Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

The Messiah Most High Pt. 2a

Sam Shamoun

Continuing from the previous part, we now turn our attention to uncovering the identity of the divine King that comes to rule in the place of David his ancestor.


The Mighty God is born

The Christian Greek Scriptures testify that Jesus is the Christ that was foretold by the prophets to come. As such, the NT documents record Jesus doing and saying things which are ascribed to the Messiah in the Hebrew Bible.

For instance, Jesus is identified as the great Light which the prophet Isaiah said would shine forth from Galilee of the Gentiles,

“Now when Jesus heard that John had been taken into custody, He withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: ‘The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, Upon them a Light dawned.’ From that time Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” Matthew 4:12-17

And the Child who is the Mighty God that comes to reign over David’s throne forever:  

“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, ‘Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ The angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.’” Luke 1:26-35

The Angel Gabriel was clearly alluding to Isaiah’s prophecy when announcing to Mary that she was going to conceive and give birth to God’s unique and holy Son.

This explains why Matthew begins and ends his Gospel by affirming that Jesus is none other than THE God himself who has come to dwell with his people till the end of the age:

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us (meth hemon ho Theos).’” Matthew 1:18-23

“teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you (ego meth hemon eimi) always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

Matthew could see that the prophet Isaiah wasn’t announcing the birth of just some ordinary child. Rather, Isaiah prophesied the birth of the Might God himself, he who is said to be the Father of eternity, i.e., the Creator and Source of Life:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:1-5

“The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Son Jesus, whom you handed over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Creator of Life, whom God has raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.” Acts 3:13-15 Modern English Version (MEV)


The King that rides a foal and descends on the Mt. of Olives

Christ is also depicted riding on a foal in fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy, which stated that Israel’s King would come seated on a donkey’s colt:

“On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.’ Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written, ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.’ These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him.” John 12:12-16

The NT further proclaims that Christ shall return to the Mt. of Olives, being the place from which he physically ascended into heaven, with all his holy ones or saints:

“And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.’ Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.” Acts 1:9-12

“so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.” 1 Thessalonians 3:13

This shows that Zechariah actually saw the risen Christ in his second coming when he spoke of Yahweh God descending with his holy ones upon the Mt. of Olives, thereby splitting it in half with his glorious feet. Thus, the feet that the prophet beheld touching the MT. was none other than the glorified feet of the Lord Jesus, who shall return to the earth in his glorified physical body, a body which has been made immortal and indestructible since the resurrection:

“Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.” Acts 2:29-33

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” Philippians 3:20-21

“who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;” Hebrews 7:16, 23-26


The Divine Son of Man who rides the clouds

But that’s not at all. Christ and his followers preached that Jesus is the very same Son of Man that the prophet Daniel saw, the One who rides the clouds of heaven and who is worshiped by all the nations as he reigns over them forever:

“… Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, ‘Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’ And Jesus said, ‘I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.’” Mark 14:61b-62 – cf. 8:38; 13:26-27

“But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’” Acts 7:55-56

Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen… Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.’” Revelation 1:7, 12-18

It is interesting to note here that the risen Lord is not only identified as the one like a son of man he is also said to be the First and Last, which is a divine title that the Holy Bible ascribes to God alone!

“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.’” Isaiah 44:6

“For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another. Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.” Isaiah 48:11-12 – cf. 41:4


“Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, ‘Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe.’ Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.” Revelation 14:14-16

We are not through just yet, since we have more to say in the next part of our discussion.