TOP 10 REASONS TO BELIEVE IN JESUS (PART 2)
FACTS & SOURCES
The following facts and sources support the statement: “Though his favorite title for himself was the ‘Son of Man’, he claimed the be the ‘Messiah’ (the Savior of the World) and the ‘Son of God’. But perhaps his greatest claim is summed up in a single verse: ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”
Jesus claimed to be the “Son of Man” numerous times throughout the gospels. Examples include Matthew 16:13, Mark 10:45 and Mark 14:62.
Jesus claimed to be the “Messiah” (which means Savior or Deliverer) in John 4:25-26, Matthew 16:16-17 and Matthew 26:63-64.
Jesus claimed to be the “Son of God” in Matthew 16:16-17 and Matthew 26:63-64.
Jesus also forgave sins” (Mathew 9:1-8, Mark 2:1-12), accepted worship (Matthew 2:11, Matthew 14:33, Matthew 28:9, Luke 24:52), and claimed to be the “giver of eternal life” (John 10:28).
But many consider his greatest claim to be John 14:6 (New International Version below)
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
The phrase “even his own brothers did not believe in him” if found in John 7:5.
The following sources support the statement: “James became so convinced of the deity of his big brother after witnessing the resurrection that he went from being a skeptic to a church leader and was even willing to die as a martyr for his faith.”
In 1 Corinthians 15:3-7, Paul mentions the resurrected Christ appeared to Peter, and then the 12 disciples, and then more than 500 believers. Then, he appeared to James and finally to all of the apostles living at the time.
In the Book of Acts, chapter 15, the apostles and elders of the Church met to consider the question of whether the Gentile (non-Jewish) believers are required to be circumcised and follow the law of Moses. James was not only present at that meeting, he was as influential as Peter and the other disciples.
James was also called a “pillar” in Galatians 2:9.
1 Corinthians 15:3-7 also supports the statement: “The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to one of the churches he planted where he stated that Jesus was seen by more than 500 people after his resurrection.”
The following source supports the statement: “Except for John, who was exiled for his belief, it is generally believed that every single one of these men were brutally killed for their faith.”
Ken Curtis PhD. Whatever Happened to the Twelve Apostles? Christianity.com, 2010. https://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1-300/whatever-happened-to-the-twelve-apostles-11629558.html
The statements at the end of the video are a paraphrase of C.S. Lewis statements in Mere Christianity:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -- on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg -- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” - Mere Christianity (end of chapter 3)
“We are faced, then, with a frightening alternative. This man we are talking about either was (and is) just what He said, or else a lunatic, or something worse. Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.” - Mere Christianity (beginning of chapter 4)
TOP 10 REASONS TO BELIEVE IN JESUS (PART 2)
Welcome to part 2 of our top 10 countdown: the Top 10 Reasons to Believe in Jesus. In part one, we established that no other name is misused more than the name of Jesus Christ, his life marks our time in history, he was conceived by the Holy Spirit, he performed numerous undeniable miracles, and he fulfilled over 300 prophecies about the Messiah written before he was born. Let’s continue with the top 5 reasons to believe in Jesus:
Number Five. The God Claim.
Many religions today believe that Jesus was a good moral teacher and a good prophet, but they deny His deity. But this isn’t what Jesus said about himself. Though his favorite title for himself was the “Son of Man”, he claimed the be the “Messiah” (the Savior of the World) and the “Son of God”. But perhaps his greatest claim is summed up in a single verse: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Number Four. Sibling Worship.
Do you have any brothers or sisters? Did you always get along with them? How would you react if when your older brother turned thirty years old and started a public ministry he claimed to be the Son of God and Savior of the World? Chances are you might have some issues with this.
Jesus’ siblings didn’t take it too well, either. In fact, John tells us that while Jesus was still alive, “even his own brothers did not believe in him”.
However, Jesus’ brother, James, was an early witness of the resurrection and later became an influential leader in the church. He wrote the book of James and in the opening verse he describes himself as “a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ”. You see, James became so convinced of the deity of his big brother after witnessing the resurrection that he went from being a skeptic to a church leader and was even willing to die as a martyr for his faith.
Number Three. The Empty Tomb.
You could search every tomb near the place where Jesus was crucified… you could excavate every inch of land and you will never find a single one of his bones. Why is this? Because unlike any other religious or political figure who has ever lived, Jesus Christ is no longer dead. He is risen. This is the miracle we celebrate on Easter Sunday.
The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to one of the churches he planted where he stated that Jesus was seen by more than 500 people after his resurrection. And Paul mentions that most of them are still alive at time of his writing. It’s like he was pleading with his audience, “if you still don’t believe, go and find one of these 500 eyewitnesses to His death and resurrection and talk to them for yourself.” That’s a bold statement that Paul would not make unless he was 100% confident Jesus rose from the dead.
Number Two. The Martyred Disciples.
The Apostle Paul was indeed confident about his faith in Jesus. So much so that he endured intense persecution and severe torture on a regular basis. And eventually, he was beheaded for his unwavering belief. And he wasn’t the only one.
Jesus called twelve men to be his closest followers: Peter and Andrew, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew, James and Thaddaeus, Simon and Judas Iscariot. After Judas betrayed Jesus, he hanged himself for his guilt and was replaced by Mattias.
Except for John, who was exiled for his belief, it is generally believed that every single one of these men were brutally killed for their faith. Some were crucified, some were pierced. Some were stoned. Some were burned alive.
If any of the miracles were counterfeit, Jesus would have needed help. If he faked his death or his resurrection, these men would have known about it. It’s almost as if history went out of its way to show us beyond a shadow of a doubt that these men truly believed that Jesus Christ was Lord and Savior.
Number One. The Sum of All Truth.
If reasons one through nine, by themselves, were not enough to convince you to believe in Jesus, I encourage you to look at them as a whole. I dare say you could take the top ten most influential people that have ever lived, excluding Jesus, combine their entire life achievements… and you would still not be able to produce a list that is even in the same class as this one.
No one’s name is misused more than his, his life marks our time in history, he was conceived of the Holy Spirit, he performed numerous undeniable miracles, he fulfilled over 300 prophecies written before he was born, he claimed to be God, his siblings worshiped him after he rose from the dead, and almost all of his closest family, friends and first followers died horrible deaths as martyrs for believing in him, without ever once recanting their faith.
To paraphrase C.S. Lewis:
We simply cannot hold that Jesus was a great moral teacher and yet deny his claims to be God. If what he said about himself wasn’t true then he would be a liar, a lunatic or something even worse. You have the freedom to reject him, to curse him, even to hate him. But don’t say he was a good moral teacher and then deny his greatest claims and achievements. It seems obvious to me that he wasn’t a liar or a lunatic, and therefore, however unlikely or difficult it may be, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.
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