Tim explains why believers trust the Bible, pointing to the authority Jesus displays in the text.
So there’s lots of good reasons to believe the Bible is trustworthy and a supernatural book. But now, I want to talk about the most powerful persuader of them all, okay? Most of us who are listening to this, we were persuaded that the Bible is God’s Word before we ever heard about the reasons that I just gave. Before you had heard about embarrassing testimony, or excruciating testimony, or even fulfilled prophecy. Before any of that, you still thought this was God’s Word. Why is that? Why were you persuaded? That’s my question, and I’ll tell you why you were persuaded.
You encountered the book for yourself. That’s why you were persuaded. Let me say this, and write this down. The most powerful evidence for the Word of God is the Word of God. Let me say it again. The most powerful evidence for the Word of God is the Word of God itself. Listen to me. When Jesus went out to preach, he didn’t stop and say, “Okay guys, before we get started here, let me give you a list of powerful reasons that what I’m saying is from God. He didn’t say that. He didn’t give a talk like this before he got to his Sermon on the Mount, okay? That’s not how it worked. He just spoke words. He just started to talk, and people were astonished. They were mesmerized. They were amazed.
Mark tells us that people were astonished at his teachings. Listen: “For he taught them as one who had authority, and not as one of the scribes.” That’s how he spoke when the officers came to arrest Jesus. They left empty-handed. Why? They came back and said, “No one ever spoke like this man.” In fact, the Jews, they were astonished. They knew that Jesus didn’t have some crazy education, and yet they asked the question “How has this man become so learned?” You see, they all encountered the Word of God, and they were just taken in by it. They were overwhelmed by it. They were persuaded by it. And that’s how many of us have come to believe that this is God’s Word.
So, we have great reasons to believe it’s the Word of God, but the most powerful reason itself, the most powerful reason is the Word itself.
Now, when people ask me, you know, we’re talking about these issues, I have a question for them, okay? And here’s my question for you. Have you ever read Jesus for yourself? In other words, have you ever let Jesus speak for himself to you? Most of the time, people will say, “No.” They haven’t even picked up the book. They’re willing to criticize the book. They’re willing, but they haven’t read it for themselves.
This is a perfect opportunity to pull out a Gospel of John. This is this is the Gospel According to John right here. We’re actually going to have these available at praise. Got a little note section here, but here’s the Gospel of John. You pull that out, and you just present it to someone and say, “Listen, here’s an account of Jesus’ life, and it is written by one of his closest friends. His name is John. All I want you to do is read it. Read it for yourself, and you’re not going to understand everything in here, okay? I personally don’t understand everything in here. But just read it. Let Jesus speak, and then see what happens.
This isn’t hard. You give someone God’s word, you let them read it, and you watch what happens. And if you do that, I think they will discover that God has spoken.