Jesus the Apologist

An apologist is someone active in  defending the truthfulness of any viewpoint.  Jesus chose at times to defend what he was teaching.

When he was accused of casting out demons by the Devil (Matthew 12:22-29), he employed a couple of different arguments to support that what he did he did by the Holy Spirit’s power.  First, he showed the inconsistency of Satan fighting against himself by setting people free from his demonic control.  Such a thing, Jesus argued, would lead to the downfall of Satan’s kingdom.  Second, he applied their logic to their own practice of exorcism.  By whose power were their own people casting out demons?  If they said, “By God’s power,” he could reply, “Then why can’t I be casting demons out by God’s power?”  Brilliant!

In John 8:12-18 Jesus deals with a challenge from the religious leaders that he is only testifying to himself.  But Jesus argues that the Father is confirming his testimony.  By this he likely means to point them to the miracles his Father has enabled him to do through the power of the Spirit.

Finally, in John 2:18-19, the Pharisees ask Jesus for a sign to prove who he is.  He responds by saying, “Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days.”  They think he is speaking about the literal temple Herod built, but he is speaking about his body, which he knows they will kill.  Jesus’ resurrection is still one of the most compelling arguments for the truth of Christianity.  His closest disciples knew whether he really died or not and whether they really saw him resurrected or not.  They were willing to die for their belief that he was resurrected.  Jesus had paved the way for this apologetic for Christianity in the very beginning of his ministry here on earth.

Jesus was not against using “proofs” to defend the truthfulness of what he taught.  He was an able apologist.


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