Christianity is a religion that believes in God who has come in the flesh, namely Christ. However, when God came down to this earth 2,000 years ago, many who claimed to believe in Him did not recognise Him.
“He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.”John 1:10
In our times now, God will appear to us a second time amongst innumerable men, with an appearance that does not deviate too much from us. How can we ensure that, this time, we will recognise Him?
Today, when we are faced with something unknown, most of us usually google our way to find answers. However, can websites tell us who is the Christ?
“the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”Colossians 1:26-27
The Bible describes Christ as “the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations” which can only be made known to us by God. So, it is clear that internet websites, which are based off men’s knowledge, cannot contain the answer.
2,000 years ago, Jesus performed many miraculous wonders when He came to this earth, so some think that Jesus will perform miraculous deeds when He comes again. Should we, then, look out for miracles as signs that lead us to Christ?
One of the most well-known miracles which Jesus performed was that of feeding 5,000 people with five barley loaves and two small fish (John 6). At that time, the Israelities saw the miracle with their own eyes and were filled with awe. Nevertheless, they still left Jesus when He spoke the way to receive salvation.
“On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” … From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.”John 6:60-69
Thus, Google and miracles are not ways through which we can recognise God. What is the way then?
The Holy Bible
“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”John 5:39-40
When Jesus wanted the people to recognise that He was the Saviour who came to give them life, He said that the Bible testified to Him. Like this, the Bible must be the best way for us to know Christ.
Through the Bible, we can find records of Jesus and His disciples testifying to the people about the Saviour through the Bible. First, let us see the example of Jesus.
Luke 24:27 “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”
“Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets” means that Jesus started off with the Old Testament when testifying to Himself. Instead of performing miracles, Jesus used the Bible to explain He was Almighty God who came to this earth.
Even the disciples and apostles also used the Bible to testify to Christ.
” … Paul … reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said.”Acts 17:2-3
“Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked … Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.”Acts 8:30,35
Apostle Paul used the Bible to explain and prove that Jesus is the Saviour, and so did disciple Philip. Through their examples, we can understand that we absolutely have to depend on the Bible to recognise who is God who came in the flesh. The Bible is the sole credible evidence we need to recognise God. The reason the disciples were able to recognise Jesus as the Saviour was because they believed in the Bible fully.
“Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”John 1:45
Failure to Receive Jesus
Until now, we have confirmed that we can recognise God through the Bible. 2,000 years ago, the Jews, too, studied the prophecies of the Bible diligently, awaiting the coming of their Messiah. Despite that, they were the ones who crucified their God who was more precious than their lives. Why did they not recognise God despite having studied the Bible? Unless we know the reason, we may fall into the same error. There were two main reasons, as Jesus said:
“If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”John 5:46-47
What Moses wrote was the first five books of the Bible. Jesus told the Jews that the reason they did not believe in Him was because they did not believe the Bible. They knew what the prophecies concerning the Christ were, and they saw Jesus fulfilling them, yet, they still thought that Jesus was not the Christ. It is clear that, in actual fact, they did not believe the Bible’s prophecies.
“Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.”John 15:20-21
Here, Jesus said the Jews persecuted the disciples because they did not know God. The Israelites claimed they knew God. It became evident after Jesus came that the god they knew is not the God of the Bible but a god of their own imagination. That was why they completely rejected God who did not fit their own preconceptions of what He was like and how He should appear.
Through valuable lessons in the Bible, we understand that it is imperative to rely on the Bible and to get rid of our fixed ideas to recognise God. Only he who completely trusts in the words of the Bible and its prophecies can recognise God and receive Him. By this, we will be able to find all the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge in this age.
” … so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”Colossians 2:2-3