- Kevin Garrison
JESUS ENDORSED EVIDENCE
Last post I conveyed that God has created our minds so intricately that we should examine the evidence He has provided to us that show He is real, His Son did exist and is the way to Him, and the Bible can be trusted. God put in us a yearning to know Him and our feelings can draw to Him however I don’t think God wanted us to believe in Him with just our feelings but also with our minds since we are created in His image. God is super intelligent therefore He created us to have some intelligence.
This letter I’m going to borrow from Pastor Daniel Lee’s theme of “Encounters with Christ” to show Jesus encourages us to examine evidence to believe in Him. I’m not saying if you don’t look at the evidence for Christianity that you lose your salvation. We can become a Christian with a faith of a child however I think Jesus shows that He would want us to build our faith stronger with our minds. From the “Love” chapter in 1st Corinthians 13:9, Paul talks about putting away childish things. Remember Jesus taught in parables therefore I think Jesus wanted believers to use their minds to consider His claims about Himself.
First incident is in Mark 19:10-14, Jesus rebuked the disciples for not believing the women, 2 travelers to Emmaus, and the empty tomb with his linen clothes left behind. In Jewish law, when two or more witnesses verified an event they were considered trustworthy yet the disciples didn’t believe multiple sources and an empty tomb.
Second incident in Luke 7:2-23, John the Baptist was put in prison and he sent out 2 of his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come or should we expect someone else?”. Now just before this John’s disciples had just reported to John 2 miracles (Healing of the Centurion’s slave and raising a dead man to life) that Jesus performed plus John saw at Jesus’ baptism the dove come down and declare “This is My Son in whom I am well pleased” however John still sent his disciples to ask the question. I think everyone who believed Jesus was the Messiah at that time was thinking He was going to overthrow the Roman Government including Jesus’ disciples so John being in prison thought he was going to be a part of that revolt not in prison and possibly be put to death which eventually he was beheaded. Jesus responded to John’s disciples with this, “Go report to John what you have seen and heard…” to which Jesus performed more miracles of healing and the good news to the poor.
Third incident in John 20:25-29, this one of the more popular stories of Jesus resurrected usually labeled “Doubting Thomas” but also the one mistaken that we should have “Blind” faith in believing Jesus. Jesus was rebuking Thomas when He said “Blessed are those believe but not have seen” cause just like the other the disciples Thomas didn’t believe with multiple sources that they saw Jesus and reports of the empty tomb with the linen clothes behind. Faith isn’t just believing without seeing but is believing with evidence without seeing God or Jesus. Looking at evidence or examining the claims of Christianity isn’t having less faith but is being a reasonable person that God created to understand the truth about Him. God didn’t create us to have “blind” faith but rather “intelligent” faith with the knowledge He has provided us through evidences about the universe, archaeology, records outside of the Bible, and the Bible itself by showing how it is true.
Next post I’m going to give an historical background on why using evidence to show Christianity is true has become more critical.