The person of Jesus is greatly contested today. Google his name and you’ll get about one billion references. Watch a few Jesus movies and you’ll see a variety of depictions—the angry European-looking Jesus, the happy ethereal California Jesus, and the Jesus who looks like he works out at Gold’s Gym.
So is it possible to find the real Jesus?
If you’re exploring Christianity, or you have friends who are searching for the real Jesus, will you commit to examine the evidence? If you are a Christian, will you commit to loving God with your mind? Will you explore the evidence? And the bigger question: “Will you accept it?”
The Bible says that you should “give the reason for the hope that you have,” (1 Peter 3:15), the reason, the basis, the evidence. Faith without evidence, faith without trustworthy truth is empty faith and therefore not faith at all.
Okay, now, those of you who aren’t ready to be Christians. You may say it’s not possible to find the real Jesus, but that depends solely on this more foundational reality: Are you willing to set aside your preconceived ideas and let the evidence take you to compelling conclusions?
When it comes to Jesus, there is clear and compelling evidence in the Bible, but more than that. You can find evidence in history and archaeology, as well as humanity itself, to support the real Jesus and debunk myths.
We’re not saying, “Just have blind faith.” Quite the contrary, we are inviting you to use your mind, to investigate the evidence as fairly as possible, and let it take you to places your preconceived opinion will never take you.
The Bible tells Christians to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you” (Peter 3:15), so we are saying, “Ask us.” Oh, and that same verse also tells us to “do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). That’s our goal. And one more thing, perhaps the most important of all.
We Christians love Jesus, because more than being a set of clues or a case of evidence, more than being a celebrity whose cross we hang on necklaces and put up on steeples, Jesus is a person. A real, living person just like you and me except for this—Jesus is also God.
There is no better place to find God than in Jesus.
Want to know what God is like? Look at Jesus. Want to know whether God condemns you or forgives you? Look at Jesus. Want to know what God is doing about COVID or whether he cares about people losing jobs, money and opportunity? Look at Jesus. Need to pray? Look at Jesus. He loves us. He died for us. He rose from the dead in eternal glory and victory that he shares with anyone.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, you are real, you are loving, and you have left us plenty of evidence to believe. Open my eyes and my mind to see you, believe in you, and let you be yourself with me. And may others see you in me. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Meditate on this: If someone asks you, “Who is Jesus?” what would you answer in 30 seconds or less?