Monday, June 14, 2010

Jesus Interprets the Law: A Message for Muslims

Wise people heed their consciences and learn from their own experiences, and from these, they seek to interpret good rules for their lives. Even wiser are those who consider the experiences, ideas and teachings of others as well. But the wisest people of all are those who obey the words of God’s prophets. According to Islam, Jesus is one of God’s prophets. And His rules for life are true for everyone.

The Qur’an teaches that certain things that were forbidden before would now be permitted. Jesus would settle the arguments people had about certain behavior. To prove his teaching was from God, Jesus performed many miracles. They were signs that his message was true. Jesus urged people to fear and worship God and to obey Jesus’ teachings. (Sura 3:49b-51; 43:63-64)

The Bible, which is my authority in matters of faith, agrees that Jesus confirmed God’s law. Jesus said:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)

The Bible agrees that Jesus permitted things that were once forbidden. Religious people often consider certain foods clean and lawful to eat, but they believe other foods are unclean and unlawful to eat. Jesus relaxed such laws. Jesus said:

"Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'? For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean.")" (Mark 7:18b-19)

Religious people often have very exact laws about fasting. When people complained that Jesus’ disciples ate during the times when people were supposed to fast, Jesus answered:

"How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast." (Mark 2:19-20)

In this way Jesus suspended the laws about fasting for those who were with Him.

Religious people often celebrate special holy days. The Jewish people called the last day of each week their Sabbath. It was a holy day and no one was to work on the Sabbath. When Jesus healed people on the Sabbath, they accused Him of breaking God’s law by working. Once Jesus healed a crippled woman on the Sabbath.

"Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, "There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath." The Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?" (Luke 13:14-16)

Thus Jesus declared that it is right to do good to others on the Sabbath.

In many religions, certain places are considered sacred. Several times every year, Jewish people were required to offer sacrifices and worship at the temple in Jerusalem. The Samaritan people, who only accepted the first five books of the Bible as God’s Word, believed they should worship God on the mountain where Moses worshipped instead of going to the temple.

Once, a Samaritan woman challenged Jesus about which place was the correct one to go to for worship. Jesus solved this argument between Samaritans and Jews by saying:

"…true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth…God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4:23b-24)

In other words, true worship is not done because you are in a temple or on a mountain. True worship is spiritual without pretense and can be done anywhere.

Jesus confirmed God’s laws, but freed people from the rules of clean and unclean foods. He freed people from rules about fasting and rules about holy days and holy places. He taught that true worship is not obedience to outward customs and ceremonies at specific places. True worship is spiritual. It comes from the heart.

(Most of the above information is from "Jesus Gives Peace: Jesus In The Qur'an and the Bible," written by Yusuf Abdallah)

10 comments:

thekingpin68 said...

Good to see you 'embrace' the FIFA WC on FB.

Not a fantastic tourney so far, and my picks are suffering due to underachieving clubs.

thekingpin68 said...

'Wise people heed their consciences and learn from their own experiences...'

No kidding.:)

satire and theology said...

'Jesus confirmed God’s laws, but freed people from the rules of clean and unclean foods. He freed people from rules about fasting and rules about holy days and holy places.'

A new covenant.

Luke 22: 20

Hebrews 8-12

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

Good to see you 'embrace' the FIFA WC on FB.

Yeah, trying to use it as a witnessing tool.

Not a fantastic tourney so far, and my picks are suffering due to underachieving clubs.

Sorry. A Facebook Friend is ecstatic, as her team is Germany (though she lives in the UK).

'Wise people heed their consciences and learn from their own experiences...'

No kidding.:)


Yes, well, the article is in a simplistic style, with hopes of reaching an audience in the Middle East, or Third World countries, and not especially targeted for people in the West. Of course, it would be a limited audience, because such people do not often have computers or Internet access.

Jeff said...

satire and theology,

'Jesus confirmed God’s laws, but freed people from the rules of clean and unclean foods. He freed people from rules about fasting and rules about holy days and holy places.'

A new covenant.

Luke 22: 20

Hebrews 8-12


A good addition to complement the article.

Thanks, Russ.

thekingpin68 said...

Thanks, Jeff.

Many secular critics criticize Christianity because of the laws of the Old Testament.

They fail to see that there is a New Covenant and the Mosaic law has been reinterpreted.

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

Thanks, Jeff.

Many secular critics criticize Christianity because of the laws of the Old Testament.

They fail to see that there is a New Covenant and the Mosaic law has been reinterpreted.


Yes. For exactly, the author of "Son of Hamas," an ex-terrorist who came to Christ, said that, when he was still a Muslim, a Christian gave him a Bible, and he read it. He said that the words "forgive your enemies" hit him hard, because he had never heard this idea before. It took him a long time after that, comparing the Qur'an to the Bible, and studying both intently, because it was no simple or easy choice to make, but after a long, hard road, he finally came out of darkness and into the light, and accepted Christ Jesus as his Lord, God, Master and Savior. The Qur'an has many concepts from the Old Testament in it, but as far as the New Covenant teachings, those are not there.

Jeff said...

Sorry, I need to correct myself: the author of "Son of Hamas" was not actually a terrorist himself, because he was not involved in the military aspect of Hamas. He was, however, 2nd to the top as far as being involved in the political aspect of it. So he celebrated and cheered and rejoiced over all the terrorist acts, but he was not personally involved in such acts. I base this info on several videos I watched where he was being interviewed.

thekingpin68 said...

Please note, if (and that is a big if) you are watching the World Cup, many of the top teams such as England, France, Italy, Spain and Brazil have underachieved so far.

But at least Brazil won their first and only game so far.

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

Please note, if (and that is a big if) you are watching the World Cup, many of the top teams such as England, France, Italy, Spain and Brazil have underachieved so far.

But at least Brazil won their first and only game so far.


Interesting.

Even my Facebook Friend whose favorite team is Germany was not happy with the score several hours ago.

I have not been watching, but on the local Christian radio station, one of the DJs/hosts loves watching it, and he feels strange/odd/like an alien, because none of his friends cares about soccer/football/futbol. He had to bribe his wife into watching a full 90 minutes with him, and he said that he would do anything she asked, if only she would watch one game with him. He even called her at home on the phone, over the radio, as a public proclamation that he would do anything she asked in exchange. He was shocked that all she asked was to take care of the kids while she went and used the free coupon to get a massage or something, which he had given her as a gift several months ago. He saw that as a bonus, not a punishment, but she saw it as time off to herself.