Jesus sends Prophets?
Shamoun has come out with a partial ?rebuttal' to some of my arguments made in the following article:
I recommend all readers to visit that article of mine to see the proof that Jesus is NOT God, but rather a messenger, prophet, and the Messiah.
In my article I argued that Jesus just like all other prophet's was sent by God, on top of that I argued that just like all other prophet's Jesus was sent to a specific nation, and that just like all other prophets Jesus was persecuted as they were. Here are the relevent passages:
Mat 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, [thou] that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under [her] wings, and ye would not!
Jhn 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
So notice just like other prophets Jesus is a) sent by God b) sent to a specific nation c) persecuted like others.
Shamoun contends that I was taking Matthew 23:37 out of context, because if one were to read it in context, one would read the following, and I quote Shamoun:
This leads us to our next point. Particularly troubling is Zaatari's citation of Matthew 23:37 since he again didn't bother providing the very immediate context to his readers where Jesus says that he actually sends out prophets to the nation!
"Therefore I SEND YOU PROPHETS and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechari'ah the son of Barachi'ah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly, I say to you, all this will come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I HAVE GATHERED your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ?Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'" Matthew 23:34-39
What is troubling is that Shamoun has a reading comprehension problem, had he bothered to read what I wrote, he would have understood the argument, since he didn't get it the first time, maybe he will get it on try two:
Now this verse does not mention Jesus being sent, however so it mentions other prophets who were sent to Jerusalem for the Jews. What is interesting about this passage is that Jesus mentions the prophets. He mentions prophets who were sent, and mentions prophets who were sent for a specific group of people. What is interesting is that Jesus himself is in the exact similar position, he was sent, and he was sent to a specific group of people hence we see the exact similarity between Jesus and the other prophets. Not only that, but the Jews stoned the other prophets, the Jews also tried to stone Jesus. Hence from this we already have enough proof that Jesus is a prophet, and just like all other prophets Jesus is sent, and sent to a specific group of people.
Now do you get it? My whole point was to show the common similarities between Jesus and the other prophets, to establish my case that Jesus was a prophet, like all other prophets, being sent, and being persecuted.
Now what about the context of Matthew 23:34-49, where Jesus says he will send prophets and wise men and scribes, does this make Jesus divine because he also sends prophets and wise men just like God does? The answer is a simple no, Shamoun has YET AGAIN quoted his Gospels out of context, Shamoun claims I do not bother about context, yet it would be good if he followed his own advice. Had Shamoun followed his own advice then he would learn the following:
-Jesus is given power and authority by God:
John 17:6-8: I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me
Jhn 13:3: Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
Matthew 28:18: And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power IS GIVEN unto me in heaven and in earth.
So the Gospels make it clear that Jesus is not all powerful, rather the authority and power he does have, is from God, not from himself. Hence when Jesus sends prophets, we know that he does not send them due to a divine authority Jesus has, rather we know that God has BLESSED Jesus and allowed him to have such an authority, it is by God's grace, mercy, and will that Jesus is given such power.
The book of Acts teaches this:
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:
Furthermore, the Gospels teach that before Jesus performed miracles, he would look up to heaven, and he would pray, hence he is asking God for the miracle. For more details visit this link:
So we know that Jesus asks God of these things, we further know that according to the Gospel of John that Jesus is going back to heaven, and will be in God's presence, on his right hand:
Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (john 16:10)
I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. (John 16:28)
And also from the Gospel of Mark we are told that Jesus sits at the right hand of God:
So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. (16:9)
And again in the book of Acts:
So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. (Acts 2:33)
So let us now put everything together:
-Everything that Jesus has is from God
-This includes the mighty miracles and teachings
-Jesus was given the right and authority to perform mighty deeds, it was a blessing
-Jesus did not own the power; he is not all-mighty
-Jesus would pray and ask God for the miracle before he performed it
-Jesus according to the NT is in heaven in the presence of God
-He is sitting at the right hand of God
One can safely say that since Jesus is in God's presence, he can ask for God to send a messenger, or a prophet, and God will fulfil the request of his blessed servant. If Jesus used to ask of things from God while he was on earth, and would receive them, then why any different in heaven in the very presence of God?
You put all of the above together, which is the context of the Gospels, and the context of Jesus, and you are left with no God man Jesus, you are left with blessed servant prophet Messiah man Jesus!
So much for Shamoun and context.
Shamoun then brings up some silly arguments, which shows his inability to grasp the arguments:
The second problem with Zaatari's statements is that he assumes that since God sent prophets and also sent Jesus this automatically proves that Jesus is a Prophet like the rest. The problem here is that, according to the Holy Bible, God also sent angels and the Holy Spirit from heaven
And what exactly is your point? Did I deny that? I am a Muslim, I believe in angels as well, and I believe that angels including the Holy Spirit Gabriel are sent down by the command of God. So what exactly is Shamoun's point?
Number two, it seems you cannot follow my arguments now can you? My point was just like other prophets Jesus is SENT, AND, get it? AND, the AND part, you see it dont you? good, now follow along, Jesus just like other prophets is SENT by God, just like other prophets he is SENT to a specific people, just like other prophets he is PERESECUTED like them. So my goal is to show Jesus is the same as other prophets, there is nothing special and divine about him, he is like the other prophets.
Shamoun then asks a very silly Q:
how does Zaatari know that Jesus is not a preexistent Angel, perhaps Gabriel, or even the Holy Spirit himself whom God sent from heaven? Why does he assume that since God sent Jesus he must therefore be a prophet when God also sent angels and the Holy Spirit?
These questions are based on Shamoun's inability to grasp the arguments, hence he sadly goes into what is called straw-mans.
First of all, according to BOTH the Bible and the Quran, Jesus is a prophet, hence there is no need for guess-work. Secondly, the argument is not that since Jesus is sent, therefore he is a prophet, this is a straw man. The argument is that Jesus is a prophet from the start, no contention, however so, JUST LIKE OTHER PROPHETS, Jesus is like them in all major aspects, there is nothing unique about him that makes him God, or divine! That is the argument which Shamoun does not seem to get:
Jesus: prophet sent by God
Jesus: sent to a specific nation
Jesus: oppressed by the bad guys
Prophet: a prophet
Prophet: sent by God
Prophet: sent to a specific nation
Prophet: oppressed by his people
Jesus and other prophets: SAME SAME! Had Jesus been divine, you would have expected him to send himself, rather he did not, and I even argued this in my INITIAL article:
So it is crystal clear that Jesus was sent, HE DID NOT SEND HIMSELF. So JUST LIKE ALL other prophets Jesus is sent, and he is sent to a specific group of people. So this in itself is enough to show that Jesus is indeed a prophet, for prophets are sent by God to do a job just like Jesus said. If Jesus indeed was God he would have sent himself, not let someone send him.
It is Shamoun and his fellow Christians who go on to say that Jesus is more than a prophet, in Shamoun's very own response to me he writes:
no educated and informed Christian denies that Jesus is a Prophet of God. What we deny is that Jesus was nothing more than a Prophet
Exactly, and the aim of the initial article's first point was to show that Jesus was like all other prophets, nothing divine about him, nothing to make you Christians say ?well you see he is more than a prophet' rather what I showed should make you Christians say ?wow, Jesus is like the other prophet's, he is no different, he is no more than that, he is not divine, I have now seen the light!'
Common Shamoun, you know this is the truth, take the Shahada and become a Muslim, and let us go debate and crush down all falsehoods. :)
And Allah Knows Best!
Did Jesus actually send prophets?
Now in the above it has been asserted by Shamoun that Jesus sends prophets according to these passages:
Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. (Matthew 23:34-39)
Shamoun asserts that it is Jesus who does the sending, now even if that were true, it still wouldn't make Jesus God as we saw above.
Now the Q we have to ask is this: Does Jesus actually send prophets? Well when one studies the context, the answer is no, rather what Jesus is doing is QUOTING GOD, he is not speaking from himself. This is made quite clear from the following passage:
Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation. (Luke 11:49-51)
This is the same saying as Matthew 23, yet over here we are told that it is the Wisdom of God that said the following. So in reality Jesus is not speaking from himself, rather he is quoting God, the wisdom of God as he says, and it is quite simple, the wisdom of God is God's word and teachings. Some Christians say that Jesus is the wisdom of God, yet that doesn't make any sense as Jesus refers to the wisdom of God as something separate and distinct from himself, and on top of that Christians say that Jesus is the wisdom of God simply to make it fit with Matthew 23, yet it is the other way round, Matthew 23 fits with Luke 11 and the true context is now given, which is Jesus quoting God.
And Allah Knows Best!