I believe Jesus is who he says he is. Until recently I’d never asked myself the question. I’d left the existence of Jesus in a nebulous place… Jesus: worshiped by Christians, distrusted and mocked by others, literary figure, has something to do with Christmas, one of many people/prophets/deities/works of fiction who wield religious influence. I never really got so far as the actuality of Jesus on the very few days I thought about it.
However, in that gentle, yet assertive way that Jesus has about him, he’s made himself known to me as the real (and very much still alive) son of God, who actually did live a human life which ended in a crucifixion and resurrection, wherein he single-handedly won the war between good and evil, redeemed all souls in the name of love, and overcame the world.
I feel inclined to build an evidential case here for Jesus’ actual existence, but I’d botch it terribly (my evidence for belief is based heavily on personal experience). Instead I’ll refer you to the charming Nicky Gumbel, a barrister turned clergyman, who makes a compelling argument.
I believe, and I’m learning that believing is not just a mind shift. It’s an existence shift. Things are happening through belief that I never saw coming. I’m leaving the paradigm of ‘the world’ and the entrapment of superstition and stepping into ‘the kingdom’ and the power of the supernatural. I believe and the limits of my known dimension no longer apply.
I believe and everything is changed. Believing means trusting, relying, on the words of Jesus Christ. Believing means letting go of who I’ve been and stepping into who I’m created to be. Believing means allowing myself to be changed, sanctified, by power unseen and not of me, yet evident. Most importantly, believing means I am inextricably united with the indestructible, undefeated, all powerful, everlasting and highest good there is, the goodness of God.
1 John 4:13-15 (NLT) says:
13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God.
I believe, and I want God to dwell in me and me in God. I want to sit in the very center of God’s big, warm, comfortable, loving heart. I want to know God personally, intimately, and better than I know myself. I want God’s truth and goodness to reign in my life and on this Earth.
I believe Jesus came to put me in right relationship with God. I believe God loves me beyond measure and having a relationship with me is important to him. I believe in the work Jesus did because no matter how hard I tried, I never achieved this kind of intimate relationship with God until I began to believe. Jesus Christ has been the connection I needed to get to this place and it’s where I want to be.
I got the tiniest glimpse of what real faith might feel like the other day. I had a brief comprehension of what faith the size of a mustard seed could actually do. Faith reaches depth that I (and most of us) have yet to imagine. Jesus came to teach us about faith along with other things, and we still have only the smallest understanding of his message.
I do know that belief is the doorway through which the understanding comes. I believe what Jesus has given to us to understand is absolute truth, and I believe he will continue to teach those of us who ask him to. I’m asking.
Jesus says “I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the father except through me.” The implications of that sentence are boundless, yet taking the simplest face value is more than enough. I want to be shown the way and the truth and have the life. I want to live this life on Earth in the presence of the father. Jesus says through him it’s possible. If I look at the things that have happened inside of me and in my life since baptism, there is only one conclusion I can come to when presented with that statement from Christ: I believe him.