Can you prove that Jesus is God, that he was born, lived, died and rose again? Can you prove that he is who he said he is, and that he is who his followers said he is?
I have often wished that there was video evidence to help us prove it, but there is not. TV shows like The Chosen are encouraging, depicting what Jesus might have looked like, and how he might have behaved. He clearly wasn’t a white, European, as paintings and images of old would lead us to believe. Jesus was a Jew, so when you read Bible stories about Jesus, make sure the image in your mind is of a man with dark hair, dark eyes and dark skin.
Still, the dramatic productions of Jesus’ life cannot possibly do justice to who he was, so we’re back to the question of who he was. Can we prove him to be who he said he was? The answer is “No, we can’t.” In fact, that lack of 100% proof is the nature of faith. Faith is believing in something that we admit we cannot prove. If we could prove it, we would not have to place our faith in it.
But faith doesn’t equal blind faith. When we talk about who Jesus was, we are not talking about a fanciful made-up story that we must turn our brains off to believe. There is evidence that he is who he said he was. That evidence is a significant emphasis of the Gospel of John.
This coming week we are starting a new blog series through John’s Gospel, and with 21 chapters, some of which are quite long, this series will carry us long into 2023. We’ll take a break for Advent, for quarterly current events weeks, but we will work our way through this story of Good News about Jesus, as told to us by John.
Our goal will not be to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that Jesus was who he said he was, but instead to learn evidence that he is “the way, the truth and the life,” (John 14:6), and therefore conclude with John that we have very good reason to believe in Jesus (John 3:16) and abide in him (John 15:1-10), so that we might have both the promise of eternal life (also John 3:16) and experience his abundant life now (John 10:10).
My hope and prayer is that this study of the life of Jesus in the Gospel of John will help you both place your faith in him and grow your faithfulness to him.