Podcast Preview

Hello all, I am in the process of beginning a podcast. The focus will be Bible teaching for Muslim seekers or new Muslim-background believers. As a result, some of the phrasing and language will seem strange to most followers of Jesus, especially those from the West. My goal will be to walk through about a chapter in 20-25 minutes. This project will begin with the Gospel of Matthew, which is a common place that I begin in discipling Muslim-background believers.

The podcast audio and script here will be the fifteenth in a series. The first fourteen will be the gospel and beginning steps for Muslim seekers. I appreciate any feedback to nocousinsleft@protonmail.com. More than likely, I will delete this page off of this blog as I move this project forward and be hosting it on a different website.

Here is the basic audio. I plan to attach an introduction and conclusion to this audio recorded by someone else.

Here is the transcript of what I shared.

Matthew 1

Asalamu alaikum, my friends,

Welcome to Bayan-ul-Injeel[ED1] . The purpose of these teachings is to help you grow in your faith and knowledge of Khudawand Isa al-Masih. Inshallah, these lessons teach verse-by-verse through a chapter of the Injeel Sharif in about twenty minutes. Bayan-ul-Injeel is specifically designed for those from Muslim families who want to learn more about the Injeel Sharif. Our prayer is that you learn to love our Khudawand Isa al-Masih with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength as you listen to these teachings. 

Today, we are beginning the Gospel of Matthew. The book of Matthew is a testimony of the life and teaching of Khudawand[ED2]  Isa al-Masih. If you want to understand Khudawand Isa al-Masih, then Matthew is a great place to start. Although Matthew is 28 chapters long, I anticipate taking about 35-40 lessons to complete this book. The reason is that some chapters are so vital that we will need to spend extra time on them. 

The book of Matthew was written by a disciple of Khudawand Isa al-Masih named Matthew. The story of how he came to follow Khudawand Isa al-Masih is recorded in Matthew 9:9-10:

9 As Isa passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

10 And as Isa reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Isa and his disciples. 

In this passage, Matthew was considered a sinner by those around him. He was a tax collector, meaning that he was a hated agent of the Roman government. Although he was also from Ban-e-Israel, he oppressed the Ban-e-Israel for financial gain. However, Khudawand Isa al-Masih loves sinners and called Matthew to be His disciple. Matthew immediately left his work to follow our Lord.

Matthew became one of the Twelve who were the closest followers of Khudawand Isa al-Masih. These Twelve spent time with Khudawand Isa al-Masih and were sent by Him to proclaim the gospel. Therefore, Matthew was with Khudawand Isa al-Masih during the events written in this Gospel. He was an eyewitness of these things. 

The first four books of the Injeel Sharif are four testimonies of the life of Khudawand Isa al-Masih by His disciples. We use Injeel, or gospels, to refer to each Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These four books testify together, making a powerful case for the truth! If four honest men give the same testimony in court, that testimony is established. In the same way, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John testify to the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Khudawand Isa al-Masih. Matthew and John were disciples of Khudawand Isa al-Masih and personally saw these things. Mark recorded the testimony of Peter, who was also an eyewitness. Luke interviewed many, including Hazrat Maryam (PBUH), to gather his testimony. These four testimonies stand together to provide an accurate picture of the life and teaching of Khudawand Isa al-Masih. 

The book of Matthew begins with His genealogy and birth. 

“The book of the genealogy of Isa Masih, the Son of Dawood, the Son of Ibrahim[ED3] :”

This verse contains three titles of Khudawand Isa al-Masih. The first is Masih. Masih means “anointed one.” The Taurat Sharif, the Zabur Sharif, and the other writings that make up the Old Testament contain hundreds of prophecies about a coming Masih. The Masih was to come and save the people of God and deliver them into God’s kingdom. Because of this, Matthew contains about fifty quotes from the Old Testament.

Let’s talk for a minute about the Old Testament. This term may be new to some listeners. The Old Testament contains 39 books. The first five of those books are the writings of Hazrat Musa (PBUH), which are also called the Taurat Sharif. The Old Testament also contains the writings of Hazrat Dawood (PBUH), which are also known as the Zabur Sharif. Followers of Khudawand Isa al-Masih read the Taurat, Zabur, and Injeel Sharif rather than just one of these books. These books all agree with one another and are the Word of God. We can have confidence in the Injeel Sharif when we see how it agrees with the previous writings, like the Taurat Sharif and the Zabur Sharif. If any new book comes that disagrees with the earlier revelation from God, it must be rejected since it contradicts the Word of God. 

The Taurat and Zabur Sharif are just six of the 39 books of the Old Testament. Many of the other books of the Old Testament will be somewhat familiar to Urdu speakers, like the writings of Hazrat Suleiman (PBUH), Hazrat Ayub (PBUH), Hazrat Yunus (PBUH), and Hazrat Zakariya (PBUH). A significant part of the Old Testament gives the history of God’s people from the time of Hazrat Adam (PBUH) until the birth of Khudawand Isa al-Masih. The Old Testament is full of the story of how God worked among His people for thousands of years. I hope that you will read these books. However, I recommend that you read the Injeel Sharif first.

Returning to our text, the second title in Matthew 1:1 is “Son of Dawood.” Khudawand Isa al-Masih descended from Hazrat Dawood (PBUH). In the Old Testament, the Masih is prophesied to descend from Hazrat Dawood (PBUH) and sit on the throne of Hazrat Dawood (PBUH). While God gave the Zabur Sharif through Hazrat Dawood (PBUB), he is most famous for being the greatest king of Ban-e-Israel. In 2 Samuel 7:16 in the Old Testament, God promised Hazrat Dawood (PBUH), “Your house and kingdom will endure before Me forever, and your throne will be established forever.” In simple words, God promised that a descendant of Hazrat Dawood (PBUH) would always reign as king. Khudawand Isa al-Masih is the ultimate fulfilment of that promise. We know that Khudawand Isa al-Masih has ascended to heaven and is seated at the Father’s right hand. Hazrat Dawood (PBUH) prophesied about the Masih in the Zabur Sharif 110:1, “This is the declaration of the LORD to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.'” One focus of the book of Matthew is that Khudawand Isa al-Masih came to bring God’s kingdom to earth. Matthew records that Khudawand Isa al-Masih preached, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Khudawand Isa al-Masih is the ultimate Son of David who came to establish the kingdom of God.

The third title in Matthew 1:1, “Son of Ibrahim,” is as significant as the first two. In the Taurat Sharif, Hazrat Musa (PBUH) recorded the story of Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH). In Genesis, the first book of the Taurat Sharif, we read about promises that God gave to Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH) and his seed. Galatians 3:16 in the Injeel Sharif interprets this: “Now the promises were spoken to Ibrahim and to his seed. He does not say ‘and to seeds,’ as though referring to many, but referring to one, ‘and to your seed,’ who is the Masih.” Therefore, all the promises that God made to Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH) are fulfilled in Khudawand Isa al-Masih. In other words, Khudawand Isa al-Masih is the ultimate Son of Ibrahim.

One promise that God gave to Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH) is in Genesis 12:1-3, “Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, I will curse anyone who curses you, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” God made three basic promises to Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH):

  1. He promised to make him into a great nation.
  2. He promised to bless Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH) and make his name great.
  3. He promised to bless all the peoples on earth through Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH).

These three promises have been fulfilled in Hazrat Isa al-Masih. For example, let’s focus on the third promise that God would bless all the peoples of the earth through Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH). Galatians 3:8 in the Injeel Sharif interprets this promise. It says, “Now the Scripture saw in advance that God would justify the Gentiles by faith and proclaimed the gospel (of Khudawand Isa al-Masih) ahead of time to Ibrahim, saying, ‘All the peoples will be blessed through you.'”When God called Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH), He had already planned to give salvation to all the peoples of the earth through the Son of Ibrahim, Khudawand Isa al-Masih. [ED4] 

The first verse of Matthew gives Khudawand Isa al-Masih three titles: Masih, Son of Dawood, and Son of Ibrahim. These three titles demonstrate the greatness of Khudawand Isa al-Masih and show us what the book of Matthew wants to teach us about Khudawand Isa al-Masih. Khudawand Isa al-Masih fulfilled all the prophecies from the Old Testament. Therefore, followers of Khudawand Isa al-Masih do not expect any prophet to come after him. Who could be greater than the Masih, the Son of Ibrahim, the Son of Dawood?

Matthew 1:2-17 shows us the genealogy of Khudawand Isa al-Masih in much more detail. I will read through this genealogy, stopping to give commentary as necessary.

2 Ibrahim fathered Ishaq,

The Taurat Sharif is explicit that God’s promises to Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH) passed to Hazrat Ishaq (PBUH) rather than to Hazrat Ishmael (PBUH). However, the Taurat Sharif also gives great honor to Hazrat Ishmael (PBUH). In Genesis 15 in the Taurat Sharif, God promised Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH) that He would make his offspring as many as the stars in the sky. However, Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH) had no children, so this promise seemed impossible since he and his wife Sarah were too old for children. 

So, Sarah offered her servant, Hajar. Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH) fathered Hazrat Ishmael (PBUH) through her. This led to a conflict between Sarah and Hajar since Sarah felt disrespected by Hajar. Therefore, Hajar ran away. But an angel met her and told her to go back to Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH) and his wife. The angel promised, “I will greatly multiply your offspring, and they will be too many to count.” Thirteen years later, God spoke to Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH) and promised that Sarah would have a son within a year. Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH) responded, “If only Ishmael were acceptable to you! But God said, “No. Your wife will bear you a son, and you will name him Ishaq. I will confirm my covenant with him as a permanent covenant for his future offspring. As for Ishmael, I have heard you. I will certainly bless him; I will make him fruitful and will multiply him greatly. He will father twelve tribal leaders, and I will make him into a great nation. But I will confirm my covenant with Ishaq, whom Sara will bear to you at this time next year” (Genesis 17:18-21, Taurat Sharif).

This passage teaches that God had a plan for Hazrat Ishmael (PBUH) and that the promises of Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH) were to be passed to Hazrat Ishaq (PBUH). Hazrat Ishmael (PBUH) had twelve sons. The first two were named Nebaioth and Kedar, according to Genesis 25 in the Taurat Sharif. Later, Hazrat Isaiah (PBUH) prophesied that many from these tribes would become followers of Khudawand Isa al-Masih. Isaiah 60:7 says, “All the flocks of Kedar will be gathered to you; the rams of Nebaioth will serve you and go up on my altar as an acceptable sacrifice. I will glorify my beautiful house.” Therefore, God continues to have a great love for the children of Hazrat Ishmael (PBUH). He intends to bring many of the offspring of Hazrat Ishmael (PBUH) to become part of the ummah of Khudawand Isa al-Masih.

Let’s continue to read Matthew 1:2

Ishaq fathered Yakub, Yakub fathered Judah and his brothers,

When we read this passage, we realize that many of the famous prophets are in the lineage of Khudawand Isa al-Masih.

Let’s keep reading from verse 3.

3 Judah fathered Perez and Zerah by Tamar,

Perez fathered Hezron,

Hezron fathered Aram,

4 Aram fathered Amminadab,

Amminadab fathered Nahshon,

Nahshon fathered Salmon,

5 Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab,

Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth,

Obed fathered Jesse,

6 and Jesse fathered King Dawood.

There are five women mentioned in the genealogy of Khudawand Isa al-Masih: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Uriah’s wife, and Hazrat Maryam (PBUH). Three of these women committed adultery. Two were from nations that were the enemies of Ban-e-Israel. It seems that Matthew purposefully included these names to show us that God can do His work even through sinful people and those far from Him. The mission of Khudawand Isa al-Mash was not only for one community or people. Instead, His commission was global. God desires to bring people from every tongue, tribe, people, and nation into His kingdom. Throughout the book of Matthew, we will see how Khudawand Isa al-Masih brought sinful and broken people close to God. Including these women in the genealogy reminds us of these truths. 

Since sinful and broken people like these were included in the family of Khudawand Isa al-Masih, then sinful and broken people can be included in God’s household today. Romans 5:8 in the Injeel Sharif reminds us, “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Masih died for us.” In the same way, God loves sinful people and is ready to include them in His people if they will repent and believe. 

Picking up in verse 6, we read:

Dawood fathered Suleiman by Uriah’s wife,

7 Suleiman fathered Rehoboam,

Rehoboam fathered Abijah,

Abijah fathered Asa, 

8 Asa fathered Jehoshaphat,

Jehoshaphat fathered Joram, 

Joram fathered Uzziah,

9 Uzziah fathered Jotham,

Jotham fathered Ahaz,

Ahaz fathered Hezekiah,

10 Hezekiah fathered Manasseh,

Manasseh fathered Amon, 

Amon fathered Josiah,

11 and Josiah fathered Jeconiah and his brothers

at the time of the exile to Babylon.

These men are the kings of Ban-e-Israel from the time of Hazrat Dawood (PBUH) in about 1,000 BC to the exile to Babylon in 586 BC. The stories of these kings are found in Second Kings in the Old Testament. The stories of these kings show God’s grace and judgement. Often God’s people were led by a righteous king to repent and follow God. Other kings were evil and led God’s people into sin. Ultimately, God judged His people by bringing them into captivity under the country of Babylon. God’s purpose was to bring His people to repent by bringing judgement on them for their sins. In this way, God acted like their Heavenly Father, who disciplined His children and sought to bring them back to Himself.

We will pick up reading at verse 12.

12 After the exile to Babylon

Jeconiah fathered Shealtiel,

Shealtiel fathered Zerubbabel,

13 Zerubbabel fathered Abiud,

Abiud fathered Eliakim,

Eliakim fathered Azor,

14 Azor fathered Zadok,

Zadok fathered Achim,

Achim fathered Eliud,

15 Eliud fathered Eleazar,

Eleazar fathered Matthan,

Matthan fathered Yakub,

16 and Yakub fathered Yusuf the husband of Maryam,

who gave birth to Isa who is called the Messiah.

17 So all the generations from Ibrahim to Dawood were fourteen generations; and from Dawood until the exile to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the exile to Babylon until the Messiah, fourteen generations. 

The stories of Shealtiel and Zerubabbel are also famous in Ezra and Nehemiah in the Old Testament. The rest of the names mentioned in this genealogy are unmentioned in the Old Testament. While Khudawand Isa al-Masih was born to a royal lineage, His immediate ancestors were not famous. Instead, Khudawand Isa al-Masih was born into obscurity, even into poverty. It is important to notice that this lineage traces to a man named Yusuf, who married Hazrat Maryam (PBUH). This Yusuf is not the prophet but rather a man named in honor of that prophet. The text clarifies that Yusuf was not the physical father of Khudawand Isa al-Masih. Likely, Yusuf adopted Khudawand Isa al-Masih as his son. Therefore, Khudawand Isa al-Masih, by both Roman and Jewish law, would have had the rights to Yusuf’s ancestry. 

At this point, we need to address an objection that some have raised against this genealogy. In Luke 3, there is another genealogy, which has some differences compared to Matthew 1. Some say that this is a contradiction in God’s Word and that the Injeel Sharif cannot be trusted. The reality is that God protects His Word and that it cannot change! There are no contradictions in the Injeel Sharif. However, sometimes we need to read with wisdom to find understanding. 

The most likely answer is that the Gospel of Matthew traces the lineage of Khudawand Isa al-Masih through his adopted father, Yusuf. In contrast, the Gospel of Luke traces His family through His mother, Hazrat Maryam (PBUH). Therefore, there is no contradiction since these genealogies simply trace the family of Khudawand Isa al-Masih from his different human parents.

In the rest of the chapter, we will read the story of how Khudawand Isa al-Masih was born, mainly from the perspective of Yusuf, the husband of Hazrat Maryam (PBUH). Why is his viewpoint important? No man would ever believe that his fiancé was giving birth as a virgin unless God directly intervened. However, when Hazrat Jibril (PBUH) appeared to Hazrat Maryam (PBUH), he appeared to her alone. This birth narrative shows God’s actions to protect Hazrat Maryam (PBUH) during this time when she was vulnerable. After all, if Yusuf had acted against Hazrat Maryam (PBUH), she could have been found guilty of adultery. 

Let us keep reading in verse 18.

18 The birth of Isa Masih came about this way: After his mother Maryam had been engaged to Yusuf, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit. 19 So her husband, Yusuf, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly.

20 But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Yusuf, son of Dawood, don’t be afraid to take Maryam as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Isa, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Just as an angel appeared to Hazrat Maryam (PBUH), an angel instructed Yusuf to take Hazrat Maryam (PBUH) as his wife despite her pregnancy. Our Khudawand was also given a particular name, “Isa,” derived from the Hebrew word for “savior.” Hebrew was the language of Ban-e-Israel. God revealed both the Taurat Sharif and the Zabur Sharif in the Hebrew language. As the Savior, Khudawand Isa al-Masih was going to come and save God’s people from their sins. When we read to the end of the Gospel of Matthew, we find that Khudawand Isa al-Masih saved us from our sins by giving His life on a cross as a sacrifice for our sins. On hearing this message, our responsibility is to repent, believe, and follow Khudawand Isa al-Masih.

Because Khudawand Isa al-Masih was born by the Holy Spirit, He was perfect and blameless in a way that no other person has ever been. The only reason He could be a sacrifice for all was His purity. He needed to be born from a virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, Khudawand Isa al-Masih needed to become flesh and blood so that He could die as a substitute for all of humanity’s sins. On the other hand, He needed to be perfect in every way, unstained by the sins that are common to humanity. Only the virgin birth could accomplish what was necessary for Khudawand Isa al-Masih to become a perfect sacrifice. 

Let’s read from verse 22.

22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

23 See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son,

and they will name him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.”

This verse is the first of ten fulfilment passages in Matthew. In fulfillment passages, Matthew shares a quote from the Old Testament and demonstrates how it was fulfilled in the person of Khudawand Isa al-Masih. 

This quote is from Isaiah 7:14 in the Old Testament, which was prophesied 700 years earlier. Matthew reminds the reader that God promised to send a savior through a virgin and that the virgin birth of Khudawand Isa al-Masih was the fulfilment of prophecy. In addition, this passage includes another name for Khudawand Isa al-Masih, Immanuel. The name Immanuel meant that when Khudawand Isa al-Masih came into the world, it indicated God’s presence coming into the world. Khudawand Isa al-Masih is truly “God with us.”

The Gospel of John includes something similar in his introduction. He wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Then in John 1:14, we read, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” This Word is none other than Khudawand Isa al-Masih. This passage from the Gospel of John reminds us of the title kalimatullah, used for Khudawand Isa al-Masih. No doubt that title was taken from this passage in the Gospel of John. Therefore, if we hear the title kalimatullah, it should remind us that Khudawand Isa al-Masih existed before the foundation of the world! In fact, John 1:3 says that “All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created.” All things were created through Khudawand Isa al-Masih. He existed before the foundation of the world. So, when He was born of a virgin, He was the creator of the world, stepping into the world to save all of us from our sins.

In this way, Khudawand Isa al-Masih is different from every other spiritual leader. Other leaders command us to take significant burdens on ourselves. According to their teachings, if we are dedicated enough, perhaps we can do enough to earn our salvation. In contrast, Khudawand Isa al-Masih did everything for us. He came from heaven to earth to save us. He gave His life on the cross. He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. We can be with Him if we simply repent of our sins and believe.

Let’s finish reading the chapter.

24 When Yusuf woke up, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her 25 but did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. And he named him Isa.

And so, the birth of Khudawand Isa al-Masih was unique in a way that no one else’s birth was. He was born of a virgin without a human father. Angels came to announce His birth. Prophets prophesied about His coming. Today, I want to challenge you that Khudawand Isa al-Masih is worthy of your life. He is our Masih, the son of Ibrahim, the son of Dawood. He was born of a virgin and was Immanuel, God with us. The first two steps in responding to the greatness of Khudawand Isa al-Masih are repentance and faith. Repentance means to turn away from our sins. Faith means to trust on Khudawand Isa al-Masih to save us from our sins. To learn more about these steps, you can go back and listen to the seventh episode in this series. 

Until next time, Khuda hafiz.

Thank you for listening! At the end of every lesson, please take some time and answer two questions. If you are listening with others, please discuss these questions with them. The first question is, “What did you learn?” (pause) The second question is, “What will you do with this teaching?” (pause) 

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