“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” – John 14:1 (ESV)
Next time you’re flipping through the newspaper or a magazine, take a look at how many “claims” you find in them. We see all kinds of claims each day from all sorts of products, devices, and even people – “reduces the risk of …by 50 percent”, “will increase your earning power by 75%”, and on and on. Many of these claims are worth investigating, as they may help us make sound health decisions or lead us in investing wisely for ourselves and our families. Even so, we spend an awful lot of time focusing on these claims and the impact they will have on our lives.
This week I was listening to a sermon from Tim Keller that was titled “Who Is This Jesus ?”. Dr. Keller took these examples a step further and asked his audience what they would do if they received a letter stating that they were entitled to a large inheritance ? Or on the other hand, what would they do if they received a stern letter from the I.R.S. claiming they now owed $400,000 in back taxes ? Regardless of how improbable you feel each of these letters might be, wouldn’t you at least investigate them ? Wouldn’t you at least make a phone call to find out instead of outright ignoring them ?
In the Gospel of John, Jesus makes some tremendous and monumental claims to those around Him:
- “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12
- “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” – John 8:58
- “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” – John 10:11
- “I and the Father are one.” – John 10:30
And of course, many others…
I think what Dr. Keller was getting at is that people will investigate all sorts of claims that may affect their lives – some worthwhile, some not – but Jesus makes claims that bear the greatest possible impact of all. And yet many spend no time at all looking into them. Many feel no need to, many simply don’t feel they have the time. But when you consider “the magnitude of the claim”, as Dr. Keller says, that Jesus brings, you really need to put everything else on hold and find out if He is really who He claims to be !
In the short time I’ve been a Christian, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with family members about Jesus and have tried to answer questions they have had. But after a while, I realize that the best thing to do is just keep pointing them to Jesus Himself. “Don’t take my word for it,” I tell them. “Read the Gospels for yourself and see.” I feel that anyone who comes to God and is a true seeker can count on God revealing Himself, if they are sincere about it. I also feel a bit of sadness and frustration about it, knowing that family and friends will investigate and pursue other claims that they are bombarded with each day, and not devote the same time to studying the claims of Jesus Himself.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
The magnitude of the claim of Jesus – is there really anything else that compares ?