To talk to people about Christian faith today is an increasinly hard thing to do. If the issue of faith is raised in a group of people the response is often mixed. Increasingly we find there are instant reactions from some and more considered responses from others. Those who respond quickly can be from either end of the spectrum, those who definitely believe and those who definitely don’t believe. There are some in the centre for whom the question of faith is thought provoking and they may remain quiet, or wait to add their contribution. The difficulty we all face, which was not a problem for those who had followed Jesus in his lifetime or heard from the apostles first hand, is that we are far removed from the physical evidence. John, however, one of the first to follow Jesus, tells us in the Bible his experience.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 1 John 1:1-2 (The N.I.V translation)

In our discussions about faith it is important to consider the facts. People close to Jesus wrote down their experiences and their insights for us. To reject the claims of those who follow Jesus is easy if we will not take the testimony of those closest to him seriously. Today, in our imaginations fuled by television and films, it seems more acceptable to believe in the existence of aliens, vampires, or demons, than it is to accept that God became man and lived among people. However, imagine if we had seen Jesus and had similar experiences to those who followed him, what would our world view be? I think it would have been radically different and full of  the amazement they speak of.

Believing in Jesus, from a Christian perspective, means believing in the testimony of those who were closest to him and is written in the New Testament of the Bible. Choosing not to believe is always an option and one to be respected, but such unbelief is put into question if those who experienced life with Jesus in the first place are to be believed.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the testimony of those who knew Jesus in the flesh. Help me to believe today through the witness of their words and bring my own experience of Jesus to a new level through your Holy Spirit working in me. Let my words of faith be as real to me and others as those of the people who saw with their eyes and touched Jesus in the flesh. Amen.

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