Monday, April 5, 2010

SIGNS: A message for Muslims

Have you ever been lost? What is one of the first things you do? Look for signs. Signs can give us directions, instructions, and help.

Although, sometimes, signs can be confusing...



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)

20 comments:

thekingpin68 said...

That sign sort of represents my thoughts emailing today so far.

thekingpin68 said...

'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.'

God works through natural and supernatural means.

satire and theology said...

'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)'

The Qur'an is after the fact and non-divine.

Jeff said...

That sign sort of represents my thoughts emailing today so far.

I can see why.

The Qur'an is after the fact and non-divine.

Agreed.

satire and theology said...

Lord, I pray for Jeff to have peace and financial blessings. In Jesus' name, Amen. Time for a walk. Thanks, my friend.

Jeff said...

satire and theology,

Lord, I pray for Jeff to have peace and financial blessings. In Jesus' name, Amen. Time for a walk. Thanks, my friend.

Thanks, Russ.

satire and theology said...

This may be a dumb question, but where is Captain Marvel? As in Blogger profile photo. The 70s show should have actually had him drive the motorhome as he was too lazy to fly. Isis could have driven in a Jeep.

Shazslam!

Jeff said...

satire and theology,

This may be a dumb question, but where is Captain Marvel? As in Blogger profile photo.

I'm not planning to use him on Blogger. Already, a couple or more people have complained (or made other comments) about me using him on Facebook, because they want to use a picture of myself, not a superhero (though it is my face in the image). I'm even thinking about changing it back to the previous profile pic.

The 70s show should have actually had him drive the motorhome as he was too lazy to fly.

I never cared much for that show. It was sorry.

Isis could have driven in a Jeep.

Heh, or in a Sphinx-mobile. Isis was not all that great of a show either, but at least she was fairly attractive.

Shazslam!

Clever. And I suppose I should not be surprised that you are slamming superheroes, since, after all, you are Satire, and your alter-ego is the Kingpin, arch-nemesis of heroes such as Spider Man and Daredevil.

satire and theology said...

Going to see Clash of the Titans, tonight, no not my life, but to view the film with Cardinal Chucklins and our pastor.

Our pastor wants to have a beer after...don't tell the Mennonites and Baptists.

I do not drink much.

thekingpin68 said...

'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.'

Good to encourage folks.

I hope you are getting some good signs in life.

Jeff said...


I hope you are getting some good signs in life.


Thanks, Russ.

Jeff said...

satire and theology,

Going to see Clash of the Titans, tonight, no not my life, but to view the film with Cardinal Chucklins and our pastor.

Heh...hope you enjoy the movie.

Our pastor wants to have a beer after...don't tell the Mennonites and Baptists.

Heh. Actually, I don't know of any Pastor I've ever met that would do that. Well, actually, I can think of one from the past, who was Lutheran, but I am sure he was not born again (because of things he told me, I could tell he did not understand the gospel, nor did he know Jesus in a personal way). I have met some Christians who would drink beer and/or wine, however, including some in my family (who are Charismatics).

I do not drink much.

For years, the most alcohol I would drink would be maybe 1-3 glasses of wine in an entire year, and even less in recent years. I have never liked the taste of beer, and I despise the taste of any strong drinks (rum, bourbon, etc.) The last time I even tasted alcohol was probably more than 7 or 8 years ago.

The guy who witnessed the gospel to me for the first time was a black guy who was a Pentecostal. He boasted that "alcohol has never touched these lips," and he believed that when the Bible said wine, it actually meant "holy water," whatever that is. I don't believe that drinking is a sin; I only believe that drunkenness is a sin.

One old-fashioned Lutheran Pastor, who was our Pastor when I was a child, said that he would love to sit in his back yard and drink a beer, but he would be concerned that a neighbor might see him, and that it might destroy his testimony.

For me, I'm not so concerned about that (although I don't disagree with what that Pastor said). It's mostly that I just have no desire for alcohol.

satire and theology said...

Actually, my pastor had Club Soda.:)

We prayed.

My academic advisor that has two PhDs and is an AOG Reverend would take me out for lunch and beer to discuss my MPhil in England.

Jeff said...

satire and theology,

Actually, my pastor had Club Soda.:)

Ah.

We prayed.

Cool!

My academic advisor that has two PhDs and is an AOG Reverend would take me out for lunch and beer to discuss my MPhil in England.

Well, better than discussing in a classroom, I'm sure.

I've been busy these last couple days, so not as much time for blogging (the JW posted several comments, but I have not yet had time to get to them).

thekingpin68 said...

425 COMMENTS:

Double LOL.

satire and theology said...

425 COMMENTS:

LOL

thekingpin68 said...

I hope thing$ are looking better for you.

Jeff said...

425 COMMENTS

Yeah, and he left about 20 more which I have not published yet, because I have not had time to get to them yet. And he shows no signs of stopping.

BTW, the Muslim guy ended his comments after over 2 weeks of conversation/debating, and ended up becoming my Facebook friend.

I hope thing$ are looking better for you.

Thanks, Russ. Not yet, but I'm looking hard and trying to find something. That's why I've been busy. The clock is running out, but I just have to keep trusting in the Lord. A friend of mine was joking that, if I have to live under a bridge, he'll have to find out which bridge so he can come and visit me.

thekingpin68 said...

Hey, you were just my Blogger Next Blog...

That has got me into trouble before...

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

Hey, you were just my Blogger Next Blog...

Cool!

That has got me into trouble before...

Should I ask for details?

I've been very busy looking for work, but the past couple days I've been sick, and I think I lost a few pounds and maybe an inch or two from my waist. Unfortunately, it's probably only a temporary loss, and I'll likely gain it back in a few days.

I need to publish a new blog post, but I just haven't had time.