The Claim that Jesus was no more than a Prophet

In an attempt to conceal the uniqueness of Jesus in the Qur'an, many Muslims cite the following verse:

Christ the son of Mary was no more than an apostle; many were the apostles that passed away before him.
Surat-ul Maida (5):75

It is true that in his human nature, Jesus was man of flesh just like all the other prophets. However, we cannot ignore the teaching of the Scriptures that reveal to us that in this human flesh dwelt the Word of God of divine nature. (John 1:14, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us"). Though we could never begin to explain this mystery of the divine and human nature of Jesus, the Scriptures confirm its truth. Even the Qur'an points to both the human and divine nature of Jesus. For example, we read the following:

0 People of the Book (Jews and Christians)! Commit no excesses in your religion; nor say of God aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of God, and His Word, and a Spirit proceeding from Him.
Surat-un Nisaa (4):171

Though the Qur'an is justified in refuting the claim by some heretical Christians of that day that Jesus was the third of three gods along with his mother Mary, it must be carefully noted that the Qur'an has preserved the uniqueness and divine splendor of Jesus by referring to him as "His (God's) Word" and "Spirit proceeding from Him (God)."

The New Testament of the Bible likewise calls Jesus "Word of God" (Revelation 19:13). This term should not be considered lightly. Most Muslims will readily admit that the Word of God was never created, and can never die; it is eternal from everlasting to everlasting. Such can only be of the divine nature!

As for the phrase "Spirit proceeding from Him", the Arabic for this is "ruh-un min hu" and is found elsewhere in the Qur'an.

He (God) has written Faith int their hearts, and strengthened them with a Spirit from Himself.
Surat-ul Mujadila (58):22

In "The Holy Qur'an / Translation with Commentary" by Yusuf Ali, there is a footnote No. 5365 which describes this "Spirit from Himself" as "the divine Spirit which we can no more define adequately than we can define in human language the nature and attributes of God."

From the above it should be obvious that this same phrase "Spirit from Him (God)" which the Qur'an uses to describe Jesus in Surat-un Nisaa (4):171 is speaking of one who is more than just an ordinary prophet!

There are several other teachings from Al-Qur'an that point to the uniqueness of Jesus that should not be overlooked. They are listed as follows:

1) Miraculously born of a virgin

She (Mary) said: "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?"

He (Gabriel) said: "So (it will be); 'Thy Lord saith, That is easy for Me.'"
Surat-u Maryam (19):20-21

It is often asserted by Muslims that Adam likewise had no natural father and therefore Jesus should not be singled out as unique in this regard. It is true that Adam also had no earthly father -- but that is to be expected! How could he have had natural parents if he himself was the first man! However, it was completely different with Jesus. There must have been hundreds of thousands of men and women through whom Jesus could have been born, just like every other prophet after Adam. Yet this was a Sign to mankind. God wanted the world to know that Jesus did not come from the natural seed of man here below; instead he came from the divine nature of God above.

2) Lived a holy life

He (Gabriel) said: "Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son."
Surat-u Maryam (19):19

Jesus was truly a holy son. Having come from God and not from the seed of man, his life was untouched at birth by the influence of Satan. Truly, Jesus lived a pure life without fault. Many Muslims will contend that Jesus is not unique in this regard because all the prophets were completely faultless. However, if we carefully search the Qur'an, we find that such is not the case. It is evident that even the great prophets prayed for God's forgiveness. Unlike Jesus, they too, like all other men, were born from the seed of Adam. Notice the following examples:

Adam (and Eve): They said: "Our Lord, we have wronged our own souls. If thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy mercy, we shall certainly be lost."
Surat-ul Araf (7):23

Abraham: And who (God) I hope will forgive me my faults on the Day of judgment.
Surat-ush Shu-araa (26):82

Moses: He prayed: "O my Lord! I have indeed wronged my soul! Do Thou then forgive me!" Surat-ul Qasas (28):16

David: And David gathered that We had tried him; he asked forgiveness of His Lord.
Surat-us Sad (38):24

Solomon: He said, "O my Lord! Forgive me... "
Surat-us Sad (38):35

Jonah: And he had done acts worthy of blame. Had it not been that he (repented and) glorified God, he would certainly have remained inside the fish... Surat-us Saffat (37):142-144

Muhammad: Verily We have granted thee (Muhammad) a manifest victory; that God may forgive thee thy faults of the past and those to follow.
Surat-ul Fath (48):1-2

Know therefore that there is no god but God, and ask forgiveness for thy fault, and for the men and women who believe.
Surat-u Muhammad (47):19

If one were to very carefully search the whole Qur'an he would not find any such verse regarding Jesus asking forgiveness from God. The reason should now be clear; he was holy; he was faultless and perfectly pure. He was from above and not of this world.

3) Performed mighty miracles

I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord, in that I (Jesus) make for you out of clay as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by God's leave; and I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by God's leave...
Surat-u Ali-Imran (3):49

Not only did Jesus perform great miracles of healing and raise the dead to life, but unlike any other prophet before or after him, the Qur'an describes him as shaping a bird, breathing into it, and causing it to become a live animal!

4) Returned to the Presence of God

Behold! God said: "O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself..."
Surat-u Ali-Imran (3):55

Unlike most other prophets who returned to dust, Jesus was not only taken up into Heaven, but more importantly, was taken up to God Himself! The Scriptures mention no other prophet who received such honor. Since Jesus was from above, from God Himself, it is noteworthy that according to the Qur'an, that is exactly where Jesus returned!

5) Will return to the world

And (Jesus) shall be a Sign (for the coming of the Hour (of Judgment).
Surat-uz Zukhruf (43):61

Though the Qur'an does not explicitly talk of Jesus' return from Heaven, many Muslim scholars use this verse to support the Muslim tradition that Jesus will return to the world in the Last Days to defeat the forces of Satan and prepare the way for universal peace. In his footnote to this verse found in "The Holy Qur'an / Translation and Commetitary" by Yusuf Ali, we read the following: "This is understood to refer to the second coming of Jesus in the Last Days just before the Resurrection..."

In summary, the above Qur'anic references give us a picture of Jesus who was miraculously born outside the blood stream of Adam, lived a sinless perfect life, performed great miracles even of creation, was raised up to God Himself, and is expected to return to the world to pave the way for universal peace. No other prophet in any of the Holy Books is described as this! Regardless what some Muslims may say, the Qur'an speaks loudly for itself -- this is no ordinary prophet!!!

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