ISLAM'S OBJECTION TO JESUS BEING THE PROPHET OF DEUT. 18:15
The Muslim claim is that Mohammed is the prophet spoken of by Moses in Deut.18. “I will raise up a prophet like you from among the brethren and will put my words in his mouth and he shall speak them all that I command.” There are a number of reasons from the Muslims perspective that they discount this Scripture as a reference to Jesus.
1) The promised prophet was to be a law giving prophet…saying that Jesus did not claim to give a new law.
2) The prophet was to be raised from among the Ishmaelite's, however, the Bible clearly states from among their own brethren, the Jewish people, Jesus was a Jew.
3) God will put his words in his mouth. The Muslims claim the Gospels are not the words of Jesus. They are instead the story of Jesus, what he said in public, and what the disciples said or did on different occasions.
Contrary to what they say, the Gospels are the words of Jesus that He claimed were from the Father who is God, Jn.14:24, 17:8. They were spoken by Him and accurately recorded by those who traveled with Him. As His closest friends He entrusted them with the task to record them for all humanity.
4) The Christian view is that Jesus was more than a prophet, but the Son of God, Muslims refuse this because of their misunderstanding of His title, the nature of His person and His ministry. They interpret begotten as literal and that God sired a son (Prov.30:4; Isa.9:6; Micah 5:2; Jn.1:18.)
Muslims point out the similarities between Mohammed and Moses to prove that it is their prophet who is the biblical fulfillment of Deut.18. The first proof is the fact that they both appear among idolaters. Both were lawgivers that were rejected by their own people. Both went into exile returning later to lead the nations. In addition to this, both were military and spiritual leaders for the people. There may be other similarities, none of which could not also be found relative to other religious leaders in other religions. While this seems to satisfy the Muslim into having confidence of their prophet, further Biblical inquiry makes this a house of straw.
Concerning the claim that Jesus never gave a new law is thoroughly refuted in Jn.13:34, 15:12, and Gal.6:2. Jesus says “ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you…bear one another's burdens and fulfill the law of Christ. In 1 John 3:23, he writes “And this is the commandment that we should believe on the name of his son Jesus Christ and love one another.
The prophecy of Deut.18 explains “from among the brethren”, which according to the Muslims, does not refer to the Israelites but to the Ishmaelites. One only has to look into the Scriptures to see how the term “brethren” is used. In Deut.17:15, Moses instructs the Israelite people saying, “You shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord God chooses, one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you, you may not set a foreigner over you who is not a brother.”
Israel never appointed a foreigner to rule over them, especially an Ishmaelite. To choose from among the brethren meant one had to come from one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
In answering the other objections of the gospel records not consisting of the words of Jesus or that Jesus did not speak the word from God, this is either poor reading, or intentional neglect. John 12:49 says “For I have not spoken on my own authority but the Father who sent Me gave Me the command what I should say and what I should speak.” John 17;8 ‘For I have given them the words You have given Me and they have received them and have known that I have come forth from You and believed You Have sent Me. 1 John 1:3 John testifies, “that which we have seen and heard we declare to you.”
When a Muslim comes to the scripture, he comes with a preconceived notion, operating from unbelief. Because if the Koran says something and the Bible contradicts it, then it is the Bible that is considered corrupted. Our ancient Scrolls of the New Testament predate all of the Koran’s writings by 300+ years. They give an accurate representation of the original writings (autographs). Mohammed used to say to the Christians of his day “Go and look at your Bible, your Bible will tell you what I am saying is true.” Yet today we have the same Bible that Mohammed was pointing to then. It has not changed, so why is there such a conflict, not only in these areas, but in so many other crucial teachings? There were no Arabic translations when Mohammed was alive, so because of his inaccuracies the Muslim will believe and trust in the Torah before anything in the New Testament. To make an impact, one needs to use the Old Testament record as the basis before the New Testament. They will receive the prophets since they believe the line cannot be broken. Their claim that only false prophets are stoned is quickly proven wrong with the Biblical record. Jesus said He must continue to Jerusalem, “for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside Jerusalem” (Lk.13:33). “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! When one looks at the Biblical record it was the true prophets that were killed not the false prophets that the people loved to hear (Mt.23:37) (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah). It was mostly the false prophets that gathered people around them. Let’s compare what Jesus did and said with Mohammed to see who is that one that would be sent. In Luke 24:44 on the road to Emmaus Jesus speaks these words to two disciples He met on the way, “These words which I spoke to you while I was still with you that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses concerning me.” In Jn.5:46 Jesus scolds the people saying, “If you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me, but if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” From these Scriptures alone we see Jesus not only claimed to be a prophet, but the very one Moses spoke of. Yet it’s one thing to lay claim to this, it is another to prove it by his deeds.
While there are some similarities Mohammed shared with Moses’ life, there are even more differences. This is where the waters part. For example, Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians (Acts 7:22). We find Mohammed is believed by almost all Muslims to be illiterate. They use this as a strong point of God using someone without an education. Moses received his revelation direct from God speaking to him first and with God’s own finger writing the commandments on stone tablets. Mohammed received his revelation from the Angel Gabriel while on the ground having convulsions according to their own sources. It is a fact that even Mohammed questioned what was the source thinking it was jinn.
There are more similarities between Moses and Jesus than Mohammed and Jesus. Moses and Jesus were both Jewish, which corresponds to the term brethren in Deut.18. They both left Egypt to bring deliverance to their own people. “Out of Egypt I have called my son.” (Israel being the national son of God and Jesus being the eternal Son of God.) Both forsook riches to identify with their people. (Heb.11:26, 2 Cor.8:9). Instead Mohammed took riches in his conquering the people. One of the keys to identifying this prophet of Deut.18;15-18 is in Deut.34:10-11, “Since there has not risen a prophet like Moses whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt before pharaoh, before all his servants and in all the land.”
First we see that Moses had a unique relationship to God more than any other man. Mohammed could never claim this, but Jesus could. Jn.1:1 tells us He was there as the Word from the beginning, He was with God (Toward Him, face to face in relationship) and was God. Jn.1:18 tells us He was in a special place in relation to the Father, the greatest place of endearment (His bosom signifying closeness). This same person, the Word, was made flesh Jn.1:14. One of the major characteristics of this prophet is that He would have a relationship like Moses, this can only mean Jesus, since He stated no one knows the Father except he who is from him and no one knows the Son except the Father. Moses performed many signs and wonders even saving the entire nation from the pursuit of their Egyptian enemies. Mohammed on the other hand had no signs or miracles to validate his claim of being the prophet. Yet this is required from the Old Testament law. When asked why don’t you perform miracles like the other prophets did He responded this is my miracle the Koran. So the Koran is the only claim to a miracle by Mohammed.
Even the Koran mentions Jesus miracles though they claim some were performed from his cradle (Sura 3:49, 19:29-34) and also as a child of five years of age. Both of these accounts are parallel to two Apocryphal books, the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of his infancy. Neither is found in the New Testament which clearly states his first miracle occurred at the wedding feast of Cana.[this is the beginning of signs Jn.2:11]. In this way these and other portrayals of Jesus Islam presents is not the same as the Bibles. Now that we have looked at Moses and Mohammed lets look at a list of parallels between Moses and Jesus. For there is a consistent typology in Moses showing what the Messiah would be like.
(1) Both Moses and Jesus were born when Israel was under bondage (Moses in Egypt Ex.1:8,10, and Jesus during Israel's Roman bondage. Mt.2:1,Lk.2:1-2)
(2) Edicts were issued by the gentile powers of both Pharaoh and Herod for their death at birth. (Ex.2:3, Mt.2:15)
(3) Both were miraculously delivered from death during their infancy from their enemies of Israel (Ex.2:3, Lk.2:7;Mt 2:14,15) and were preserved in childhood.
(4) Both had been born and found in unusual places. Moses was found in the water floating in a basket of bulrushes (Ex.2:3) Jesus in a manger (cave) wrapped in burial cloths (Lk.2:7) (5) Both Moses and Jesus were protected and preserved by the faith of their parent. Moses was hidden by faith (Ex.2:2-3 and Heb.11:23) Jesus’ life was preserved by his parents obeying the message in a dream. (Mt.2:13-14)
(6) Both Moses and Jesus stayed safely in Egypt for a time. Moses (Ex.2:10) Jesus dwelt safely in Egypt (Mt.2:14-15)
(7) Both had their brethren and family speak against them. Moses had Mariam and Aaron speak against him taking a Cushite wife (Numb.12:1) Jesus had his family criticize and reject him (Mt.13:54-57, Jn.7:3)
(8) Both Moses and Jesus were reared in the house that was not their natural parents. (Moses in the house of Pharaoh (Ex.2:10) Jesus by Mary the mother of his humanity and his stepfather Joseph.
(9) Both predicted Israel's history (Deut.28:15-28; Mt.23:34,24:1,2,8,34)
(10) Both spoke out against Israel's enemies and persecutors. (Deut.23:3-4; Mt.25:41-48)
(11) Both were considered a snare to Israel (Ex10:7; 1Pt.2:8=Isa.8:14)
(12) Both cleansed leprosy. From Moses’ time no one that was Jewish was cleansed until Jesus came (Numb.12:10-16, Mk.1:40-41). This is a very significant factor that proves Jesus was the prophet Moses spoke of, since no other cured one of the brethren of this disease from Moses' time.
(13) Both were used of God to feed Israel miraculously, Moses with manna in the wilderness (Ex.16:14-17) Jesus with the five loaves and two fish fed four and five thousand two times. (Mt.14:19-21) Jesus also called himself the true manna that came from heaven in Jn.6, comparing himself to the miracle that sustained Israel alive through the desert.
(14) Both had the forces of nature obey them (the seas) Moses (Ex.14:21-22) Jesus (Mt.8:26-27)
(15) Each had seventy helpers Moses (Num.11:16-17) Jesus ( Lk.10:1).
(16) Both fasted 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness to bring a covenant to Israel. Moses on the top of Mt. Sinai (Ex.24:18, 34:28, Deut.9:9) Jesus in the desert as the Son of God (Mt.4:2)
(17) Both had a face to face relationship with God unlike any other person. Moses (Ex.33:9-11, Deut.34:10; Numb.12:7-8) Jesus was with God=face to face from eternity (Jn.1:1,18)
(18) God spoke audibly and directly from heaven to both Moses and Jesus. Moses (Ex.20:22, 24:12-16) Jesus (Mt.3:17; Jn.12:28)
(19) Both were God's spokesman to and for the people. Moses (Ex.9:35; Numb.12:2) Jesus (Heb.1:1-3). They Spoke as oracles of God (Moses Deut. 18:18) Jesus (Jn.14:24, 5:24)
(20) Both Moses and Jesus reflected and shown the glory of God. Moses reflected his glory temporarily. (Ex.34:29-35; 2 Cor.3:7-14) Jesus at the transfiguration, his face shown brighter than the sun revealing his true nature (Mt.17:2; Jn.1:14)
(21) Both were known for their humility and meekness as God's servants. Moses (Numb.12:3) Jesus (Mt.11:29; Phil.2:3-8)
(22) Both contended with masters of deception and darkness Moses with Pharaohs magicians (Ex 7:11, 1 Tim.3:8) Jesus with the Devil (Mt 4:1).
(23) Both prayed for the people intercessory prayers and were willing to bear the consequences of the people's sins. Moses asked to be blotted out of the book of life for the peoples sake (Ex.32:32-33). Jesus asked for them to be kept from falling away (Jn. 17:9-17). Jesus asked for those to be forgiven while he bore the consequences in their stead. (Lk.23:34, 2 Cor.5:19, 1 Pt.2:21-24, Isa.53:8)
(25) Both Moses and Jesus were rejected by their own brethren for a time and accepted by the gentiles. Moses (Ex.2:14-22, 32:1) Jesus was rejected by his own people and received by another who were not his own. (Isa.53:3; Mt.12:21; Mk.6:4; Lk.20:9-17, Rom.11:20)
(26) Both Moses and Jesus established a priesthood. Moses began the Aaronic priesthood which was temporary under the law (Lev.9; Numb.8:20-26; Heb.9:19-22). Jesus established a eternal priesthood under the new covenant of grace which He alone functions as the high priest forever. (Heb.7:17,19,23,25-28; 9:12)
(27) Both sprinkled the blood of the covenant on the altar and the people. Moses (Ex.24:7-8; Lev.8:19) Jesus (Heb.9,12:24; 1Pt.1:2)
(28) Both were sent by God to reveal His name, person and law to the people. To Moses God said to tell them I Am sent you. (Ex.3:13-14) Jesus said God sent him as his exact representative revealing his name (I Am) and nature to the people. (Jn.8:42; 17:6,11-12; Col.2:9; Heb.1:3)
(29) Both were involved in giving the covenant to the people Jn.1:17 the law came through Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” At the feast of Pentecost Moses gave the law. At the feast (Pentecost) in the new covenant Jesus gave the Holy Spirit (Acts 2).
(30) Both brought deliverance to the Jewish people. Those who followed Moses out of the bondage of slavery to Egypt. (Ex.3:7-8,10;12:31-33,42) Jesus brought people out of a greater bondage, slavery to sin. (Rom.3:24-25,6:6-7,8:2-4; Eph.1:7;Heb.9:26)
(31) Both had an angel guard their graves. After Moses died Michael the Arch-angel guarded his body. (Jude 9) And when Jesus rose an angel guarded his tomb. (Mt.26:2-6)
(32) Both re-appeared after they died, Moses ( Mt 17:3 with Jesus before his death) Jesus (Acts 1:3)
In no way is this an exhaustive comparison. Through the parallels of persons, ministries, attitudes and miracles, it is clear Mohammed falls short of all of these to be qualified as the one Moses spoke of. While the Muslim continues to persist in calling the Scripture corrupted, it is these same Scriptures they use to point to their prophet Mohammed as the fulfillment of Deut.18. It is these same Scriptures that speak of the prophets, including Jesus. If one looks at the testimony of the prophets and God who cannot lie, we find the true witness. In Jn.5:39 Jesus says, “You search the Scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life and these are they that testify of me. Vs.46.“If you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me, but if you do not believe his writings, how will believe my words.” Something to seriously consider.
In the Gospel of John that the Jews were anticipating the prophet who would come. Muslims say there were three prophecies, the first was the coming of Christ. The second was the coming of Elijah. The third was the coming of the Prophet. They point to three questions that were posed to John the Baptist: “Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you? “He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” (John 1:19-21) Johns denials do not answer who Jesus is, only who John is not.
If we cross reference Johns account with Mt.16:14 it adds Jeremiah the weeping prophet Because he was broken, he was a man of sorrows. Jesus asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matt 16:13-16)In Jn.1:45 Philip found Nathaniel and said to him. “We have found him of whom the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth the son of Joseph.” After Jesus spoke to him Nathaniel confessed he was the son of God, the king of Israel. ”
After Jesus did another miracle and fed thousands “Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world” (John 6:14). As Jesus explained the giving of the Holy Spirit, “many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet ”(John 7:40).Christ is that prophet, there is no other to come.
Both Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus on the Mount of his transfiguration when Jesus revealed his glory to his closest disciples.(Lk.9:31) Moses, who represented the law, and Elijah, who represented the prophets appeared after their death to those who believed in their writings. Both stood with Jesus discussing His soon coming death and engaging in His high priestly role. They testified, along with the Father of His being God's Only Son and ultimate revealer of his person. God's glory physically appeared as it did in the Old Testament, and God speaks from heaven declaring out loud Jesus to be His Son, saying, “hear him only.” There is no greater witness than Almighty God. By the testimony of two or more witnesses the truth is established all the law and prophets testify of the Son (Lk.24:47). It was Jesus' closest disciples that later wrote of him. Peter says referring back to this event that they were eyewitnesses to his majesty. (1Pt.1:16) Later Peter, in his sermon at the gate beautiful at the temple in Acts 3:21-26 said, Moses pointed to Jesus as the prophet of Deuteronomy 18.
Acts 3:22 "For Moses truly said to the fathers, 'The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. ‘And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ "Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days. "You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. "’To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities." It is just as Jesus said, "unless you believe I am, you will die in your sins."
The Muslim must deal with the testimony of those that they themselves respect and believe. God cannot lie, he says he has a son who is the final revelator of his person. (Prov.30:4, Ps.2, Isa.9:6, Mic.5:2 Heb.1:2)
Jesus’ words still ring true today to those like Thomas that want proof. “Because you have seen me you have believed, blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”