“Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of the age? Has God not made foolish the wisdom of this world?”
1 Corinthians 1:20
Many claim that the Gospels were written by unknown authors decades after Jesus lived. As such, the Gospels reflect the thinking and interests of the faith communities to which they were first addressed. Because they contain so much embellishment and legendary material, the Gospels can hardly be considered reliable sources of information about the historical Jesus. Of course the people that make these claims are doing so because they have decided, prior to investigation, that miracles are impossible. Since the New Testament documents Christ’s miracle-laden ministry in some detail, it is immediately relegated to the category of myth or legend. However, if we approach the New Testament honestly and responsibly, we discover many sure signs of authenticity. “Undesigned coincidences” are good examples of this. For instance, Matthew records that Christ’s tormentors questioned Him while He was being beaten, “Who was the one who struck you?” they asked (26:68). This makes no sense until we read the parallel account in Mark, where we discover that Jesus was blindfolded (14:65). Similarly, Matthew records that after Jesus left the synagogue he came to Peter’s house and healed his mother-in-law. People waited until evening to crowd into the house for healing (8:14-16). Mark mentions in passing this occurred on the Sabbath day (1:29-34). We now understand why the people waited until sundown before coming; an orthodox Jew would have considered coming for healing on the Sabbath a violation of God’s law. In Luke 9:28-36 we read that the disciples told no one of the transfiguration event. Mark contains the detail that Jesus told them to stay quiet about what they had seen (9:9). In John 21, Jesus asks Peter if he truly loves Him more than the other disciples do (15-17). Matthew 26:33-35 explains that Peter had made the claim to be more faithful to Jesus than all the others. In Luke 23:3-4, Pilate sees no problem with Jesus’ claim to be a king. This sounds strange to us until we read John 18:36, where Jesus explains to Pilate that His kingdom is not of this world. Luke explains the charge against Jesus but does not explain why Pilate had no problem with it. John explains why Pilate had no problem with Jesus but does not explain the charge against Him. These and many more such undesigned coincidences show the New Testament to be its own best defense. May God strengthen our faith as we continue to study and reflect upon the infallible record of His dear Son.
God bless, Pastor John