C  H  R  I  S  T  I  A  N  I  T  Y 
through the lens of 
CHRISTIAN & MUSLIM SCHOLARS
Part Two

Mohd Amin Yaacob

al-Firdaus.Com

CONTENTS

Preface           

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT   

CHAPTER NINE 

Jesus Was Sent Only To The Israelites         

9.1     Christian Rebuttal

9.2     Muslims Answer

CHAPTER TEN  

CHAPTER ELEVEN

EPILOGUE 

BIBLIOGRAPHY 

 

 

 

 

  CHAPTER NINE

Jesus Was Sent Only To The Israelites

 

“Don’t ever argue with Christ. He’s a Jew”                                   

              Television evangelist,
            Jimmy Swaggart. [1]

 

It is said that the Holy Qur’an speaks of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) in words of high praise. In the Holy Qur’an Jesus is called by name, the Messiah by attribute, son of Mary by human ascription, a servant of Allah by obedience, a prophet by the office of prophethood, a messenger by mission, a word of Allah by the way he was created and likewise a spirit from Him (Allah). [2] But at the same time the Holy Qur’an mentions him as only one among the numerous Israelite Prophets who followed Prophet Moses (peace be upon him); it describes him to be an Apostle of God bearing a message limited to a single nations:

 

“And an apostle to the children of Israel.” (The Holy Quran, Surah Ali-‘Imran 3:49) [3]

 

The Holy Quran then goes on to reproduce Jesus’ own confession, saying:

 

“And when Jesus son of Mary said, Children of Israel, I am indeed the Messenger of God to you, confirming the Torah that is before me, and giving good tidings of a Messenger who shall come after me, whose name shall be Ahmed [4] .” (The Holy Quran, Surah As-Saff 61:6)

 

This is what Dr. C. J. Cadoux, an authority in Christianity, wrote with regard to the limited or national scope of Jesus mission:

 

“The office of Messiahship with which Jesus believed himself to be invested marked out for a distinctly national role; and accordingly we find him more and less confining his preaching and healing ministry and that of his disciples to Jewish territory, and feeling hesitant when he was asked to heal a Gentile (non-Jews) girl.” [5]

 

Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala, the Almighty God, sent every Prophet to his own people only; the only exception was the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), for he was the Final Prophet and Messenger of Allah, and therefore he was sent to all mankind. This is stressed again and again in the Holy Qur’an and in the Sunnah or the Holy Prophetic tradition because it is of such importance.” [6]   Imam Ibn Taimiyyah, the grand Sheikh of Islam in his rebuttal against the treatise of Paul of Antioch, the Christian bishop of Saida put it thus:

 

“He (the Holy Prophet Muhammad) stated that he was sent to all the children of Adam, to Arabs and to Byzantine, Persian, Turkish, Indian, Berber, and Ethiopian non-Arab, and to all other nations. He even stated that he was sent to both the races—the human race and that of the jinn. All these are clear issues successively handed down from him, upon whose transmission from him by his companions are agreed. This is despite their great number and their dispersal into various regions and situations –those who accompanied him were in the tens of thousands and their actual number cannot be counted and is known to God alone.” [7]

 

Here are some of the evidences from the Gospels themselves, which stated that Jesus Christ was sent only to his people, the Israelites:

 

 1.       The evidence of the chief priests and the scribes that Jesus was sent only to his tribe the Jews and to no other besides it—that is to say, he shall have nothing to do with the other nations of the world:

 

“O Bethlehem of Judah, you are not just a lowly village of Judah, for a ruler will come from you, who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.” (Matthew 2:6, NLT)

 

 2.       According to Al Hajj A.D. Ajijiola, the author of “The Myth of the Cross” the question to ask is what was the design of Allah, the Almighty who sent Jesus? This, nobody can express better than Jesus himself and he said it clearly:

 

“I was sent only to help the people of Israel - God's lost sheep - not the Gentiles.”    (Matthew 15:24, NLT)

 

“And I, the Son of Man, have come to save the lost.” (Matthew 18:10, NLT)

 

“And I, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save those like him who are lost.” (Luke 19:10, NLT) [8]

 

 3.       The Prophecies of the Earlier Prophets

 

In the Gospels, a mention of this sacred work or mission of Jesus has been made repeatedly; and in the prophecies of the earlier prophets also, according to the Bible, the same mission had been ascribed to Jesus that he has come to seek and search his own people, the lost tribe of the Israelites.

 

In the Book of Ezekial, we found that Prophet Ezekial, expressing his grief over the sad state of the doctors of law and the priests, writes in his book:

 

“You have not taken care of the weak. You have not tended the sick or bound up the broken bones. You have not gone looking for those who have wandered away and are lost.” (Ezekial 34:4, NLT)

“So my sheep have been scattered without a shepherd. They are easy prey for any wild animal. They have wandered through the mountains and hills, across the face of the earth, yet no one has gone to search for them” (Ezekial 34:6, NLT) 

 

“[Says the Lord God] I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again.” (Ezekial 34:16, NLT)

 

After Ezekial, Prophet Micah wrote in his book:

 

“In that coming day, says the Lord, I will gather together my people who are lame, who have been exiles, filled with grief.” (4:6, NLT)

 

And again in the Gospels, it is written about Jesus:

 

 “And I the Son of Man, have come to save the lost” (Matthew 18:11, NLT)

 

“And I, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save those like him who are lost” (Luke 19:10, NLT) [9]

 

 4.       Of all the disciples chosen by Jesus Christ, there was not a single non-Israelite. Thus from the beginning of his ministry in Galilee, Jesus chose 12 Israelite men to be with him and to participate in his mission:

 

“Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness. Here are the names of the twelve apostles: first Simon (also called Peter), then Andrew (Peter’s brother), James (son of Zebedee), John (James’s brother), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew (the tax collector), James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon (the Zealot), Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).” (Matthew 10:1-4, NLT)

 

 He plainly commanded them not to preach to non- Israelites, the Gentiles:

 

“Jesus sent the twelve disciples out with these instructions: Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, but only to the people of Israel, God's lost sheep. Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” (Matthew 10:5-6, NLT)

 

Imam Ibn Hazm, a great Muslim theologian commented on this passage by saying:

 

“According to the above text Jesus sent his apostles only to the lost people of Israel, consequently he commanded them to complete his mission and spread his teachings after his departure among the Jews only. This is due to the fact that Christians agree that during Jesus life in flesh, none of his apostles left him for the task of carrying his message to another nation, place, or any other country at all other than Israel.” [10]

 

Jesus also made sure that his twelve chosen one belonged to his tribe (the Jews), so that his other 'Prophecies' of giving them ‘the twelve thrones’ might be fulfilled:

 

“I assure you that when I, the son of Man, sit upon my glorious throne in the Kingdom, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribe of Israelites.” (Matthew 19:28-29, NLT)

 

Luke’s has made a similar statement:

 

“And just as my Father has granted me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right to eat and drink at my table in that Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Luke 22:29-30, NLT)

 

5.       We found that Christ always showed love and concern for his own people:

 

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God's messenger! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you won't let me. And now look, your house is left to you, empty and desolate…” (Matthew 23:37-38, NLT)

 

Until the end of his mission, although nearly all of the Israelites had rejected him, they still had a special place in his heart!

“Even in his own land and among his own people, he was not accepted. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become the children of God.” (John 1: 10-11, NLT)

 

This is further strengthened by the statement of Jesus that Salvation comes from the Jews. Thus, when a Samaritan woman gave Jesus a drink from the well, he replied to her:

         

“You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.”(John 4:22, NIV)

 

6.       The Disciples of Jesus also regarded it is wrong to preach the Gospel to non- Israelites. Thus we read: 

 

“Meanwhile, the believers who had fled from Jerusalem during the persecution after Stephen death traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch of Syria. They preach the Good News, but only to Jews.” (Acts 11:19, NLT)

 

Similarly, when they heard that St. Peter had preached the Gospel to the Gentiles (non- Israelites), they were annoyed:

 

“But when Peter arrived back in Jerusalem, some of the Jewish believers criticized him. You entered the home of Gentiles and even ate with them, they said?” (Acts 11: 2-3, NLT)

 

St. Paul himself wrote in his epistle to the Romans:

 

“Remember that Christ came as a servant to the Jews to show that God is true to the promises he made to their ancestors…” (15:8, NLT)

 

In another part of the same Epistle, St. Paul says:

 

“They are the people of Israel, chosen to be God’s special children. God revealed his glory to them. He made covenants with them and gave his law to them. They have the privilege of worshipping him and receiving his wonderful promises. Their ancestors were great people of God, and Christ himself was a Jew as far as his human nature is concerned…” (9:4-5, NLT)

 

Unfortunately, Paul himself contradicted the disciples of Jesus Christ. The author of the “The Messianic Legacy” states that:

 

“When James dispatches (the disciples of Jesus) on missionary expedition, he desires them to convert people to Jesus’ form of Judaism. The ‘Nation of Israel’, as Jesus, James and their contemporaries conceived it, was not just a geographical entity. It was also a community, which encompassed all Jews wherever they happened to reside. The process of conversion was intended to swell the ranks of the nations of Israel. Paul either fails to see James’s objectives or refuses to cooperate. In 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, he states explicitly that the Nazarene emissaries of James are promulgating ‘another Jesus’, a Jesus different from the one he is promulgating. Paul, in effect, betrays the commission entrusted to him by James and the Nazarene hierarchy.” [11]

      

7.       Non Israelites = Dogs? Swine?

 

Jesus, the Messiah, not only interdicted and forbade the preaching of the Divine Word to the Gentiles. But calling them dogs, swine, which pointed out that preaching to the Gentiles in doing so, a positive danger to your life:

 

“Jesus then left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter has a demon in her, and it is severely tormenting her.  Then he said to the women, I was sent only to help the people of Israel - God's lost sheep - not the Gentiles. But she came and worship him and pleaded again, Lord help me! It isn't right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs, he said…”  (Matthew, 15:22-26, NLT)

 

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” (Matthew 7:6, GI)

 

Muslims, although still holding the opinion that Jesus was sent only for his own people still don’t believe that Jesus had uttered those words: dogs and swines to the non-Israelites. The Holy Quran defended Jesus from this false charges made to him.

 

“And He (God Almighty) Hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable.” (Surah Maryam 19:32)

 

Imam Abd Rahman Robert Squires commenting on this issues stated that:

 

“Many Christians will probably find this rather shocking (and offensive). Jesus (allegedly) compares the Gentiles to 'dogs'. Mark 7.24-30 reports the same or similar incident, even though here the women is described as 'Greek'. Based on this evidence, it seems that the Christians either have to choose between believing in 'a sinless' Jesus or believing that everything in the Bible is the inspired word of God - since based on the above evidence, both of them can't be true … I'll never forget (Insha' Allah) an incident which I witnessed when a Muslim … questioned a panel of Christians about these verses. You should have seen the dumb-founded looks! I mean honestly, what could they say? [12]


 
Back to Top

[1]           Jim Hill & Rand Cheadle, The Bible tells Me So (Doubleday dell Publishing), 130

[2]           Muhammad Abu Layla, The Qur’an and The Gospels, 6

[3]           Maulana Muhammad Ali, Muhammad And Christ, 3

[4]           This is another name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

[5]           The Life of Jesus, in A.D Ajijiola, The Myth of The Cross, 132

[6]           Muhammad Abu Layla, The Qur’an and The Gospels, 38

[7]           Al-Jawab Al-Sahih, 106

[8]           pg 133

[9]           Maulana Abd Haq Vidyarthi, Muhammad in World Scriptures, 378

 

[10]          Muhammad Abu Layla, 206

[11]          pg  103-104 (emphasis added)

[12]          Muslim Answers To Inquiring Christian