By Barret Vanlandingham
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).”
The New Testament of the Bible has been questioned and doubted the majority of the time it’s been in print. Even many of those who were alive during and right after Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection doubted or even flat out denied the miraculous events that rocked the world during this first century time frame and ever since.
Jesus did some incredible miracles such as healing a demon-possessed man who was blind and deaf (Matthew 12:22-28). But even then, one of the highly educated Jewish sects known as the Pharisees simply chose to believe that His miracles were the result of the devil’s power, a claim that as Jesus pointed out made no sense. But even before they verbalized their skepticism, “Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself, how then can his kingdom stand?’” The Pharisees were not ready to concede that Satan would attack himself. But on the other hand, they were also not ready to concede that Jesus was able to cast out a demon by God’s power, either.
Other desperate attempts to discredit Jesus came after His resurrection. In Matthew 28:11-15, the chief priests paid the soldiers at the tomb a “large sum of money” to spread the lie that Jesus’ disciples stole His body from the tomb in the night while the soldiers were asleep. Can you imagine how much commotion there would have been? Imagine enough people to unseal a giant stone from a tomb, even if they tried to be quiet, sneaking up behind two sleeping guards, without waking anyone, and then proceeding to carry away Jesus’ body? Of course, this is presuming that both of these highly trained fighting machines known as Roman guards fell asleep on the job at the same time after such a high-profile execution as this. Not likely.
Paul had many challenges in keeping new Christians on track with the Lord’s teachings, since false teachers were all too eager to lead astray those immature in the faith.
He said, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned (Galatians 1:8).”
Today, some people try to discredit Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God. Too many are eager to lure believers away from our only hope, Jesus Christ, in exchange for a false hope based on lies. They try to convince people that Jesus is not the only way to eternal life with God. In the end, their success at proving Jesus wrong will not be any greater than those who came before them. And sooner or later, “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11).”
For some, that will be a day of rejoicing! Have a great week!