“And you will be My witness…” (Acts 1:8)
When having dialogue with a Muslim friend or acquaintance, it will be important to remember that Jesus is Islam’s second major prophet. He stands directly behind Muhammad, and they call Him – Isa. They will not be offended if you honor Him in your discussions, and in fact, they will usually be pleased to talk about Him.
Jesus’ uniqueness will normally be of interest to most Muslims, so you can point out why you exalt Him and personally trust Him to be your Savior. You can begin by explaining that nowhere in the Bible nor in the Koran does Jesus ever pray for forgiveness. Both Abraham and King David did ask for forgiveness, as did the other prophets; however, Jesus never did. Why? Because as John the Baptist declared He was, “…the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)
Jesus never prayed for forgiveness because He was God’s perfect spotless Lamb. He had no sins to confess. Even Pilot washed his hands saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person.” (Matthew 27:24) In John 8:46 you can show them that even Jesus’ enemies did not accuse Him of any sin. There was simply never anyone else like Him.
In your discussions with Muslim friends and acquaintances, it is wise to remember that they also fully accept the virgin birth of Jesus, whom they call Isa. However, they do not understand what His wonderful birth actually meant or how it happened.
Sadly, they think Christians believe that physical sexual intercourse took place between God and Mary. This, of course, is totally inaccurate; however, it is the reason why they consider Christians to be guilty of blasphemy! Because of this, you should open your Bible to the four Gospels, which Muslims call the Injil, and read Luke 1:26-38 together. This describes the time when God’s angel Gabriel spoke to Mary saying, “…the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35) They will then see that there was absolutely nothing physical about this miracle. Then, you can further explain that no prophet or anyone else has ever experienced such a birth. Jesus was therefore totally different, just as was prophesized (see Isaiah 7:14).
Jesus experienced the only virgin birth in our world’s history, which confirms what the angel Gabriel said to Mary, “With God nothing is impossible.” (Luke 1:37)
In your dialogue with Muslim friends and acquaintances, you can simply ask if they know when or how they will die. If they respond with a “No,” you can then ask, “Did any of the prophets ever announce in advance when or how they would die?”
Your spiritual objective is for them to realize the total uniqueness of Jesus. You might explain that He first mentioned His coming death immediately after Peter confessed that He was the Christ (see Matthew 16:21). Later, after His transfiguration, He clearly announced, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men and they will kill Him…” (Mark 9:31)
Jesus already understood and was openly discussing the details related to His death. He explained to the twelve exactly what He was facing. He described those tragic future events saying, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For He will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. And after flogging Him, they will kill Him, and on the third day He will rise.” (Luke 18:31-34)
In summary, no prophet ever knew about the – why, when, or how of the facts surrounding their future death. Only Jesus did. Therefore, He is uniquely different from all the prophets!
By Billie Hanks Jr.