Who is Jesus Christ? This is one of the questions that undoubtedly divides Christians and Muslims. Muslims say that Jesus was a prophet of God and a messenger of God. Christians affirm this, but say much more. Jesus Christ is more than a prophet, for he is God incarnate. He is God. We believe this, not because it readily makes sense to us, but because this is what the Injil teaches. For example, John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.” Jesus Christ is the Word of God. He was with God (thus there is some kind of distinction) and he was God (there is some kind of unity). We do not, however, believe in multiple Gods. There is one God. I believe this as strongly as any of my Muslim friends. To think otherwise is blasphemy.
But often, my Muslim friends just don’t see any reason to believe that Jesus is God. They don’t see why Jesus Christ has to be both man and God (an admittedly difficult thing to explain). I read the following answer by Sinclair Ferguson in his book, In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life and thought it might be helpful for my Muslim readers to better understand why we think it is so important that Jesus is both God and man, even if you still disagree.
What makes this two-nature [God and man] Christology essential to the gospel? John’s answer [from the Gospel of John] is twofold:
1. Only God – the One through whom “all things were made” (John 1:3, cf. v. 10), in whom “was life” and “light” (John 1:4) – can reverse creation’s death and dissipate the darkness caused by sin.
2. But since that death and darkness are within creation, within man, the Word must become flesh in order to restore it from within. The Creator must enter His own creation, groaning as it is under the burden of alienation from Him.*
*Sinclair Ferguson, In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life (Orlando: Reformation Trust Publishing, 2007), 13.