Jesus Christ and Mohammed are thought of historically -- and today as well -- as the two individuals that have probably had the greatest impact on the world in a spiritual and religious context. While other iconic spiritual and religious leaders have made their mark on history and society, Jesus (who founded Christianity; today there are an estimated 2.8 billion followers) and Mohammed (Islam's most holy figure; there are an estimated 2.2 billion Muslims), Jesus was believed to be the Son of God, who came to earth to offer humans an opportunity to have everlasting life. Mohammed, on the other hand, is believed to be the prophet who received the text of Islam from God and led the growth of Islam.
This paper traces the lives of Jesus and Mohammed, compares the impact that their deaths had on society, describes the way in which each man was and is worshipped and notes the way in which each man's message is being carried out in the world today.
Most historians believe Jesus was born between 6 BC and 4 BC; according to the timeline provided by www.history-timelines.org.uk, around 4 BC the angel Gabriel visited Mary, who was to become the mother of Jesus, in Nazareth. Joseph and Mary are said to have made a journey to Bethlehem in response to the decree of Caesar Augustus that everyone in the world should be registered. Joseph was of the house and the lineage of David, according to Luke 2:15, and so he was to be registered with Mary, his wife, who was pregnant with Jesus.
After the baby Jesus was born, through what Christians believe was an "Immaculate Conception," and word reached King Herod "The Great," apparently Herod felt threatened because he ordered all male children in Bethlehem under the age of two to be killed. Joseph was warned of Herod's death order by an angel, according to the Gospel of Matthew, and so Joseph and Mary took their child to Egypt until Herod died. After Herod's death Joseph and Mary brought Jesus back to Nazareth (in Galilee) and there is not a great deal of information about Jesus' young life except that he worked as a carpenter and at the age of 12 he was seen discussing adult and theological issues with elders in Jerusalem.
At the age of 30, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and from there -- after forty days in the Judean desert -- he chose and educated his disciples, he began his ministry, he performed miracles, he healed the sick, and he had an enormous following of people, which threatened the Roman hierarchy and ultimately led to his arrest and to his crucifixion. Three days after his death, the tomb that had held the body of Jesus was empty. He then appeared to his disciples and urged them to preach the Christian gospel to all humanity (www.biography.com).
Impact of Jesus' Death -- How He is Worshipped
The entire philosophy of Christianity is based on Jesus Christ coming to earth as the Son of God to teach about love, forgiveness, sacrifice, and to die for the sins of the world. While those in his era, his followers, saw his death as a scandal, and that his suffering on the cross was unconscionable on the part of the Roman leadership, in fact "God had been with Jesus at every turn, even in death..." And God's strategy was very clear: "to redeem humanity through Jesus Christ," according to theologian Leonardo Boff. One point-of-view is that Christ's death is an "…indictment of the wickedness of the persons who causes his death," but another perspective is that Jesus' death is the "…symbol of a love stronger than death" (Boff, 2011). Worshipping Christ involves believing in his teachings including being baptized as He was by John the Baptist. There are many Christian denominations, some radically different from traditional Protestant faith, but all Christians believe the Christ was the Son of God who died for our sins.
Mohammed was born in 570 in Mecca, in what today is Saudi Arabia. His name, according to the Public Broadcast Service (PBS) means "to praise, to glorify." His father died before he was…