Jesus: The Great Apologist

From Issue: Discovery 5/1/2015

Jesus was not only an all-around masterful teacher, He was an especially good apologist. Remember, an apologist is not one who walks around apologizing (saying “I’m sorry”) all the time, but one who defends certain positions or gives reasonable answers to various questions. Since Jesus was (and is) the Truth (John 14:6), and since He was a masterful defender of Truth, there is no one better to consult about apologetics than Jesus.

Notice how Jesus, the Great Apologist, used apologetics in John chapter five. Jesus was speaking to a group of hostile Jews about God the Father and His own equality with Him (John 5:17-30). He did not expect people to believe that He was God simply because He said that He was God. In fact, Jesus said, “If I bear witness of Myself” (without offering any evidence), “My witness is nottrue” (5:31). That is, merely claiming something to be true doesn’t make it so; real evidence must be offered.

Jesus then proceeded to give four lines of evidence that would prove to anyone with an honest heart and an open mind that He was the Christ, the Son of God (John 5:31-47). First, the faithful prophet of God, John the Baptizer, testified that Jesus was “the Lord,” “Who takes away the sin of the world” (1:23,29). Second, the supernatural miracles that Jesus worked provided powerful proof that He was more than a mere man. Third, God the Father testified that Jesus was His Son. (The Father spoke both through the prophets, as well as on His own from heaven at Jesus’ baptism.) Finally, Jesus defended His Godhood by pointing to the fact that the Old Testament Scriptures supernaturally foretold of Him—predicting His birth, life, death, resurrection, and much more. 

As you can see, Jesus took apologetics seriously. He did not come to Earth and merely claim to be the Son of God, asking people to believe mystical things that cannot be proven. On the contrary, Jesus logically defended His deity. He gave people the evidence upon which to build a rock-solid, meaningful faith. He expects us to be able to examine the evidence, believe it, and be able to defend the Truth. That is Christian apologetics!


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