What to know
Muslims have been taught to believe in and celebrate the power of God above almost every other attribute. Even his willingness to send a person to hell despite that person's scale being "good" on Judgment Day is seen as an image of his power: God is too great to keep his word. In the end, only his will matters. To a Muslim raised in this worldview, the message of God choosing to take a limited and weakened physical form is not only foolishness...it's an insult to God: blasphemy. What to say Al Masih 1. If your friend says this in reference to Christ, read 1 Corinthians 1 together. Talk about the crucifixion of Christ as an act of both power and love. Because of his power, he was able to do what seems impossible...the Creator God took the form of a created being; the Author of Life submitted to experiencing physical death. Because of his love, he was willing. If your friend refutes that God could become a physical being, ask why they believe something is impossible for God. The central question shouldn't be if he's able, but if he's willing. If God leads, share how you came to encounter the love of God, and to know that God is willing to go to such lengths for you...and for them. Next, read Acts 2:22-24 and Acts 3 together. The Scripture says it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. It also says that because Jesus has risen, those who believe in him can rise as well. Read 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 together. The Bible describes this act using words like glory and power. Ask your friend if they can think of a higher act of love than this: rescuing someone by dying in their place. Ask also if they can think of a higher act of victory than this: triumphing over death, Satan, sin, and shame...reversing all things in one moment. Pray continuously as your friend hears the message of Jesus. Creation to Christ 2. If your friend says this having read the story of Jacob in Genesis 32, you might be feeling overwhelmed. In Christ, we understand the purpose of taking the form of a weakened human. Jesus came to be a sacrifice: in limiting himself to a body that could be nailed to a cross, Christ fulfilled the will of God. But why, in the story of Jacob, does Scripture record that he asked to be let go? Why was he not able to overpower Jacob? Why did Jacob ask him to bless him? Ask your friend: Is it possible that this story was to set a precedent to God's people that God is able to take the form of a created being...even a weakened physical body? Read Isaiah 55:8-9 together. In God's wisdom, was there value in allowing Yacob to physically "wrestle" that night? We see that before the man appeared, Jacob had no rest in having received God's blessing. That night, we see his prayers change. Was it possible that God gave him a moment of time where his mind and heart could connect...where rather than just feeling duress and fear, he could call on God in a way that was real? Read Hebrews 11:6 together. Consider: Do you believe that God rewards those who earnestly seek him? Look at Jacob's interactions with God in the passages we've read. What words would you use to describe his prayers at different points? What word would you use to describe the prayer of chapter 32? How did God act in Jacob's life to go from being known to him as "the God of Abraham" and the "Fear of Isaac"...to becoming "The God of Israel" (Genesis 33:20)? What is God doing in your life to move from being a distant God to one who is willing to lower himself to us...even willing to take a physical form, giving us the greatest blessing possible to humanity?