Good Reasons To Believe
Read John 14:8-11(ESV)
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.”
Did Jesus ask His disciples to blindly place their faith in Him? Did He give them any evidence to support His claims to deity?
Faith is often a misunderstood concept. Many people think that you just have to muster it up and believe in something blindly without any evidence. They say things like, “Well, you just have to have faith.”
But when is the last time you put your faith in something or someone without having good reasons to do so? Christian apologist Frank Turek often uses the illustration of flying on an airplane. Most people won’t get on an airplane unless they have good reasons to trust that the plane will get them where they need to go safely. And I don’t blame them. It’s a matter of life and death. Every time people get on a plane, they are exercising their faith in the airline’s policies, safety practices, and mechanical checklists. They trust the pilot because he or she has the proper training and credentials to fly. Plus, they trust the airline’s track record. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, more than 45,000 flights take off in the US every single day. That amounts to more than 2.9 million people in the air daily. And yet, each year, most airlines don’t have a single fatal incident. It is reasonable to trust that you will get from point A to point B safely in an airplane. The stats say that the odds are very much in your favor.
Whether or not you believe that Jesus is God is also a matter of life and death. But this time, the stakes are much, much higher. We are talking about eternal life or death. You’d think that people would really investigate whether or not Jesus’ claims to deity were true. But sadly, many people don’t take the time to examine the evidence. They base their decisions on assumptions or feelings. They either feel like Christianity is true or they feel like it is false. They either assume that Jesus is who He said He was or they assume that He isn’t.
But when we go back to the Bible, we see that Jesus didn’t expect people to assume His claim to be the Messiah is true. He asked them to believe in Him because He backed up His words with His works. Consider all of the miracles that John highlighted in his Gospel account so far. Jesus’ disciples were eyewitnesses to all of this. So, when Jesus said that if you know me, you know the Father and have seen Him (John 14:7), the disciples should have understood what Jesus was saying. He was saying that He is God in the flesh, one with the Father. And yet, Philip asked for more evidence. He wanted Jesus to show them a visible manifestation of the Father. Then it’d be enough for them to fully trust Him. As if Jesus hadn’t given them enough good reasons to believe Him in the three years He’d lived with them day in and day out. So, Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith in Him. They still didn’t really know Him. They still didn’t truly understand.
Jesus repeated that He is one with the Father. He IS the visible manifestation of God that they were asking for. They should have understood that by now given everything they’d seen and heard directly from Him. But they didn’t. So Jesus reminded them of the works He’d done among them by saying: “Believe me that I am in the Father and Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.”
Friends, Jesus never asked us to make unfounded assumptions about His identity. He demonstrated that He is the Messiah with His Word and His Works. At some point, every single one of us has to decide if we are going to place our trust in Him or not. Think back to Frank Turek’s plane analogy. You can ask all of the questions, interview the pilot, check the credentials, check the safety plans, check their track record, etc. but at some point, you have to demonstrate your faith by getting on the plane. Jesus has given us good, solid reasons to believe Him and trust Him. We aren’t flying blind. Have you gotten on board?
Lord, thank You that You didn’t ask us to blindly believe in You. Rather, You have given us solid evidence. Your works back up Your Words. I believe that You are One with the Father. You are my Lord and our God. Amen.
Reveal: Do you know someone who isn’t onboard with Jesus yet? Share some evidence with them today and pray that God would work in their heart.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford