I would think that most people have seen more than one of the classical Biblical movies based on the Old Testament such as: “The Bible – In The Beginning” (1966); “The Robe” (1953); “Exodus” (1960); and probably the best of them all produced three times, “The Ten Commandments” (1923, 1956 & 2007.) “The Greatest Story Ever Told” (1965) covered the New Testament as well. Some of the more serious New Testament based movies were “Jesus of Nazareth” (1977); “Risen” (2016); and, “King of Kings” (1961.) There have, of course, been many other movies made about Jesus and other stories from the New Testament as well as the Old Testament. Some have been excellent but unfortunately, some have been shameful parodies/mockeries.
All of those movies listed above, along with many others, tell the stories of a multitude of miraculous happenings. Honestly, it can be very difficult to wrap our minds around those events, possibly even shaking our heads and thinking “what a great fictional story!” The same can be said when you sit down and read through the Bible.
But let us start at the very beginning – Genesis 1 – read about how this world was created. Go on to Genesis 7 & 8 to read about Noah and the great flood. (Imagine being on a HUGE boat for about a year, with thousands of different species of animals paired up!) In Exodus 14 you will read about how Moses led the hundreds of thousands of Israelites through the Red Sea – with the ground completely dry and water held up on each side of them. As you continue to read about the journey of the Israelites there are miracles upon miracles with food being made available to them and water suddenly flowing out of a rock, etc. In other books of the Old Testament you can read stories of people being raised from the dead, food being multiplied during a famine, blind eyes opening, people healed of leprosy. In the book of Daniel we read about Daniel’s three friends being thrown into a fire and surviving unscathed; and then Daniel himself being thrown into a lion’s den walking out totally fine. There are SO many other miracles – too many to begin to list here.
In the New Testament as we read about Jesus, His life and the lives of his many disciples the miracles seemed to never stop. First of all, consider Mary’s conception of Jesus – He was a miracle from the very outset. Then at Jesus’ word, water was turned into wine; blind, mute, deaf, crippled, leporous people were healed; people were delivered from spirits that controlled their very actions; and, the dead were raised back to life. Not only Jesus did these things, but his disciples did as well; and, in today’s world people are still doing some of these things.
How can we read the Bible and/or watch those fantastic movies and believe that all of those curious and outrageous events are true? It is really wrapped up in one simple word – FAITH.
So let us talk about faith for a bit. Faith is choosing to believe. The definition of faith is found in the Bible in Hebrews 11:1. The Amplified Bible puts it this way: “Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].” [Emphasis mine] That same verse from The Living Bible says: “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.” The Collins English Dictionary defines faith as: “strong or unshakeable belief in something, without proof or evidence.”
There are people that will express that they just cannot accept that the things they read in the Bible are in fact true/possible – they believe the Bible to be a book of fiction – not facts. I have two friends that have said to me that the “immaculate conception” of Jesus just was not believable. One of them also expressed that another thing that just turned her away was the story of Jesus walking on the water. People that have those kinds of perceptions cannot be true Christians. They may think they are because there might be other things in the Bible that they can accept. But the fact is, you cannot pick and choose what you want to believe and what you want to discount when it comes to God and His word. You either believe it all or you do not truly believe it at all.
There are those that say they just do not understand how anyone can have faith in God – even though we have the inspired Word of God telling us the stories and directing us in the best way to live now and how to have eternal life.
Those same people do things every day that require their blind faith to believe in it – that it will happen. They step out of bed every day, putting their foot on the ground believing that they will remain on the ground and not go floating up into the air. They hit a switch and have light, turn a faucet and have water. They put a key in the ignition of a vehicle believing it will start and then perform in such a way that they can go from one place to another. They get onto an airplane believing that it will not fall from the sky. They put food in their mouths and take medications believing that it will be good for them and cause them no harm. They deposit their hard-earned money in a bank believing that when they need it that it will be there for them to spend. And on and on. So why is it so easy to believe in those unseen things, yet so hard to believe the Word of God?
I personally believe every word that is written in the Bible is fact. Yes, I will confess some of them are harder to grasp than others. But, so is gravity, etc. If you have a hard time with your faith, thinking that some (or all) of the Bible is fiction, yet you want to believe you are a Christian that is heaven bound when your time on earth is finished, it is time for you to step back. You think you believe in God but at the same time find you do not. You need to do more study and much more prayer. It is time for you to believe the facts.
God will help you with your faith if you will just ask. In Mark 9, a father has brought his son to be healed. He was controlled by an evil spirit that would try to harm and/or kill him. In verse 23b (GNT) Jesus said to the father “…Everything is possible for the person who has faith.” Verse 24 (GNT) says: “The father at once cried out, ‘I do have faith, but not enough. Help me have more!’” Let that be your cry.
What is it going to be for you? Fact or fiction?
Written by Karran Martin – October 23, 2021