Jesus in his own words
1. Yazid al-Kunasi said, “I asked Abu Ja‘far [Imam Baqir], ‘Was Jesus the son of Mary the authority from Allah for the people of his time when he spoke from the cradle?’ He said, ‘He was on that day a prophet, an authority from Allah, but not a messenger. Did you not hear his saying when he said,
Verily, I am a servant of Allah. He has given me the Book, and has made me a prophet, and has made me blessed wherever I may be. And He has enjoined on me prayer and charity (zakah) as long as I live. (19:30-31)
I said, “Then was he an authority of Allah for Zachariah (‘a) on that day in those circumstances while he was in the cradle?” He said, “Jesus was a sign for the people in those circumstances and mercy from Allah for Mary when he spoke, and he spoke up for her, and he was a prophet and an authority from Allah for those who heard his speech in those circumstances. Then he was quiet, and he did not speak until two years had passed.
And Zachariah (‘a) was the authority from Allah after the silence of Jesus for two years. Then Zachariah died. John, his son, inherited the Book and wisdom from him, while he was a small child. Have you not heard what He, the Mighty and Majestic, has said,
O John! Hold the Book fast, and We granted him wisdom while yet a child. (19:12)
When Jesus reached seven years he spoke as a prophet and messenger, while he received revelation from Allah, the Exalted.
So, Jesus was the authority for John and all the people. O Abu Khalid [Yazid]! The earth cannot endure even for a single day without an authority from Allah for all people, from the day that Allah created Adam (‘a) and settled him on earth.”1
2. Jesus (‘a) said, “O group of apostles! I have thrown the world down on its face for you. So, after me, do not pick it up again, for among the vile things of this world is that Allah is rebelled against in it, and among the vile things of this world is that the roots of all evil are in the love of this world.”2
3. Jesus (‘a) said, “Verily, I threw this world on its face for you and you sat on its back. Then none contend with you but kings and women. As for kings, do not contend with them for this world, then they will not bother you when you abandon their world. As for women, then beware of them by fasting and praying.”3
4. Jesus (‘a) said, “I am the one who threw the world on its face and sat on its back. There is no child for me to die, and no house to be destroyed.”4
5. Regarding [the ayah of the Qur’an]:
And I inform you of what you eat and of what you store in your houses (3:49),
Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said, “Surely, Jesus (‘a) used to say to the children of Israel, ‘Indeed I am the Apostle of Allah to you, and I create something like the form of a bird for you out of clay, and I blow into it, then it becomes a bird by the permission of Allah, and I cure the born blind and the leper.’
They said, ‘We see what you do as nothing but sorcery. So, show us a sign that we may know that you are true.’ He said, ‘Tell me, if I inform you of what you eat and of what you store in your houses, of what you have eaten in your houses before you left them and of what you stored for night, will you know that I am true?’
They said, ‘Yes.’ Then he said to some of the men, ‘You ate this and that, and you drank this and that, and you put up this and that.’ Then some accepted him and believed, and some disbelieved. That was a sign for them if they were believers.”5
6. Jesus (‘a) said, “My servant is my hands and my mount is my feet; my bed is the earth and my pillow, a stone; my blanket in the winter is the east of the earth and my lamp in the night is the moon; my stew is hunger and my motto is fear; my clothing is wool and my fruit and my basil is what grows from the earth for the wild beasts and cattle.
I sleep while I have nothing and I rise while I have nothing, and yet there is no one on earth more wealthy than I.”6
7. It is reported that Abu ‘Abd Allah (‘a) said, “Jesus the son of Mary (‘a) among his sayings to the children of Israel said, ‘I entered into the morning among you while my stew has been hunger, my food has been something that grows from the earth for the wild animals and beasts, my lamp has been the moon, my carpet has been the earth and my pillow has been stone.
There is no house for me that may be ruined, no property which may be destroyed, no child who may die and no wife who may become sad. I enter into the morning while there is nothing for me and enter into the night while there is nothing for me, and I am the most wealthy person among the children of Adam.”7
8. One of the Imams is reported to have said, “It was said to Jesus the son of Mary (‘a), ‘How did you begin the morning, O Spirit of Allah?’ He said, ‘I began the morning with my Lord, the Blessed and Supreme, above me and the fire (of hell) before me and death in pursuit of me. I have not obtained that for which I wished and I cannot keep away the things I hate. So who of the poor is more poor than I?’”8