“He robbed from the rich to give the poor,” is that famous saying that turns our imaginations to Robin Hood and his band of merry men. But as much as this justice-seeking-outlaw has delighted the downtrodden for the best part of 700 years, there is no real evidence that he ever actually existed. However, despite being but a character from English Folklore, no one need be concerned that his legendary presence will disappear anytime soon.
As much as some have tried to pass Jesus off as a legend born out of folklore, they have failed to convince anyone but the most hardened sceptics. For to deny the existence of the historical Jesus is to deliberately ignore a body of evidence too large to block out.
Acceptance of an historical Jesus, however, is not necessarily the biggest obstacle for the sceptic to overcome. They point to Jesus’ claim of divinity as that of a conman or one who is insane. To be sure, many conmen and madmen have claimed to be the Messiah, but none but Jesus proved it by rising from the dead.
Unlike legends, the New Testament documents speak plainly about the good and the bad of believers and unbelievers alike. Jesus’ disciples are not presented as if wearing halos; their struggles with sin and faith are laid out for all to see. In fact, none of the Bible reads like a hagiography.
Jesus is too big to ignore.
Consider these witnesses concerning Jesus and his Kingdom: The fulfilment of Old Testament prophesies, John the Baptiser, Jesus’ teachings, miracles and resurrection, the New Testament documents, the convictions of the earliest Christians, the spread of the church, and the incredible impact of Christianity for good upon the world for 2000 years.
Jesus is no fairy-tale. He is Immanuel—“God with us!”