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Why Believe In Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide

Believing in Jesus is a profound question that humanity has grappled with for over 2000 years. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: you should believe in Jesus because of the immense historical evidence for his life and resurrection, his unparalleled moral teachings, and the life-changing personal relationship he offers.

In this comprehensive guide, we will examine the compelling reasons to put your faith in Jesus Christ. We will overview the strong historical records confirming Jesus’ existence, analyze his revolutionary ethical principles, review his incredible miracles and their significance, contemplate his sacrificial death and resurrection, and detail the blessings of walking with Christ daily through prayer and Scripture.

Abundant Historical Evidence for Jesus

Extra-Biblical Accounts

There are numerous ancient extra-biblical sources that mention Jesus. These include non-Christian Roman and Jewish sources that provide powerful evidence for Jesus’ existence. Here are some examples:

  • The Jewish historian Josephus wrote about Jesus in his work Antiquities of the Jews (written around 93-94 AD). He confirms Jesus’ crucifixion under Pilate.
  • The Roman historian Tacitus wrote about Jesus in his work Annals (written around 116 AD). He confirms Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate.
  • Roman governor Pliny the Younger wrote a letter to Emperor Trajan around 112 AD mentioning Christians worshipping Christ as a god.
  • The Talmud, a collection of Jewish rabbinical teachings, mentions Jesus and his miracles. It calls him a false messiah who practiced magic and says he was executed on the eve of the Passover.

These non-Christian sources provide powerful evidence that Jesus did exist and was crucified under Pontius Pilate’s orders. They confirm the basics about Jesus’ life and death that we find in the Christian gospels.

The ancient critics of Jesus never doubted he existed – they attempted to explain away his miracles and resurrection.

Early New Testament Manuscripts

Thousands of ancient New Testament manuscripts provide further historical evidence for Jesus. There are over 5,800 Greek New Testament manuscripts, with the earliest fragment dating to around 125 AD – within decades of Jesus’ death and the original writings. Here are some key facts:

  • The John Rylands Fragment (P52) contains a few verses from John 18 dating to 125 AD. Whole books of the New Testament could fit on this fragment.
  • The Bodmer Papyri II contains most of John’s gospel from around 150 AD.
  • The Chester Beatty Papyri contains major portions of the New Testament from before 250 AD.
  • The Codex Vaticanus contains nearly the entire Bible dating to 325-350 AD.

The abundance of ancient New Testament manuscripts allows scholars to reconstruct the originals with a high degree of accuracy. This provides powerful historical evidence for Jesus. No other ancient figure has as many old manuscripts confirming his existence and the events of his life.

The manuscripts also show the New Testament has been accurately transmitted throughout history.

Jesus’ Profound Moral Teachings

Love God and Neighbor

Jesus taught that the greatest commandments are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). This emphasizes having a loving relationship with God and selflessly caring for others.

Jesus demonstrated this through his ministry to the poor, sick, and marginalized. His radical message to love even one’s enemies (Matthew 5:43-48) provides a profoundly moral framework for human relationships.

Golden Rule

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). Jesus distilled ethical behavior down to this simple but powerful principle that has become known as the Golden Rule.

Treating others the way you want to be treated cuts across religious and cultural boundaries. It’s an ethic found in various forms in many religions and philosophies. Coming from Jesus, it carried special weight as the summation of God’s moral law.

Forgiveness and Grace

Central to Jesus’ moral vision was the emphasis on forgiveness, embodied in his words from the cross “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Rather than retaliation and vengeance, Jesus taught forgiveness and love for enemies.

He also demonstrated grace in his friendships with disreputable characters rejected by religious society. His scandalous practice of eating with tax collectors and sinners (Mark 2:16) enacted his message that God embraces the lost and marginalized.

Overall, Christ modeled reconciliation and graciousness toward moral failures in ourselves and others.

Jesus’ simple yet profound moral principles have resonated through the centuries and still provide excellent ethical guidance today. His teachings reveal startling insights into living life of meaning, placing love for God and others at the center.

They continue to challenge and inspire movements for social justice and moral progress around the world.

Jesus’ Miracles Confirm His Divinity

Healing the Sick

Throughout his ministry, Jesus performed many miracles of healing the sick. He healed those with various illnesses like leprosy, paralysis, bleeding disorders, and high fevers (Matthew 8:1-4, 8:14-15; Mark 1:29-34). The healings were often instantaneous and complete.

For example, when Jesus healed a paralyzed man, he not only cured his paralysis but also forgave his sins (Luke 5:17-26). The magnitude of the healings showed Jesus’ divine authority over infirmities and even people’s spiritual state.

Feeding the Multitudes

On two separate occasions, Jesus miraculously fed thousands of people with just a few loaves of bread and fish (Matthew 14:13-21; 15:32-39). When his disciples wanted to send the crowds away hungry, Jesus took the meager food, blessed it, and managed to feed over 5,000 people the first time and 4,000 people the second time – with baskets of food left over!

His supernatural ability to create food revealed his divine power and care for people’s needs.

Power over Nature

As God’s Son, Jesus exhibited power over nature many times. He calmed raging storms (Matthew 8:23-27), walked on water (Matthew 14:22-33), withered a fig tree with a word (Matthew 21:18-22), and caused miraculous catches of fish (Luke 5:1-11; John 21:1-14).

His authority over the natural world demonstrated his divine identity because only God commands the winds, waves, trees, and animals.

Raising the Dead

Most astonishing were Jesus’ miracles of raising people from the dead. He revived a widow’s son in the village of Nain (Luke 7:11-17), a synagogue leader’s daughter (Mark 5:35-43), and his friend Lazarus who had been in a tomb for four days (John 11:1-44)!

The crowds were astonished and said, “The dead are being raised!” (Matthew 11:5). His power to resurrect the dead showed his ultimate sovereignty over life and death itself – something only God can do. It confirmed Jesus’ bold claim, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25).

Jesus’ Victorious Death and Resurrection

Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled

Jesus’ death and resurrection fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. For example, Psalm 22 vividly describes Christ’s crucifixion hundreds of years before it occurred. Specific details like the mocking and insults hurled at Jesus (Psalm 22:7-8), the piercing of his hands and feet (Psalm 22:16), and the casting of lots for his clothing (Psalm 22:18) all came to pass.

Isaiah 53 spoke of the Messiah being crushed for our iniquities and rising again to justify many. Jesus said the Scriptures testified about him (John 5:39), and his death and resurrection confirmed he was the promised Messiah.

The Passion Week

The week leading up to Jesus’ death, known as Passion Week or Holy Week, is full of significant events. On Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to adoring crowds welcoming him as king (John 12:12-19).

On Thursday night, he observed a Last Supper with his disciples, instituting Communion as a remembrance of his body and blood sacrificed for us (Luke 22:14-23). Afterward, he went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, where he was betrayed by Judas and arrested (Luke 22:39-53).

Jesus endured sham trials before the Sanhedrin, Herod, and Pilate on Friday morning. Despite finding no guilt in him, Pilate bowed to the mob’s pressure and sentenced Jesus to crucifixion. After being severely flogged, Jesus carried his cross to Calvary where he was nailed to the cross and crucified between two thieves (Luke 23:26-43).

His sacrificial death paid the penalty for our sins.

Empty Tomb

After Jesus died on the cross on Friday afternoon, Joseph of Arimathea received Pilate’s permission to bury his body in a tomb before sundown (John 19:38-42). On Sunday morning, some of Jesus’ female followers went to anoint his body but found the tomb empty.

Angels appeared and told them Jesus had risen from the dead as he foretold (Matthew 28:1-7). His resurrection was also confirmed by his appearances to various people, including Mary Magdalene (John 20:10-18), the disciples (John 20:19-23), and Thomas who doubted at first (John 20:24-29).

The empty tomb, along with his post-resurrection appearances, verify that Jesus conquered sin and death.

Post-Resurrection Appearances

Jesus appeared to many people over a 40-day period after his resurrection, proving he had risen bodily from the dead (Acts 1:3). Here is a summary of some of Jesus’ significant post-resurrection appearances:

  • To Mary Magdalene at the tomb (John 20:11-18)
  • To two disciples on the Emmaus road (Luke 24:13-32)
  • To Peter, who had denied him (Luke 24:34)
  • To ten apostles, with Thomas absent (John 20:19-23)
  • To all eleven apostles, with doubting Thomas present (John 20:26-29)
  • To seven disciples fishing on the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-14)
  • To over 500 disciples on a mountain (1 Corinthians 15:6)
  • To his disciples at his ascension into heaven (Luke 24:50-53)

Jesus took time to meet with many people after his resurrection, dispelling myths that it was only a spiritual event or mass hallucination. His victory over death was real and verifiable.

An Ongoing Relationship with Christ

Prayer and Scripture

Developing a dynamic, two-way relationship with Jesus Christ requires regular communication through prayer and studying the Bible (GotQuestions). Through earnest prayer we speak to God, bringing our concerns, questions, praises, and requests.

As we read Scripture, we learn more about Christ’s nature, character, and teachings – essentially hearing His voice. The more time spent in prayer and God’s Word, the deeper our fellowship with Him grows. Just as human friendships require investment, so too does our friendship with Jesus.

Setting aside consistent, unrushed time to pray and read Scripture allows us to tune out distractions and be fully present with the Lord.

Holy Spirit Guidance

All believers have access to the Holy Spirit, the very presence of God dwelling within us to provide wisdom, direction, comfort, and counsel as we navigate life (Bible Study Tools). As we submit areas of our life to God in prayer, the Holy Spirit guides us into truth and shows us any adjustments needed to align with Christ.

For example, He may prompt us to forgive someone, serve in the community, let go of anxiety, or be more generous. Learning to recognize the Spirit’s voice comes with experience. The more we engage with the Holy Spirit by acting on His nudges, the clearer His voice becomes.

He generously equips followers of Jesus to live out godly lives that shine the light of Christ.

Loving Christian Community

Finding community with other Christians reinforces and energizes our faith. According to a 2019 Lifeway Research study, 67% of churchgoers said theological beliefs were the primary reason they chose a church.

Gathering with like-minded believers provides fellowship, accountability, service opportunities, spiritual guidance, and a place to use our gifts for God’s glory. Small groups, Bible studies, or Christian networking events all offer meaningful connection points.

As iron sharpens iron, we grow stronger together than isolated on our own. Let’s lean into Christian community during all seasons of life.


In examining the historical corroboration, moral excellence, miraculous works, sacrificial death, and resurrection life of Jesus Christ, we find compelling reasons to place our faith in him. Connecting with Jesus in daily spiritual practices allows us to experience his love and blessings personally.

We invite you to open your heart to Jesus – you will discover purpose, meaning, and transformation beyond imagination.

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