Jesus made the most startling claims that any man could make – ultimately claiming equality with God. But, anyone can say anything. Simply because we say things, this does not automatically prove that these things are so.
Therefore, we ask the question, “Why should we believe Jesus’ claims?” What evidence is there that will confirm that His claims are true? We will begin by first looking at two lines of evidence and then devote another page to the ultimate proof that His claims are so – that His death and resurrection along with the confirming testimony that verified these most important events.
Now, we turn to two lines of evidence – His miracles and the Old Testament prophecies that predict minute details about His life, death and resurrection.
Rather than just making unconfirmed outrageous claims, Jesus performed many miracles (signs, wonders) to confirm that His words were indeed true. These acts were of such a nature that they demonstrated power that went beyond human abilities to accomplish the things that were done – instantaneous healings, casting out of demons, raising of the dead and so on. These things were done not simply to demonstrate the power of God in a boastful or vain manner, but to confirm that the words spoken by Jesus were valid.
As the passage below reveals, Jesus performed a variety of miracles.
MAT 11:1 And it came about that when Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.
MAT 11:2 ¶ Now when John in prison heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples,
MAT 11:3 and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?”
MAT 11:4 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see:
MAT 11:5 the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
MAT 11:6 “And blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me.”
Further, as we mentioned, these miracles were done to show that His claims were true. For example, Jesus said that He had the authority to forgive the sins of men while He was on the earth. Then, He performed the following miracle to show this was the case.
MAR 2:1 And when He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home.
MAR 2:2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them.
MAR 2:3 And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men.
MAR 2:4 And being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying.
MAR 2:5 And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.”
MAR 2:6 But there were some of the scribes sitting there and reasoning in their hearts,
MAR 2:7 “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?”
MAR 2:8 And immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts?
MAR 2:9 “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Arise, and take up your pallet and walk’?
MAR 2:10 “But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”– He said to the paralytic–
MAR 2:11 “I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.”
MAR 2:12 And he rose and immediately took up the pallet and went out in the sight of all; so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”
His miracles were so astonishing that not even His enemies were denying that they had occurred. Rather, they spent their time falsely accusing Jesus and attributing His power to Satan.
JOH 11:47 ¶ Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs.
JOH 11:48 “If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”
The Old Testament Prophets Predicted Minute Details About Jesus
The prophets were those who spoke and wrote hundreds of years before Jesus and made various predictions about the life, death and resurrection of the coming Messiah. In these, we see God, before the time, stating what must take place. Then, we see them occurring, many times being conducted by those who were the enemies of Jesus and had no real interest in seeing any Old Testament writing being proven true.
How do we explain that these things came to pass? Was it coincidence? Was it a premeditated conspiracy carried out by Jesus and His disciples. When we look at the detail of these prophecies and the circumstances that had to come about in order for them to be fulfilled, none of these possibilities approach being reasonable. There are hundreds of prophecies that speak of the Messiah and they all are fulfilled in Jesus There is no reasonable chance that all of these prophecies could have been fulfilled simply accidentally. To illustrate that this is so, we point to two examples of prophecy and their fulfillment.
Messiah To Be Born In Bethlehem
Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, the prophet Micah foretold that the Messiah would be born in an obscure village called Bethlehem.
MIC 5:1 “Now muster yourselves in troops, daughter of troops; They have laid siege against us; With a rod they will smite the judge of Israel on the cheek.
MIC 5:2 “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.”
To show how specific this prophecy is, he mentions Bethlehem Ephrathrah (small village near Jerusalem – hometown of King David). This village was so small that it was left out of several lists of cities that belong to the tribe (family) of Judah, the area in which Bethlehem was.
Besides this, there is another town called Bethlehem that is near the city of Nazareth, far to the north of the one mentioned by Micah.
Matthew writes that this was fulfilled when Jesus was born in the Bethlehem near Jerusalem. His parents had come there in order to pay the Roman tax that was levied on all Jewish families. To pay the tax, they were to return to the towns where they had been born. In Joseph’s case, he returned to Bethlehem, the birthplace of David.
MAT 2:1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
MAT 2:2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.”
MAT 2:3 And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
MAT 2:4 And gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he began to inquire of them where the Christ was to be born.
MAT 2:5 And they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet,
MAT 2:6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; For out of you shall come forth a Ruler, Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ”
How could this be by chance? Did Jesus control His birth or the place He would be born? What if He had been born before or after they had gone to Bethlehem?
Jesus’ Clothing To Be Given To Those Who Gambled For Them
Next, we find David writing about 1,000 years before Jesus, reveals that one who was suffering would have his clothing distributed among those who gambled for them. However, the gambling would occur for only part of the clothing, while the rest would be distributed evenly to them.
PSA 22:18 They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.
John, the disciple of Jesus, who was watching as He was crucified wrote about what happened while Jesus was hanging on the cross. How could Jesus have any control over these events? Why would the Roman soldiers have any interest in fulfilling this prophecy?
JOH 19:23 ¶ The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece.
JOH 19:24 They said therefore to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”
Again, we simply look at two examples, although there are many more. But from them, we conclude that these things came about because God knew ahead of time that they would. And, despite people who wanted to destroy Jesus and His influence, they end up fulfilling the very things that the prophets wrote would happen hundreds of years before.
However, the ultimate proof that reveals or confirms that Jesus is the Messiah is found in His death and resurrection. The prophets predicts these events and the apostles of Jesus testify that they occurred. Although the theories of men have been proposed to explain away these events, there is no solid evidence to support them. We urge you to look at the ultimate evidence for believing that Jesus is the Messiah (Christ), the Son of God.
By Gary Hunt