“Think not that I (Jesus) have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. . . . Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these Commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven;” (Gospel-Mathew;5:17-20).
“Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know.”(Bible;Acts;2:22).
“And We caused Jesus, the son of Mary, to follow in the footsteps of those (earlier prophets), confirming the truth of what ever there still remained of the Torah (Law); and We bestowed on him the Gospel wherein there was guidance and a light, confirming the truth of whatever there still remained of the Torah, and as a guidance and admonition unto the God conscious.”(Qur’an;5:46).
Nazareth, the Palestinian city was the home of Mary (Luke;2:39), and here the angel announced to the Virgin Mary the birth of the Messiah (Luke;1:26-28). Name Nazareth, separated, generally supposed to be the Greek form of the Hebrew word netser, a “shoot” or “sprout.” Some, however, think that the name of the city must be connected with the name of the hill behind it, from which one of the finest prospects in Palestine is obtained, and accordingly they derive it from the Hebrew notserah, i.e., one guarding or watching, thus designating the hill which overlooks and thus guards an extensive region.
Nazareth is situated among the southern ridges of Lebanon, on the steep slope of a hill, about 100 Km north of Jerusalem, while Bethlehem was about 8 Km south west of Jerusalem. The main road for traffic between Egypt and the interior of Asia used to pass by Nazareth to Damascus. Jesus grew up at Nazareth from his infancy to manhood (Luke;4:16); and here he began his public ministry in the synagogue (Mthew;13:54), at which the people were so offended that they sought to cast him down from the cliff whereon their city was built (Luke;4:29). Twice they expelled him from their borders (Luke;4:16-29;Mthew;13:54-58); and he finally retired from the city, where he did not many mighty works because of their unbelief (Mthew;13:58), and took up his residence in Capernaum.
Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), the son of Mary was the Messenger of God through His Word which He bestowed on Mary and a Spirit proceeding from Him (spirit as breathed to Adam & every human). He was miraculously born to pious and chaste virgin Marry without father around 6 B.C in Bethlehem in Judea.(Qur’an; 19:16-40, Matthew;1:18-25 & Luke; 1:28-35). God says in Qur’an: “When the angels said “O Mary! God gives you the good news through a Word from Him that you will be given a son: his name will be Messiah, (Jesus Christ) the son of Mary. He will be noble in this world and the Hereafter; and he will be from those who are very close to God.”(Qur’an;3:45). “She said: “O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?” He said: “Even so: God creates what He Wills; whenever He decides to do anything, He only says it to ‘Be’ and it is!”(Qur’an;3:47) similarly Bible narrate, the creation by God through His Word or Command : “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”(Genisis;1:3), “And God said, Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven” .”(Genisis;1:20). “And We made the son of Mary and his mother as a Sign: We gave them both shelter on high ground affording rest and security and furnished with springs”.(Qur’an;23:50). “He (Jesus) said: “I am indeed a servant of God (Abdullah): He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet;” (Qur’an;19:30). “This similitude of Jesus before God is as that of Adam: He created him from dust then said to him: “Be” and he was.”(Qur’an;3:59). According to the Jewish law he was circumcised and taken for presentation at the Temple in Jerusalem (Luke; 2:21-24).
This incidence of angel Gabriel’s visit to Virgin Mary concerning the birth of Jesus has been narrated in “The Gospel of Jesus” according to his disciple Barnabas: “In these last years a virgin called Mary, of the lineage of David, of the tribe of Judah, was visited by the angel Gabriel from God. This virgin, living in all holiness without any offense, being blameless, and abiding in prayer with fasting, being one day alone, there entered into her chamber the angel Gabriel, and he saluted her, saying: ‘God be with thee, O Mary’. The virgin was affrighted at the appearance of the angel; but the angel comforted her, saying: ‘Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God, who hath chosen thee to be mother of a prophet, whom he will send to the people of Israel in order that they may walk in his laws with truth of heart.’ The virgin answered: ‘Now how shall I bring forth sons, seeing I know not a man?’ The angel answered: ‘O Mary, God who made man without a man is able to generate in thee man with- out a man, because with him nothing is impossible.’ Mary answered: ‘I know that God is almighty, therefore his will be done.’ The angel answered: ‘Now be conceived in thee the prophet, whom thou shalt name Jesus: and thou shalt keep him from wine and from strong drink and from every unclean meat, because the child is an holy one of God.’ Mary bowed herself with humility, saying: ‘Behold the handmaid of God, be it done according to thy word.’
The angel departed, and the virgin glorified God, saying: ‘Know, O my soul, the greatness of God, and exult, my spirit, in God my Saviour; for he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden, insomuch that I shall be called blessed by all the nations, for he that is mighty hath made me great, and blessed be his holy name. For his mercy extendeth from generation to generation of them that fear him. Mighty hath he made his hand, and he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of his heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. Him who hath been hungry hath he filled with good things, and the rich he hath sent empty away. For he keepeth in memory the promises made to Abraham and to his son for ever’.”(Barnabas:1).
The Christ (Mashiah):
He is called Jesus of Nazareth, (Nazareth being his place of his abode). The name Jesus is derived from a Greek rendering of the Hebrew name Joshua, or in full Yehoshuah (Yahweh is deliverance). The title Christ is derived from the Greek christos, a translation of the Hebrew mashiakh (anointed one), or Messiah. In the Bible, traditionally the Hebrew kings on accession to power used to be consecrated by a touch with holy oil taken from the Temple. This rite became synonymous with ‘king’. Hence in Judaism, mashiah is the expected king of the Davidic line who would deliver Israel from foreign bondage and restore the glories of its golden age. The Greek translation of the New Testament term, Christos, became the accepted Christian designation and title of Jesus of Nazareth, indicative of the principal character and function of his ministry. More loosely, the term messiah denotes any redeemer figure; and the adjective messianic is used in a broad sense to refer to beliefs or theories about an eschatological improvement of the state of humanity or the world. Thus “Christ” was used by Jesus’ early followers, who regarded him as the promised deliverer of Israel and later was made part of Jesus’ proper name by the church, which started to regard him as the redeemer of all humanity. Jesus’ descent is traced through the family of Armam (Imran; father of Moses) through 10th-century B.C. Prophet and king David (peace be upon him) and great Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) the ancestor of Jews and Muslims. Not much information is available about his life, Matthew alone (Mathew;2:13-23) describes the flight into Egypt, when he as a child was taken out of reach of the Judean king Herod the Great.
The Messenger of God:
Jesus was the Messenger of God, which is mentioned at many places in the Scriptures: “And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honour, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.”(Mark;6:4),“And the crowds said, ‘This is the prophet Jesus of Nazareth of Galilee.”(Matthew;21:11), “They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.”(John;9:17);“He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me. He who receives a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.” (Matthew;10:40-41), Jesus said:” And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” (John;17:3), “Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.” (John;4:34).“So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me; if any man’s will is to do his will, he shall know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.”(John;7:16-17), “So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from? But I have not come of my own accord; he who sent me is true, and him you do not know.”(John;7:28), “So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me: I knew that thou hearest me always, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that thou didst send me.”(John;11:41-42), and “Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.” .”(John;13:16). According to Qur’an: “He (Jesus) said: “I am indeed a servant of God: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet;” (Qura’n;19:30); “And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said, ‘O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of God (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me and giving glad tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmed.’ But when he came to them with clear signs, they said, ‘This is evident sorcery!”(Qur’an; 61:6).
‘Gospel of Jesus’ also mentions him as a Prophet:
The Gospel of Jesus according to Barnabas also mentions Jesus as a Prophet of God, and not His Son:
“Jesus, having received this vision, and knowing that he was a prophet sent to the house of Israel, revealed to Mary his mother, telling her that he needs must suffer great persecution for the honor of God, and that he couldn’t any longer abide with her to serve her.” (Barnabas:10)
“And when he had said this, the crowed drew high, and when they knew him they began to cry out: ‘ Welcome to thee, O our God !’ and they began to do him reverence, as unto God. Whereupon Jesus gave a great groan and said: ‘ Get ye from before me, O mad men, for I fear lest the earth should open and devour me with you for your abominable words!’ Whereupon the people were filled with terror and began to weep.”(Barnabas:92)
“Then Jesus, having lifted his hand in token of silence, said: ‘ Verily ye have erred greatly, O Israelites, in calling me, a man, your God. And I fear that God may for this give heavy plague upon the holy city…..I confess before heaven, ….that I am stranger to all that ye have said; seeing that I am man, born of a mortal woman, subject to the judgment of God, suffering the miseries of eating and sleeping, of cold and heat, like other men,.. Whereupon when God shall come to judge, my words like a sword shall pierce each one (of them) that believe me to be more than a man,” (Barnabas:93)
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