[Editor’s note: The following article is based on excerpts from a March 1, 2020 address delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, “Jesus Is the Key,” at the Nation of Islam’s Mosque Maryam in Chicago. This is Part 2 of this important message, which was a continuation of a keynote address delivered Sunday, Feb. 23, to close Saviours’ Day, the national convention of the Nation of Islam.]


Mosque Maryam in Chicago was filled to capacity during Minister Farrakhan’s March 1 message.

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.


For the last near 40 years, I have been labeled as an anti-Semite.  Most of you have heard that name applied to me and to us.  They called me in, invited me to dinner; and I invited them to dinner. 

Top Jewish scholars came and sat at my table—my Father’s table, but I’m living in the house.  They’re sitting at my table and they’re telling me, “Farrakhan, you do not try to teach us!”  Did you hear what I said?  Rabbi Shalman, who was the dean of all of the rabbis in Chicago, said, “You don’t lecture us.  That’s for me to do!”  In other words, “How dare you, nigger?”  Underneath, that’s what it’s all about.  How dare you think that you can criticize and correct us? 

I said, Rabbi, there was a rich man in the Bible, who persecuted Lazarus.  The rich man died, and Lazarus was in the bosom of Abraham.  The rich man said, “Hey, hey Laz, could you come down and put a drop of water on my parched tongue?”  Abraham wouldn’t even let Lazarus speak.  He said, “There’s a gulf between you and him and he can’t come to put no water on your tongue.” 

Now the rabbi knows the parable. 

The rich man had some brothers. He said, “Could you let him go to my five brothers and give them some water?”  Evidently the whole family was catching hell.  Abraham said, “No, he can’t come to your brother or your brothers.” 

I said, “Rabbi, are you telling me that if I came from God with a message for you, that you would reject me because of my color, and the wisdom that is in my mouth is for your salvation? Would you do that, rabbi?”    The rabbi would not accept wisdom from me to correct his people because of the color of my skin.

The name of this subject is “Jesus is the Key.”  It was a long time getting to it, but I had to lay the right base. There may be some Christian scholars in this house, and I would like to engage you for a moment.  This is not vanity; I just want to talk to you about Jesus.  The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, if we knew the history of Jesus, the truth of him, we would awaken at once. What is there about the knowledge of Jesus that is hidden from us, that if we knew it we’d be up and moving?  Could it be that that’s why Jesus said, “You shall know” what?  [Audience: The truth!]  And what would truth do?  [Audience: Set you free!].  Are you free?!  [Audience: No sir!]. Well then you don’t know!  So, the Bible, Paul talking, “How can they know except they have a teacher?  How can they have a teacher except he be sent?” 

White folk aren’t sending you a teacher to free you from their grip.  God has to send one for you. 

Did you know that some of the Jews in Israel call Jesus a monkey?  How many of you have ever heard that they refer to Jesus as that monkey?  They wrote on a church in Palestine or in Israel, “Jesus is a monkey.”  When White folk want to tease you, they call you a monkey.  Jesus had a hard time among them.  These are words from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, “When Jesus came into his mission, he was the last prophet to the Jews.  But he was born in Palestine and fled to Egypt, where his mother was born.”  He was a melanin colored human, kinky hair, and they didn’t like him.  The same spirit that that rabbi came to me, “How dare you think you can come and teach us?”  That’s the way they felt about Jesus, who was their last prophet. 

Muslims believe Jesus was only a prophet.  Christians believe Jesus of 2,000 years ago was in fact the Messiah.  So, on those two points, Son of God, all of that kind of talk, Muslims and Christians disagree.  God has come to clear up the differences and help us to understand why we are really one.  Jesus of 2,000 years ago was only a prophet.  When he thought that he was going to be the one to destroy the civilization of those to whom he was sent, and found out they had 2,000 more years on our planet, he was as Paul said, “a man born out of due season.” 



So, Jesus, my brother, knew he was 2,000 years too soon.  Jesus came to remind the Jews to cleanse themselves from their deviation from the law given by Moses and the Israelite prophets to them.  Jesus warned them that if they did not cleanse, if they did not come back to the law of God given to them through Moses and the Israelite prophets, then 2,000 years in the future they would meet their end.  Jesus, when he found out he was 2,000 years too soon; and when he knew he was only a sign of that one that would come at the end of the rule of this world, he decided—listen to the words—he decided to give his life for the truth that he taught.  


There he was in Palestine.  He never taught the multitudes.  There were no multitudes in Palestine listening to Jesus.  In fact, the day that he decided to die for the truth that he taught, he had his largest crowd: 35 people.  Jesus didn’t run from the enemy.  He offered his life, not to the enemy, but he offered his life for the truth that he taught from God and he goes out on the streets of Jerusalem to die.  

I’m going to depart for a moment to tell you about the mind of a prophet of God.  “How can you do that?”  Because I am one of them.  Hanging out with Elijah, a prophet becomes a low line of what He brings His students to.  Prophets do not come to the people to whom they were missioned with the thought in mind, “I hate them, and I hope they won’t listen so that The God will kill them.”  See, if a prophet hates the one that he comes to teach and warn, he’s weak as a teacher and does not represent the mercy of God in his prophetic mission and message.  Jesus had compassion for the Jews.  “How do you know that, Farrakhan?”  Because I’ve never been a hater of the Jewish people.  In all my conversations with them, the level of conversation is at the highest level.  I never raise my voice.  There’s compassion in my voice.  

Rabbi Shalman was a brilliant rabbi, but his scriptural power was weak when it comes to knowing the prophecies concerning his people.  The rabbis wanted me to bow to them.  They gave me a set of principles that they wanted me to live up to, and they would “clean up my image.”  Now, if you know the art of the deal, you don’t deal with Satan.  You don’t give him an inch.  Any compromise with Satan is compromising your own victory over Satan. 

One of the Jewish men said, “Would you come before the board of rabbis?”  I said, “Tomorrow, if you could arrange it.”  Another rabbi said, “Would you come to the synagogue?”  I said, “Tonight, if you could arrange it.”  Rabbi Shalman said, “Wait, wait, wait.  Slow down.”  I’m telling you the truth.  I invited the rabbis to come here, stand in this pulpit and talk to those who are with me. 

He said, “Well, I, I, I can’t do that.  It would send the wrong signal.” 

I wanted them to see you, listening to me, that I’ve never taught one of you in private or in the public, to do harm to anybody.  So, when I said I was anxious to come to the synagogue and to talk to the board of rabbis, they closed that down right away. 

I said, “Well why don’t you come to the mosque and you can speak to those who follow me.  See if you can feel hatred coming out of them as you try to teach.”  Because see, I never taught none of you to hate Jews.  If you hate them, you hate them on your own, not because I taught you.  … I said, “Sit with me and my family and I won’t say a word.  You can talk to them.”  I had the utmost confidence that my family would respect their presence because we’re civilized people.  I said, You’re sensitive.  You know when people hate.  You can feel it!


There’s another Jesus, not the historical Jesus, but the prophetic Jesus.  Seventy-five percent of what you read in the New Testament, the Gospels, are not of Jesus, the prophet, but of Jesus who was prophesied to come, the Messiah.  The Jesus you read about spoke to the multitudes.  J. Edgar Hoover, like Herod and the rest of the demons, knew who they were looking for.  They were looking for a Black Messiah who could unite our people, especially the nationalist community.

A lot of people speak to multitudes, but the message that they speak is not messianic.  Jesus knew nothing of what you call Christianity.  He never preached Christianity.  My teacher taught me that Jesus’ teaching was freedom, justice, and equality, which is what we teach today.  Could it be that the Jesus you’re looking for is hiding in plain sight?  I couldn’t speak it 40 years ago, because I didn’t know.  I knew enough to get started. He (the Hon. Elijah Muhammad) taught me of Moses.  He taught me of Aaron.  He taught me of Elijah.  He taught me of Elisha.  He taught me of Abraham.  He taught me of all these great ones. 

Then he said, like David in the 40th Psalm, I think it is.  It reads, “And lo, I come in the volume of the Book.” I’m not on a page.  I’m in the whole volume of the book!    David was the prototype of the Jesus, the Messiah.  The first time Elijah Muhammad laid eyes on me, physically in his presence, he came over to me after dinner. He said, “Brother, you remind me of David.”  Study David, the Messenger said to me.  He taught me about Moses. He taught me about Aaron.  He taught me about Jesus, only a prophet. 

And then one day, He said, “Brother, when you find out who you are, you’re going to have to struggle to hold yourself down.” 

He knew all along who His student was. 

He was gently guiding me to the reality of who I really am!   And none of you will be successful in teaching until you know and preach who I am! 

Elijah Muhammad made me the representative of His message on radio for six years.  And one day he called me, and he said, “Brother, I want you to speak on the subject, ‘Upon This Man Will I Lay The Key.’  I said, “Yes sir.”  I preached the subject and sent it to him.  He said, “No, you missed.  Try it again.”  Second time he listened.  He said, “No, you missed again.  Try it one more time.”  On the third time I thought I was getting close.  He said, “You missed it again. But go on to the next subject.”  See, you can’t give a man something to eat if at that point he isn’t hungry.  He was trying to get me to see something and I missed it every time. 

One day last year, I came to the National House and Brother Abdul Rasul Muhammad, general manager for The Final Call, was in the meeting room where we have our cabinet meetings and whatnot.  He said, “I found the tape that you made at Emory University in Georgia.  They’ve got a lot of your tapes.”  He said, “But I got this one.”

When I looked at it, I had been saying the title wrong, throwing myself off, because it wasn’t time.   See what you have to understand with God and when He’s making a man, he’s got to be on time when he learns, not before time—on time.  The real subject was: “On This Man Will I Lay The Key,” but I was saying the subject was “On This Man Have I Laid The Key.”  That shows you how one word messing up the tense of the verb, can throw you completely off; and that’s why you are messed up over Jesus because you’re looking past and Jesus is walking in present time! …

Once I got the tense right, those of you who study English, you’re not speaking correctly unless you have verb and subject agreement.  In other words, you can’t be in the present with an action that ties you to the past.  You’ve got to come all the way up into present time in order to be successful at what you do, if what you do is supposed to be done in present time. “Upon This Man (this man is the man who’s talking) Will I Lay The Key.”  That’s big.  Now he’s (the Honorable Elijah Muhammad) about to give me some keys.  Evidently, I wasn’t ready to receive them.  You read the Psalms, and you read David, and you read the kind of key that God gave David.  The key to the house of David was given to Jesus.  What he opens no man can close and what he closes no man can open.  Now I could read that all day long, it wouldn’t mean anything to me because I don’t know David and I’m learning about Jesus. …   

Put that constellation of stars up, that you had up last week with my teacher and me in the center of the prophetic community—those are the worthies of God.  Look who is in the center.  It’s not one man.  It’s two men who act as one.  My teacher said these words during the “Theology of Time,” lecture series in 1972, “You all don’t know what the fulfiller looks like.”  Fulfiller of what?  The prophecies of all of the former prophets.  What He was telling you is he—Elijah Muhammad—fulfills the prophetic utterances of the former prophets and his life touches their life.  His mission encompasses their mission and ends the time of prophets because now you’re coming into the time of the presence of God.  God making you, me, us into gods. 

Elijah Muhammad, this is his helper by his side, made for him by the one that’s not there for you to see, but His name is Master Fard Muhammad.  Jesus is the key!  Jesus closes the door on Prophethood.  Not Jesus the prophet, Jesus the Messiah.  He’s not yesterday; he’s today.

He was a man of color yesterday.  They rejected him and called him a monkey and the Jews went astray.  See, Moses’ law was broken 1700 years after Moses.  A wicked fellow named Nimrod broke the civilization of Moses and the whole earth went into darkness, spiritual darkness, and Jesus was born in that darkness—out of that darkness.  He was telling the Jewish people you’ve got to go back to what Moses and the Israelite prophets taught you and if you clean yourself up God will not destroy you.

They hated him and they sought to kill him and the Jews and the Roman soldiers, they got him.  … The reason I love Jesus so much, and of all the subjects and histories that the Messenger taught me, I taught the history of Jesus the best of all the histories, not knowing, not knowing that I was teaching about myself. 

Nobody in America—in the world—has attracted the anger of the Jewish people more than who?  [Audience: Farrakhan].  I’ve never hurt one Jewish person in my life.  I’ve never told anyone of you to harm one of them.  

Now those of you who have Bibles, go home and in the 8th Chapter of John there’s a controversy between Jesus and members of the Jewish community. 

Jesus said to the Jews, “I know you—you’re not the Children of Abraham, for if you were the children of Abraham you would do the works of Abraham and you would love me for I came from God and now you hate me, a man that has told you the truth.  You seek to kill me; a man that has told you the truth.” 

Some of us are like those Jews that hated Jesus without a cause.  When I was in that little chapel in Arizona on the day my brother Kobe was pronounced dead, when I finished my prayer and looked up into the eyes of Jesus, a Black man on a cross.  His eyes were like—not fearful—but he was deeply concerned about what he was looking at.  When I saw it, I exclaimed, “Father you know that I now know that I’m looking at myself.” 

When I was 12 years in rebuilding the Nation, I met the head of the Rabitat, the Muslim World League in Mecca.  He came to Chicago and he wanted to introduce me to 150 imams.  I said I would like that, but I would like to come to Mecca and meet with the scholars.  I’m not thinking that I’m fulfilling scripture, when Jesus was 12 years old, he confounded the scholars.  The man arranged for me to come to Mecca, sent for me, paid my way.  There was nothing they could do with the words of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad; his Invincible Truth.  They agreed to let me be, they didn’t bow down.  But they could not defeat my arguments. …

There’s a scripture in the Bible that says that Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness. My teacher asked me, “Do you know what that means?” I said, ‘No sir.  I don’t know.”  Stop faking it.  If you don’t know, shut up.  The more you try to fake it to make yourself look wise; you make yourself look like just what you are: a foolish person.  So, I told my teacher no, I don’t know what that means.  He says it means that Jesus was not permitted to make a convert to himself in 40 years.  The man was among us: We called Him Elijah Muhammad, Brother Minister, Dear Holy Apostle, but we didn’t know who He really was.

As the time got more and more for Him to go, I started coming up into the knowledge of him.  It frightened me and I wrote him a letter telling him the things that he was teaching me that were heavy with the hint of who he really was.  I put it all together and threw it on the plate:  Am I a believer in you in a new reality?  He said, “Brother that note that you thought you sent me was the biggest letter that I ever received from you.”

The Big Jesus, the Son of Man that came out of the East even unto the West, in the 24th Chapter of Matthew that’s Master Fard Muhammad, the Great Mahdi.  He came to North America by Himself and He raised Elijah Muhammad and for 43 years Elijah Muhammad taught us, but he never told us who he was.  But before he left us, he said, “Brother don’t worry about where you are in the Scriptures.  You make My great commission known and I will represent you to the people.”  His great commission while he was among us? He was in fact the Messiah.  He was taught the Book, the Wisdom, The Torah, the Gospel.  He will teach us what foods to eat, what foods to store in our houses.  He taught us how to eat to live.  You look at the Muslims who are disciplining their eating habits; their skin glows, their eyes are bright, and we’re putting years on our lives.  That’s what the Messiah would do. …

When Jesus gave his sermon on the Mount, he said, “Blessed are you when men shall revile you, persecute you, say all manner of evil against you falsely for my name’s sake.”  Then Jesus said, “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.  So, did they the prophets.”

You are in a prophetic community and you can’t think now because somebody went in front of you and I was evil spoken of. The moment you tell your family, “I went to the mosque,” that’s when you’re being evil spoken of right from Jump Street.  

Moses spoke to Pharaoh.  The Pharaoh of yesterday is nothing compared to the Pharaoh of today.  Mr. Trump is the Pharaoh of today.  You’re caught between a rock and a hard place; you don’t know where to place your bet.  We place ours with God.

If you look at all those great stars, the prophets of God, they don’t equal one Elijah, all of them put together. He’s fathering me and you, through me, into great wisdom.  Are you willing to suffer for the establishment of the truth?  A lot of those disciples said a lot of stuff.  You can make your mouth say anything.  But when the deal goes down, how deep is your love? I, like my brother before me, have come out to die.  Not to die stupidly, but to challenge Satan.  My teacher reminded me of Job.  God and Satan were having a talk, and Satan told God when God asked him, “Whence cometh thou?”  He said, “I’ve been walking up and down, to and fro in the earth.  I did my job.  I ate up all your people.”  God asked him, “Have you considered my servant, Job?” 

That’s the price we have to pay to set our people free, free from the grip of Satan. 

So, God asked him, “did you consider Job?”  He said, “yeah, we tried to kill him a few times.”  I stand before you almost like a dead man because of what they’ve done to me.  I have very few internal organs that are still there because he put so much radiation in me it ate up my insides.  Look at me.  Listen to me.  I have lived in so much pain that I couldn’t sit down like normal people do, because it (radiation treatment for prostate cancer) ate up the rectum.

I’m not trying to get praise.  We’ll just give all the thanks and the praise to God.  Ask my wife and my children about the pain that I lived with for years; where there’s not a pain medicine that the devil made that I haven’t been guilty of using because I was in so much pain.  … I never preached to you high.  I just preached to you in pain, never missed a beat.  When the devil looks at me wondering why I’m not dead, it’s because God has put a hedge around me. 

But Satan said, “God, if you remove that hedge, I’ll make him curse You to Your face.”  God told Satan, “I’ll remove the hedge.  Do with him what you feel you want to do; only you can’t take his life.”  And one man stood between God and Satan for the liberation of the people.  See you love Jesus and you have every right to love him.  The reason you love him so is because he died so-called for our sins.  You never met that Jesus.

Elijah Muhammad told me and us, “two-thirds of the Holy Qur’an was for me and one-third is for some other fellow; and I’m going to let him worry about his part.”  Elijah Muhammad fulfilled his two-thirds; I am willing to fulfill mine.  He said, “through you I will get all my people.”  How would that happen?  You’ve got to lay it all down.  This is one man he (Satan) can’t break, but he’s going to try.  And if I pass the test, I fulfill the Scriptures.  He was bruised for our iniquities.  That didn’t happen back there.  It happens every day of my life up here.  The cross is meant for me and I am meant for that cross.  But the Scripture of the Psalms says, “Must Jesus bear the cross alone and all the world go free?”  There’s a cross for you and there’s a cross for me. 

Jesus was God’s man.  He was like a son of God.  And He loved His son so much, that He offered him.  That’s why I said last week, I’m not running from you White folks.  I know I’ve got to pay a price for my courage to speak the truth.  But death is sweet if it leads to your redemption.  They won’t kill more than 300 of us, so said the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.  I don’t want to make you sad, because my death is a glorious thing.  It’s going to look pretty bad, but on that third day, somebody has to live it in front of you so that you can know it is real.  That’s the price for the redemption of our people.  

Don’t say that they can’t arrest the Minister; he’s too powerful.  No, they will arrest me.  They arrested my father before me.  They’re wondering why I’m not dead right now because they put some powerful radiation in me, and they knew I wasn’t going to survive.  They say, “why don’t the nigger die?” 

May Allah bless you.  May Allah bless you to be strong in faith.  May Allah bless you to hold on to that Invincible Truth that is the foundation of your faith.    Elijah Muhammad, he is our Great Jesus.  He worked with us for 40 years.  He escaped death.  Pick up your Qur’an and read it for yourself.  He was made to appear as such, but they did not kill Him for certain.  When I went to the Wheel and came back with a message they knew then—when I could expose what they were planning in secret—somebody told me something.

I’m going to close on a note about Kobe Bryant.  Kobe is a star and God took him in the way He took him, so that we could focus on him.  God took Jesus in the way He took Jesus, so that the world could focus on him.  Kobe died at 41 but when his light was put out by the evil accident of time, the star died but the light is still traveling through space and time.  When you look at the stars at night, many of those stars have died a long time ago, many light years away and the light is still traveling.  You and I could look up and see the light of a star that’s gone. 

You can look up now and see the light of Abraham.  You can see the light of Moses and Aaron.  You can see the light of Jesus the prophet.  You can see the light of Muhammad.  Their light is still traveling through space and time.  And Kobe’s light will go on touching young people because God made Kobe, and Gianna and the people that died with him, they’ve found a degree of immortality.  Some people live and die, and you never hear about them anymore.  The Muslims in New Zealand that the White boy went and killed them in the mosque; and those that he killed in the mosque were those who were there early waiting to say their prayers.    But those that were in the mosque on time and they met the enemy and they met death; whenever that tragedy is mentioned we’ve got to mention those who lost their lives.

God gives life. He takes life.  Kobe is more alive now than he was when he was alive.  God wanted you to study not just the passion he had for basketball for which he won an Oscar, but God wants you to study his passion for life and the business of life.  

I know that this was my last Saviours’ Day for a while.  I came back today to this house, which is our house, to tell you, don’t you let yourself be the woman that loses your faith and you pull the yarn of your life and end up as nothing.  Don’t you laborers get it twisted, you can lose all you think you got if you lose your faith.

Satan is tugging now, especially at the Executive Council.  “They think they’re going to govern the Nation.”  Don’t leave one bit of your faith messed-up because you will unravel.  Keep your yarn tight.  Keep your faith right.  Wherever I am you’ll know I’m not dead.  I will die, but not now.   I’ve got more work to do.  I have to go get a Book for you. 

You stay strong.  You stay together.  Every Black leader that we lost; his closing words were always about the unity of all of us is going to protect us as we go through the fire.

Thank you for listening.  As-Salaam Alaikum.