Is Jesus really who He claimed to be? Is He the Son of God and our Messiah or the biggest fraud in recorded history? Atheists and many others tend to believe that Jesus not only isn’t God, but that He never existed in the first place. What would it take to prove Jesus is exactly who He says He is?
Besides the Bible, history has convincingly shown that Jesus existed. There are more ancient writings about Jesus than any other person in ancient history. Jesus Himself used many ways to prove that He is the Son of God with the main way being miracles.
Jesus began His public ministry turning water into wine. Jesus, His early followers, and His mother, Mary were invited to a large wedding feast. When the hosts ran out of wine, Mary asked Jesus to help. Jesus said it wasn’t yet His time but He was moved by His mother’s faith. Six jars of water later, the hosts had the best wine anyone had ever tasted before. From that point onward, Jesus did countless miraculous healings, cast out demons and even raised a few people, including a 12-year-old girl, from the dead.
You may be tempted to say, “This proves nothing” or join the atheists in claiming Jesus used hypnosis or created mass hysteria. Could Jesus have hypnotized whole crowds? The evidence says, “No”. If you’ve ever seen a hypnotist in action like I have, they need a quiet group, a calm voice and willing participants. When Jesus performed miracles, his crowds would have been anything but quiet. As Lee Strobel says in his outstanding book, The Case for Christ, Jesus would have to project His voice to be heard over the crowd which would eliminate the soft, peaceful voice. Add to this that the Pharisees were certainly not willing participants and we can throw out the mass hypnosis and hysteria arguments. I find it very interesting to note that the Pharisees never deny that Jesus performed any of the miracles the Bible says He did.
The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were all written within the lifetime of people that would have been witnesses to them. At any point, all that was needed to disprove the Gospel writer’s claims would have been to seek out the eyewitnesses and ask them what they saw. Nobody within the time frame of these miracles denied Jesus performed them.
We can conclude that Jesus performed these miracles to back up His claim that He is the Messiah. Ultimately, He died on a cross for making that claim, but that’s a story for later in this Lenten series.
Written by Darren Hansen, Christian Studies Teacher & Christian Studies Department Chair at Rockford Lutheran School