Signs made by people help and guide us every day. God Himself has placed signs in nature to help us. God warns us that a storm is coming by sending wind and dark clouds. A meteorologist can help us interpret such signs. God warns us that something is wrong with our health when we get a fever, fell dizzy or get nauseous. Sometimes we need a physician to interpret the signs for us.
The Qur’an teaches that God has also placed signs in this life to teach us about Him and His will for us. The created things teach us about God’s character, power and wisdom. Consider the stars, the flowers or the thousands of varieties of insects, animals and birds.
Sometimes God chooses people to be signs. According to the Qur’an, Jesus and his mother, Mary, are a sign from God.
“We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign, and we gave them refuge on a mesa with food and drink.” (Sura 23:50)
How can both Mary and Jesus be one sign? We would expect both of them to be signs. Since the Qur’an only mentions one sign, what is the message of that sign?
Perhaps Mary and Jesus are one sign because they shared one very intimate experience totally unique in history. Mary was a virgin when Jesus was born.
Some people may say the sign is used to prove Jesus’ teachings are from God. But I believe this isn’t the meaning of the sign. A person’s method of birth does not prove that he will speak the truth.
Others may say the sign is proof that Jesus’ miracles are truly from God. But in the Qur’an, Jesus’ miracles are also called signs. God would not use such a tremendous sign as the virgin birth merely to point to other signs.
Probably the virgin birth points to Jesus Himself rather than his teachings or his miracles. The virgin birth is unique. That means Jesus is unique.
What is unique about Jesus? The Qur’an proclaims the sign but does not interpret it. My authority, the Bible, also calls Mary and Jesus a sign.
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; the virgin shall conceive and give birth to a son…” (Isaiah 7:14)
Do you have questions about the sign of Mary and Jesus? That’s good! Perhaps God has given you the questions. As you try to answer the questions, you may discover new truth.
In the New Testament, we read in the Gospel of Luke the words of Simeon, a righteous and devout old man. Simeon came into the temple at the time when the infant Jesus was being consecrated to the Lord. He spoke to Mary and Joseph, claiming Jesus was to be a light to all people and then remarked,
“This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.” (Luke 2:34b-35a)
If the sign of Jesus and Mary is pointing toward the identity of Jesus Christ, Simeon is saying that many people will speak against the identity of Jesus and in that way their heart reactions against God will be revealed. Ponder this. Ask God to give you insight.
(Most of the above information is from "Jesus Gives Peace: Jesus In The Qur'an and the Bible," written by Yusuf Abdallah)