Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorter
So yes, Muslims believe Jesus to be the Messiah, the Annointed one, and at the same time as a Prophet equal to the others. They see no conflict in this:
I am sorry, Machjo, but that doesn’t make sense. Messiah is something much more than a Prophet. Messiah is an emissary of God, maybe even an incarnation of God (like Jesus was Son of God); a Prophet is simply a learned man, somebody who communicates the word of God to the masses.
So it doesn’t make sense that Muslims would regard Jesus as Messiah and still think him to be no more important that Mohammed the Prophet. A Messiah is by definition more Godly, more divine than a Prophet.
If Muslims regarded Jesus as a Messiah and Mohammed as a lowly Prophet, Islam would be considered an offshoot of Christianity, similar to Mormonism. Mormons regard Jesus as the Messiah and Joseph Smith as a Prophet.
Mormons consider themselves to be Christians (even though religious right disagrees). Muslims do not consider themselves to be Christians. If they regarded Jesus as the Messiah, I would expect them to worship Jesus, why don’t they?
Well, let's take an example between the Christian and Jewish Faiths:
And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come? 12
And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought. 13
But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.
And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? 20
And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. 21
And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 8 And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. 9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. 10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
Now, is John the Baptist Elias or is he not Elias?
This is a point of the New Testament that Jews will often quote to undermine the Christian Faith. I personally believe that there is no contradiction here and that the apparent contradiciton can be resolved by understanding that when John the Baptist denies being Elijah, he understands that the Jews are asking about the material body. In body, no he isn't Elijah since he was born of a different woman.
Later, Jesus refers to the spirit of Elijah. In spirit, Elijah and John the Baptist speak the same word of God, they are animated by the same God, and so in spirit they are one and the same. And in this way, Elijah does fulfil the prophecy of the Old Testament that he shall come before the day of the Lord. John the Baptist fulfils this prophecy by fulfilling the spiritual role of Elijah. In this respect, why could the four on the hill (i.e. Jesus, Moses, Elijah and John the Baptist) not be one and the same? If we should say that two of them can be one and the same, then how could we say that the other two could not be one and the same without good reason, and what would that reason be?
And if Elijah can return in a different body, then why could Jesus not return in a different body? Again, we'd need a good reason to argue that one prophecy could be fulfilled that way but not the other. If we say one can, then the other is also possible. If we say the other can't, then the first is not possible either, in whcih case Jesus would be a false prophet.
By the same extention, why could Muhammad not be the spiritual return of Jesus just as John the Baptist was the Spiritual return of Elijah? If this is the case, then Muhammad is the Messiah just as Jesus is the seal of the Prophets. The Qur'an itself confirms this lack of distinction:
The apostle believeth in that which hath been sent down from his Lord, as do the faithful also. Each one believeth in God, and His Angels, and His Books, and His Apostles: we make no distinction between any of His Apostles. And they say, “We have heard and we obey. Thy mercy, Lord! for unto thee must we return.”
If this is the case, then all of the Prophets are annointed by God, they are all the annointed one, the Messiah, at least in spirit. Again, if we say that it is not possible for Muhammad to have fulfilled the prophecies of the return of Jesus, then it is equal to the Jewish argument that John the Baptist could not possibly have fulfilled the prophecies of the return of Elias, in which case both Jesus and Muhammad would be false prophets.