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How can I stop myself from doubting Jesus' existence?
Thank you for asking this question about the existence of Jesus.
The man known as Jesus, whose life is recorded in the Bible did exist. Historians from the time wrote about Jesus. They were not his followers but they accepted that he was a real person. A Jewish historian called Josephus from around the time of Jesus wrote about him and historians today believe that Jesus was a real person. They may not accept that he was God's Son, but they cannot deny that he actually walked the earth.
Jesus was a real man, who lived on the earth around 2000 years ago, but was he also God's Son, the Saviour? The best evidence we have are the accounts found in the Bible, the four 'gospels' of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Matthew and John were eyewitnesses of Jesus as two of his close followers. Mark was an assistant of Peter and obtained his information, therefore, from another eyewitness. Luke was probably a gentile, and probably the doctor mentioned by Paul (the 'beloved physician' - Colossians 4:14) who treated him for an illness. It seems he then became one of his team. The distinctive thing about Luke was that, a keen historian, he researched all the evidence for his gospel independently (Luke 1:1-4).
Mark wrote within 20 years of Jesus, Matthew and Luke within at most another 20 years, and John in his old age around 50 years after Jesus. All this means that the gospels score very highly as dependable sources of information - far better, in fact, than for just about any other ancient historical figure. Here are some basic things we learn from the gospels:
Firstly we see that in the Gospels is that Jesus' followers recorded many different things that Jesus did.
He controlled the creation:
But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid." And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matthew 14:27-31)
He healed people:
And Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them." (Matthew 11:4-5)
On the cross he was separated from God and punished for our sins in our place: at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34)
and: When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30)
He promised to take people to heaven:
He said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." (Luke 23:42-43)
He rose again from the dead:
They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"--and that he had said these things to her. (John 20:13-18)
And he predicted his death and resurrection:
"For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise." (Luke 18:32-33)
He was worshipped as God:
Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe." Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:24-29)
Secondly we see that since Jesus ascended into heaven he has been changing people’s lives all over the world through the power of the Holy Spirit whom he sent to be Christian's comfort, guide and assurance of things to come. Many of Jesus' followers have died for believing in him. They would not do that if he were not alive and worth dying for.
2000 years later there are billions of people who follow Jesus Christ and know that they are going to heaven when they die because he has forgiven them their sins and made them right with God.
I want to finish by quoting a part of the Bible. In the book of Jude he writes to the people of God about how to live for God. We are told to have mercy on those who doubt. Doubt is evidently then, something that can be expected, and something that we should seek to move on from and lead others out of:
But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:20-25)
In summary, to move on from doubting in Jesus you need to research the history of the man called Jesus and that He did live on the earth. Then read the Bible to see who Jesus was; He was fully God and fully man. He lived a perfect life for us to die in our place for our sin. He rose again to new life and ascended into heaven.
Pray to Jesus and ask him to heal your doubt.
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24)
Faith is a gift from Jesus. Ask him for it!
Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:
- Matthew 14:27-31
- John 20:24-29
- Jude 1:20-25
- John 20:13-18
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
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