There are many questions that come to mind when the name Jesus is mentioned.
Some people say he was a prophet, others call him a god, while others say he was
a very wise man. But whatever your idea is, one thing remains certain: he was
not your ordinary man. So if there is something special about him, why all the
Just who was Jesus anyway?
Jesus lived about 2,000 years ago in ancient Palestine when the Roman Empire was
at its zenith. He was not conceived in the usual way, but was implanted in the
womb of a young woman named Mary. God simply commanded, Be and he was. In this
sense, he was a word of God and a special sign for humanity. In fact, he was
the last in a long line of religious guides sent to the Jews.
Mary, The Blessed
Mary was a righteous woman. Her mother dedicated her to Gods service even
before she was born. As a child, she lived a life marked by health and
righteousness, which others pointed to in admiration. She was raised by the wise
Zechariah, who instilled in her, a beautiful sense of faith in God. When she had
become a young woman, Mary sought to purify herself further before her Lord.
Knowing that the hustle of life in the towns was distracting, she withdrew from
her people to a sanctuary in the East. There she could meditate in seclusion and
peace. Suddenly, on a day that seemed no different from the rest, an angel of
God visited her, disguised in the likeness of a human. Afraid of so strange a
sight, Mary prayed for protection, but the strange being reassured her and
declared that he was a messenger from the Lord to announce the glad-tidings of a
faultless son. Mary, astounded, asked how this was possible seeing that no man
had ever touched her. But the angel replied, Your Lord says, it is easy for Me
. But when she felt the little child within her, she fled her sanctuary out of
fear of what her family would do or say when they heard the news. Mary, however,
was not to face hardship. When in her despair she cried out to God for oblivion,
a voice soothed her and she found shade and a cool spring. Under a date-palm in
the warmth of late summer, she made her dwelling and there bore the child unlike
any other in human history.
Shortly thereafter, Mary returned to her community carrying the child who was to
be called Messiah, Jesus, and son of Mary. When her people saw her with the baby
in her arms they couldnt believe their eyes, let alone accept her word. They
refused to believe when she told of an angel who came and told her she was
chosen above all other women to carry this burden. They accused her of
infidelity and implied that she had ruined the family name. Mary, being
overwhelmed, simply motioned towards the child meekly.
Now the child was the product of a miracle and consequently, miraculous things
began to happen. In defense of his mother and of the truth, the infant Jesus
spoke saying, I am a servant of God. He has given me Scripture and has made me
a Prophet. He has blessed me wherever I may be and has made prayer and charity
my duty as long as I live. This put the detractors to rest.
Throughout his youth, Jesus remained dutiful to his mother and developed quickly
in intelligence, wisdom, and piety. He dumfounded the learned and was greatly
admired by those around him who appreciated his talents. He claimed to be a sign
of God and a Messenger to the Israelites.
His people had strayed from the spirit of truth and placed their trust in
legalism, thereby burying their sense of mercy beneath dusty scrolls and
rituals. Finally, when he came of age, Jesus began to travel and preach
throughout the land of Palestine about a return to the truth of the old
revelations and a rejection of all that man had added. In his task he was
supported by the spirit of truth, the angel Gabriel.
The Gospel, His Message
He taught that love and mercy overcome hate and anger and that only a true and
sincere faith in the Creator and obedience to His will can bring a person
salvation in this life as well as in the next. To reinforce his message, which
was called Injeel (Good News), God granted him the performance of miracles. He
healed the sick, uplifted the distressed and revived the dead. All these things
he did with the permission of God, never taking credit for them himself.
He led a simple and pious life. Soon he attracted an inner-circle of devoted
followers who listened to his teachings with fervor and humility. These
disciples, among them Peter, Barnabas, and John helped him carry the message of
Divine Love to the people. They helped him in his mission.
A Test Of Wills
But no righteous man of God is without trial and tribulation. As the message of
Jesus began to gain wider acceptance, a small clique of hypocrites and evil men
began to plot against him. They were the priests and leaders of the Jews whose
position and wealth depended upon their place as the sole interpreters of
religion to the masses. They pursued him and his followers and eventually
captured him. Though they abused him, he never renounced his faith in the one
God. So in their anger they plotted to crucify him on a Roman cross. But Jesus
slipped from their grip at the last moment, and all the while they thought they
had succeeded. They were sure they had killed him but God answered Jesus prayer
and saved him from their schemes. Confusion overtook the mob and they might have
killed the man who betrayed Jesus instead. In any case, Jesus escaped from their
grasp. Then God removed Jesus from this world into another dimension, to a place
with Him, not to return until a later time.
With their teacher gone, the devoted followers of Jesus tried to maintain the
purity and simplicity of his teachings. But they were soon besieged and
overtaken by a flood of Roman and Greek influences, which eventually so buried
and distorted the message of Jesus that only a little of its truth now remains.
Strange doctrines of Jesus being a man-god, of God dying, of saint worship and
of God being made up of different parts came into vogue and were accepted by
many of those who took the name Christians centuries after Jesus.
The only records that have come down to us concerning Jesus are some sketchy
biographical material, poorly researched and compiled, which can in no way be
representative of the full and accurate Message of Jesus, the Son of Mary. The
time of the final and incorruptible Message was not yet at hand. It would be
left to the last prophet of God, Muhammad (peace be upon him), to clarify the
truth from mans additions and deletions.
Jesus taught the same eternal message that was taught by all the Messengers of
God, from Adam, on through Noah, Abraham, Moses and ending with the mission of
Gods last Guidepost to humanity, Muhammad (peace be on them all), whose coming
was foretold by Jesus himself.
Every nation and every people, from the Aztecs to the Greeks, have received a
Prophet or a Messenger from God. Jesus was the last of a series of Messengers
sent to the Israelites, but they consistently strayed from the path of surrender
to God. Each of the many Messengers spoke a different language and followed
varied customs. Yet the core faith taught by each was the same: surrender your
imperfect and fickle will to the perfect will of the Power that is greater than
you. You will then find the peace and freedom that only the Creator of all
things can provide. Then you must do what is right and good to your fellow
creatures. This way of life is called Islam (surrender to God and find peace).
By Yahiya Emerick