Credibility of Belief in Jesus
A few months ago our country recalled one of the most somber and tragic event in our nation’s history: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Five months later we will once again mark the anniversary of another President who was taken from us too early: Abraham Lincoln. The difference between the two events is that one was recorded on television and the other was not. And yet we do not question the veracity of either event having occurred. Why is this?
The same question can be applied to the existence and life of Jesus Christ. Why do we as a society not question the autobiographical events of the Egyptian Pharaoh King Tut, but have trouble believing in the events of the life of Jesus Christ? The answer is that any belief about an event that one does not himself witness involves trusting in the credibility of the ones who reported it. Although we could see the fate of JFK on the news with our own eyes, we could not see the occurrences in April of 1865 when Lincoln, too, was shot. In the latter case, we believe in the truth of the event because we trust in the credibility of the reporters who were there.
Well chief among our Creed’s many tenets is a belief in Jesus Christ as God’s Son, as our Lord, and as He who died and rose for our salvation. Why do some in our society not believe this? Which is to say why do some in our society not trust in the credibility of the four gospel authors?
Father Fernando Ocáriz answers these doubts in the form of four reasons for the credibility of Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God. One can assess, after all, the evangelists’ account of Jesus in the same way he evaluates the account of President Lincoln’s death. By reflecting upon the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, Jesus’ miracles, the manifestation of infinite universal love and the resurrection, it is reasonable to believe in Jesus as He is depicted in the Bible, namely the Son of God. Whereas the record of honest reporting held by the first columnist who wrote about Lincoln’s death may, for example, serve as a reason to believe in an account of the occurrence at Ford’s theater, these four examples similarly serve as reasons to believe in the accounts of Jesus made by the four evangelists.
By Ryan Bilodeau
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