Read John 1
Key Verse: John 1:18 (NIV) “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.”
I was riding the commuter train the other day and overheard a conversation between two college students sitting behind me. They were dismissing Christianity as untrustworthy because, “Noah’s ark was a fable. And the Bible was written by a bunch of guys we don’t know. How do we know if their writings weren’t the result of some drug-induced hallucination?” They were quite cordial about all this. Their conversation finally eroded to a discussion of the humour of Bill Cosby. As I left the train at my stop, I watched them disappear into the horizon, painlessly unbelieving, arranging for a “burger and a movie” the next Saturday night.
They think doubt about authors and ark is a problem? They should try this on for size: “only God sees God as He sits beside Himself”. That’s what I’ve written in the margin of my Bible beside John 1:18. Somebody on drugs here? Sometimes you’d think so. So much of the Bible (especially what it says about Christ’s divinity) is so far beyond reason that one can at least empathize with those who reduce it all to hallucinatory imaginings: unless it’s true.
Unless it’s true. If it’s true, then we have the authoritative Word of God on the subjects of God Himself, Jesus, the kingdom of Heaven, creation, and the end of days. If Jesus was God, then we have confidence in some of the difficult passages in the Old Testament, because Jesus so often quoted and expressed the highest view of those Jewish Scripture. In fact, He saw Himself as the fulfillment of “Moses and the Prophets”. If Jesus was trustworthy then the Scriptures become trustworthy–and even if we may have no “experience” or facility with some of the “unreasonable” aspects of Scripture, we nevertheless rest confident that Jesus knew and understood all of “Holy Writ”.
One day, in heaven, we’ll all go to school and get the full scoop on the knotty problems of the Bible, but I must stress again that our trust of the Bible is predicated on our trust in Jesus. The word is predicated on the Word. And because that Word became flesh and gave us the “word”, we believe and hope. In fact, I might go so far as to say my religion is predicated on relationship. Relationship with Jesus.