The Truth of the Gospel Stories

Unless you are Rodney Dangerfield or some other self-deprecating comedian, people do not tell lies to make themselves look bad.  When I am ordering a pizza and I am asked for my name I tell them I’m Hercules.  Why should I lie and tell them Casper Milktoast?  The lies we tell about ourselves are designed to make us look better than we are, more manly, more courageous.

In the Gospels the disciples often looked bad.  They fell asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus asked them to pray with Him.  That very night they ran away and abandoned Him.  Peter cursed and denied knowing Jesus.  James and John wanted to call lightning down from heaven and burn up a town.  On the beach at Gadarenes they ran away and left Jesus at the mercy of two very violent demon-possessed men.

For me this is evidence that the Gospels stories are true.  If these men were making up stories they would have been like the rest of us and they would have made themselves look quite a bit more heroic.  Both Peter and John testify to the veracity of their stories by saying they saw, they heard, they touched with their own hands the Lord of Glory.  See I John 1 and II Peter 1.  They were eyewitnesses.   When television was new to us Walter Cronkite narrated a program called You Are There taking us to historic events and giving us front row seats.   Peter and John and the others Were There and they shared with us the unvarnished truth about what they saw.  Jesus was wonderful and they were not.  Jesus was perfect and they were not.  If they were lying to us surely they would have looked much, much better.

Written by Roger Bothell on August 12, 2014

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