“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – Jesus
A brief review of the major world religions will show that they all had their respective founders. Judaism was founded by Abraham, Buddhism was founded by Buddha, Islam was founded by Muhammad, Mormonism was founded by Joseph Smith, the Jehovah’s Witnesses were founded by Charles Taze Russell…. and yes, for the sake of remaining politically correct, Christianity was founded by Jesus Christ. In all these religions and their founders, only one founder claims to be more than the others, Jesus Christ. No matter how much the Jews respect and honor Abraham, no one has deluded himself into equating Abraham with God. No matter how protective the Muslims are of Prophet Muhammad’s name and image, they draw the line at equating Muhammad with God. Muhammad is the greatest and the last prophet, but he is not God. Each religious leader and founder points away from himself and towards their respective deities. Only Jesus claims to be God. Only Jesus points to himself and says, “Follow me!”
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.” [Luke 14:26]
So, is Jesus the founder of Christianity in the same sense that others are founders of their respective religions? Or is he more? What makes Jesus so unique? What gives him (and Christians) the audacity to say that Jesus was more than a prophet and that Jesus is God? This claim alone sets Christianity apart from (and, yes, above) all other world religions. Even Jehovah’s Witnesses acknowledge that Jesus died for the sins of mankind, but they refuse to equate him to God. They argue that “Jesus is the greatest Witness of all, inferior to no one except Jehovah Himself.”
The following are a few reasons why Jesus is not the Christian version of Muhammad:
1. Jesus created everything, Muhammad was created after everything.
The Bible, in reference to Jesus, says that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:1-3). Jesus made everything. Muhammad was a man, created like the rest of us, lived, sinned and eventually died like the rest of us. Jesus was the creator of Muhammad. Muhammad was the creation of Jesus.
2. Jesus is the Word of God, Muhammad received the “Word of God.”
Jesus is not the greatest prophet to ever live, He is the subject of all the greatest prophesies. While Muhammad claims to have received a revelation of God’s Word through an angel in a cave, Jesus claimed to be the very Word of God. He claimed to be the Truth about God. While Muhammad was God’s messenger, Jesus was the messenger, the sender and the message all rolled into one.
3. Jesus was not a Christian, Muhammad was a Muslim.
Abraham was the first Jew, Muhammad was the first Muslim, Buddha was the first Buddhist, but Jesus was not the first Christian. The first Christians were the
12 11 disciples. A Christian is a follower of Christ, an adherent to the teachings of Christ, a disciple of Christ. A Christian has been saved by Grace through faith in Christ. A Christian is a justified sinner. Jesus was not a Christian. But Muhammad was a Muslim in every sense of the word.
4. Jesus raised the dead, Muhammad killed the living.
Jesus never killed anyone. No, this does not mean that NOT killing someone is any sign of moral superiority on Jesus’ part. God killed and kills people all the time. People deserve to be killed by God. Jesus would not be breaking any moral law by killing someone. What’s so amazing about the fact that Jesus never killed anyone is what he did instead, he raised the dead. Lazarus, Jairus’ daughter…. Jesus gave people life, Muhammad only took many people’s lives.
5. Jesus was God, Muhammad was man
The Bible says that Jesus is God (John 1:1), Jesus Himself claimed to be one with God (John 14:10-11), and the apostles taught that Jesus was essentially and ontologically God:
“Though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!” [Philippians 2:6-8]
Not only did Muhammad never claim to be God, but he identified himself as a servant. Furthermore, while Jesus claimed to know what the Father knew and to be sent directly from the father, Muhammad’s revelation was through an angel, not from God Himself. (Quran 74:1-5) Only men need mediators in order to communicate with God. Jesus didn’t need one. He was one.
6. Jesus was fully human, Muhammad wasn’t
Jesus never sinned. He was perfect like Adam before the fall. That means he was perfectly human, not inhuman. All human beings after the fall became less than human. To be fully human is to exist and live as God originally intended man to be. If you’re not sure about what I mean, check out this previous post (I’m Only Human… or Am I?). Muhammad on the other hand was a sinner (Quran 40:55; 48:1-2). Not only was he not God, he was not even fully human. He was a fallen man, like the rest of us.
7. Jesus is alive, Muhammad is dead
Jesus was killed, buried, and on the third day He rose from the grave. Muhammad died and stayed dead. Of all the differences between Jesus and Muhammad, this is the most pivotal. For years, many Muslims have claimed that Jesus never died, that He was simply taken away by God. But evidence to the contrary has increasingly shown that Jesus did indeed die.
As Ravi Zacharias aptly puts it, “Perhaps it’s time Muslims stopped asking IF Jesus died and started asking WHY Jesus died.”
No, Jesus is not the Christian Muhammad. Jesus is the creator of everything. Jesus is God. Jesus is the Savior of the world. All roads do not lead to God. Jesus is the only way to God.