Reading and Contemplating – Recognition of Jesus

At around two hundred pages, Know Why You Believe is shorter than most fiction works I’ve read, but it is taking me much longer to read it.  Even though I’m interested in this book, I’m hardly flipping through the pages at lightning speed.  This has been the case with any nonfiction I’ve read, probably because when I’m learning something, I have to read slower so it can sink in.  I guess my brain likes the “mind candy” that fiction delivers 🙂

I’m not even halfway through the book, but I have read about evidence that answers the following questions:  Is Christianity rational?  Is there a God?  Is Christ God? Did Christ Rise from the Dead?

I was most fascinated by the chapter discussing if Christ rose from the dead.  This section managed to grab my attention as well as any fiction as it discussed dissenter’s theories and presented evidence as to why those theories don’t hold up.  I’ve always wondered what it would have been like to live in the time of Jesus’ coming.  How amazing it would have been to actually see Jesus heal a blind man, part the Red Sea, stop a storm or feed thousands of people with just a few loaves of bread.  I wonder what those who didn’t believe were thinking.  I imagine they condemned Jesus because of fear; because the miracles they witnessed didn’t fit with the rules of the world as they knew it.

Years ago, I started reading the Bible just like I had read any other book:  from the beginning.  I grew bored, and a bit confused, by the time I reached Deuteronomy, so I just stopped.  I know I have much to learn from the Old Testament, but I think this time around, I will start with the New Testament.  It makes sense for me begin with the Gospels because this time period fascinates me.

Throughout my life, I’ve wondered how I would recognize Christ if he came again during my lifetime.  Would I be smart enough to not fall for the charisma of an off-the-wall leader claiming to be sent by God?  Would I be so wary because of the fakes that my heart would miss it?  Would I explain a miracle as an illusion or magic trick worthy of a Las Vegas show?

 Contemplating these questions after this week’s reading, I feel comfortable that I would recognize Jesus.  An average, albeit charismatic, man couldn’t possibly pull off the miracles that Jesus did.  I am confident that prayers to God would give me the answer as to whether the acts were genuine.  I have no choice but to trust that God would show me the way – I think that’s why it’s called “faith.”

Today, my faith is based on historical accounts, as told in the Bible, and the feeling that God works in my life.  Seeing (with my eyes) is not a basis for believing, but I sure would love to experience the awe people felt 2000 years ago when Jesus walked among them.

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16 thoughts on “Reading and Contemplating – Recognition of Jesus

  1. Desi February 20, 2011 / 3:35 AM

    Know Why You Believe. I’ve never heard of it. Well, will do some research about it. I’m a bit curious how will it turn out to be when biblical truths are portrayed in a work of fiction. Have you heard of Karen Kingsbury? Well, I only managed to read one of hers, but I doubt the possibility of getting inspired from a work of fiction, as authored through the biblical point of view. I’m not saying anything is wrong with it, but when Jesus was on earth, He used real life parables to reach out to people. Food for thought? 🙂

    Ahh.. This post gave me more insight about the nature of your writing. We seem to have some similarities 🙂 You know what I think, when I finally decide to set up a blog, I think maybe you could be interested to read some of my posts. Writing about spiritual things is my big interest.

    • jannatwrites February 20, 2011 / 7:40 PM

      Know Why You Believe is actually nonfiction, and I’m finding it informative. I haven’t heard of Karen Kingsbury. I can’t tell from your comment – did you like her writing?

      I would be interested in reading your writing. When you do have a blog set up, let me know! My writing ranges from a little off-beat to serious/thoughtful, but I always strive to make it positive. I found that in my early writing, I was editing out God because I was told it would never make it mainstream. Since then, I’ve decided that I’d rather leave God in and skip the mainstream market. I’m researching the Christian Fiction market right now.

      • Desi February 23, 2011 / 10:05 AM

        Oh sorryyyy I thought it’s a fiction. My mistake!

        Hmm, well I wouldn’t recommend Kingsbury but I’m not denying people are very much inspired with her writings. Maybe you will like her books, but it’s not for me to say anything yet because I only read one of hers and I could hardly remember what I read. I borrowed from the library. I don’t really like spending so much on books. Heh 🙂

        Okay, will let you know if I finally decide to set up a blog 🙂 People don’t normally find it interesting to read about God and the bible. I’ve always loved writing and when I decide to write about spiritual things I knew most people are not interested to read it. But writing things about God is more than just “love your enemy” thing. I’d prefer writing from what I experienced spiritually and share it with people so they can see that God is real because I did feel His divine presence. Perhaps some would be inspired to get to know God when they know that I’m not merely writing about what I KNOW about what the bible says, but I’m writing from from a first-hand accounts.

        Sorry that was long! You’ve done a job well done for reading that all the way through!

        • jannatwrites February 23, 2011 / 8:49 PM

          It is hard to judge an author by one book. I like Christian fiction, but I don’t like to feel preached to, if that makes sense. I completely get what you’re saying about the fear of people not wanting to read about God. I was terrified when I started doing my Sunday spiritual posts. I imagined people getting freaked out by it and never visiting again, but so far, that hasn’t happened. In fact, a few new people, including you, have stopped by to join some of the discussions.

          I had a wise commenter tell me once that when you write, your intended readership will find you. Ones that weren’t a match will drift away, while new ones will click with what you have to write. I like to keep that in mind so I don’t let others rule what I write. If you feel a pull to write about your experiences with God, I don’t think you should resist it. Since you feel God in your life, I’m sure he will lead you to your decision.

          Long, thoughtful comments don’t bother me at all…as long as they are shorter than my long-winded posts 🙂

      • Desi February 23, 2011 / 9:04 PM

        That’s something really nice to think about, thanks for sharing 🙂 I noticed too more than just thrice left comments on this particular post. Even that fellow over there said it’s very encouraging. I think that’s what writing is all about. Touching the life of others through written thoughts. 🙂

        • jannatwrites February 23, 2011 / 10:09 PM

          Yes, Desi – with any luck our words will find their way into someone’s life and impact them in a positive way. That is good thought 🙂

  2. Carol Ann Hoel February 20, 2011 / 6:02 AM

    I love the Bible. A time in my life that devastated me turned out to bless me in one peculiar way. It drove me to the pages of the Bible with an insatiable desire to understand. The Bible is an awesome book, and I believe it is God’s Word. The way it fits together, like pieces of a a jig saw puzzle, to present Jesus, the Savior, Messiah, Redeemer, Son of God, is perfect. You will be blessed beyond your expectations if you keep working your way through the pages of God’s Word all the days of your life. Starting in the New Testament is good. The Old and the New are linked, and you will discover those links as you read and meditate. I don’t think a person can learn everything there is in the Bible in a lifetime. God shows us little by little, precept upon precept, the truth of His Word. Blessings to you, Janna…

    • jannatwrites February 20, 2011 / 8:24 PM

      I agree that there is more than a lifetime of knowledge in the Bible, but I want to learn as much as I can. I also believe it is God’s word, and I think that may be part of the reason I’m a little intimidated. Thank you for sharing your experience with reading the Bible, Carol – it is very encouraging. I’m glad it has been such a presence in your life and I am excited about the possibilities in my life also.

  3. Debbie February 20, 2011 / 2:53 PM

    I’m a cradle Catholic. Despite having gone through Catholic school (where we studied the catechism and basic Catholic tenants), I hadn’t read the entire Bible until I became an adult. What a wonderful, fulfilling thing that was! Now, even re-reading certain passages evokes new insights. Keep studying and praying, and God will draw you closer to Himself!

    • jannatwrites February 20, 2011 / 8:30 PM

      Thanks for your support, Debbie! Even our pastor has shared instances where he learned something new in a scripture he had read many times. I do look forward to a closer walk with God and am anxious to see where my journey leads.

  4. duke1959 February 20, 2011 / 8:05 PM

    Your words are so encouraging.

    • jannatwrites February 20, 2011 / 8:32 PM

      Thanks, Duke. I’m glad you stopped by to read.

      What happened to your blog? I hope everything is okay.

  5. mh.writer@hotmail.com February 21, 2011 / 6:41 AM

    You know I had the problem with wordpress. My wife wants me to go back to blogging. I meet with the surgeon at the end of the week. Right now I’m pretty much emotionally drained.

    • jannatwrites February 21, 2011 / 8:23 AM

      I understand that you’re just tired right now, but I hope you do come back when things settle down. I’d like to hear that the surgeon was able to relieve your shoulder pain 😉

      • duke1959 February 21, 2011 / 10:32 AM

        Thanks. I have no idea why my views skyrocketed that day. As they say when in doubt do what you think is best. One of the really bad things about the internet is that you have know idea who you are dealing with.

        • jannatwrites February 21, 2011 / 2:30 PM

          A spike like that is unusual. The only time I’ve had that many views was during that Freshly Pressed weekend. Views haven’t been up that high since then 🙂

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