The Apostles of Jesus Used Evidence

The Apostles of Jesus Used Evidence - Peter preaching on Pentecost
Peter and the Apostles speaking on the Day of Pentecost

Yesterday, we said that we should not be afraid of evidence. We point out in our daily postings that solid evidence supports our faith in God, Jesus, and the Bible. We pointed out that Jesus used evidence. Today, we want to look at some examples of how the apostles of Jesus used evidence.

The Church began on the day of Pentecost when Peter preached to the crowd in the Temple. To convince the people of the fact that Jesus was God in the flesh and convict them of their sin of rejecting Him, Peter began by showing that the miracle of the apostles speaking in languages that they had not learned was evidence that their message was from God. Then he pointed out that Jesus of Nazareth had proven that He was from God by “miracles, wonders, and signs that God did among you through him” (Acts 2:22). Then in verses 23 and 32, we find Paul using the miracle of the resurrection as evidence that Jesus was the Messiah, God in the flesh.

On Pentecost, Paul spoke to the Jews who believed in the prophecies. He took a slightly different approach when he addressed the Greeks in Lystra. They did not have the Old Testament prophecies. Instead, they believed in many gods, even mistaking Paul and Barnabas for gods. Paul appealed to them on behalf of “the living God,” whose existence was evidenced by the fact that He “made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and everything in them” (Acts 14:15). Paul used a similar approach in speaking to the pagan philosophers in Athens. He spoke to them of the true God “who made the world and everything in it.” The evidence for God was in the things He had made, and Paul quoted Greek poets who had said, “For we are also his offspring.” (See Acts 17:22-29.) Paul also wrote similar words to the Romans, saying that all people can know there is a God by the things He has made (Romans 1;20).

Thus, we see that the apostles of Jesus used evidence to convince people of God’s existence and that Jesus is God. Likewise, Paul used eyewitness evidence when he wrote to the Corinthian church. First, he quoted an oral tradition of the Church that most likely originated within five years of Christ’s resurrection, telling about various people who witnessed Christ alive after the resurrection, including over 500 individuals at one time. Then Paul said that most of those people were still alive and could confirm what they had seen. Paul then testified that he also was an eyewitness of the resurrected Christ. (See 1 Corinthians 15;1-11.)

As we can see from these examples of Peter and Paul, the apostles of Jesus used evidence to testify to the existence of God, the deity of Jesus, and the truth of the resurrection. Evidence does not destroy faith. It reinforces faith. We can know that Jesus was God with us by His miracles. His greatest miracle, and the only one He predicted in advance, was the resurrection, and we have eyewitness testimony evidence for that. We can know there is a God by the things He has made, and science testifies to the fact that creation was fine-tuned for us to be here.

— Roland Earnst © 2022