Christ is not a prophet, He is the One who existed since the beginning, since before the world was created and through Him the world was created. He is the Word, He is God, and the Word was God (John 1:1).
Christ is not a prophet, Christ is the image of God and “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11). Jesus is “God [who] was manifested in the flesh" (1 Timothy 3:16).
Some think Christ is a prophet, others think he was just a good man, a preacher, or simply see in him what they want to see. But the true definition of Christ is made clear by Peter’s response to Jesus: “When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’ So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’” (Matthew 16:13-16).
All the prophets were human beings and servants of God sent by Him; but even the greatest among them, John the Baptist, said about Christ, “He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose” (John 1:27), confirming that Christ is not a prophet. As for Christ, God’s envoy, He sent the prophets in the Old Testament, the Apostles, the Church and each one of us after the Incarnation. At their best moments, all of the prophets could not provide in their teachings more than the canon or urged others to follow it. All the commandments and the canons were incomplete, and for this reason, the Word became Man and put on flesh to perfect the incomplete law with a new commandment not found in all the previous commandments before the Incarnation: that commandment is to love. With this, we realize that any law lacking love is devoid of God.
With His Incarnation, He lifted and brought new meaning to the Commandments. He who loves does not need any other commandment. He who loves does not kill or steal or bear false witness and does not covet anything except the beauty of God’s face and eternal life with Him, because He has loved us and gave Himself for us so “that [we] may have life, and may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
If we say that Christ is a prophet then we blaspheme because we are denying his divinity. None have been able to save us, neither prophet “nor man nor angel.” If they were able to do so, then His incarnation and His death on the cross would have not been necessary.
We must understand the books, because there is no true knowledge of God without true doctrine. Through baptism we have put on God who has become alive in us, a floodlight emanating through our weakness as a beacon to others. He who has truly known Christ testifies to Him and does not bargain with the truth in order to please others, for he owns the Truth.
The coexistence of Christians with their neighbors and brethren of other religions should not be built on lies, falsehoods and fraud. He who lies about his faith lies about everything. The confession of Christ as Lord and Saviour is an act of total love to God, my neighbors, my friends, and the world. This is the purpose of my existence and the essence of my preaching, “and woe to me if I do not preach” says the apostle. Coexisting with brothers who have chosen another belief does not mean denial of our true belief and our practice of faith. Coexistence does not occur through the alteration of facts in order to build a reality not built on the truth. This coexistence is false and cannot continue. Coexistence is accepting others as they are and to whatever belief--or lack thereof-- they belong to, for religion should not determine our social relationships. Coexistence is built on people living according to the values of humanity, ethical values, and rights and obligations. The alteration of my belief, profit, fame, a political position or financial gain is a lie against God and against mankind.
Every Christmas we renew our love, our boldness and our baptismal vow to be witnesses to the truth and beacons to all nations in our words and our behaviour. Our admission of the truth and its declaration is our duty as a sign of love for God and the whole creation, and after that “‘let us reason together,’ says the Lord” (Isaiah 1:18).
Translated and adapted by Hala Najjar.