Why Believe In Jesus?

Discovering the fundamentals of Christianity!

What does the name "Jesus Christ" mean to you?

So who exactly is this Jesus that we hear about so often? Well, over 2000 years ago in tiny little Bethlehem in Judea a baby boy was born to a Jewish girl called Mary [Luke 2:7]. This event is known as the Nativity, and is celebrated at Christmas. 

In all outward appearances he was as normal as any other baby, but there was something unique about him which no other person in history has ever had. He was destined to live a very special and influential life.

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times ~ Micah 5:2

Growing up and early life

Jesus was raised as a normal Jewish boy by Mary's husband, Joseph, and trained to be a carpenter [Mark 6:3], a very respectable career! He loved his parents and was a hit with all the people at the synagogue when he read from the Old Testament Scriptures [Luke 2:47].

When he was grown up Jesus chose twelve men (disciples) to accompany him and confide in [Luke 6:13]. At the same time he continued to preach the message of the Old Testament Scriptures but he did more than just live a good life and recite from the Jewish texts - he actually started fulfilling them too! The Scriptures proclaimed that one day God would send a Saviour to put things right and bring people into fellowship with God [Isaiah 53:5].

The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me ~ Galatians 2:20

Totally human but totally God

Jesus knew that he was the guy they'd all been waiting for but some high priests of the synagogue (called Pharisees) called him a blasphemer because he said he was the Son of God [Matthew 16:15-17] and yet he wasn't what they were expecting since he just appeared so normal (they had wanted a warrior who would overthrow the Roman rule). Yet he was able to demonstrate his divinity by performing miracles in God's name before thousands of people, teaching about the love of God, and living a sinless life! [Hebrews 4:15] He knew that God had sent him to fulfil Scripture and put people right with God, but to do that he had to take their punishment.

"Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that's been given him, that he even does miracles! Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offence at him. ~ Mark 6:2-3

He died to save us!

We all make mistakes and don't live up to God's perfect standards and Jesus knew this. In order to bring people into fellowship with God we have to be sinless because God can't tolerate evil forever [Habakkuk 1:13]. God therefore made it possible for Jesus to be able to take other people's sins upon himself [1 Peter 2:24] and die on our behalf so that we can live happily with God in heaven after we die. In other words, death becomes nothing more than a door that we still have to pass through but no longer have to fear what's on the other side [1 Corinthians 15:42].

Jesus suffered and was subjected to one of the slowest, most painful, and humiliating deaths there was at the time - crucifixion [Mark 15:24]. The Romans knew what they were doing and made sure he was dead before he got buried [John 19:32-34]. Yet something remarkable happened, as the Scriptures had said it would, and Jesus rose to life three days later [Luke 24:6] and showed himself to those who knew he had died to prove he was back [John 20:19; 1 Corinthians 15:6]. Job done, he left them to be with God (this was the Ascension [Luke 24:51]) but, as promised in the Bible, will return to judge everyone [Acts 17:31] and instate a new and perfect world [2 Peter 3:13] for those who believe he is who he says he is - the Son of God.

When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to our sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. ~ 1 Peter 2:23-24

You can read his story for yourself

The story of Jesus' life and teachings was written down by those who knew him best and make up the four gospels of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). The other books of the New Testament explain what happened after Jesus left them to be with God and also include many letters of encouragement and instruction, and a revelation of the future.

Since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you ~ Luke 1:3

Is Jesus' word reliable?

Some people have questioned Jesus' authority. It can be maintained that he is one of three things:

1) Liar

2) Lunatic

3) Lord

Some think he was lying when he said he was the Son of God and was trying to deceive people with clever talk and tricks. But others believe that he was nothing more than a madman who was completely deluded and honestly thought he was the Son of God since the Jews at the time were waiting for the Messiah.

Jesus couldn't have been either of these things because if he had been a liar, he would have been found out sooner or later and would have been exposed as a fraud, yet everything he did or said stood up to all types of scrutiny. No one could falsify what he was saying. If the Bible had been found to be proclaiming the greatness of a liar, it would not have survived as far as today. Also, if the disciples had been in on the act, it is questionable whether they would have suffered and died for someone who wasn't what he said he was.

But Jesus couldn't have been driven to making outrageous proclamations due to being mentally ill as he was always logical, rational, and sane in his words and deeds. Also a lunatic wouldn't be able to perform miracles! He was admired by many of his contemporaries and they would have scorned him had he been mentally unstable - he lived in a very intolerant society which wouldn't even have considered him if he had been anything other than of sound mind. Thousands of people gathered to hear his teachings and parables, many of which were revolutionary. This is not the work of a lunatic.

The only conclusion therefore is that he was telling the truth and must have been exactly who he said he was - the Son of God. If this is indeed the case, we can trust everything he says, including his teachings on death and resurrection!

People who believe that Jesus was telling the truth and was who he said he was are called Christians and belong to a worldwide fellowship called Christianity.

"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." ~ Matthew 16:15-16