2. The Image of Jesus in Deedat's Booklet
One of the strangest things about Deedat's booklet is the caricature he presents of the person of Jesus Christ. Strange, indeed, because Muslims are supposed to honor Jesus as the Messiah and as one of the greatest of God's prophets. One or two statements in his booklet are considerably offensive to Christians and must surely injure sincere Muslims who have learnt to respect Jesus as a man of honor and dignity. It is hardly surprising that Deedat's booklet was at one time declared “undesirable” by the Director of Publications in South Africa (early in 1985). In one place he says:
On another page he says that “Jesus had doubly miscalculated” (page 19) in that he thought he could rely on his disciples to defend him and that he would only have to deal with Jews. As if such allegations were not sufficient to defame Jesus, he goes on to speak of the “hot and cold blowings of Jesus” and fills up the measure of his slanders in saying:
We are sure that even Muslims must find such statements extremely offensive. Christians do not hesitate to regard them as blasphemous. Nevertheless it is not our desire to express emotional indignation but to show how fatuous Deedat's claims are.
It requires only a cursory analysis of those last hours in the life of Jesus before his crucifixion to see that there can be no substance at all in the claim that Jesus had “miscalculated” or ever blew “hot and cold”. For the one thing that characterizes everything Jesus said on the last night he was with his disciples was a total awareness of all that was to befall him and his willingness to undergo it.
He knew that Judas Iscariot would betray him (Mark 14:18 - he had known this for a long time in fact as appears from John 6:64) and that Peter would deny him three times (Matthew 26:34). He predicted that he would be apprehended and that all his disciples would desert him (Mark 14:27). We just cannot find any ground at all for Deedat's claim that Jesus hoped his disciples would fight for him and that he had “miscalculated”. For these passages show quite plainly that Jesus had calculated exactly what was going to happen, for his disciples all did precisely what he said they would do.
He constantly told them that last fateful night that he was about to be parted from them (John 13:33, 14:3, 14:28, 16:5) and that they should not lose heart for his sufferings would be entirely in accordance with all that had been predicted in the prophecies of the former prophets (Luke 22:22). When the Jews finally came to arrest him, far from preparing any kind of defense, he walked straight into their hands. We read:
Jesus came forward, knowing all that was to befall him. He knew that he was about to be crucified and killed, but that he would rise on the third day, as he had so often predicted in plain language (Matthew 17:22-23, 20:19, Luke 9:22, 18:31-33). In fact there was no need of a showdown with the Jews at all. If Jesus had wanted to avoid arrest, all he needed to do was to leave Jerusalem. Instead he went to the very place where he knew that Judas Iscariot would lead the Jews to look for him (John 18:2) and when they came, he voluntarily gave himself over to them. Furthermore he hardly needed the valiant efforts of eleven disciples to defend him for he plainly testified that he could have called on twelve legions of angels to help him if he had so wished (Matthew 26:53). Just one angel had the power to destroy whole cities and armies (2 Samuel 24:16, 2 Kings 19:35) and one shudders to think what twelve legions of angels could have done to protect him.
There is just simply no substance in Deedat's claim that Jesus was plotting and scheming and became a failure through his miscalculations. On the contrary it is quite remarkable to see how he knew precisely what was to happen to him. Far from being a “failure”, he became the most successful man who ever lived, the only man who has ever raised himself from the dead to eternal life and glory. Muhammad failed to conquer death and it brought his life to nothing in Medina in 632 AD and holds him to this day in its grip. Jesus, however, succeeded where Muhammad had failed. He is “our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Timothy 1:10) He triumphed over death and ascended into heaven where he ever lives and reigns. So much for Deedat's insult that he was supposed to be the “most unfortunate” of all God's messengers. The truth is that he was the greatest man who ever lived.
It has become apparent, and will become more so as we proceed, that Deedat's booklet is nothing but a distortion of the Scriptures. He perverts the meaning of texts which he feels can be tortured into serving his purpose and simply suppresses others which refute his theories completely.