We did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.
–2 Peter 1:16
Those who dispute that Jesus is the Son of God try to attack the historical accuracy of the Gospel accounts. But time and time again, the Gospels have proven to be trustworthy.
Another way to discredit the Gospels is to say, “The people who wrote the gospels had a hidden agenda. They knew the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah, so they manufactured myths about Jesus to coincide with those prophecies.”
There are problems with this idea that the Gospel writers manufactured fables about Jesus. First of all, when they wrote their Gospels, there were scores of people alive who had been witnesses to these events. If the Gospels were fabrications, they never would have been embraced by people. Let me illustrate it for you this way. Let’s say a biographer publishes a ground-breaking book on Ronald Reagan, and the writer claims that three days after Ronald Reagan died, he rose from the grave. Do you think scholars would be poring over that book? No, it would be laughed out of existence. We know that Ronald Reagan did not rise from the dead–he is still buried in his grave in California. Such a claim would never receive any credibility at all. But the Gospel accounts had credibility among those who were contemporaries of Jesus.
But there is a second, more important problem with the idea of the Gospel writers fabricating the story: the apostles were willing to die for their belief that Jesus was the Son of God. People may be willing to die for what they believe is the truth, but nobody willingly dies for a lie. That is what Peter was saying in 2 Peter 1:16: “We did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.”
The fact is, there are dozens upon dozens of fulfilled prophecies in the Bible saying that Jesus Christ really was the Son of God. That is why Peter, when he was preaching in front of the temple in Acts 3, said, “The things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ should suffer, He has thus fulfilled” (v. 18). The Christmas story is built upon the foundation of Christ’s fulfillment of prophecy.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “God In A Stable: Fact Or Fable?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2015.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org