The writer begins with this statement on “proof fourteen”:
If someone were to come to you today and say, “I am God!”, what would you do? Yes, you would immediately ask for proof. Of course you would. And you would not want goofy proof.You would want real, solid, tangible proof.
There’s only one reasonable response to this: DUH! I won’t even accept a check from someone without a driver’s license information on it. This statement is entirely reasonable one to make, of course the writer’s presuppositions immediately appear.
A Christian would say, “But Jesus HAS proven it! Just look at all of the miracles he did in the Bible! He healed the sick! He changed water into wine! That PROVES that Jesus is the Lord!” Does that make sense to you?
The question is entirely reasonable, however the phrasing of the statement itself bears out the naturalistic presuppositions of the author. Because the writer is presuming that God does not exist, he immediately dismisses the claims of Christ because of several factors which are presented in bullet points:
- Everyone has seen all sorts of “faith healers” who can “heal” the sick. And we all know that this sort of “healing” is quackery. If it were true, then we would not need doctors, hospitals or prescription medicines.
- Turning water into wine… Doesn’t that sound like something that a B-grade David-Copperfield-wannabe magician would do in a nightclub act? There are a dozen ways that you could stage things to make it look like water is turning into wine. There is no reason why a normal person would accept a magic trick as proof that someone is God.
- Neither of these miracles can be scientifically tested today. Not one of Jesus’ miracles left any tangible evidence for scientists to study.
I have to shake my head, because the incredulity of the writer resonates in his words.
When we go to the text, we immediately see that something different is going on. In Luke 5, Jesus is confronted by men who come from John the Baptist, the very man who had identified Him to the crowds as the Savior, because he was confused about what Jesus was doing. Verses 21 and 22 record Jesus’ response:
In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight. And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.(ESV)
Notice: “Go tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up…” Now, unlike the “faith healers” the writer is referring to, who often seed and manipulate the crowds, Jesus deals with people that are familiar to the crowds. Look through the text and you will see countless statements: “blind from birth”, “lame from birth”, and “had suffered for years”, these descriptive statements are clear: these people’s conditions were known. Leprosy was a destructive, highly contagious disease that was incurable until the 20th century. And death was, well, death. Jesus is reported healing these people as well as raising the dead and, according to church history, some became important figures in the church, such as Lazarus who reportedly became a bishop at one church in the 1st century.
When we turn to what has become known as “The Wedding at Cana”, in John 2, where Jesus turned water into wine. He obviously missed that this wasn’t just one glass, or that it appeared to be wine. This is what John records:
When the master of the feast tasted the water that had been turned into wine…the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.”
Notice, “…the master of the feast tasted…”. This goes beyond seeing, which is one empirical realm and is addressed in point number 2, to tasting, which is another, and obviously passes the test; so much so that he complains, wondering why this was kept until the end of the feast. But it appears that the writer missed that point due to his bias.
Further, his conclusion simply does not follow: why must we conclude that these miracles, these authenticating signs of verification of Jesus’ claims, signs which had significant meaning to the people in whose presence they were performed. did not occur? Because we cannot scientifically test them today, is the answer. But the text clearly indicated that they were tested then, by experience.
Oh, just for kicks, when the writer does throw in a passage of Scripture, again, it has no relevance to the context of the question at hand: it’s Matthew 17:20, quoted out of context and not even in its entirety.
But finally, the writer gives us a hypothetical standard of what Jesus should have done to confirm His identity, all of which are essentially pseudo-tasks that would have had no relevance to the people to which he was speaking in their context. But there is one relevant question asked:
Why would Jesus not do that?
Because that was not the way He wanted to do it, because it wasn’t about proving what He was, but who he was and what He desired from His people.
Sorry, bruh, this “proof” simply doesn’t pass the smell test of reasonable, rational people.