An Apologetic For Fools Part 1

Training with the TwelveWeek 14 Chapter 10An Apologetic for FoolsJesus responds to a demand for Proof Part I As Christians, we often encounter people that demand proof for God’s existence.  We are tempted to jump in and try to help them understand. Unfortunately, this is often an exercise in futility, because we find in the end, that they use even what we give them to bolster their unbelief. How do you answer people like that? Jesus shows us how in Matthew 16:1-12 and Mark 8:10-21. A big part of Jesus’ ministry at that time, was to show the people that He came from God.  Also at that time, the religious leaders decided they were going to debunk this charlatan (as they saw Him). They followed Jesus around asking questions to try to trap Him into saying something that they could use to get rid of Him.  They were not open to learning at all. They already knew everything they wanted to know.  Their fatal flow was in believing their own “wisdom”.  They were not dealing with an ordinary man.  Their self-focused absorption kept them from seeing what should have been obvious.  They were blind in their own self-deception.  Still, they wandered around pretending to seek truth.  Jesus, if He was merely a man as they assumed, might fall for one of their lame tricks.  On the contrary, He was the Almighty God and there was no chance of that. Therefore, when they demanded a sign, He simple did not indulge their foolishness. Proverbs 17:20 says that a man of crooked heart does not discern good. Proverbs 18:2 says a fool takes no pleasure in understanding. Jesus’ ability to see that they were crooked hearted fools made it unnecessary for Him to respond.  In today’s society, we see many people attacking Christians and demanding signs or proof of God’s existence.  What we often do is assume that they are really seeking understanding!  Sadly, we are wrong about that.  Militant Atheists are not seeking knowledge or wisdom. They are seeking ammunition to use against Christians, and just like those corrupt religious leaders, they are only looking to “make God go away”. By justifying, they convince themselves that their thinking is right.  What we forget, as Christians, is that much of what these skeptics are claiming to seek is self-evident (Romans 1:18-32). They don’t need us to explain. However, we often think that if we just give them enough details then they will “get it” and change their minds. However, the problem is not their minds, it’s their hearts. Why do we think that we can do better than Jesus? Why don’t we just follow His example? He didn’t cast pearls before swine, He let them wallow in their own thinking until they wanted to hear the truth. This is painful to watch, but it is what God does with us, the prodigals.  A person seeking wisdom is not a skeptic. He might think critically about an issue and he might have some doubts he is not skeptical.  Jesus always answered sincere questions, but a demand for proof is not the same as sincerely seeking truth.  What we should learn from this, is not to answer a fool in his folly, or he will abuse the Gospel and us.  To answer him is to cast pearls before pigs. The answer should be, as Jesus did, to let them seek the evidence themselves. God is there, He is not on vacation and He is not asleep. He has provided enough in creation to engender a healthy curiosity about Him. All of nature screams about God’s glory.  When a person is convinced of that, he will seek true knowledge and not self-justification.  If we believe that the Gospel is true, as Jesus does, then why do we feel obligated to justify our beliefs to every person who does not believe?  Evangelism is not pushing your beliefs down the throat of those who do not share them. Evangelism is earning the right to speak into a person’s life who wants to hear from you. That is what Jesus did, that is what we should do. Skeptics who demand an answer have the proof right before their eyes. Tell them to look past their bias to see the evidence looming large in front of them. Try it and see! See Ya Next Time.

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