And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say], ‘Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allah. And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead – by permission of Allah. And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers.
The following excerpt is taken from “The Holy Quran in Today’s English” under the commentary of the above verse note # 295:
“There are two interpretations for the clay bird. Some commentators say that Jesus performed a standard miracle by bringing a clay bird to life in order to astonish his listeners, while others say this is a metaphor for the Jewish nation which was like a lifeless bird. The reformation of Jesus would breath new life into the community’s spiritual practices. There is a report in Thomas’ Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ, (which was written approximately 150 CE and which was regarded as authoritative by many early Christians, but rejected centuries later), in which we read: “See, your child is at the stream, and has taken clay and molded twelve birds; he has profaned the Sabbath.” Joseph came to the place and seeing what Jesus did he cried out, “Why do you do on the Sabbath what it is not lawful to do?” Jesus clapped his hands and cried out to the sparrows, “Be gone.” And the sparrows flew off chirping. The Jews saw this and were amazed. They went away and described to their leaders what they had seen Jesus do.” (Another early Christian book entitled, The First Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ (1:2), also carries the same story.)”
Emerick, Yahiya. The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an in Today’s English (p. 827). Unknown. Kindle Edition.