Why is it important to know what the Quran teaches about Jesus?
There is a tremendous amount of material in its teaching about Jesus that could assist Christians to witness effectively to Muslims. The only two negative aspects of this teaching are the two denials of his deity and resurrection. The rest is all positive and much vital Biblical teaching about Jesus is repeated in the quran. The virgin-birth, sinlessness, ascension and second coming of Jesus are all mentioned in the book and are basic Islamic doctrines There are other teachings which, together with a series of very meaningful titles given to Jesus, make the final image of the man far superior to the dogma that he was nothing more than a prophet. Even a cursory analysis of the whole perspective of Jesus in the quran must lead to the conclusion that he was far greater than the other prophets and that he was unique among men.
The end result in the quran, however, is that its image of Jesus does not coincide with its dogma. It denies his deity and crucifixion clearly enough yet, in its acceptance of Jesus’ unique birth, ascension and second coming and in some of the exclusive titles it attributes to him, it most certainly contradicts itself. These features and titles lose their meaning when Jesus is no longer acknowledged as the Lord and Saviour of the world. They seem to have no real significance and one finds Muslim writers more eager to explain them away than to truly understand their implications.
We analyzed Paul’s approach to the Athenian Gentiles we saw that he did not hesitate to use the proverbs of their own poets to strengthen his own message, and there is perhaps no more opportune example of how this approach can be applied to Muslim evangelism than the quran’s positive teaching about Jesus.