Summary: A message laying out the case for Jesus, using evidences allowed in courtrooms. Primarily aimed at seekers, but even mature Christians will gain from hearing this message. Inspired by Sean McDowell’s GODQUEST series.
When you think of Jesus, what mental image or picture comes to mind? Do you see Him as this indescribable and unknowable figure who lives in the sky, or do you imagine Him as a very personal confidante that walks beside you wherever you go? We all have some mental image of Jesus. The trouble is having the right one. What we believe about Him will directly affect every aspect of our lives.
There are many viewpoints about Jesus. Some people deny He even exists while others try their best to just ignore the entire subject. Still others seem to hate Him with a passion, leaving some others to love Him with an ever-increasing passion.
Why are there so many different thoughts on who He is? Could it be that most of us form our positive opinions based on nothing more than that is how we were raised and those who have negative opinions have based theirs on how uncomfortable it would be to change if they were to have a positive opinion of Him? Remember that one of the things humans hate the most is changing something about ourselves.
If you were to walk down a city sidewalk and ask ten people who they think Jesus is, I believe you would get at least twelve different opinions. Some would say he was a good teacher; others would say they don’t really know much about Him; and still others would say something very demeaning about Him. But you would find the occasional person who agreed that Jesus is Lord and Savior.
We need to find out for sure who He is; and rather than use other people’s opinions, let’s use the available FACTS to find out once and for all if He is, or is not, God. We will start by comparing how we feel about Him today to how the people of His day felt about Him.
There is a passage where Jesus is talking to His own people, the Jews, and they are questioning Him about His true identity.
John 8:57–59 –
“You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, “and you say you have seen Abraham?” And Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.”
There is another passage where we find Jesus being questioned by the ruling authority of the day.
“But when they demanded an answer, Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”
“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
It would seem that we have the same opposition today about Jesus as they did back in the days when He was upon this earth. But again, how much of these feelings are based upon fact? We are going to find out today that very little is based on fact.
Most people hear a lot and also talk a lot, but they do not investigate a lot. What I wonder is if those people who do not believe in Jesus, or who deny His existence were to actually investigate Jesus using all of the available truth; would they change their minds about who Jesus really is?
Many people think that it doesn’t matter whether we believe in Jesus as the Savior or not. They think the main thing about Him is His teachings. They think that if we just apply His teachings to our lives, then we will go to heaven. That is akin to depending on “good works” to get us into heaven; it does not work.
The only thing that gets us into heaven is believing in WHO Jesus is, not WHAT He taught. This is shown in Matthew 16:13 when Jesus was talking to His disciples. He asked them who people said He was, but He did NOT ask what people thought about His teachings.
Any good teaching can teach us very good lessons, but to have those lessons be able to afford us eternal salvation takes more than a good teacher; it takes someone very special – it takes Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
If we quit trying to pursue Jesus when we hear His lessons, we will end up ignoring everything else about Him. Who Jesus was is far more important to our salvation than what He taught.
Okay, so if we are going to investigate Jesus, we must model our investigation on how a scientist might start his investigations. I think he would most likely gather as much proof as he could. So, we will do the same thing. What better proof than hearing eyewitnesses, and the more eyewitnesses we have, the better our investigation will be.