We believe by logical inference in countless things we can’t see. We can’t see the wind, but we can see the leaves blowing, feel the breeze on our arms, or hear the sound of the gale.
Lawyers seek to prove the invisible all the time. How many times in a television courtroom drama have you ever seen a lawyer place an object on the table and say, “Your honor, I’d like this motive entered as exhibit twenty-three.” We can’t see a motive, but we can infer it by the evidence. Juries do not need to be one hundred percent sure, but can render a confident verdict if it’s beyond a reasonable doubt.
We can infer the presence of Jesus in different ways. Historical documents, religious and secular, affirm his historical existence. The Bible has an excellent reputation among today’s archeologists for its helpful portrayal of ancient customs and locations of cities. The book of Acts in the New Testament has been a boon to archeologists because of its many accurate period references. Historical records overwhelmingly favor the existence of Jesus and the accuracy of the Bible.
We have enough evidence that places Jesus’ life during the early decades of the first century A.D. You can believe in him now because the documents recording his death, burial, and resurrection are trustworthy.
However, this question is more than about knowing whether Jesus existed. You want to know how today’s Christians can know him and follow him with assurance. It all starts with the purpose for why Jesus Christ came: he came to save us from our sins. Our sins have separated us from God, just like you and your friend are separated if you offend him or her grievously. When we come to God acknowledging our sins and repent of them, God forgives us. When we act upon the Bible’s teachings on how to live with other people and how to please God, then we’ll find God following through in our lives.
I remember when I led a woman at my job to Christ. It wasn’t until several months after reading the Bible that she came to me and said, “I know now.” When you follow the Bible, you’ll feel the breezes of God’s work upon your life. You won’t see him, but you’ll know of his work in your life by inference. God wants to prove himself to you!
What Do You Think?
a. Have you ever read a media’s account of a court case and decided that the defendant was innocent or guilty before all the evidence was in?
b. If yes, how could you be so certain, since you probably have never met the defendant before? Did you need very much information before you made your decision?
c. Did you know that other historical writings apart from the Bible mention Jesus? They refer to him as a real person, not a myth or legend.