When I glance at my dog and cat, I can easily distinguish the difference.
How can I do this so easily? After all, they both have ears, mouths, tongues, eyes, tails, legs, feet, teeth, and fur. I suppose the obvious giveaway is that one meows while the other barks. But suppose I was deaf. Then how would I know? Somewhere in my past, my parents, grandparents, nursery workers, and other significant people taught me the difference. They either showed me a picture or the real thing and said “Dog” or “Cat.”
Even my oldest grandson knew the difference at fifteen months old. If I asked him where the kitty was, he looked at the cat and pointed. When he saw the dog, he said, “Dog.” How did he know? Because I did the same with him as others did with me. I showed him the real thing as well as pointed them out in books we read. I know…he knows…because someone told us so and because I saw others naming them the same thing.
A more important question is how we can know the historical Jesus was God. He claimed to be, but is his word enough? “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9 NLT)!
The debate is ancient. Arius, a popular pastor of the fourth century, said Jesus was half-god—a proclamation that divided the early church. Roman emperor Constantine finally called the bishops together in Nicea. They produced the Nicene Creed which stated emphatically that Jesus was God. But does the work of councils answer the question with certainty?
For 2,000 years, the church has testified that Jesus was God. If it has been wrong, surely evidence would have surfaced by now. Many witnessed Jesus’ resurrection. In addition to Jesus’ twelve apostles, more than five hundred others witnessed it as well (1 Corinthians 15:6). During his earthly ministry, Jesus manifested his ability to raise the dead, heal those with physical maladies, and perform a host of miracles. All testimonies testifying that he was more than human.
None of the above, however, proves Jesus was God if we don’t care to believe.Faith is the only answer. Like so many other spiritual matters, we must simply choose to believe even when there’s an absence of tangible proof. Have you?
Martin Wiles is an author, pastor, English teacher, and freelance editor who resides in Greenwood, South Carolina. He is the founder and editor of the internationally recognized website, Love Lines from God (www.lovelinesfromgod.com). Wiles is the Managing Editor for Christian Devotions, the Senior Editor for Inspire a Fire, a Proof Editor for Courier Publishing, and Assistant Editor for Vinewords.net. He has also served as Web Content Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolina. Wiles has authored Don’t Just Live…Really Live (Ambassador International), A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapes in a Noisy World (Ambassador International), Grits & Grace & God and Grits, Gumbo, and Going to Church (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), Morning By Morning, Morning Serenity, and Grace Greater Than Sin (America Star Books) and is a contributing author in Penned from the Heart (Son-Rise Publications), Rise (Chaplain Publishing), and Love Knots (Vine-Word Publishing). He has served as Regional Correspondent and Sunday school lesson writer for the Baptist Courier and has also written for Lifeway’s Bible Studies for Life curriculum. He has also been published in Christian Living in the Mature Years, Mature Living, Parenting Teens, Open Windows, Proclaim, Stand Firm, The Secret Place, The Word in Season, The Upper Room, The Upper Room Disciplines, Light from the Word, Reach Out Columbia, Mustard Seed Ministries, Journey Christian Newspaper, Common Ground Herald, The Quiet Hour, Power for Living, Halo Magazine, Joyful Living Magazine, Christian Broadcasting Network, Converge, Sharing, Today’s Christian Living, These Days, Plum Tree Tavern, Eskimo Pie, The Scarlet Leaf Review, Creation Illustrated, LIVE, Purpose Magazine, The Banner, Relevant, Bible Advocate, Reasons to Live, Author Magazine, and Lutheran Digest. Wiles has also written for the Bridges and Pathways Curriculum (Warner Press) and is a regular contributor to Christian Devotions, PCC Daily Devotions, Theology Mix, Inspire a Fire, The Write Conversation, Inkspirations, and VineWords and is a regular writer for the Dorchester County Eagle Record, the Orangeburg County Times and Democrat, and the Greenwood County Index Journal. Wiles has also served on faculty for the Asheville Christian Writer’s Conference. crat, and the Greenwood County Index Journal. Wiles also serves as the Managing Editor for Christian Devotions , the Senior Editor for Inspire a Fire, and as a Proof Editor for Courier Publishing. You can follow him @linesfromgod.