My Musings – A few days ago, (July 26, 2019) the title of my musing was “On the Side of Truth.” In the blog, I wrote that the truth is verifiable, not fabricated. There are two primary means of verification: reliable evidence (something that furnishes proof) and reliable testimony (firsthand authentication).
In the verses above, Jesus makes the bold truth claim that He is not just a way to the Father (God) and to eternal life in Heaven, but that He is in truth (fact) the only way. To know Him is to know the way. Apart from His own word, what evidence and what testimony do we have that corroborates His claim?
Evidence – The Old Testament records 356 prophecies concerning the Messiah that Jesus fulfilled (see https://accordingtothescriptures.org/prophecy/353prophecies.html for a complete list). All recorded at least 400 years before Christ was born. Here are just three:
His Birth – These prophecies included specific details surrounding the circumstances and location of HIs birth, something He could not have possibly orchestrated. One of the details even required the proclamation by a disinterested pagan emperor (Augustus Caesar – see Luke 2:1), to ensure that Jesus was born in the town of His ancestor King David (Bethlehem -see Micah 5:2 and Matthew 2:1-6) and not the town where His mother and step-father resided (Nazareth – see Luke 2:4).
His Triumphal Entry – Another prophecy (see Daniel 9:23-27), involving yet another proclamation of a pagan emperor (Artaxerxes, King of Persia), predicted Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem on the original Palm Sunday. A span of 483 separated the proclamation and its actual fulfilment to the exact date (Pentecost, J. D. (1985). Daniel. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 1363). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.).
His Death – The predicted mode of Jesus’ execution described crucifixion in very specific detail (see Psalm 22), despite being recorded an estimated 600 – 700 years before the first recorded executions by crucifixion by King Darius I of Persia ca. 519 B.C (see https://www.gotquestions.org/crucifixion.html.).
Evidence – The Bible records over 500 eyewitness to post-resurrection appearances of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). There is no evidence that the Jewish or Roman authorities responsible for Jesus death were ever able to discredit any of the witnesses testimony. Many of eyewitnesses died horrible deaths as a result of their belief in a risen Savior. Yet in the face of martyrdom and persecution, there is no evidence that any of these witnesses ever recanted.
The New Testament is not the only source of testimony concerning the historicity of Jesus. These include Jewish historian Josephus, Roman historians Tacitus and Suetonius, Samaritan historian Thallus, governor of Bithynia Plinus Secundus, secular author Phlegon and Syrian philosopher Mara Bar-Serapion. The Jewish Talmud also acknowledges the historicity of Jesus. (see https://evidencetobelieve.net/history-of-jesus/).
My Advice – In “On the Side of Truth” I wrote that no matter what is being debated, there can only be one truth. To me, there is more than a “preponderance (more likely than not)” of evidence and testimony that Jesus is the only way. To me, it is beyond a reasonable doubt. What about you? What is the one truth to you?