HISTORY: The Gospels - Reflections
February 15, 2018 | Didi Bacon
The Gospels are the first four books of the New Testament in our Bibles. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Four accounts of the life, the teachings, the ministry of Jesus. Four different perspectives with the same purpose. To invite you to believe. John says it this way:
Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:30-31 NIV
Shannon and I recently had the honor of visiting Israel. We walked the places where Jesus walked. We looked at the landscapes that Jesus looked on. We were right there in the places described in the Gospels. These places are real. Being there added context and touch and smell and color to what I read in the gospel stories. But these stories were not intended to give us an account of the life of First Century Jews. These stories were shared because of the amazing things that happened with one man - Jesus.
And if these stories are true. If Jesus was born in Bethlehem as the Christmas story tells us. If Jesus was baptized in the Jordan by John as described in the Gospels. If he did heal the sick, cast out demons, feed the multitude by miraculously duplicating a few loaves and fish. If he did teach on the shores of the lake. If he did walk on water. If he did eventually go to Jerusalem to give himself up for false arrest, execution on a cross, and burial in a borrowed tomb. If what these eyewitnesses say is true that Jesus was buried on Friday only to rise back to life again on Sunday. If all this is true, then it does not make a difference if it happened 2000 years ago. If these things are true I have a decision to make. Do I believe?
The answer for me is, yes I believe! I believe the witness of these stories backed up by the historical findings. I believe the witness of generations of Jesus followers from all over the world who testify by their transformed lives. I believe because in my own experience I have come to the fellowship with God that is promised by Jesus. I believe because I am living a life adventure beyond anything I could ever imagine. I was a boy born to a single mother, in what was then Rhodesia, Africa. I was brought to a place thousands of miles away to serve a church. The mission is to make known that now, “apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Do you believe?