by Don Bunting
God intends for people to come to Him by faith. Undoubtedly God could reveal Himself to humanity in a powerful, material, undeniable way. Still, God says: "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). So, we are called to believe things that are not seen.
Because Jesus is supernatural, living outside of the material realm, His life on earth exhibits divine power. How can we believe all the unbelievable things? No single event can convince a skeptical individual, but the cumulative effect of the evidence in varied locations, among multitudes of all kinds of people, in varied circumstances, provides a strong case for faith. One specific event can illustrate how the four gospels all cooperate to make the incredible story of Jesus credible.
Note the story of the wise men who visit the young child Jesus in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1-12). This curious story is recorded only in Matthew's gospel. If there is no God, no spiritual powers at work, this story cannot be explained or believed. However, if we accept the possibility of the existence of God, the incredible story becomes believable. Consider some questions.
- How did the wise men know of the birth of Jesus?
- Why did these Gentile officials even care about the birth of a Jewish king?
- How did they know he was so worthy of their worship that they made this long trip?
- How did they know where to find him?
- When they were close, they asked Herod for help. Why did Herod believe them?
- Where did Herod and his advisors turn to find out where this child would be?
- How could Herod tell them where to find Jesus?
- Why did Herod feel the need to kill Jesus if he did not believe this story?
- How did the wise men know not to report back to Herod who said he wanted to worship?
- Why was Herod willing to suffer the fall-out of the mass murder of children to kill Jesus?
- Why did Joseph take his family to Egypt? How did he know about Herod's evil plan?
Each part of the story confirms the rest! This is not an event in some unknown place in some unknown time. These public, historical events were confirmed by multitudes of people including government officials and religious leaders. These are things prophesied and recorded centuries before they occurred. This is an unbelievable story made credible. That is the nature of the entire life of Christ. Believe!