In the first Why Series, I posed the question, Why are you a Christian? I mean, really, why did you choose Christianity?
Is it because you grew up in the bible belt? Were you raised in a Christian home and simply continued the title?
I hope by now you’ve had a chance to really think on the why behind the reason for your faith. As a dear friend told me last week, “I’ve never really thought of explaining the why. I’ve just always given my testimony!”
And like I said in the other post, your testimony is a powerful thing and should/can be used to bring many to Christ. However, some people are not looking for your personal experience, yet that is all they get when they ask you about your faith. Here’s a point to think on and then I’ll move on from this perspective.
If your faith is solely contingent on your personal experience, then a Buddhist, Muslim etc. can claim their god truth based on personal experience too. An Atheists’ lack of personal experience would also prove to him/her that God wasn’t real. Do you see my point?
So why Jesus? Why not Allah? Why not Buddha? Why anything?
Here’s a recent example of why we should know how to give a reason for our faith in a world that is questioning:
I was helping my 87-year-old neighbor/friend in his home the other day. As I was clearing off his desk, I noticed he had a Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary copyrighted from 1956. He saw my eyes light up (I’m a nerd for those who do not personally know me). Here’s a fascinating detail about older dictionaries: The definitions actually defined what a word meant in its originally context and was not concerned with how we felt or thought a word should mean…I digress (maybe another post).
As I sat in the chair looking at the fine print, my friend looked up and asked me a question.
“Sarah, I know you are a Christian. So I am curious about something. Why Jesus? Why Him? Why not all the other prophets who came before or after?”
A year ago, I would have sat there staring at him, my mouth agape, my heart racing. I’ve only been a believer for five years now, but I had not really thought my faith out until a year or so ago. In my first few years as a new believer, I would share my testimony. It was my go-to, but this man, my friend, knew my story. He knew me and yet still asked Why Jesus?
I’ve known my friend for the past three years. I knew he would only give me a few moments to share before he requested we change the topic. So here’s the long and short of it, but of course, not an exhausted answer.
There is historical evidence for Jesus. He is not some fictitious character a group of people made up in their minds. Why is this important? If Jesus never existed, we are wasting our time on something built on a faulty foundation. And there is evidence Jesus not only lived and died, but was resurrected and seen by hundreds of eye witnesses.
Jesus is the cornerstone of Christianity. If Jesus never existed, then he never died and resurrected. Why is this important? According to scripture, Jesus is the way to the Father. His blood is significant to us having eternal life. If Jesus is not true, then neither is Christianity.
I had an instructor explain Jesus and other prophets from other religions like this. In Buddhism and Islam, another prophet could have been selected and the religion could have continued. If you take Jesus out of Christianity, you no longer have Christianity. (Abdu Murray, former Muslim)
This is how my conversation went with my friend. He was satisfied with my answer. He thanked me and we moved on to another topic. Sometimes all you have is a few minutes. Could you at least give those asking a nugget of truth to consider? I didn’t give a ton of details or even sources he might reference at this moment, but maybe next time I can share more.
My goal is to get you thinking so you can pursue deeper. But I’m a firm believer if you don’t see a need, you won’t go deeper. You’ll stay safely in the shallow end, soaking up God’s goodness and all the feel goods, yet missing the intimacy of the deeper waters. You have a choice to stay where your feet are firmly on ground or to swim out where you can’t touch. When I was able to truly give an answer for Why Jesus in my own life, I decided the shallow end was boring.
What else would you add to a five-minute conversation with someone asking Why Jesus? Share!