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How could a mere man have known?

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  • How could a mere man have known?

    And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 10:22)

    Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. (Matthew 24:9)

    And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Mark 13:13)

    And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. (Luke 21:17)

    In the above passages, we see an emphatic declaration made by a Jewish carpenter who lived in a tiny city in a remote country, 2000 years ago.

    Although only a local rabbi with a small group of disciples, He nevertheless boldly declared that one day His followers would be hated among all nations because of faith in Him.

    Regardless of the opinion one holds of Jesus, the fact that His claim has defied all probability and circumstance to prove true, demands an explanation.

    That an individual of such obscure and humble origins would become such a provocative figure on a global scale is improbable. But for such a person to state unequivocally that this would be so, is beyond extraordinary, and defies any conventional explanation.

    How could a mere man make such a bold statement with such confidence? How could a mere man know that He would even be known among the nations--let alone become so controversial that His followers would be hated and persecuted among them?

    There are only two logical explanations why a man would make such an outrageous claim: either He truly knew this would occur because He possessed genuine divine foreknowledge, or he was a megalomaniac suffering delusions of grandeur! Given the setting and circumstances in which the statements were made, what rational explanation could possibly exist, outside the realm of the supernatural?

    Some may claim that the statements were falsely attributed to Jesus after the church had become prominent and the many persecutions had already begun. Yet, if we are to believe the evidence ascertained from Scripture, and from historians and Bible scholars, the latest possible date that can be attributed to the writings of the Gospels render such allegations invalid.

    Some may seek to diminish the scope of what the statement encompasses, asserting that it refers specifically to the local persecutions around Jerusalem during the first century.

    Yet, the numbers that suffered affliction and martyrdom during that period pale in comparison to the untold millions who have suffered and died as Christians during the 1900 years since then.

    Moreover, the persecutions of the first century did not involve multiple nations, as per Jesus' statement, and as in the case of persecutions that have occurred in the last 19 centuries.

    Some may even assert that Jesus was indeed a prophet, yet no more a deity than the OT prophets whose "thus saith the Lord" prophecies proved equally true. And yet, who among those prophets ever declared that faith in them personally would cause God's people to suffer?

    Though non-Christians dismiss the idea of Jesus' deity, there is no other reasonable explanation as to how He could know with such certainty that He would be the cause of His followers being hated by nations around the world, as indeed Christians are today.

    There were many false Messiahs before Jesus, and many also arose after Him. Some attracted public attention for a brief season, and even garnered a small following. Yet, how many of their names are known today? How many of them developed into such a controversial a figure among the world's religions that their followers are still reviled and hated by so many in every corner of the world? Untold millions of Christians have been murdered and persecuted because of Jesus for the last 2000 years, just as Jesus said they would be.

    Even to this very day, Christians are murdered, persecuted without mercy by pagans, and imprisoned by the thousands, year after year, all around the world, with increasing intensity. And this is for one reason: for believing Jesus is who He declared Himself to be. This is in accordance with what a humble carpenter born in the tiny, obscure city of Bethlehem said would happen.

    There is no explanation as to how Jesus knew this would be so, except by means of divine knowledge, which speaks to the deity resident in Him. His words were prophecy fulfilled--fulfilled prophecy to one day stand alongside the many others that God has provided both as testimony to the truth, and damning indictment against those who refuse to accept the truth so clearly revealed through His recorded words and deeds, and through the words spoken abo
    ut Him:

    Then the Lord said to me, ‘What they have said is right. I will raise up a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell the people everything I command him. I will personally deal with anyone who will not listen to the messages the prophet proclaims on my behalf.
    (Deuteronomy 18:17-19 NLT)

    Here are the words of that prophet:

    The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands. And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”
    (John 3:35-36 NLT)

    Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.

    I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken.


    I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.”
    (John 12:44-50)

    Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me.

    (John 24:24 NLT)

    I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.
    (John 14:29 NLT)


    • Lowbridge
      #6
      Lowbridge commented
      Editing a comment
      Yep, exactly right.

    • awestruckchild
      #7
      awestruckchild commented
      Editing a comment
      This is excellent. That's all. Just excellent. Simple and excellent.

    • Sojourner
      #8
      Sojourner commented
      Editing a comment
      Re: Article: How could a mere man have known?

      Originally posted by awestruckchild
      This is excellent. That's all. Just excellent. Simple and excellent.
      Why thank you, awestruckchild. My sincerest hope is that it will offer food for thought to hungry, skeptical minds.
    Posting comments is disabled.

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