WHY SHOULD ANYONE BELIEVE IN JESUS?
Dr. Chuck DeVane, Pastor
Lake Hamilton Baptist Church
Hot Springs, Arkansas
July 12, 2020
25 Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? 26 And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? 27 But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” 28 So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. 29 I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” 30 So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?” 32 The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. 33 Jesus then said, “I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. 34 You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.” 35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? 36 What does he mean by saying, You will seek me and you will not find me,’ and, ‘Where I am you cannot come’?”
— John 7:25-36, ESV
Why should anyone believe in Jesus?
This is the second negative question “The Jews,” the religious rulers of Israel, were planting in people’s brains as Jesus’ public ministry began to wind down. The plot against Him was thickening, the accusations made against Him were sickening, and the end to their means was life-threatening. “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? (vs. 25)”
The powers that be had labeled Jesus a demoniac and libeled Him as a false prophet. They did not want anyone to listen to Jesus. As the great pastor and writer Warren Wiersbe said, “It is much easier to label and libel people rather than listen to them.” This is good wisdom when it comes to listening to the Lord, and to other people as well.
They not want anyone to listen to Jesus because they did not want anyone to believe in Jesus.
Though they tried to silence Him, the Word of God would not be stopped. Thought they dissuaded people from believing in Him, the Son of God continued to preach and plant seeds of faith in His future followers. Are you listening to Jesus? Do you believe Jesus is the Christ? You should believe in Him!
Jesus is the Expected Messiah
“But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from” (vs. 27).
The religious rulers who opposed Jesus were wrong where it matters most. They were incompetent interpreters of the inerrant word of God. Therefore, they were wrong in their conclusions about the expected Messiah, the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Messiah, as predicted by Old Testament prophecy, would indeed be a mystery man, but His origins and arrivals would not be unknown. He was to be born in Bethlehem (ref. Micah 5:2), raised in Nazareth (ref. Matthew 2:23), minister primarily in Galilee (ref. Isaiah 9:1-2), and in Jerusalem be crucified, resurrected, and ascended into Heaven (ref. Isaiah 52:13-53:12). Holy Scripture reveals these and hundreds of other reasons why you should believe in Him!
In these fulfillments and more, Jesus proved to be the Messiah, and the Messiah proves to be the Son of God, “In him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,” (ref. Colossians 2:9), sent to mankind. The Gospel of John will have much more to day about the deity of Christ (ref. 10:30, 14:9, all seven “I Am” statements, etc.). But Jesus clearly claimed to be the Christ, a man sent from God and God sent to man. You should believe in Him!
We all make errors in judgment, and minor mistakes can be overcome. But erroneous interpretations of Scripture lead to fatally flawed conclusions about God. The worst mistake in the world is to judge Jesus wrongly, as the Jews were doing in this text. He is the Christ, He is the Messiah, He is the man sent from God and the true and living God sent to man. You should believe in Him!
Jesus is the Incarnation of God
“And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ?” (vs. 26)
“Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?” (vs. 31)
Jesus’ speech and signs were performed perfectly, although the religious rulers did not believe it. Recently, CNN’s Don Lemon’s claimed, “Jesus admittedly was not perfect when he was on earth.” He fits right in with the Pharisees, Sadducees, and other blind guides of Jesus’ day. Idiots know no historical bounds. Jesus, however, proved the losers and the lemons wrong, by being perfect (and humble) in every way.
Jesus was perfect in speech. In His sermons He never said anything that contradicted Scripture, scientific evidence, or the right sensibilities of mankind. He was honest, He was loving, He was courageous, and He was kind. From the sermon on the mount, to these sessions at the Feast of Tabernacles, to His last Passover, Jesus spoke with the ability and authority of God. Even unbelievers marveled. You should, too, and you should believe in Him!
Jesus was perfect in power. The signs pointing to His deity were bonafide, organic, verifiable miracles that created powerful and positive changes that only God can make. He made food multiply and walked on water. He made the blind see, the deaf hear, and the lame walk. He made dead people come to life, and gave His life in death so that spiritually dead people can live forever. No one can do these things except God. Jesus is God. And you should believe in Him!
If I could speak without ever making an error, then you should believe in me and follow me and do whatever I command. But I can’t, and you shouldn’t. If Bennie Hinn would walk in here right now and take heal my myopia, my arthritis, and make my hair grow back, I would believe in him and follow him and do whatever he commands. But he can’t, so I won’t. But the Lord Jesus Christ spoke the perfect and pure word of God, and touched people with the power of God, you should believe in Him!
Jesus is the Only Way to Heaven
Jesus then said, “I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come” (vs. 33-34).
As God, Jesus is omniscient and sovereign. As Messiah, He was a gentleman, with no intention of staying where He was not wanted, nor forcing people to follow Him against their will. So before the finale of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus told His largely unbelieving audience He was leaving and going to a place where they could not come.
Jesus returned to His earthly home in Galilee, but anybody could have gone there. In a few months, He would return to Jerusalem for the Passover, the last Passover. A million or more would be there. But after that, Jesus was going to His real home, above the realm of sight, where only the faithful can follow.
In the person and work of Jesus Christ, God brought Heaven to earth for the purpose of bringing people on earth to Heaven. But “you cannot come” if you do not believe in Him. Pharisees and Sadducees do not go to Heaven. Unbelievers do not go to Heaven. Adherents of alternative or false religions other than true Christianity do not go to Heaven. Rejectors of religion altogether do not go to Heaven. Good people who ignore the good news, or gospel, of Jesus Christ do not go to Heaven. The only people who can follow Jesus into Heaven are those who follow Him on earth in true repentance and genuine faith. This is why you should believe in Him!
I know such talk sounds offensive in this enlightened age in which we live. Actually, claiming Christ’s words, “I Am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (ref. John 14:6), in any age or culture is dangerous, as it got Jesus killed in His own day. But the gospel is true, and it is the only path to walk if you want forgiveness of sins, real meaning in life, and Heaven everlasting. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. This is why you should believe in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Dr. Charles F. "Chuck" DeVane, Jr., is the Pastor of Lake Hamilton Baptist Church in Hot Springs, Arkansas. His weekly sermon article, "The Gospel Truth," has been published in newspapers in Arkansas and Georgia. Dr. DeVane is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and has served in the pastorate for over 20 years. Contact Pastor Chuck at PastorChuck@lakehamiltonbaptistchurch.org