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Weekly SNAC, 23 April 2017 - Finding Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount


 

 

 

 

 

If your bookshelf is like mine then there are many books on the ‘yet to be read’ list. One of those books is “Seeking Allah, finding Jesus” by Nabeel Qureshi. If I am honest the book has been recommended to me many times and it has been sitting gathering dust for too long. I finally picked up the New York Times bestseller and discovered Nabeel’s book is the fascinating personal testimony of his conversion from Islam to Christ.

Forgive me for cutting to the end of the story first but Nabeel Quershi became a Christian as he read the Sermon on the Mount. Having followed Allah all his life and being confronted time and time again by the Christian gospel Nabeel was extremely anxious. He sought comfort in the Quran but couldn’t find it. So instead, on page 275 of his book, he says “looking for a living word I put the Quran down and picked up the Bible”. Knowing he should start in the New Testament, Nabeel starting reading Matthew’s gospel and it was the Sermon on the Mount where he met Jesus as he read:

“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted” (Matt 5:4)

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matt 5:6)

For this Muslim man who knew he could never attain righteousness on his own these were words of life and it was here that he met Jesus for the first time.

If for no other reason than hearing Nabeel’s story then his book is worth a read. However, there is much more to the book as well. Very often when we critique another religion or another world view we do so as outsiders and we could be accused of misrepresenting their point of view. In this book Nabeel Quershi shows us how and why Islam is so deeply loved by adherents. It is clear that his conversion was not lightly entered in to and that the personal relational consequences have been difficult. Yet he has absolutely no regrets for Christ is his life now.

Beyond the personal testimony, ‘Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus’ is also a gold mine of resources for Christian living. The book presents a fascinating account of how to reason with Muslims about their faith; it explains the Islamic world view from the insider point of view and it shows how important genuine Christian friendship is when sharing Jesus with others.

One of the challenges of the book to our Western ears is the way Nabeel matter-of-factly discusses dreams and visions in his life. As a Muslim man his starting point was asking God to personally reveal himself to him and several chapters discuss his personal experiences of dreams and visions. However, Nabeel Qureshi is very careful to explain that even though these were a part of his story and consistent with his Muslim world view it was actually the words of Jesus in the Bible that ultimately brought him to faith in Christ.

Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount have challenged us recently to respond to him in radical ways. The book “Seeking Allah, finding Jesus” is an excellent read for those wanting to be encouraged by a personal testimony of how Jesus’ words transformed one former Muslim man’s life and brought him to salvation.

How have you been challenged by Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount?

Jason Veitch

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