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Certainly no human can doubt that Jesus loved us; he gave up his body, spirit and life to be true to his mission and to his Father, God. It follows that he would not mislead us.
Jesus was a messenger of God, a man and a divine educator in one, a twofold station. He was like the Sun itself, coming down to earth and walking on two legs, speaking to the crowds, performing miracles yet always humble toward his Father “who art in heaven.” Christ asked his followers to love one another, even to sacrifice their lives for one another.
As the light of Christianity began to dim, with powerful interests controlling its spread and influence, corruption began to set in. At the same time Muhammad appeared in the desert of the Arabian peninsula, where he taught the Word of God. He called for the tribes to end putting idols before God, even as many Christians worshipped Christ as a God made flesh. Muhammad taught submission to God’s will and much more, giving social laws as well. His principle teaching was that there was only one God. Muhammad eschewed any claim to be God Himself, God come to Earth, or God in the flesh.
The facts surrounding the later blood feuds, wars and hatred surrounding the history of these two great Faiths shows the human inability to interpret the will of God. The Baha’i teachings—which revere all of the founders of the world’s great Faiths, including Christ and Muhammad—say that only the divine educator can do that, is empowered to do that, is embued with the holy spirit and is capable of doing it:
… in the kingdoms of earth and heaven there must needs be manifested a Being, an Essence Who shall act as a Manifestation and Vehicle for the transmission of the grace of the Divinity Itself, the Sovereign Lord of all. … It is for this very purpose that in every age and dispensation the Prophets of God and His chosen Ones have appeared amongst men, and have evinced such power as is born of God and such might as only the Eternal can reveal. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, pp. 67-68.
The prophets teach us that God gifts every human with the capacity to love him and to know him. As imperfect beings we must cast off the dross and dust of this world to find that love. Our love becomes obscured, like a mirror does, without cleansing and polishing. That cleansing and polishing mean immersing ourselves in the teachings of the divine educator for the day and time in which we live. In this day, Baha’is believe, that messenger is Baha’u’llah. He wrote:
Simply put, love God, and His love will reach you.
But what is love? A deep caring? A strong like? At the least it is the need to be around that person. Since Baha’u’llah has passed from this world, Baha’is become close to Baha’u’llah by reading and absorbing his voluminous writings and following his teachings, all leading to the love of God.
The Baha’i teachings warn us, though, not to confuse our love for the light with a misplaced love for the lamp itself.
Abdu’l-Baha explained this in a talk contained in Some Answered Questions:
They [these holy Souls] are even as this glass globe whose light comes from the flame of the lamp. Although the light appears to emanate from the glass, in reality it proceeds from the flame. Similarly, the movement and repose of the Prophets of God, Who are His Manifestations, proceed from revelation and not from mere human whim. Were it not so, how could the Prophet act as a faithful representative and chosen envoy of God? How could He promulgate God’s commandments and prohibitions? – p. 192.
Likewise, we conceive of God in one way and ascribe attributes to him of our own making, when in reality He is above all attributes, just like the Sun exists independent of its rays. It is the attributes of God described and taught by prophets such as the Buddha, Christ, Muhammad and Baha’u’llah that we must study and emulate if we wish to find love, receive love and emanate love:
Let all be united in this Divine power of love! Let all strive to grow in the light of the Sun of Truth, and reflecting this luminous love on all men, may their hearts become so united that they may dwell evermore in the radiance of the limitless love. – Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 37.