When I was young and through my 30’s I believed in God, indeed, He had saved me many times from myself. However, there was often this nagging question in my mind as to whether Jesus was who he said he was. My question to you is, is it okay to question the Bible? Is it okay to question your faith? Is it okay to ponder what often seems like contradictions and “hard things to swallow” in our faith?
My answer is, YES. It is healthy. In fact, I think it’s important! It is important to ask honest questions and it is most important to seek honest answers. If you are seeking honest answers, I believe that God will provide answers. If you are simply seeking to disprove Jesus, I believe that God will not necessarily answer (because if He did, you wouldn’t recognize it or believe it anyway.)
Mark 9:10-13 (TNIV)
10 They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.11 And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” 12 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? 13 But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”
They were confused about Jesus “rising from the dead” because they could not fathom that the warrior Messiah that THEY envisioned that would rise up and save Israel from Rome would, or could be killed. BUT, they knew Scripture and they knew that the prophet Malachi in Malachi 4:5-6 that said that before the Messiah would come, the prophet Elijah would come again to set things right.
Malachi 4:5-6 (TNIV,God speaking through the prophet Malachi)
5 “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”
Mark didn’t say it here; however, Matthew explained it in his Gospel in Matthew 17:13
Matthew 17:13 (TNIV)
Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.
Indeed, a prophet like Elijah did come and ushered in the messianic age, he did come and that prophet was John the Baptist.
I believe that, just as the disciples did; it is healthy to ask questions. In fact I believe that we will only grow if we DO ask questions. The key is, to ask God for answers, seek out those answers and to knock on the door of your heart with the questions. Indeed, Jesus will answer the door!
I did this! I asked Jesus over and over how I could know that He was the Messiah, the Messiah that He said he was. Over and over He led me to Scripture. Here is the answer I received to my biggest question of faith: I saw that just like in this instance, throughout the Gospels, His closest disciples just didn’t seem to get it. They always doubted who Jesus was even after seeing His healing work in their lives and the lives of others. Right after the crucifixion they melted into the woodwork. Indeed, Peter denied Jesus, and the others scatterd because a truth they wanted to believe had been shattered.
BUT, after Jesus rises from the dead…….they all understand, and all the things that Jesus said came together. Each and every one of those disciples went to a terrible death for the truth they knew in their hearts. Tradition is that the Apostle Peter was crucified upside down because he was not worthy to die the same way Jesus died. Jesus is our Savior, Jesus is indeed the Messiah and Jesus is indeed….God.
As you are seeking Jesus, it’s okay to ask questions. Just ask, seek and knock. I believe that in this process, your faith will be strengthened and your daily witness will be strengthened. Indeed, your testimony will be powerful because when you walk with begin to follow Jesus, when you live in relationship with Him, you can’t help but see truth.
May God bless your journey……ask, ask God for help along the way……seek, seek the answers…..knock, and Jesus promises that he will be on the other side of that door. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus tells us that as we turn from the sin in our lives and follow Him that he is indeed knocking on our door……
Revelation 3:20 (TNIV, Jesus speaking)
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with them, and they with me.