How many Bibles do you have in your house? Most houses have acquired some: the Bible presented at school, an old family Bible, a baptism or wedding present. And, of course, Bibles are available free on-line. So why aren’t more people convinced that Jesus is all-important?
Surely (some would say) if God really wants us to believe in his Son he’ll have to do better than give us a dusty old book! Could he arrange for some writing in the sky, personally addressed to me? Or answer my prayers in a miraculous way? If his Son was willing to put in an appearance in the 1st Century could he perhaps show up again in the 21st Century, here in England? Or could God send someone back from the dead to give us some clarity about the life to come?
Jesus once told a story about a man who, having failed to prepare to meet his maker, ends up in hell (Luke 16). When he realizes there is no way out for him, he starts to worry about his five brothers who, he suspects, are going to end up in the same place. Could someone be sent back from the dead to warn them? When he is told that his brothers can easily read their Bibles he makes a final plea: “No! But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.”
How many people today feel the same? Miracles done in front of other people or in a past age don’t count; I demand evidence individually presented to me before I will believe.
The punchline in Jesus’ story is striking: If the five brothers “do not listen to Moses and the Prophets (ie the part of the Bible that they already have) they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” The irony is that Jesus knows that he himself will rise from the dead and be seen by hundreds of eyewitnesses, yet many will still refuse to trust in him.
Because the Bible can be a difficult book to understand we regularly offer opportunities to join a small group where its message is clearly explained and questions can be asked. If you ring or e-mail me I will happily tell you when the next group is getting together.