Jews and considered themselves to be so for many generations. Only later a division came into existence between the Jews who followed Jesus and those who did not, this division became wide enough that historians denoted the new group as ”Christian-Jews”, and only later did the division become so wide that the other group started to call themselves ”Christians”.
Jesus had never heard of the word Christian and neither did he call himself a Christian. Actually, the word Christian only appears 3 times in the Bible and none of these occurrences occurred during the life time of Jesus. The word Christianity is found nowhere in the Bible.
The word Christianity stems from Christ, but Jesus Christ did not walk around calling himself Christ, this word is actually a translation and basically means Messiah. In the Hebrew language the translation of the word Christ was the word for Messiah, this Hebrew word was later translated into Christos in Greek, and later Anglicized to Christ.
The term Christ/Messiah was not an exclusive term and in the Old Testament you will find this word for Christ/Messiah being applied to many individuals. It is applied 30 times to Dividic kings, 6 times to the high priest, and two times to the Old Testament patriarchs.
So there are roughly 38 different instances in which other individuals, that is other than Jesus Christ, are identified with the same term.
As Muslims we believe that Jesus was a man, Prophet, and sent by God to bring revelation to the people and bring them back from the deviation that had crept into their religion.
Christians belief that they are the true followers of Christ, but Muslims also belief to be followers of Christ. Both religions claim the same thing, but the question is, who is really following Christ?
We must look at the evidence and come to a conclusion for ourselves by comparing basic issues.
If we close our eyes and conceive a image of how Jesus would have looked like we will almost certainly picture him with a beard. Very few Christians wear a beard nowadays, and the ones who do, very few of them actually do so because Jesus had a beard.
His Mother Mary, you will always see her wearing a headscarf and she is always covered.
When we picture Jesus giving a sermon, he is always wearing loose, not-form fitted clothing, and a long robe to the wrist and ankles. His shape/form is never shown and he is always dressed modestly.
Now, who has a beard and who dresses modestly like Jesus? Christians or Muslims.. generally speaking it are the Muslims. Also, who are the women nowadays that resemble Mary the most in their appearance? Its the Muslim women wearing the veil.
But these are all superficial aspects of who Jesus was. Let’s take a look now at how he carried himself and what he was all about.
Jesus was a man of modesty, humility and quality. He spoke about salvation, reminded people of religious values, and was certainly not someone who was constantly dealing with worldly aspects.
In our daily life’s we will find Muslims much more commonly talking about religious issues, always trying to bring every sort of conversation back to religion. But with Christians this is a lot less when we look at a common workplace chat or wherever they may be.
Most Christians acknowledge that they have turned Christianity in a Sunday religion, but Jesus was busy with religion 24/7. Muslims pray 5 times a day, perform ablution before every prayer, get up early in the morning to pray and wake up at night for worship, they can never forget their religion in this way.
So, who resembles Jesus more in this aspect?
And what about the appearance and manners of Jesus?
A very simple thing, Jesus told the people to perform the greeting of peace and he instructed his disciples to greet each other with the greeting of peace. In Luke 10:5 we read:
“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ Luke 10:5
He actually acted out the example 4 times:
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Luke 24:36
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” John 20:19
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” John 20:26
So one time he gave a directive and four times a practical example. You will find this practice of greeting with peace amongst the Orthodox Jews, in the Old Testament, and with Muslims who great each other with As-salamu alaykum (Peace be upon you).
How many Christians will you find following this very simple directive of Jesus? It is a very little and simple thing, so why don’t they just do it?
Then the practices of worship, let’s look at them as well.
Jesus was circumcised (It was Paul who said that it was unnecessary):
And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. Romans 4:11
Jesus did not eat pork:
And the pig, though it has a split hoof completely divided, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. Leviticus 11:7
The pig is also unclean; although it has a split hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses. Deuteronomy 14:8
Jesus did not consume, ask or give interest:
If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest. Exodus 22:25
Jesus didn’t fornicate, and abstained from extramarital contact with women. Now, this issue extends to the least physical contact with the opposite sex. With the exception of performing religious rituals and helping those in need, Jesus never even touched a woman other than his mother. Strictly practising Orthodox Jews maintain this practice to this day in observance of Old Testament law. Likewise, practising Muslims don’t even shake hands between the sexes. Can Christian “hug your neighbour” and “kiss the bride” congregations make the same claim?
Jesus performed ablution before prayer like all Orthodox Jews do:
and Moses and Aaron and his sons used it to wash their hands and feet. Exodus 40:31
Jesus prayed in prostration (Matthew 26:39), like the other prophets (see Nehemiah 8:6 with regard to Ezra and the people, Joshua 5:14 for Joshua, Genesis 17:3 and 24:52 for Abraham, Exodus 34:8 and Numbers 20:6 for Moses and Aaron).
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39
Jesus fasted for more than a month at a time, as did the pious before him (Exodus 34:28, I Kings 19:8), and as do Muslims in the annual fast of the month of Ramadan.
After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. Matthew 4:2
where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. Luke 4:2
Jesus made pilgrimage for the purpose of worship, as all Orthodox Jews aspire to do. The Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca is well known, and is alluded to in the Bible (see The First and Final Commandment).
Who does all of this? Christians or Muslims!?
Now the most important thing, Creed! All Prophets came to bear the same message, the message of Creed, the Truth of God. Jesus bore the message and said:
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ Mark 12:29-30
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37
He answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27
Three times he bore the message that God is One, which relates back to the first commandment:
“You shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3
So the bottom line is that Jesus came saying he was not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel…. He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” Matthew 15:24
But what does it mean, lost sheep? It means they have gone astray from their message and Jesus is reminding them of the Laws of God, the Oneness of God, the Pureness of God, pure monotheism! Jesus never spoke of the trinity and it can nowhere be found within the bible.
So, who talks the talk, has the appearance, manners, practices and so on of Jesus? Muslims or Christians?
Jesus taught God is One and that he was the son of man, actually he called himself the son of man 88 times and never did he call himself the son of God. This estrangement of the teachings of Jesus by Christians is due to the teachings of Paul, who caused a separation and modern day Christianity is more based on the teachings of Paul than those of Jesus.
It is well recognized amongst Christians scholars that the foundations of the Christian church and religion are based on the teachings of Paul and not those of Jesus, this may be a bit insulting to some when confronted with it, but these are simply the facts and you can ask every Christian scholar about it.
All four Gospels, Mark, Matthew, Luke and John were written by anonymous people. They are anonymous documents not signed by anyone and within the framework of the actual manuscript not attributed to any of the disciples. The teachings of Paul and Jesus are absolute opposites, even though one would expect them to be the same.
Jesus came to teach the law of the Old Testament, he expressively stated that he did not come to destroy the law and the Prophet and that he came bearing the law of Moses, not trying to change it.
Paul negated the Old Testament’s law and came up with the concept of justification with faith. Jesus held people accountable to the law, on the other hand Paul said, ”No more”, he cancelled this. In the same way Jesus stated that he was an ethnic Prophet, he came to the lost sheep of Israel, thereby negating everyone else because he said: I was sent ONLY TO..
Paul on the other hand said he is an universal Prophet for everyone.. You cannot have both, they are mutually exclusive and cannot be blended. Jesus taught prayer to God, the Lord’s prayer, when you pray, pray in the way of Jesus. He never told people to pray to him i.e. Jesus.
But Paul taught people to pray to Jesus.
Jesus taught that the Lord is One, but Paulian theologians derived the concept of the trinity.
In this manner, if you look at the Bible, you will see how the teachings of Paul contradict those of Jesus, and as a Christian you will have to decide which one it is that you are going to follow, Jesus or Paul?
Paul was a man who never even met Jesus, was not one of his earthly disciples, and claimed to have had a conversion through a mystical experience and then went on to teach very contrary things to what Jesus taught.
All of the Prophets were Muslim, this may sound strange, but what is a Muslim? It is a person who follows the religion of Islam and submits his will to that of Allah. The word Islam might have been introduced from the time of Muhammad (peace be upon him), but all people of all times who submitted themselves to the will of God are actually Muslim.
Was Abraham a human being? When did this word ”human being” come into existence? Certainly not during his lifetime. Were Moses, Noah, Jesus human beings? You see, this word came into existence later, but it applies backwards as well, it is the same with the words Islam and Muslim.
Muslims are those who submit their wills to that of Allah, even though the word came into existence with the revelation of the Quran and the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him), it applies to those before him as well who fulfilled the conditions.
Now some might say that Jesus was a Jew and this is correct, he was an Orthodox Jew in the sense that he was not bringing any new law, he was simply restoring the law of Moses and fulfilled the qualifications of being considered to be a Jew.
In those times being a Jew was basically an ethnicity, if you were Hebrew you were a Jew, but you could also be a Jew/Hebrew Communist, Democrat, Marxist etc., but when it comes to religion, all of the Prophets were Muslim.
One wonders what happened between the practices of the first generation of Jesus’ followers and the Christians of modern day. At the same time, we have to respect the fact that Muslims exemplify Jesus’ teachings more than Christians do. Furthermore, we should remember that the Old Testament foretold three prophets to follow. John the Baptist and Jesus Christ were numbers one and two, and Jesus Christ himself predicted the third and last. Hence, both Old and New Testaments speak of a final prophet, as Muslims we belief this to be Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), and the final revelation to be that of Islam.
However, every person has to examine the life of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) for himself and the revelation that he brought, and based on that everyone has to come to their own conclusion. Examine the evidence for yourself and then decide..