“I have a hard time believing in something I can’t see.” That’s what one of the guys in my Life Group told me this morning.
And, I have to admit, I do too. It’s so easy to doubt and wonder if this really all is a scam after all. Maybe I’m the only one, but I think this kind of doubt is extremely common.
I thought for a second or two, and I wanted to get him off the thinking about what you can see into other measures as well. So I said something CS Lewis-y, “Well you can’t see the wind, or bacteria, or satellites or so many other things, yet we know they’re there. Seeing isn’t everything,” was my answer, getting excited and kind of nervous at where this conversation was headed.
Pretty quickly he shot back with, “Yeah, but we know all that exists through other ways.” Smart answer! And I wanted to continue down this way of thinking by saying that we can know that God exists through the ways that He interacts with the world throughout history. But then my mind stopped cold, and only one question seemed to matter, so I shifted gears, dying to know how he would answer: “But what about Jesus? What does Jesus show us about God?”
I’m pretty sure I stumbled over the question a bit and it wasn’t anywhere near that eloquent when I asked it, but it’s a great question. He kind of glared at me at first, and gave me a dirty look indicating he didn’t like my question but couldn’t think of any good answers. (12 year olds are so easy to read sometimes) So we moved on, and I hope we can broach the subject again.
It’s a GREAT question. There are 10,000 questions you can ask about God, religion, the Church and even the Bible. Why are professing Christians responsible for so many terrible things? What about Genesis and the preposterous ideas about the world being made in 7 days, and a talking snake, and apples, and all that other stuff? What about Moses and that burning bush, and the snake, and parting a sea? What about all those contradictions I heard about n the Bible? You can go on and on and on.
Those are all good and awesome questions, and everyone should totally think through them and decide for themselves what they are going to accept as truth and nonsense. But before you do. Before you go down 100,000 rat holes. Before you go down a bunch of paths that don’t really matter.
What about Jesus?
Honestly, if you look at the evidence and decide for yourself that Jesus either didn’t exist, or didn’t exist the way the Gospels portrayed, then does all that other stuff really matter? I mean, Christianity ultimately rests on Christ. Why waste your time on a bunch of stuff that doesn’t matter if Christ as we know him didn’t exist?
Seems to me like it would save us all a lot of time to start with Jesus. It all rests with Jesus. He claimed to be the Son of God, on a mission from God, and the only way between man and God. If Jesus is out, then everything else about Christianity is out, too.
Anytime I have doubt. Anytime I hate how things are going, or why the Church is as messed up and as broken as it is, anytime I wonder if there really is a God, I come back to Jesus. I have spent enough time wrestling with Jesus to be comfortable with the idea that He is a real person, and that He is who He says He is. (God come to earth)
This doesn’t answer all my questions. I have a ton of unanswered questions. What about the Trinity, how does that even work? Why does bad stuff happen to good people? Why is the world as messed up as it is? Why is life so hard?
But I know enough that Jesus didn’t come to answer all my questions, He came on a mission trip to show God’s great love for us. We can find rest and peace in that, even with a thousand unanswered questions.
So here’s my challenge to you. Wrestle with Jesus. Forget all the questions about science and evolution, forget about why people who claim to follow Christ don’t seem to have anything to do with who He was, forget about all of that. Until you resolve what you want to do with Jesus, you will not find any answer about any of it satisfactory.
Once you resolve Jesus, you can find a lot more contentment in trusting that He knows what He is doing (even if you don’t), or that it doesn’t matter at all.
It all rests in Jesus. Start there.