Why should you believe what Jesus said? That is a very good question. Why should anyone believe anything that Jesus said? I think that this is the question of questions. This is the most important question that you can answer, if in fact, that you can answer it.
It is important to you that you can answer this question for yourself in a way that gives you peace.
I became a believer in Jesus Christ when I watched a video presentation in 1977 on TV titled, Jesus of Nazareth. Before I watched that show I did not believe in Jesus. Oh, I believed that he was a real person that lived two thousand years ago and that he was a very important religious figure, but I did not believe in him. Do you understand what I am saying? I did not believe that Jesus was really any different than any over charismatic person that comes up with a popular and persuasive philosophy. After watching that show I was astounded! I was dumbfounded. I was discombobulated. My world view was turned upside down. I, who didn’t really even believe in God—believed (I had been Mister Science). I, at that time (after the video), didn’t believe that Jesus was the incarnate God, but I did believe that there was a God and that God had in fact sent Jesus to tell us, that is, me, what is what! I believed that then and I believe that now. Jesus was the one with the answers. I always wanted answers and now I knew who had them!
I didn’t know anything about anything in the Bible. I didn’t really know what the Bible was. I didn’t have any idea what the relationship between Jesus and the Bible was. I knew that the Bible had within it four records of the life of Christ. I knew that much. So, I purchased a Bible and started reading the Gospels.
I’m trying to think of an analogy that describes what I did and why—how excited I was! This is very hard to explain, that God was a person, and that he sent Jesus to us to tell us what is what, and that this Jesus was said to be the Son of God. Wow! Double wow! I was ignorant of pretty much everything, but I did, now, believe in God and the One that he had sent. I wonder, my friend, are you excited about this too? Or, were you raised with this understanding from such an early age that you have never really felt excited about it? I’ll tell you this much, this is exciting stuff for a person that doesn’t believe and then comes to understand. Wow!
I started reading the Gospels every day. Over and over and over. Eventually, I expanded to the book of Acts—that was pretty interesting. But, look at this Paul—a persecutor of the Church! I didn’t figure that I’d read his stuff, so I moved on to Jesus’ apostles, Peter and John’s letters. Then later still, James. I took a few peeks at Paul’s letters, but they were different to me somehow and I didn’t understand them like I did everything else. But, finally, I started reading Paul and found that his were the best of all!
I did what I did, because of faith. I stayed were my faith was. I moved from book to book, from writer to writer as my faith allowed me. Looking at this after the fact it seems like a pretty good method. My guess is, is that God was behind all of it. I am a strong believer in reading the Bible and expecting to understand it. I believe that you must strive to understand and then when you do understand something, then stick with it. If what you read and understand differs from what others are telling you, stay with what you see.
The Bible, itself, is an incarnation of the invisible God, just like Jesus Christ. When we read the Bible in faith, then God who works invisibly behind the scenes and within our hearts opens up to us the meaning of the Bible. This action on God’s part is what Jesus was saying when he said that God the Father would send to us a Counselor and Teacher—God’s Holy Spirit. As Christians we have a very great advantage over people of other ages. Jesus has defeated the Devil and given us the victory. We can receive God into our hearts and we can live in him and he in us and thereby have a real and powerful relationship with God—a personal relationship—just you and him. We don’t need a priest to stand between us and the Lord God. We, ourselves, are in fact the priests—even when we have not been ordained by men. God’s anointing, which comes to every real Christian, ordains us, that is, gives us God’s Holy Spirit so that we have a special relationship with God.
I have spent more than thirty years intensely reading the Bible and I can see that it is a miracle of miracles. The Bible is a totally amazing book. There isn’t a book like it anywhere else in the world. The Bible is not always an easy book to read and understand, but as an incarnation of God would you expect it to be? We start out so far from God and that makes the book so hard to understand because it says things that use a different logic. But, as we read and obey and read and obey, more and more, we become changed and then more and more of the Bible begins to make sense to us. We are really and truly forging a relationship with the Almighty God—think about that!
The relationship with God is built upon his willingness and our willingness to humble ourselves and accept God’s way even when it hurts. Our relationship depends, I think, more than anything else upon our self-honesty. We cannot scam God. Our lying to ourselves holds us back probably more than anything else. Also, our fear holds us back. Fear is the faith killer. We must be brave and stick with God even when everyone else is against us.