Posts Tagged ‘Did Jesus exist?’

Jesus fake not realSo, did a guy from the ancient Middle East called Jesus actually exist? And did he do miraculous stuff and change the world forever?

If you’re unsure, you probably haven’t looked into it. So using nothing but ancient writings and original source documents on His life, let me advance the case for Jesus being real and doing the things that people like me believe He did.

Consider the life of Paul, a tent maker from the ancient Turkish city of Tarsus. Paul was a devout Jew who went out of his way to persecute Jesus followers, supported by religious leaders who felt threatened by Jesus and His followers.

But something extraordinary happened to Paul. While travelling to Syria to arrest Jesus followers, ancient documents record Paul having a dramatic, life-changing spiritual encounter with Jesus.

After that, Paul became a fervent Jesus follower and travelled around the Mediterranean region starting churches and mentoring others who believed Jesus was the Son of God.

Think about it: Paul went from being a staunch member of the Jewish religion and culture to someone spurned by his own tribe, a black sheep to be forever shunned. Why would he do that to follow just another person who claimed to be special?

Think about it: travelling around the Roman Empire 2,000 years ago was HUGELY risky. Indeed, in letters he wrote to church leaders, Paul mentions being in prison for his faith, getting whipped five times and beaten three times. He also survived a stoning and several shipwrecks.

Again I ask, why would anyone go through all that? Could anyone possibility be that delusional for more than half his life?  To me, the answer is plain: Paul wasn’t delusional. He was risking it all because he knew Jesus existed and he knew Jesus was – and still is – God’s gift to a sick and broken world.

Think about it: If Paul got rich from his work telling everyone he could about Jesus Christ, his letters – and all other ancient documents – certainly don’t record it. Did he get girls? Again, no mention. Fame? He was probably well known among fellow Jesus followers, but to others he was everything from an annoyance to a serious threat. Thus the jail time (at least five years) and beatings. So, no riches, no girls and only dangerous notoriety. Would you go through all this for someone who didn’t exist?

What about this resurrection thing? Serious Jesus followers believe the original source accounts of Jesus being put to death by Roman soldiers (on the urging of vindictive religious leaders) and coming back to life three days later.

False? Well, consider that in a letter to fellow Jesus followers, Paul writes “After that [His resurrection], Christ appeared to more than 500 other believers at the same time. Most of them are still living today, but some have died.

In other words, Paul wrote that there were living witnesses to the resurrection. And as Tom Harper wrote in his book For Christ’s Sake, “Paul is saying those who do not believe him can go and find out for themselves.”

Think about it: was Paul just lying? Was this just more delusions? Paul put his credibility as a Jesus follower on the line with his statement. And there’s no reasonable justification to doubt him.

So what do you think? Post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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