Ramadan 15: What Does the Bible Say About Jesus?
The most vital thing for each of us is to know and follow Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. For most of us in the American church, this is easy to agree on. If we want to grow in our faith, we must continually abide in Him through understanding Jesus’ identity as God’s Word (the Bible) lays it out to be. At the core, are we following the Jesus of the Bible or a culturally adjusted Jesus of tradition that’s been handed down through our family?
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:8-11)
As we tell others the glorious news of Jesus, we must make certain that we’re communicating the biblical picture. This is especially vital for people with no prior knowledge of the Bible. When speaking with Muslims about God and spiritual things, it is easy to see that they already have a picture of Jesus in their worldview. Islamic scholars have spent centuries building a false picture of Jesus as a good prophet (much like the Pharisees viewed Him). They might even agree that God (Allah) performed miracles through Him. But they will not have a category to view Him as the very Son of God and second person of the Trinity. As we discussed on Day 2 of Ramadan, Muslims revolt against the idea of the Trinitarian Godhead. They view Christianity as a polytheistic religion rather than seeing a trinitarian God existing in three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
So today we’re going to read and examine some of the key characteristics of Christ’s nature that the Bible points out.
7 Things We Believe (And Proclaim) About Jesus:
1 – Incarnation of Jesus
Jesus is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies recorded since the creation of the world. The Bible points to Jesus as the promised Messiah who would come to save His people from their sins by paying the ransom for their sin. He was born to a virgin, just as promised, and did not inherit the spiritual death of sin like all of mankind has. Jesus was not created but rather left His throne in Heaven to be one of us. He chose to come to earth in humility, becoming a man to rescue all who repent and call on Him for salvation.
- Genesis 3:15
- John 1:1-18
- Romans 5:12-21
2 – Sinless life of Jesus
The book of Hebrews tells us Jesus was tempted in every way, yet never sinned. Make sure you understand the gravity of this statement. Jesus faced every kind of temptation we do (from Satan himself), but never fell from His holiness. He never lusted, never felt sorry for Himself, was never proud, and never allowed any selfish thought to enter His mind or heart. This is huge because Christ maintained His holiness to become the perfect sacrifice for us on the Cross.
- Matthew 4:1-11
- Hebrews 2:18
- Hebrews 4:15
3 – Earthly ministry of Jesus
Jesus preached the Truths of God, performed miracles, and loved people perfectly — every day. It can be easy to focus on Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection but forget that He actually walked thirty-years on earth. He loved people in conversation. He healed physical and spiritual needs. Sickness and brokenness never tainted His holiness. Christ transformed spiritual and physical neediness into wholeness. In the Gospel of Mark, we have a record of Jesus healing the blind and lame, stopping storms in an instant, casting out demons, and raising the dead to life. He fed the five thousand, walked on water, faced attacks from the religious leaders with grace and strength, and loved little children. Jesus led the 12 disciples, taught the multitudes, and listened to the woman the well with compassion.
- Matthew 11:1-6
- John 21:25
4 – Death of Jesus
Jesus literally died, and He died under the weight of our sin and shame. Islam teaches that Christ didn’t really suffer death, but biblical and historical facts teach us the same story — that Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, died a physical death on a Roman cross. Just as He prophesied three times in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus laid down His sinless life at the hands of sinful man.
- Isaiah 53
- John 10:17-18
- Mark 13-15
5 – Resurrection of Jesus
Jesus Christ arose on the third day as He promised the disciples beforehand. There were no magic tricks or body swaps. Jesus conquered death, hell, and the grave by paying our sin debt in full — then destroying the power of death forever. He took the path that no one else could have and suffered in our place so that we could be presented righteous before the Father (in His place).
- Mark 16
- 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
6 – Exaltation of Jesus
Scripture teaches us in Philippians 2 that God has exalted the Son over all things, and that He is back on His throne. He has a “name that is above every name, so that…every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11). He is establishing an eternal Kingdom and will one day make all things new. There will no more sin and shame; no more brokenness and death.
- Philippians 2:5-11
- Hebrews 1:1-13
- Hebrews 2:5-18
7 – Exclusivity of Jesus
Because of all these above realities the Bible teaches, we can be certain that Jesus Christ is the way. He is the only truth and the only life. Jesus is not merely a prophet, and He is not one god among others. Jesus Christ is Immanuel, God with us, and He is our final Prophet, Priest, and King. Jesus is the very Son of God who came as the Son of Man to become our mediator and remove the shame of our sin. He took our sin and shame upon Himself and represents us before the Heavenly Father. And Jesus will one day return and permanently conquer all sin and death forevermore.
- John 14:6
- Galatians 1:6-9
Pray this morning and ask the Lord to open your mind and your heart to see more clearly Jesus as the Bible reveals Him to us. Ask Him to remove any cultural misunderstandings of Jesus that you have naturally accumulated over time. Replace them with the holy, righteous, and glorious picture of Jesus Christ in His Word. The Lord has revealed Himself all throughout His Word. Ask Him to help you grasp the big picture of the Bible in a way that helps you see and worship Jesus more clearly.
Go & Do:
- Read several of the Bible passages included above. Make sure that you can have a casual but accurate conversation about the deity and humanity of Christ at a moment’s notice. As you pray for opportunities to share the story of Jesus with those around you, invest time in abiding in His Word daily. Simply knowing the right facts of Jesus isn’t enough to deliver a passionate and loving presentation of Christ. Allow the Holy Spirit to work these truths inside your heart so much that your mouth can’t contain the joy and wonder of Jesus!
- Continue memorizing (and discussing) the stories of Jesus. Muslims hold high respect for Jesus. Become familiar enough with what He taught that you can quickly share on an Uber ride across town or standing in line at your local coffee shop. Fall in love with Jesus all over again by learning to follow what He taught and sharing what He taught about Himself to others.
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3 Ways to Explain the Incarnation to Muslim Peoples – Greg Handley (IMB)