The Apologetics of Jesus: Miracles, Arguments and Witnesses
By Carey Bryant
In my previous post, we looked at how Jesus asked tactful questions to engage others. Today, let’s see how Jesus used evidence and arguments to confirm His claims.
When John the Baptist was in prison, it appears that he started to doubt if Jesus really was the Messiah. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Matthew 11:3).
Because of a common misunderstanding of faith, I imagine some people would expect Jesus to say something to the effect of: “Take a blind leap of faith. Just believe that I’m the Messiah.” But that was not Jesus’ response:
“GO AND TELL JOHN WHAT YOU HEAR AND SEE: THE BLIND RECEIVE THEIR SIGHT AND THE LAME WALK, LEPERS ARE CLEANSED AND THE DEAF HEAR, AND THE DEAD ARE RAISED UP, AND THE POOR HAVE GOOD NEWS PREACHED TO THEM. AND BLESSED IS THE ONE WHO IS NOT OFFENDED BY ME” (MATTHEW 11:4-6).
Instead, Jesus pointed to the miracles that He had performed as evidence of His identity.
There are also several examples where Jesus presented arguments to engage unbelievers (ex. Mark 11:27-33). My favorite example of one Jesus’ arguments is in Matthew 12:22-28, where He examined a particular belief and showed the consequences of that belief to be absurd (also known as a “reductio ad absurdum argument”).
In the story, Jesus healed a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute. When the Pharisees heard what had happened, they reasoned, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” However, Jesus knew what they were thinking…
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