Regarding Jesus, seventh grade boys have three important questions:
- Is what you’re telling us about Jesus true?
- Can a person really have a day-to-day relationship with Jesus – even though He left this earth almost 2000 years ago?
- If I follow Jesus wholeheartedly, will it be worth it?
Jesus is all about truth… in fact, He is Truth. His reality is not impacted by whether or not we believe… but He wants us to know Him. One day, every person will acknowledge and bow to the Truth.
As when He walked the earth, Jesus patiently implores people to believe in Him. Today, Satan continues to use ‘confusion’ to hinder faith. He knows ‘without faith it is impossible to please God,’ so he makes what is pure sound wrong and what is evil sound good. Truth is the remedy to confusion… but we must pursue it.
On trial, Jesus said: “The reason I was born and came into this world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to Me.” A skeptical Pilate asked: “What is truth?” and then walked away.
A while later, two unlikely sinners reached similar conclusions. “Today, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” The thief on the cross confessed the truth about himself as he realized the holiness of the Man crucified next to him. By asking for mercy, he shows us the beauty of the Truth that saves. He did not have to understand everything… he just needed to petition the One with all authority. The Messiah said: “I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43)
Even a Roman centurion recognized what the Jewish religious leaders rejected: “Surely this Man was the Son of God!” God wants Jews and Gentiles, law-abiding citizens and criminals, rich and poor, seventh grade boys and old men to recognize the truth, embrace the truth, and live for the truth.
In 1980, Lee Strobel, a writer for the Chicago Tribune, was upset because his wife had become a Christian. An atheist with a post graduate degree from Yale Law School, Lee determined to use his professional skills to investigate and disprove Christianity. His search took him all over the world. On November 8, 1981, Strobel surrendered his life to Jesus and began telling the world what he discovered.
The Case For Christ was published in 1998 and a movie with the same title came out in 2017. God has used a one-time opponent of the Gospel to proclaim the miraculous rescue of the world through Jesus Christ. Here’s a quote from Lee Strobel:
In short, I didn’t become a Christian because God promised I would have an even happier life than I had as an atheist. He never promised such a thing. Indeed, following Him would inevitably bring divine demotion in the eyes of the world. Rather, I became a Christian because the evidence was so compelling that Jesus is the one-and-only Son of God who proved His divinity by rising from the dead. That meant following Him was the most rational and logical step I could possibly take.
“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men – the testimony given in its proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle – I am telling the truth, I am not lying – and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.” I Timothy 2:3-7
The Case For Christ, by Lee Strobel, ©1998 Zondervan