Last month, in my monthly article of Firm Foundations, I used a true story analogy of a women who was a victim of a crime. This criminal had stolen her identity and too much avail had a difficult time amidst all the lies declaring Her true identity. No matter how much she provided correct documentation and valid evidence to disprove the lies, the end result were some people believed her based on her evidence and some people doubted her, because skeptics and critics even though they had knowledge and understanding of the same true evidence.
I liken that situation to the situation of those believing, or not believing in Jesus
Do you personally believe in the Messiah Jesus Christ? Do you believe in the true accounts of who He is The One who died on the cross, shed His blood and has been resurrected currently sitting on the right hand side of God at this very moment, praying for the saints and rules and reigns for eternity
Some people are skeptics and critics when it comes to believing, receiving and following in Jesus. These doubters not only disbelieve scripture, and eye witness accounts, but they question Jesus’ claims Himself, distorting the true accounts of who. This philosophy did not just happen recently in the 21st century. The first quest for a historical Jesus begin in the 19th century under the German liberalism movement. It died with WWI along with classical liberalism the new terminology. Back then, the liberalism focus went after a dogmatic theology and supernatural events. In 1950’s the second quest arose again, claiming that the knowledge of history and the faith based on factual evidence was not a needed thing.
The 3rd quest happened in 1970’s in particular the 1980’s. Includes views on Jesus as a person who fit into 1st century Palestine only having a Jewish background.
What is “The Historical Jesus “ ?
The term "historical Jesus" refers to an individual or a group of people and their attempt to "reconstruct the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth by critical historical methods", in contrast to Christological definitions ('the dogmatic Christ') and other Christian accounts of Jesus ('the Christ of faith')".
For centuries…skeptics have tried to reconstruct, rearrange and re-identify who Jesus is,
yet the scriptures clearly states in the writings of Hebrew that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
So when asking yourself in which side to believe… factual accounts of Jesus versus the historical Jesus, the answers lie in some questions that would help you to clarify on which side you stand. Do you stand on the side of believing that Jesus in the Messiah? Or do you stand on the side of the critics adapting a Historical Philosophy. Are the Gospel accurate historical records or merely religious propaganda? Did Jesus really claim to be God, and how do we know if He is?
The Deity of Christ
Who do you say that I am? This is Jesus’ question to Peter when the critics of the day questioned Him. Marks account states, “ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered and said to Him, ‘You are the Christ. ‘ ” Luke’s account states, “He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered and said, ‘ The Christ of God.’ ”
Jesus begs the answer to this question and those following Him answered the question properly. Let us look at Jesus and additional scripture What else did Jesus say about Himself?
"All things have been handed over to me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. - Mark 14:61-62
Critics do not accept the claim and factual truth that Jesus made declaring He is God. Here are some scripture accounts that refute the doubt that the critics and skeptics have.
Jesus clearly declares who He is.
Although most critics doubt who Christ is, His resurrection and the evidence of the gospel accounts. Some critics accept Paul’s writings in the Bible over the gospels, because
Apostle Paul and his writings are a valid source to believe that the resurrection truly took place. There are many reasons why the critics of Christ accept Paul’s writings over the gospels; some include;
1) Paul’s writings are much earlier than the gospels times of writings, thus more believable
2) Paul wrote his epistles approximately AD 54-57…at the very most 27 years after the crucifixion, so it is easier to believe Paul as an eye witness with what he saw and wrote.
3) Critics are willing to believe that Paul did see the risen Jesus, Liars do not make martyrs and that his is the most important fact.
Apostle Paul gives clear account on the resurrection of Christ in I Corinthians 15.
Read and learn of Jesus and who He is and His resurrection.
Now, you decide. Decide for yourself, based on the evidence of Jesus, His claims of declaring with great accuracy that He is who He says He is. Will you accept Jesus and all of HIS factual accounts of Him being the Messiah? Of his truthful claim of being the Son of God, the Son of Man and the promised Savior sent to redeem a fallen mankind back to holy God through the shed blood of Jesus.
- The Holy Bible
-The Historical Jesus by Dr. Gary Habermas
- Evidence for a Resurrection by Mary Jo Sharp
About the Author:
Simone Lake is a Christ follower, bride of Pastor Dr. John Lake, Bible teacher and a passionate pray-er. Visit her: www.deeprootsinchrist.com, www.simonelake.com, http://deeprootsinchrist.sermon.net, FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn
NOTE: This devotional article is part of a series of Apologetics Writings.
Simone is currently completing her studies in Apologetics at Biola University and is a member and speaker of the International Society of Women in Apologetics (ISWA)