Many Muslims strongly oppose the Christian practice of worshipping Jesus. They contend that God is but one, and that He alone is to be worshipped. Man is not to bow down to any other creature; to do so is to commit "shirk" - a most terrible sin for any Muslim!
Despite this strong objection to the worship of any creature other than God, the Qur'an itself relates an account of God Himself commanding His angels to bow down and worship something other than Him. He commanded them to bow before Adam!
And behold, We (God) said to the angels: "Bow down to Adam."
Surat-ul Baqara (2):34
Behold! Thy Lord said to the angels: "I am about to create man, from sounding clay, from mud molded into shape. When I have fashioned him and breathed into him of my spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him."
Surat-ul Hijr (15):28-30
What is significant about this is that surely God must have known that Adam would someday listen to the whispers of Satan and bring about the fall of the entire human race. Yet God, who knows all things past, present, and future still commanded the angels to bow before the first man Adam.
It is helpful to point out to the Muslim that the Holy Scriptures speak of another "Adam", one who would succeed in leading the human race where the first Adam failed. Just as God gave the first Adam power and authority to rule over all the earthly kingdom, so did God give this second Adam power and authority to rule over all the Heavenly kingdom -- the very Kingdom of God! This other Adam is referred to as the "second Adam" or the "last Adam." He is Jesus the Messiah! The first Adam was of the earth; this other Adam, of heaven.
So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam a life-giving spirit... The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven... flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable... But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 15:45-50, 57
From the above passage we see that this second Adam who is Jesus would have the power and authority to restore mankind to the very eternal and spiritual presence of Almighty God -- the place of Adam's beginning before failing to the temptation of Satan. Jesus would have the power to give this spiritual eternal life to all those who follow him. The Holy Scriptures plainly declare:
For You (God) granted him (Jesus) authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those You have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
The Qur'an speaks of Jesus as being honored both in this world and the next. Muslims know of the honor attached to Jesus the Messiah simply by reading in the Qur'an about the power given to him to heal the leper, open the eyes of the blind, raise the dead to life, and even create! (Surat-u Ali Imran (3):49). But the Qur'an also speaks of the hereafter:
His name will be Christ Jesus (Al-Masih Isa), the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the hereafter, and of (the company of) those nearest to God.
Surat-u Ali Imran (3):45
Unfortunately, many Muslims are not aware of the great honor bestowed upon Jesus after God raised him up to Himself. Share with your Muslim friend the following Scriptural passages:
God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right Hand of God, he has received from the Father (God) the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death -- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Speaking of this honor, Jesus himself declared these words to his disciples:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
To this one to whom all power and authority has been given, to the one who submitted to the suffefing of the cross as the final great sacrifice of atonement, to him called the "Lamb of God," we find even the hosts of angels giving worship:
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times tell thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: Worthy is the Lanb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!
In all of this, dare we as mortal beings refuse to bow to him whom God has anointed King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16)? Just as many Muslims kiss their holy book which they revere as the Word of God, so do true Christians kiss the feet of him who is the Living Word of God, uncreated and forever eternal! It is extremely important to explain to your Muslim friend that you do not bow to another god, nor do you bow to the human nature of Jesus; rather you bow to his divine nature which defines him as God's Word. In the Qur'anic account, the angels bowed to a man made of clay; in the true Christian experience, believers bow to him who is Word of God, the image of the invisible God, and inseparable from God, from everlasting to everlasting -- truly of divine essence!
In regard to this same matter, Muslims often question Christians about the practice of praying to Jesus. It was Jesus himself who instructed his disciples that if they would ask for help in his name, he would grant it. Therefore as true followers of Jesus, many Christians today likewise pray to Jesus knowing that he is alive in Heaven at the right Hand of God, and has been empowered to bring complete deliverance and salvation to those who call upon his name. God has never withdrawn the great honor and power from Jesus the Blessed One. The Scriptures are clear that Jesus has entered the experience of humanity to destroy the works of the devil; and he will certainly help those who call upon him.
And I (Jesus) will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son (Jesus) may bring glory to the Father (God). You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
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