What Did Jesus first preach?
By Sami Zaatari
Christians claim that Jesus is God, that the Gospels teach that he is God, to see if this is true let us go examine what Jesus first preached, what he preached when he began his ministry.
Now before doing so it must be said, that when one begins preaching, when he first starts, he firstly calls people to the most fundamental aspect and most important teaching of all, for instance in Islam we know that all prophets always began their preaching with the most important matter, which is tawhid, basically they all began their preaching by firstly calling people to worship and believe in the one God, this included the prophet Muhammad.
For instance a prophet wouldn't teach his people on how to pray, and how to behave before he taught them what the main core doctrine was, and that they believed it, and acknowledged it. The reason I say all of this is because I want to emphasize the importance of what someone preaches right at the start of his ministry, because always when one begins his ministry he begins with the most important vital matter.
Here is an example, from the hadiths:
Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 93, Number 469:
Narrated Ibn Abbas:
When the Prophet sent Muadh to Yemen, he said to him, "You are going to a nation from the people of the Scripture, so let the first thing to which you will invite them, be the Tauhid of Allah. If they learn that, tell them that Allah has enjoined on them, five prayers to be offered in one day and one night. And if they pray, tell them that Allah has enjoined on them Zakat of their properties and it is to be taken from the rich among them and given to the poor. And if they agree to that, then take from them Zakat but avoid the best property of the people."
So as you can see the prophet sent a companion of his to teach the people of Yemen about Islam, the prophet Muhammad commanded Muadh to firstly teach people about Tawhid, the oneness of God, and that if they accept and believe it, THEN he should start teaching them about praying, fasting and so on. So as you can see, what you first preach and teach is the most important matter of all, it basically encompasses everything else.
So with that said let us see what Jesus started preaching with to his people, and we see this in Matthew chapter 4, which reads:
12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; 13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: 14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (12-17)
So what did Jesus begin his ministry teaching with? I am God worship me! No, Matthew clearly states that Jesus began his preaching by telling the people to repent, and that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, nothing about Jesus being God or worship being given to him!
In fact this is what we would expect Jesus to begin his ministry in, which is calling the people back to repentance, which basically meant that they had to leave their corrupt ways, which was not following the Torah, and making new man-made corrupt laws that suited their desires.
The Jews that Jesus were sent to were mushriks in one sense, they were mushriks because they were following the laws and rulings made by their rabbis and priests over the rulings and laws by god, hence their preists and rabbis effectively became gods. This is precisely why Jesus would begin his ministry by calling people to repent, to leave this corrupt way, to come back to God, to repent back to tawhid, the oneness of God as the Quran says:
YUSUFALI: "'(I have come to you), to attest the Law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was (Before) forbidden to you; I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord. So fear Allah, and obey me.
YUSUFALI: "'It is Allah Who is my Lord and your Lord; then worship Him. This is a Way that is straight.'"
So you see, Jesus told them Allah is their lord and his lord, worship him and that is the straight path, because the Jews had basically gone of this path by taking the rulings and laws from their rabbis instead of God, which basically meant they had strayed of this straight path. And also Jesus came to remind them of the Torah, to confirm it, and abrogate some rulings, he did this because the Jews no longer followed the Torah, they cared not for God's rulings, only the feeble interpretations based on desires by their rabbis and priests.
So it all fits together, and makes perfect sense, we see the Gospel saying Jesus firstly taught the people to repent, but repent back to what? The Quran informs us of this, to return back to the straight path of worshiping God alone, which means to follow all his rulings and laws, because following God's rules and laws is a form of worship. On top of this Jesus reminded the people of the Torah, to repent of their evil ways of disregarding the Torah and not consulting it for laws and rulings (although it was corrupt there was still enough truth in it to perform right and correct rulings over the flimsy false desires of their rabbis).
This is yet another proof that Jesus is NOT God.
And Allah Knows Best!