Trusting Jesus with total abandon

“The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands,” John 3:35. What more could one ask for? Every human life is in safe hands. Jesus is aware of everything going on, he’s in total control of it all, and he has his Father’s full support in whatever he does. What more do we need as humans? “Whoever believes the Son has eternal life,” verse 36. We’ve got the key to eternity; it’s trusting Jesus.

But why should we trust him? Because, verse 32, “he testifies to what he has seen and heard.” Jesus is unique, in that he’s seen and heard God personally. No other human being has, including Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius, and all the other founders of religions. “No man has ever seen God, BUT God the only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known,” John 1:18. Only Jesus can speak personally of God, because he’s the only one who has been with God, knows God and is God. Whatever Jesus says and does, then, has all the authority and credibility of God behind it. God also gave added oomph to Jesus’ credibility by the miracles Jesus did, the prophecies in the Old Testament he fulfilled, and his resurrection from the dead.

We have good reason, therefore, for believing that Jesus came from God and “speaks the words of God,” John 3:34. But is that all belief is, just an acceptance of facts and logic?

Not according to John because he also says, “Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart,” 1 John 5:10. Belief in Jesus goes much deeper than cold facts. It goes right to the bottom of our toes. It’s trusting Jesus with total abandon, throwing our entire lives forever into his hands, recklessly and without reserve. It’s the kind of belief that has total assurance when approaching God “that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us,” verse 14, and “whatever we ask we know that we have what we asked of him,” verse 15. That’s the kind of belief God loves in us because it “certifies that God is truthful,” John 3:33. It publicly declares that God isn’t lying when he says our lives are totally safe in the hands of his Son and there’s nothing more we frail humans need than him.

Our belief becomes a public demonstration that the Father loves the Son and has placed everything in the hands of his Son, because that’s exactly what we’re doing in our lives too – placing everything in our lives in the hands of his Son.

Advertisements

“Why SHOULD I believe?”

So how do you answer someone who says, “You Christians are always going on about ‘faith in Jesus’ and all we have to do is ‘believe’ – but why should I believe all that Jesus stuff? What evidence have you got that Jesus even existed?”

Well, that’s easy to answer: there were eyewitnesses who saw and heard Jesus personally. And in a court case eyewitness evidence is what lawyers seek out most of all to make their case believable. So did Luke when making the case for Jesus. Before he put pen to his gospel he went in search of “eyewitnesses” first, Luke 1:2-3. He wanted people who had walked and talked with Jesus in person. Luke wasn’t asking for blind faith from people, he was offering real evidence.

The cynic could reply, of course,” Yeah but, who’s to say those eyewitnesses Luke talked to weren’t lying? Or who says they even existed?” But something got Christianity started, and the only book written on the origins of Christianity, the Bible, says it was eyewitnesses that did it – hundreds of people who saw Jesus alive after he was killed, and several who saw him disappear into the clouds several weeks later. That’s what convinced them Jesus really was who he said he was. It was what they themselves had seen and heard (1 John 1:1-3), and it was only then that Christianity took off and spread.

And in a remarkable prediction in Acts 1:8, that’s exactly what Jesus himself SAID would happen, that his message would spread – to the whole world. And has it happened? Yes; Christianity is now a major world religion, and we have our own eyeballs as eyewitnesses to it. So we’re now eyewitnesses to Jesus being right, providing yet more eyewitness evidence making Jesus believable, and this time it’s our own.

Jesus also predicted in that same verse that he would supply all kinds of “witnesses” after he left to prove he was real, and the evidence provided by these witnesses would be blatantly obvious. In what way? By the startling changes in people who listen to their message and are willing to check it out for themselves. Remarkable, noticeable, wonderful things start happening to them – Acts 10:42-44, 1 Corinthians 2:2-4, Galatians 3:1-5 and 5:16-24, and Colossians 1:3-8.

So that was Paul’s challenge. Hey, if you want a decent reason for believing all that Jesus stuff, check it out with an open mind and see what happens next – to you. Then you can be your own witness. No depending on anyone else’s witness. No blind faith required, just good, solid evidence you’ve experienced personally.