Updated: Sep 1, 2021
A Discovery Study on Isaiah 53 leads a Muslim to make a confession of faith
Daylee is a disciple-maker in East Africa. She met an injured Muslim man named Salaam who asked her for money. God used Daylee’s prayer and generosity to heal and provide for Salaam. This encounter led Salaam to dive into the Bible.
Discovering Jesus’s Deity Through Isaiah 53
I was a bit startled when I heard a knock on my car window in the parking lot where I was waiting for a friend. When I looked up, I was relieved to see my friend Salaam standing there with a smile across his face. I rolled down my window as he greeted me with a hearty, “Assalamu Alaikum!”
Before I could respond, he continued, “I have a question for you, Mama Baraka. Do you think Isa al-Masih (Jesus) has already died and resurrected? I was reading in the Injeel (New Testament) over what we discussed last time and discovered that Jesus really was crucified but came back to life. The Qur’an says that Jesus didn’t die but will come back again and then finally die. Which is correct?”
“What do you think, Salaam?” I responded.
“I don’t know,” he admitted, ”Maybe if there was a prophet who said Isa would come and die before Isa lived, then I could believe it. Was there a prophet who said this?”
My heart leaped in my chest—I knew immediately that we should read Isaiah 53 together. I told him, “Yes, there was a prophet named Isaya who spoke of this. Would you like to read it together?” He nodded his head emphatically as he exclaimed, “Yes!”
I pulled up the passage in Swahili on my Bible app and we began to read out loud together. Halfway through, he stopped reading with me. Though I was nervous about his reaction, I kept reading. After finishing the entire chapter, I looked up and saw streams of tears rolling down his face. “Salaam, are you okay?”
“Yes, I’m fine,” he said.
“Well, what do you think now?” I asked.
“Jesus is God.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. “Sorry, say that again?”
”Jesus is God!” Salaam exclaimed, “I believe this is true! No one but God has the authority to take away sins. But this says Jesus can do it. That means Jesus is God!”
I was speechless. “Alhamdulillah (praise be to God)!” was all I could muster. I had never seen someone make a profession of faith after a simple Discovery Conversation and reading of the Word.
How to Be A Disciple Amidst Persecution
Salaam and I have met two times since then. One of those times, he told me he had gone to his Muslim family to share what God had revealed to him. His family didn’t respond positively. He went to a church to find answers, but they didn’t welcome him because he still identified as a Muslim who believes Jesus is God.
“Salaam,” I asked, “What if the answers you’re looking for can be found in the Holy books? Would you want to read them together?”
“Yes!” he resolved, “I want to build a firm foundation! But what if I want to tell other people this is true?”
“Well,” I questioned, “how did God show you this is true?”
“I read it,” he said.
“And what happened?”
Salaam’s eyes lit up. “God showed me it was true!”
“Do you think it is possible that you could help other people do the same thing?”
“Yeah,” he responded, “I think so!”
Later, Salaam told me, “Everyday I read the New Testament you gave me. It is like food to me!”
Lessons Learned from Daylee’s Story
A key principle to glean from Salaam’s story is to use questions that lead to Scripture rather than teach answers. When Salaam asked Daylee whether the Qur’an or the Bible was correct, she led with a question. That inquiry guided Salaam to read Isaiah 53, which led him to discover the Truth!
Furthermore, Salaam’s story shows us that persecution is to be expected when someone comes to faith. Salaam’s family was unwelcoming to his newfound truth. Furthermore, even a Christian church turned him away.
However, Daylee showed that Salaam could still become a disciple who makes disciples despite pushback. She used questions to help Salaam realize he could help others discover God from Scripture for themselves.