April 13, 2021

Would Jesus Criticize the Muslims?

English: Jesus Christ - detail from Deesis mos...
English: Jesus Christ – detail from Deesis mosaic, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What would Jesus reaction be to the varying world religions of the day. Stephen Kingston postulates that Jesus was much more concerned about the hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders than in attacking the Samaritan or heathen religions, but why is that? I would suggest that it is not the fact that they are indeed apart from Christ and in the wrong, but because of His mission and to whom He was here to minister.

Taken as a whole, the Bible mostly details Christ’s dealings with the Jewish people– His chosen people. It briefly mentions the beginning of the Arab population, and makes reference to other peoples, but always in the context of Israel being God’s chosen people. There is discussion of how the Jews would be a light to the Gentiles, but it was always the Jewish people that God said He loved.

When Christ appeared on the Earth, He was focused on the Jews. He made few comments at all about the Gentiles. Render unto Caesar was one of the more famous discourses. However, you do see Him ministering to Gentiles– but rarely. In one case, a woman has to beg and basically call herself a dog eating scraps in order to get Jesus to heal her loved one.

So, I find it hard to jump to the conclusion that because Jesus rails more on the Jewish leaders than on the Arabs or Gentiles that that means He somehow places more emphasis on hypocrisy. Jesus ignored those besides His chosen people even when He ministered! Perhaps we should follow this example and ignore those that are not Christian that are in pain or in need!

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7 thoughts on “Would Jesus Criticize the Muslims?

  1. When trying to foil counterfeiters, do you take out newspaper and TV ads that tell people what they already know–counterfeiting is wrong!? No, you concentrate on the real thing and making it harder to counterfeit. That’s what Jesus was doing during his ministry, working on the real thing because it went without saying that the false religions were just that, false.

    Today, Jesus wouldn’t just have heresies within Judaism to contend with. He would be dealing with a pervasive thought process that attempts to make all religion or lack thereof equal in moral authority. Therefore, Jesus would be working on the Church, making sure that it knows the truth. Perhaps that would require him to teach why other religions, including Islam, are false. But would he be directly involved in apologetic debates with Muslims? I doubt it.

  2. I guess the difference between then and now, to me, would be that the Muslims have taken the Christian faith and added to it. For example, Muslims believe that Jesus Himself is one of their prophets. I would think that He would have to address this claim.

    Certainly you are right, Jesus did not go around to Caananite and Roman gods proving himself to each of them, but in the same vein, His actions were that of God and demonstrated his power.

    I certainly would expect Him to maintain His statement that He is Way, Truth, and Life and the only way to the Father.

  3. Chris, there was a case of Jesus involving himself in apologetic debate with a Samaritan woman, so I think he might do so with a Muslim in such a situation. But what I don’t think he would do is rail against the hypocrisy of Islam – at least, not in the Christian church.

    That was what my piece was trying to say. I think you are right to point out that Jesus was working on the real thing. Indeed, in many ways his ministry was of great eschatological significance, but he left it to Paul to develop a Christian theology.

    MiN: I agree that Jesus would have maintained he was the way, the truth and the life. I am not saying we should be taking a line of moral equivalence, where we water down Christ’s message. But look at how Jesus’ ministry was different in his approach to Zacchaeus. Instead of condemning tax collectors for their working with the Romans, or for their propensity to skim the profits on the taxes or whatever, he simply treated Zacchaeus as a needy friend.

  4. I agree that His debates would likely be limited to personal, or one on one debates. As opposed to creating an anti-Islamic organization. There would be no reason for Him to rail against Islamic hypocrisy because He knows any false religion will stink of hypocrisy. What He would rail against is the tendency of people within “Christiandom” to buy into the worldly idea that all religions are equal paths to gOd.

  5. I agree with you Chris– he would definitely have something to say against pluralism.

    Stephen– I think you highlight an important truth that we tend to overlook– the way in which we deal with non-believers is important. Instead of seeing people as lost and in need of a Savior, we tend to shy away. Now, I think that there always has to be (and that Jesus would take a) strong stance against a religion that was leading others astray– be they other polythesitc, atheistic or flavors of Christianity that do not preach the Gospel of Christ. But you’re right, we’re here to spread the good news, and that news meets people where they are: In sin with a need for a Savior.

  6. “Jesus ignored those besides His chosen people even when He ministered! Perhaps we should follow this example and ignore those that are not Christian that are in pain or in need!”

    I must admit the final sentence really surprised me. Especially considering Christ himself said:

    There is only one love that loves unconditionally – the love of the Divine.

    Unconditional love would no doubt include empathy and a desire to help those suffering and in need. If God can love sinners, he can certainly love heathens. Please, correct me if I’m mistaken, but it seems to me like you don’t believe this applies to all His people (The Human Race) but only to those who are Christian in name.

    1. In context, my last sentence is arguing the absurd. Jesus’ ministry was primarily to the Jews, and did not involve many Gentiles directly– the Canaanite woman and the Centurion as exceptions. My point was a direct response to the article referenced at the beginning, and the answer to the question is “of course not.”

      Jesus came unto His own, and His own received Him not. After the Jewish people rejected Him, He turned and went unto the Gentiles. Even Paul started with the Jews and then went to the Gentiles.

      However, I believe it would be wrong, now, to simply minister to the Christians– we should be ministering to all.

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