Someone I know sent me this video of a lecture by Jay Smith, a third generation Christian missionary, who attempts to answer the question I’ve used to entitle this post. To be sure, I know too little about Islam to be able to deliver the kind of lecture that Jay gives. However, when the above question was posed at the beginning of the talk, this was the first thing to come to my mind; “Who do you say that I am?”
If you’ve watched the video, you know that this is not the question that Jay comes up with. Instead, he has Jesus asking Mohd questions about the legitimacy of his claims to prophethood and the name of the god that he represents. It just seems to me that, as interesting as the answers to those questions are, Jesus would cut to the heart of the matter and simply pose the same question that He put to his disciples. After all, Mohd’s religion makes some clear claims about Jesus’ identity by means of the Koran.
I suspect that Mohd’s answer would be , “You’re a prophet of Allah. You are the son of the virgin Mariam. You are the bringer of the Injil (Gospel)”. The first response isn’t too far from the answer Jesus got from his disciples regarding what the “crowds” were saying about Him: “Some say you are John the Baptist, others Elijah or one of the prophets.” Mohd would fit somewhat neatly in with the crowd…until perhaps the second response.
I’ve tried to imagine how the conversation would play out and simply can’t. Would He tell Mohd. “You are not far from the Kingdom of God”? Would he say, “You do not know Me or my Father”? Would Jesus tell Mohd. “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”, or would He declare “I am the Alpha and the Omega”? Would Jesus simply say, “Depart from me…I never knew you”? I just don’t know.
On the other hand, I’m confident that He would not respond to Mohd’s answers the way He responded to Peter’s confession; “Blessed are you…for my Father in Heaven has revealed it to you.”