The Existence of God: Jesus Christ

The Existence of God: Part 5

JESUS CHRIST!

The Existence of JesusJesus Christ of Nazareth was the greatest person to ever walk the face of the earth.  He changed the world around Him, commanded untold numbers of people, taught with great authority, forgave people’s sins, worked countless miracles on command, and rose from the dead.

In my last blog, found here, we discussed whether Jesus was truthful, a liar, or just plain crazy in His claims to be God.

If the Jesus that you imagine in your mind came from art work, television shows, or certain Hollywood movies, then you probably don’t have much of an idea of who the real Jesus is.  The real Jesus will not be found in popular TV shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, or South Park, or movies like Dogma or the Last Temptation of Christ, etc.  These popular prime time shows depict Jesus as a weak and pathetic nice guy, or else as someone who resembles a hippie, flower-child loner.

Now, imagine in your mind the real Jesus Christ of Nazareth – a man who sometimes had thousands upon thousands of people following Him at any given time.  He often had rock star status in His day and immense crowds swarmed around Him nearly everywhere He went.

Why was Jesus so popular?  Imagine this scene:

Envision a blind beggar dressed in brown rags sitting on the side of a dusty road.  In the distance he hears the rumblings of an enormous crowd.  His ears begin to perk up as the noise approached and grows louder. The beggar’s ears communicate to him that this is a huge crowd, so large that he desires to know just what is happening.  People in the front of the crowd tell Him that Jesus is coming.

This beggar has heard of Jesus’ miracles, and he wonders if the Christ can help Him too.  As the crowd approaches, the blind beggar can’t contain the emotion welling up inside.  Out of nowhere, he begins to cry out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.”  People yell at the poor beggar telling him to be quiet.  But He can’t contain his urge to be healed.  He stand up, and in pure desperation, he yells out all the louder, “JESUS, SON OF DAVID HAVE MERCY ON ME!!” The Lord Jesus stops in front of the man.  A complete silence falls over the crowd as they all watch intently.  One could hear a pin drop.  Jesus asks the man, “My son, what do you want me to do for you?”  The man quickly replies, “Lord, I want to see.”  At that moment, Jesus utters three words, “Receive your sight,” and instantly, the man is healed!

One can imagine the man’s eyes opening for the first time.  He blinks a few times as he looks around and surveys the colorful scenery for the first time.  His eyes widen as he looks around at the people who are all staring at him in disbelief.  Their eyes are as wide as his.  He reaches out and touches a person’s face saying, “I can see you.”  He goes to the next person and looks deep in their eyes.  As he touches their cheek, he says, “I can see you too.”  Looking around, he yells, “I can see, I can see all of you!!”

The crowds is astonished and they emotions are electrified.  Some can’t believe their eyes, but each one goes home and spreads the word about this healing to friends, relatives, and even strangers.  The beggar immediately throws himself on his face at the feet of Jesus and thanks Him repeatedly.  Jesus smiles and lays a warm, loving hand on his head, letting him know that it will all be OK.

This was not Jesus’ first healing miracle and yet the crowd is always astonished as if it was the first time.  The word and fame of Jesus Christ of Nazareth continued to spread far and wide!  People from all over hear about His power, authority, and incredible, inspirational preaching.  From all around the surrounding area, the people begin bringing the sick, the deaf, the lame, those who were paralyzed, those who had incurable diseases, those who were possessed by demons, and Jesus healed every one of them.

The Lord Jesus would look deeply and compassionately into their eyes, and He would either lay a hand on them or merely utter a few words, and healing would occur immediately.  Jesus even rose people from the dead in the sight of large crowds!  So, not only did Jesus claim to be God, but He backed it up with countless miracles on command to prove that everything He said was true.

Moreover, if you compare exorcist movies where it takes weeks, months or even years to cast out a demon, Jesus cast out demons with a single word.  The power emanated from the real Jesus Christ of history was unparalleled.  Name one person in history who possessed the authority Jesus had, the authority to forgive sins, the authority to work powerful miracles in the site of all, and who rose Himself from the dead!  There is no one who comes close.

Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, Muhammad, Zoroaster, and other philosophers and religious leaders may have all done some good things, but they didn’t claim to be divine and could not work miracles.  They may have been good men, but with all respect to them, they are dead.  They remain in their graves to this day.  No one has ever made the claims Jesus has and could back them up!

This separates Christianity from every other world religion.  If Jesus is not God, then we can argue about which religion is right.  However, if Jesus is God,[1] then the fullness of truth resides in the Christian religion.[2]

It’s not too difficult to see why Jesus was so legendary, why Miracles are still happening in His name today, and why He is still changing and transforming lives over 2000 years later.  (See my upcoming post on modern day miracles).

Some people do not like the ramifications of this and choose not to belief despite the evidence.  Many attempt to take the easy way out by claiming that “While that all sounds good, I don’t believe the Bible.  The Bible is just a myth, a made up story.”

However, these types of statements are rarely backed up with any reasons or intellectual arguments.  It’s more emotional, and based on little or nothing.  They don’t know why they don’t believe it, “They just don’t.”  A pretty big copout.  Three upcoming blogs will deal with the authenticity of the Bible and the stories of Jesus.

The bottom line is this:  That Jesus Christ is the greatest person to ever walk the earth.  He claimed to be the Light of the World, the Resurrection and the Life, and He claimed to be Almighty God, a claim that is either completely ludicrous or completely true.  But, based of His character, His legacy, and His miracles, it seems pretty evident that Jesus of Nazareth is who He claimed to be, God.

If joy, peace, true happiness and fulfillment are missing from your life, you now know where to find it.  It is only through Jesus Christ.

(For more reading and information on this topic, see the book, The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel or The Christian Handbook of Apologetics, by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli).

 Footnotes:

[1] If He is God, then that means God came and walked on earth, and this is yet more proof for God’s existence.

[2] Specifically, the Catholic Church is the one true Church.  Historically, the Greek Orthodox broke away from the pope in 1054 A.D., and the thousands of Protestant religions broke away from the Catholic Church after 1517 or broke away from already existing offshoots (See my blog: When Was YOUR Church Started?)

About Bryan Mercier

Bryan Mercier is a thirty-eight year old speaker and retreat leader. He has spoken to adults and teens for the last fifteen years on a wide variety of topics; ranging from catechetics and faith formation, to morality, spirituality, and apologetics. He has spoken at youth and adult retreats, workshops, seminars, Catholic schools, parish missions, local, regional and national conferences. He has spoken in front of crowds ranging from thirty to three-thousand and has been aired on both TV and radio in different states. Bryan also runs the R.O.C.K. (Revival Of Catholic Kids) Ministry Team that puts on all-day retreats for teens. He is going for his Masters in theology and working on writing numerous books and tracts.
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