Jesus yearned for people to believe in him…

It should be obvious that Jesus yearned for people to believe in him. The religion of Jesus was also a religion about Jesus:

  • He is the object of faith for healing.
  • He commands nature with a word.
  • He raises the dead.
  • He casts out demons with a word.

Jesus also provoked faith in many by the confidence with which he spoke of himself and his role… He never had to apologize or hesitate, whether in word or deed:

  • He issued challenging moral absolutes such as “love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44).
  • He made grand promises without caution, such as “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6) and “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31,32).
  • He confidently asserted that “heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
  • He warned his hearers that their eternal destiny depended on their response to him.
  • He foretold the future in no uncertain terms, not for curiosity’s sake or date-setting, but because of its bearing on the present (Matthew 24).

Jesus not only warned his hearers of the judgment day, but he also proclaimed himself the Judge of the world. In warning of false prophets to come in his name, Jesus declared that he will say to them on the judgment day, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:23). Jesus stated that “the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22), and “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (John 5:24).

Douglas Groothuis, from Jesus in An Age of Controversy, p. 244, 245

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