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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: Accusations Against Jesus Answered

Don Stewart :: What Should We Conclude about the Various Inadequate Views about Jesus and His Ministry?

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What Should We Conclude about the Various Inadequate Views about Jesus and His Ministry?

The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ – Question 22

There are a number of observations and conclusions that we can make after examining some of the various responses to the New Testament’s view of Jesus which do not fit the available evidence.

While many claims have always been made to the contrary, the only true account of Jesus and His public ministry is that which is contained in the New Testament. Other explanations that are contrary to Scripture must be rejected. There are a number of reasons for this.

1. There Is Firsthand Evidence in the New Testament for Jesus’ Life and Ministry

Again, it must be emphasized that the New Testament is only the firsthand account of Jesus’ life and ministry. All others written accounts are from secondary sources. There is no indication that any of them give us a more correct portrait of Jesus. Therefore, to obtain the correct picture of whom Jesus is and what He said and did, one must study the New Testament. This is where the true picture of Jesus can be found.

2. All Other Accounts Need to Be Read in Light of the New Testament

Because the New Testament is the only firsthand source of Jesus’ teachings and ministry, all other accounts of His life need to read in light of this. No other source has any claim to being more accurate or trustworthy.

This is crucial to understand. There have been many individuals, both scholars and laypeople, who reject the account of Jesus as found in the New Testament. Instead, they have put their trust in documents written much later with vastly inferior testimony.

This is done, not because the facts lead them in this direction, it is because they cannot, or will not, believe in a supernatural Jesus. It is that simple. This being the case, we find intelligent, reasonable people going to great lengths to deny the obvious. Something else is going on here.

3. Many Discover the Sort of Jesus They Want to Find, Not the Real Jesus

Unfortunately, many people, in their quest to find the historical Jesus, end up with the type of Jesus they set out to discover. Consequently, Jesus is found to be a magician, a social reformer, a peace activist, or a feminist sympathizer. It all depends upon what one wants to find.

This is certainly not the correct way of going about discovering Jesus’ true identity. The only thing we discover in this type of search for Jesus is who the person is that is doing the searching! We really learn nothing about Jesus in these types of exercises.

4. The New Testament Record Must Be Allowed to Speak for Itself

It is essential that we let the record speak for itself. In doing so, the totality of the evidence must be considered. This means that we are to evaluate the facts as they now stand. No one is in a position to rule out the possibility of the supernatural in the life of Jesus Christ. If God exists, and if He has revealed Himself to humanity, there is certainly nothing stopping Him from displaying miraculous works from time to time.

5. The New Testament Is God’s Word to Humanity

The New Testament, along with the Old Testament, is the written Word of God. It is the final standard for all matters of faith and practice. It is a divinely inspired group of documents that the living God has given to humanity.

Furthermore, the New Testament claims to be a true account of Jesus’ words and deeds. These claims need to be examined, not ignored. When they are given a fair hearing their divine authority becomes evident.

Therefore, we strongly urge everyone to read the Bible to discover who Jesus Christ is as well as what He wants from us.

Summary – Question 22
What Should We Conclude about the Various Inadequate View about Jesus and His Ministry?

After looking at the evidence for Jesus Christ and the claims which He made about Himself there are a number of things which we can conclude.

First, the only reliable information about Jesus Christ comes from the New Testament. From it alone are we to derive our view of Jesus. All other sources of information are secondary. They can only highlight what the firsthand sources say.

This being the case we must read these sources in light of what the New Testament tells us about Jesus. It is the standard, the final authority. Any other written source must be evaluated in light of the New Testament.

Unhappily, many people, who reject any possibility of a supernatural Jesus, start their search with these later documents that have no reason to be considered reliable. Consequently they come up with a Jesus that is contrary to what the eyewitnesses, both friendly and unfriendly, testified about Him. The Jesus that results from a study such as this is a Jesus which reflects their beliefs, not His teachings.

Consequently, we must allow the New Testament to speak for itself if we are to get a true picture of Jesus Christ. This is our only source of reliable information about Him. Thus, we must take the time to study what it has to say.

Finally, when we do this, we will discover that Jesus Christ is everything which He claimed to be. Jesus is the only way in which human beings can know the living God. There is no other way! We must, therefore, believe in Him, and Him alone, if we are to receive salvation from our sins.

Furthermore, we will also discover that the Bible is what it has claimed to be; the written Word of the living God. It tells us who God is, who we are, as well as what He expects from us.

Therefore, we should put our energies into knowing what the Bible has to say about Jesus Christ. In other words, we need to be studying the Scripture, and then obeying its commands. This is our personal responsibility.

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