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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

Feb. 3, 2011 - Closer Than You Think

By Bob Caldwell

“After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven’” (Acts 1:9-11, NIV).

“Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. David said about him: ‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence’” (Acts 2:22-28).

As a Bible college instructor, I read a lot of things that are nonsense but pass for scholarship. Consider this blurb from the promotion of a recent book: “Few, if any, individuals have had such a profound influence on Western culture as Jesus, even though not a single detail of his life or teaching can be confirmed with certainty.”

A key component of 19th-century liberal New Testament scholarship was the so-called “Quest for the Historical Jesus.” Hermann Samuel Reimarus, David Friedrich Strauss, and Albert Schweitzer were key authors who denied the Gospels’ presentation of Jesus as the Messiah. There is no space here to detail the many problems of this type of analysis. Though this type of work continues to the present day, the Gospels have been shown by many very good scholars to be fully reliable.

There is a much deeper reality to Jesus than human scholarship can ever show. Though we believe He lived and taught and did all the things we read about in Scripture, we cannot transport ourselves back to His years on earth. Rather, we see Him in a much greater dimension through the Holy Spirit’s witness to our spirits. Even more powerful than seeing the Babe in a manger or shaking hands with the Carpenter from Nazareth or even dining with the post-resurrection, glorified Jesus, is the very real relationship with the Savior we can enjoy today. Jesus is not with us physically, but we need the Jesus who intercedes with the Father for us. We need the Jesus who sends the Holy Spirit to counsel and empower us. We need the Jesus who forgives our sins and gives us the power to overcome the enemy.

Let the scholars debate the search for the historical Jesus. Right here, right now, we can talk to the living, saving, empowering Jesus. Seek Him today and every day.

— Bob Caldwell is an adjunct professor with Central Bible College-St. Louis campus.



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