The Way of Truth
Study 9: Prophet Isa Al-Masih
Prophecies concerning Allah’s promised Qurban fulfilled by Prophet ‘Isa al-Masih
We have seen in the last lesson the background of Qurban (Sacrifice) as was practiced by Musa and his followers. We saw the problems of this Qurban; it served as a model for the perfect and final Qurban Allah was to send later. We also saw some prophecies concerning this perfect Qurban. We shall go on now in this lesson to see how these prophecies were fulfilled.
His birth fulfilled prophecy
Probably the most remarkable of the prophecies of the perfect Qurban had to do with his birth. His birth was to be miraculous. He was to have no human father but instead be born of a virgin through the power of the Holy Spirit of Allah. Let us look at a passage from the Injil concerning this,
In the sixth month, Allah sent the angel Jibrail to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Yusuf, a descendant of Dawud. The virgin’s name was Maryam. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Maryam was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Maryam, you have found favor with Allah. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Isa. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father Dawud, and he will reign over the house of Yaqub forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“How will this be,” Maryam asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of Allah. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.” (Luke 1:26-36)
Thus, we see in the life of Isa a perfect and complete fulfillment of this amazing prophecy. We find the same record in the Quran. In all history the only person to be born of a virgin was Isa.
His family line fulfilled prophecy
We find also complete agreement with prophecies about the family line of the coming perfect sacrifice. We have seen that, first of all, to fulfill Allah’s promise to Ibrahim the promised Qurban would have to be of the family of Ibrahim through Ishaq. Further, as we saw on the last lesson, he would have to be of the family of Dawud, which further specified his lineage. Below, according to the Injil, is the family line of Isa,
A record of the genealogy of ‘Isa al-Masih the son of Dawud, the son of Ibrahim:
Ibrahim was the father of Ishaq,
Ishaq the father of Yaqub,
Yaqub the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King Dawud.
Dawud was the father of Sulayman, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
Sulayman the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,
Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amon,
Amon the father of Josiah,
and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.
After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud,
Abiud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Akim,
Akim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Yaqub,
and Yaqub the father of Yusuf, the husband of Maryam, of whom was born Isa, who is called al-Masih.
Once again we see that Isa fulfilled the prophecy concerning the coming Qurban.
His birthplace fulfilled prophecy
Thus, Isa was both born of a virgin through the Holy Spirit and of the family of Ibrahim, Ishaq and Dawud. Let us look at the record found in the Injil according to his birthplace,
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Yusuf also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of Dawud, because he belonged to the house and line of Dawud. He went there to register with Maryam, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:1-7)
Thus, we see that Isa completely fulfilled the prophecies concerning the coming perfect Qurban that were written from 500 to over 1000 years before his birth.
His name fulfilled prophecy
The fact that Isa was to be Allah’s prophesied Qurban was also confirmed by his name. As we read earlier in this lesson, it was the angel Jibrail who first appeared to Maryam to announce Allah’s message that a son was to be born to her. The angel went on to tell Maryam the name Allah had determined her son was to have (Luke 1:31). The angel appeared also to Maryam’s husband, Yusuf, and said,
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Isa, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
The word Isa means “Allah saves.” Allah gave Maryam’s son that name because he had determined that through Isa, Allah would make salvation possible to sinners. Thus, in accordance with the laws of the Taurat, when Isa was eight days old he was circumcised and at that time was given the name Isa.
His titles fulfilled prophecy
Besides his name, the titles given to Isa also reveal the special role he was to play. One of the most common titles used of him in the Injil is al-Masih (or the Messiah, or the Christ). In the Taurat, Zabur and other scriptures of the prophets this title signified the one who was to come and fulfill prophecy. Al-Masih meant “the anointed one” or “the chosen one.” Thus, Isa al-Masih was to be the one chosen and sent by Allah to carry out the important work of providing salvation for mankind. He was the one who was to come and fulfill the prophecies concerning the promise to Ibrahim and the perfect Qurban. We find that it is the title al-Masih that is most often used of Isa in the Injil.
Another title use of Isa was the “Word of Allah” or Kalematullah. Allah has no form and cannot be seen by man. Isa came as the word of communication of Allah to man. Before the sin of Adam, man had enjoyed open and perfect communication with Allah. Through sin that communication had been destroyed. Thus, he said, as the word of Allah, was sent by Allah to reestablish the communication between Allah and man. By providing a covering for sin he was to reopen the fellowship destroyed by sin.
Isa’s life demonstrated his unique relationship with Allah
We have seen that Isa’s birth, name, and titles fulfilled the prophecies concerning the coming Qurban. Let us look next at his life and how that corresponded to prophecy. We find in the Injil the record of Isa’s life and work. In every case we find he behaved and worked not as an ordinary man but as one whose relationship to Allah was special and unique.
He had power over disease
Thus, we see he had authority over sickness and disease. He was able to heal even the most difficult of man’s ailments. He once amazed everyone by healing a man blind from birth. In fact, his fame as a healer it was so great that it was often difficult for him to move freely, so many people crowded around him for healing. The following is one of the many examples of his power over disease,
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Isa reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. Isa sent him away at once with a strong warning: “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Musa commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Isa could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere. (Mark 1:40-45)
He had power over evil spirits
We also see in Isa’s life that he had authority over evil spirits. Those who were troubled by evil spirits came to him or brought by friends to him to be freed. In every case he commanded the evil spirits to come out and leave the person and they did. Through this many people understood that he was specially sent by Allah. The following is one example from the Injil of his power over evil spirits,
A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him. I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”
“O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Isa replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Isa rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. And they were all amazed at the greatness of Allah. (Luke 9:38-43)
He had power over nature
We also see Isa’s special relationship with Allah by his authority over nature. He was able, for example, to walk on water and to give commands to the wind and the sea and be obeyed. Once when teaching a crowd of over 5000 it became late and still no one had eaten. He asked how much food there was and found there was only five loaves and two fishes. These he commanded to be given out and it fed everyone with 12 baskets of uneaten scraps remaining. The following short episode from the Injil also shows his power over nature,
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Isa was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:35-41)
He had power over death
Another proof that Isa was the special one sent by Allah was his power over death. He not only healed the sick, he also raised the dead. The following illustration of this is only one of the many found in the Injil,
Soon afterward, Isa went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out–the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Isa gave him back to his mother. They were all filled with awe and praised Allah. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “Allah has come to help his people.” This news about Isa spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country. (Luke 7:11-17)
Isa’s teaching confirmed that unique role Allah had for him
It was not only his actions and works that proved Isa was Allah’s chosen one. It was also plain to people through his teaching. It is recorded in the Injil,
They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Isa went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. (Mark 1:21, 22)
The religious leaders of his day only quoted from their ancient laws and scriptures. They had no authority to go beyond that. On the other hand Isa did not have to refer always to the old laws but taught people as one who had authority himself to teach and instruct. On hearing him people could immediately recognize that here was one with authority and power from Allah. Let us briefly look at some of his teachings, particularly those concerning himself. In them we find clear evidence of his special and unique relationship with Allah. Without such a relationship his claims concerning himself would have been meaningless or even blasphemous. Below are given a few of his teachings concerning himself and his purpose in coming into the world.
He taught he was without sin
Isa claimed he was sinless. It is recorded in the Injil,
Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? He who belongs to Allah hears what Allah says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to Allah.” (John 8:45-47)
He openly challenged people to show any sin in his life. So evident was his sinlessness to everyone that none dared to make any reply. He also claimed the power to forgive sin. The following incident is recorded in the Injil,
A few days later, when Isa again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Isa because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Isa and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Isa saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but Allah alone?” Immediately Isa knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, `Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, `Get up, take your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralytic, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised Allah, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” (Mark 2:1-12)
As Allah’s final sinless Qurban sent to make forgiveness of sin possible, Isa had power to forgive sins.
He taught he was the Light of Allah
Isa claimed to be the Light of Allah. It is written,
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through Allah.”  (John 3:19-21)
In another place in the Injil we find the following words of Isa,
When Isa spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
He said he was the light that would show people the way to Allah and make it possible for them to reestablish their broken relationship with Allah.
He taught he was Life
Isa said he was life. As it is written,
Isa said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25, 26)
Isa claimed that he was the way by which man could obtain eternal life.
He taught he was the Way to Allah
Isa said he was the true path,
Isa answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
Here he claims that he himself was the path or way to Allah. He claimed to be the only path.
All of the things we have been looking at, his authority over sickness, over evil spirits, over nature and over death, his titles and name and his claims about himself, show beyond any doubt that he actually was the one prophesied who was to, and give men salvation from sins. Yet, these were not the primary signs or proof. When people came to Isa and demanded some sign to show he was al-Masih, Isa answered as follows,
Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.” He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Yunus. For as Yunus was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man (Isa) will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:38-40)
Thus, the supreme proof that Isa was the Messiah was the sign of the prophet Yunus. We all know the history of Yunus and how we spent three days and nights in the belly of the fish. As he was in the fish’s stomach three days and nights, so Isa predicted he would be in the belly of the earth for three days and nights. This was to be the supreme sign that he was in fact Allah’s chosen Qurban. We shall see in the next lesson how this prophecy came true.
1. Who was the only one in history to be born of a virgin and thus fulfill prophecy?
2. Give four of the people in the family line of Isa.
3. What is the meaning of the name Isa?
4. Why did the angel Jibrail command Yusuf to give Maryam’s son the name Isa?
5. What is the meaning of the title Messiah?
6. How did Isa’s teaching differ from that of other religious teachers of his time?
A. He spoke louder
B. He spoke while sitting down
C. He spoke with authority
7. Isa demonstrated the truth of his claim to be the resurrection and the life by,
A. Writing a book on healing
B. Healing the sick and raising the dead
C. Teaching his disciples how to stay well
8. Isa claimed he was,
A. The only way to Allah
B. One of the many ways to Allah
C. One of a few ways to Allah
9. What did Isa say would be the primary sign that he was Allah’s chosen Qurban and Messiah?
10. Which of the prophecies that was fulfilled by Isa do you feel was the most amazing and significant?