Skeptic

In order to either believe or deny Jesus, it is first necessary to know Jesus.

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Read: John 7

Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?” (John 7:50-51)

Reflect:

Over the course of Jesus’ ministry, Nicodemus came to be a supporter and possibly even a follower of Jesus. At first, Nicodemus visited Jesus at night, in secret. But by the time of Jesus’ death, Nicodemus was confident enough to openly assist with Jesus’ burial.

So Nicodemus was not entirely unbiased when it came to Jesus. Yet his question for his fellow chief priests and Pharisees was valid, and remains so today.

Is it fair to judge Jesus without first hearing him or (in our case) reading his words, recorded by the gospel writers?

Is it just to draw conclusions about Jesus without first finding out what he did, by reading the gospel accounts?

Of course it is not fair or just! It would not be right for either a skeptic or a believer to make assumptions about Jesus without examining the evidence. That’s why I am reading John’s gospel. I want to hear Jesus’ words and find out what Jesus did, for myself. Only then can I be sure that my beliefs about Jesus are based  soundly in truth.

Crux:

In order to either believe or deny Jesus, it is first necessary to get to know Jesus.

Respond:

LORD God Almighty,

You are reasonable and orderly. Your law is just and sensible. You made it easy for people to believe in Jesus, yet some people find it very, very hard.

I admit that I was once a skeptic, refusing to believe that Jesus was indeed sent by you to save me from my sins. I didn’t even want to believe in the concept of sin itself. I made assumptions about Jesus. I listened to the allegations of atheists, skeptics, unbelievers and deniers. I didn’t go to the source texts, as a good scholar would. I was blind to the truth and rejected Jesus without giving his claims a fair trial.

So I thank you, LORD, for forgiving my my past rejection of Jesus. Thank you for opening my eyes, softening my heart and drawing me into the kingdom of your Son.

Please keep me questioning, seeking, searching, asking. I need Jesus and I need to know him so much better than I do. Keep me looking for truth in all the right places. Guard my heart and renew my mind.

Amen.

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