A new baby in the home !!! How the adults admire him. "What a handsome baby! He's got his father's eyes, but that cute little nose is like his mother's." Perhaps some kindly person will say, "This boy will be a great man. Maybe he'll be president some day!" Of course, the proud parents beam with pleasure as they show their baby to people.

Babies give us hope for better times and trust that we have a future at least in the lives of our children. Probably no baby has inspired more hope and trust than Jesus, the son of Mary.

According to the Qur'an, the presence of the baby amazed and shocked the people when Mary brought the infant Jesus back to her home village. All her neighbors could think of was that since Mary was unmarried, she must have done evil and had sexual relations with some man. They felt disgusted and condemned her. "What is this amazing thing you bring to us?" they asked. "Your father wasn't an evil man. Your mother wasn't an unchaste woman." (Sura 19:27-33)

Mary patiently listened to their accusations but instead of explaining or defending herself, she pointed to the baby. "How can we talk to a baby?" they asked. Then a response came to them from the unexpected source, the lips of the infant. The baby declared he was a prophet who received revelation from God. God had commanded him to observe prayers and charity. God made him kind to his mother. He was neither rebellious nor overbearing. The baby continued talking, announcing that his total life from his birth to his death and on to his resurrection from the dead would be lived in the framework of God's peace. God would bless him wherever he would go.

In this way Jesus defended his mother while he announced his purpose in life and God's plan for him. He would live within the framework of God's peace.

I place my trust in the Bible, which also announces Jesus' purpose and his peace.

One announcement is given by angels. A great group of heavenly angels appeared to some shepherds while they watched their flocks at night near the place where Jesus was born. The angel spokesman told the shepherds,

"Do not be afraid .... Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11)

Then the angels sang,

"Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace to men on whom his favor rests." (Luke 2:14)

Another announcement was made when Jesus was eight days old. Mary and her husband, Joseph, took the baby Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem to present him to the Lord and to offer a sacrifice as Jewish law required. An old man named Simeon was led by God's Spirit to meet them in the temple. He held the baby in his arms and praised God, saying:

"Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." (Luke 2:29-32)

Therefore, in both the Qur'an and the Bible, Jesus' life purpose was announced while he was still an infant. His life, death and resurrection are specifically mentioned in the Qur'an. His coming influence in both the Jewish and non-Jewish worlds are declared in the Bible. Above all, there is the blessing of peace. According to the Qur'an, Jesus will live in a framework of peace during his life, death and resurrection. In the Bible, that peace extends to all people who find God's favor. The announcement is joyous, causing angels to sing and people to praise God.

Was there ever such a baby whose influence over all mankind was understood and proclaimed before he could crawl or eat solid food while he was still an infant cradled in his mother's arms?

Would you like to experience the peace promised by angels that Jesus brought?

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