Friday Forum @ Lunch
The second in a series, ‘A Glimpse of More’ . The full text of the presentation can be found here: Amazing healings or more
A brief summary of the presentation:
A Glimpse of more
Many atheists in our world claim there is no evidence for any kind of God. Carl Sagan writes, ‘You can’t convince a believer of anything; for their belief isnot based on evidence, it’s based on a deep-seated need to believe.’ The big question remains, is there any credible evidence for the existence of God?
Where would we go for such evidence? Two weeks ago John Lennox was in Melbourne and he claimed his most powerful evidence for God was the person and works of Jesus Christ. So let’s investigate Jesus further, perhaps Jesus gives us a glimpse of more?
Jesus: a glimpse of more?
How could Jesus support his claim to be God? Jim Carrey in ‘Bruce Almighty’ was endowed with the powers of God, he could do incredible things, like parting soup (or cars) like the red sea, moving the moon and making his colleague speak gibberish. These ‘miracles’ helped us believe that Bruce really had the power of God.
So what does Jesus do? Jesus demonstrates extraordinary power. Jesus demonstrates power we’d expect from God.
Jesus was a great miracle worker
In Mark 3:1-12, Jesus does the remarkable – he heals a man with a withered hand. This can not be a spontaneous remission or placebo. Jesus’ desmonstration of power is remarkable. Jesus is fully confident in his healing ability. Furthermore, Jesus was well known as a miracle-worker, even Josephus reconised Jesus as one who ‘was a doer of wonderful works’.
There were other miracle workers in the Ancient world (e.g. Honi the Circledrawer, Apollonius of Tyana and the Roman Emperor Vespasian), but they weren’t very common and Jesus stands out by the sheer number of miracles and their ‘quality’.
Jesus does the kinds of works we’d expect from someone who claimed to be God.
Some people will never be convinced
The story in Mark 3:1-12 shows another group who will never be convinced. They witnessed the same miracle and didn’t want to worship Jesus as Lord, instead they wanted to kill him.
This same refusal to engage the evidence is similar with many modern atheists. Some are ready to accept Jesus, but reject his miracles. Why? It can’t be on the evidence because Jesus’ miracles occur in multiple different sources, including non-Christian sources. It seems it’s based on a preconceived godless naturalistic worldview that fails to accept miracles. David Hume pretty much assumed the same. So the accecptance of Jesus comes down to your worldview. Does your worldview allow miracles to occur or not?
Jesus’ miracles point to more – Jesus is the Son of God
Jesus miracles reveal him as the Son of God. He is the one who gives a glimpse of a new kingdom, a kingdom where sickness disease and death no longer reign. They give a glimpse of more.