Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. John 20:29
Listen: John 20
The people surrounding Jesus didn’t always believe immediately. Some looked at the evidence and embraced Jesus as God while others refused. Often the reason they refused is because Jesus wasn’t who they wanted. They held a belief that wouldn’t let them see Jesus for who he was. They refused to reconsider their assumptions. This happened in the first century, and it happens today.
John Dickson points out two traditional objections to the evidence provided by Jesus’ miracles (pages 65-72). The first is philosophical and is a clash between a view of life based on naturalism and one based on theism. Naturalism says everything in life must be explained by natural causes. It assumes something like miracles can’t happen because they’re inherently not natural. Theism says there is a creator or designer who has the right to break those natural rules when he sees fit.
The second objection is historical and believes the evidence for Jesus or his miracles is not reliable. Yet, a close look at the evidence demonstrates its reliability. Dickson writes, “What historians can (and do) affirm is that Jesus’ friends and foes alike all conceded the supernatural nature of his ministry” (page 71).
Doubt isn’t bad. Asking good questions and requiring evidence is part of being human. But we can use our questions and doubt to dismiss something without being willing to have our mind changed and without seriously considering the evidence. That’s a dangerous doubt because it’s based on assumptions we’re unwilling to reconsider.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Tell God you are willing to have your mind changed. Pray a prayer of openness like, “God, please convince me Jesus was real and who he said he was. Help me be open to reasonable evidence and not just dismiss it. Help me be willing to believe in a God I may never fully understand.” Then, begin to look at the evidence for Jesus. Start with reading (or rereading) chapter 2 of A Doubter’s Guide to Jesus.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.