Don’t Only Believe
Josephus (Josef ben Matityahu) was a Jewish historian who lived from 37-100CE. Though the some parts of his writings are disputed, it is clear that he believed that there was more to Jesus than just a man and likely referred to Jesus as “the principal man among us”. But he fell short of proclaiming him as a Messiah, saying instead that there were those who saw Jesus on the third day, and those who considered Him the Messiah.
Saul of Tarsus was born in AD5 and died in AD67. Like Josephus, he saw clear potential in Jesus, but he sought to snuff early Christianity out. He held Stephen’s coat as he was stoned to death. He persecuted the first Christians attempting to stop their movement in lieu of legalism. If the story had stopped there, Josephus actually looks like the good guy. In a way, he at least somewhat adds validity. He was an outside record of Jesus’ existance. So what actually made these men so different from each other?
Saul, of course, would become Paul. And yes, it would be because of a conversion experience through meeting Christ himself, but Paul could have just stopped killing some people. Just said, “okay, I believe.” But the real difference between Paul and Josephus wasn’t how much they believed, it was how much they followed. Acts 9:20 says, “And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, ‘He is the Son of God.'” Paul had a choice. Believe, and walk away, or believe, and never be the same. Unlike Josephus, he didn’t hide behind third party accounts and vague hints at Jesus’ omnipotence. He proclaimed the Son of God in synagogues and in front of government officials until his own death.
My prayer for you is that if you so find yourself simply believing that you will do more. You will believe, and then continue to proclaim until the only thing left is to proclaim His name directly to Him when you finally see his countenance.