Astounding Claims



We make astounding claims about Jesus. We state that he died but rose again from the dead, even though we have never seen that kind of thing happen before. We believe that Jesus’ death can bring us forgiveness for our sin. We also teach that he is in charge of the universe and history and that he will return one day. We even say that Jesus is the unique and only-begotten Son of God.

When we look for proof of these astounding statements, among the places we look are the lives of Jesus’ apostles. James was beheaded. Several were crucified. Peter was crucified upside down. All of the apostles could have avoided difficulty followed by death had they simply recanted their stories. Had they said, “No. Wait. I was wrong. Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, and he isn’t Lord. Caesar is Lord,” then their lives would have been spared.

The fact that they didn’t indicates that they actually saw what they claimed. The apostles were willing to die, because of what they had seen. They had witnessed miracles like Jesus giving sight to the blind and calming the seas. They saw their risen Lord and touched him. They heard him assure them that he would return. They knew that their Savior had forgiven their sins and was giving them eternal life. That knowledge and conviction led them to live heroic lives.
People still wonder if the claims we make about Jesus are true. The claims themselves seem astounding. Many naturally doubt the truth of these statements and look around for sources today that confirm or deny what we teach about Jesus.

The heroic lives many of our church planters lead reminds me of the truth of the claims we make about Jesus. They give up normal income and take big risks. They work ridiculously long hours. They wonder how they will ever find enough people to pull together a church. They endure family members and friends wondering what in the world they are doing. They can only do what they do, because they have met and become followers of the risen, ruling Lord.
The churches that our planters lead remind us that Jesus is alive, in charge, and still working miracles. Recently, The Meetinghouse Church in Salem, Massachusetts baptized a man in Salem’s harbor. Another life had been changed.

Every time it happens, in established churches as well as in church plants, changed lives are the best evidence we have that Jesus is who we claim him to be. May our churches demonstrate the truth of what we proclaim through the evidence of the lives we live.

The Deity of Christ
We Bow Down