Monday, January 13, 2014
And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. (John 6:10-13 KJV)
Sunday morning’s scripture was mostly in John, chapter 6 and Luke, chapter 9, though it could have been in Matthew 14 or Mark 6. Although the synoptic gospels contain many of the same stories in Christ’s life, this story of feeding the five thousand is the only one contained in all four gospels – outside of the crucifixion and resurrection. For a moment, we focused on what made this important enough to be included by all four gospel writers.
But it also caused me to think about the truth of what they wrote.
What we know of Jesus’ life comes from these writings – and those that follow in the New Testament. But these four are of utmost importance because they contain eyewitness testimony of Jesus words. From these four men we must determine whether or not they were misled by Jesus or if they lied in their writings. If they wrote truth, there can be no doubt that Jesus is the Messiah.
No where else in mankind’s history do we find such supernatural claims that literally changed the course of history. Thomas Jefferson found the miracles so unbelievable that he removed them from the gospels. It is my understanding that he kept only what he wanted from them, nothing to indicate His divinity. Most people don’t go that far – they simply deny without rewriting.
Yet, someone lies.
Either the gospel writers lied about what He said; Jesus lied about Himself; or, we’re lying when we deny that He is the way, the truth and the light. Did all four of the gospel writers lie when they say He fed five thousand with five loaves and two fish? Or, did they see that happen?
Don’t you think we should be certain we understand the importance of knowing whether they wrote the truth? Do we understand the difference it should make in our lives? How do we determine what portion of these words are believable, and which ones aren’t.
We might quickly buy into Matthew 7:1, and just as quickly reject Luke 4:21. Why would one be more believable than the other? Why would Luke 6:31 be more acceptable than John 20:27-28? If we cannot believe the miraculous, why should we give credence to the good – simply because we like it?
Let me close by assuring you that I believe these writers saw what they wrote. I believe they were inspired by God in these writings. I also believe it is of the utmost importance to each one of us to read them seeking to know the truth.
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: (Isaiah 55:6 KJV)
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 KJV)