One of the coolest songs I’ve heard in awhile is Brooks & Dunn’s runaway hit, I Believe. It talks about how a young man’s faith has grown and blossomed over time through the influence of a friend. I have to admit that my beliefs have been affected by time, by people, by circumstances, and by a lifelong pursuit of truth.
Because we’re in a period of time where there is so much controversy stirred up by The DaVinci Code book and movie about who Jesus is, and since Jesus has a way of entering back into the global conversation and sticking around like gum on your shoe, I thought it would be great just to list in the Dave Rave the 10 reasons why, after studying, loving, living, serving, and talking about Jesus for over 3 decades, I’m more convinced of the fact of His life and the force of His love than ever. So here are my top ten reasons why I believe in Jesus:
1. His durability. I am more than a little impressed that after 2,000 years of controversy, opposition, rage, and anger, Jesus still remains the only constant, durable message of hope the world has ever known. He just won’t be ignored.
2. His being “the” fulfillment of prophecy. The majority of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament is taken up with prophecies about the Messiah. Jesus is the fulfillment of all those prophecies, not just that He fulfilled prophecy, but He is the fulfillment of all of those prophecies. His life, ministry, and work were all predicted hundreds and hundreds of years before they ever happened and they occurred exactly as they were predicted and prophesied when Jesus could have had no possible control.
3. His teachings. While we have tried to civilize Jesus in our culture, His teachings are indeed radical. As a matter of fact, if we followed His teachings to the letter we wouldn’t have the violence and war that we have today. His teachings are recognized as morally superior even by those who do not recognize His deity.
4. His life. His life has been the subject of study, controversy, expose, and research. And because of the life He lived, the impact of that life still remains today. It’s a compelling argument to believe that He indeed was and is the Son of God, Savior.
5. His promises. Jesus promised, for example, that He’d come to give life, that He’d come to give rest. Jesus promised that His church would prevail. Jesus promised that eternity would be good for those who could believe. All the promises He’s made in my life have come true and I’ve seen those promises worked out in the lives of so many others. The best is yet to come.
6. His global impact. When billions of people around the planet today still claim the name of Jesus as the Messiah, as their Savior and Lord, it cannot be ignored. When Bono was asked about the viability of claims of Jesus Christ, he pointed to the global durability or impact through Jesus and His ministry even today as proof enough for him to follow Jesus.
7. His love. His love is the greatest redemptive force on planet earth. He was a prophet of love. He preached and taught love and exemplified the greatest love when he sacrificed His life for us even while we were yet antagonistic toward Him and had nothing to offer.
8. His accomplishments. Think of it, Jesus owned nothing, wielded no power, held no office, didn’t travel far from His own home, and had only twelve official followers when he died. And yet from that small beginning, He has achieved an epic presence in the world for over 2,000 years. What He has accomplished can’t be measured and what people have accomplished in His name has made life better for everyone and continued to pull the world back from the brink of disaster.
9. His courage. When you study the life of Jesus, it was His courage in the face of opposition of beating, of mockery, of betrayal; His steadiness of purpose, and His singularity of mission that allowed Him to move forward even into spaces where He knew He would be betrayed and crucified. He was and is not only God, but man. And as man His courage is not only inspiring, but in every sense of the word, transforming because He lives in and through His followers. It is His courage that animates my life with purpose, hope, and joy.
10. His inclusivity. Contrary to what a lot of Christianity has become today, Jesus was and is an “includer.” While a lot of religious legalism today is intent on drawing the circle small enough to exclude people, Jesus was always a big-circle person. He drew the circle to include “whosoever will, may come.” He hung around people of questionable reputation. He chose in His inner circle those who had no connection to the elite. Jesus was an includer. He was as comfortable with the scholars of His day as He was with common, ordinary people, or prostitutes. You might say Jesus never met a person that He didn’t love.
These are my top ten reasons why I believe in Jesus. The truth of the matter is each one of us has to answer these questions for ourselves. The fact that I’m this confident and convinced or your mother is, or your brother, or your parents, or your pastor, or other people you know doesn’t settle the issue for you. The one thing I love about Jesus is that He will accept a “yes” or a “no” but never a “maybe.” Everyone has to make their choice and once they make the choice, that choice makes their life. Think about how important the decision to say “yes” to Jesus Christ as your personal God and Savior could be to your transformation right now and forever.