How Could Jesus Speak to Large Audiences?

by Bill Rudge

Scripture indicates that Jesus spoke to large audiences (thousands of people) by the Sea of Galilee. Skeptics said it would be impossible for Him to speak to thousands of people without amplification equipment.

However, I was in Israel at the site of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The hill forms a natural amphitheater that slopes to the Sea of Galilee and amplifies the speaker’s voice. The air above the Sea of Galilee is very static so that sound waves travel easily. It’s possible Jesus stood at the bottom of the hill and spoke to the crowd who sat above Him.

Matthew 4:25-5:2 gives the following account:

Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed Him. Now when He saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them ….

While standing on the site of the Sermon on the Mount, I was talking in my normal voice to one of the pastors in our group who was almost 100 yards away, and he could hear me plainly. Then, while standing on the shore, we became very quiet and, although several hundred yards away, we could hear two fishermen talking to each other on a small boat.

Once again the Bible is authenticated and skeptics are silenced.

Why Is It Important Jesus Rose From The Dead?

by BJ Rudge, Ph. D.

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photo by Doug Mastrianno

It is extremely important that Jesus rose from the dead because the resurrection is the very foundation of the Christian faith. Paul stressed this point to the church at Corinth where many people were claiming there was no resurrection of the dead. In response, Paul asserts that without the resurrection there would be no Christian faith ––

But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. (1 Corinthians 15:13-14)

First, if in fact Jesus had not risen from the dead, He would obviously be a liar or a lunatic. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus predicted He would die and then three days later rise from the dead (Matthew 12:38-40; Mark 9:9-10; Luke 18:31-33; John 10:17-18). If He made these assertions and they did not come to pass, then He was either an insane individual, or else one of the biggest deceivers in history.

Second, if Jesus was not resurrected then the Gospel documents would be false. Each Gospel testifies to the fact that Jesus rose from the dead (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20). If He had not, then the Gospel accounts would lose all credibility and be discarded as historically unreliable documents. No longer would the Gospels be seen as primary sources concerning the things that have happened (Luke 1:3-4), but a product of later editing and manipulation on the part of the early church.

Third, without the resurrection the very testimony of the church would have been destroyed. The central theme of the early church was the preaching of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:22-36; 3:13-18; 4:10-12; 5:29-32; 10:37-43; 13:27-37; 17:2-3; 26:22-23). If the resurrection had not occurred, then it would have been impossible for Paul and others to persist in affirming that it had in fact occurred –– especially in the presence of hostile eyewitnesses.

Fourth, all Christians would still be in sin and under the judgment of God. Paul highlights this point to the Corinthian believers ––

For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:16-19)

Finally, without the resurrection no one would have the eschatological hope of eternal life. The resurrection of Jesus Christ demonstrates His authority over death. Those who place their faith and trust in Him have the assurance that death has been conquered. As Jesus said to Martha who was grieving the loss of her brother Lazarus –

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. (John 11:25-26)

The resurrection is the crucial point of Christianity whereby it can either validate or discredit the Christian faith. This is why the apostle Paul stressed to the Corinthian believers that their faith would be in vain if Christ did not rise from the dead. The resurrection is part of the foundation of Christianity, without it the Christian faith could not stand.

If the resurrection did not take place, then Christianity is a false religion. If it did take place, then Christ is God and the Christian faith is absolute truth. (Henry M. Morris and Henry M. Morris III, Many Infallible Proofs –– Evidence for the Christian Faith)

 

Have You Asked The Question?

by Jim Weikal

Three different groups of people — citizens, religious leaders, and the twelve disciples — asked “Who is this?” about Jesus. The first group were the citizens of Jerusalem at Jesus’ triumphal entry. “When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, ‘Who is this?’” (Matthew 21:10). They were told “the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee” (v. 11).

The next group were the religious leaders who watched Jesus heal a paralytic. This paralyzed man was lowered from the housetop by his friends in hopes that Jesus would heal him. Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 5:20). The Pharisees and teachers of the law “began thinking to themselves, ‘Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’” (Luke 5:21).

The third group were the disciples. They watched Jesus calm a raging storm on the Sea of Galilee and “They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him’” (Mark 4:41).

The common people asked “Who is this” because of His popularity. The religious leaders asked because of a theological question — only God can do what Jesus did, forgive sins. The disciples asked the question because of His power over the forces of nature.

How you answer this question of Who He is will determine your eternal destiny. Bill Rudge has written an excellent book, Who Is This Jesus?, which we will be happy to send you free of charge. Request a copy for yourself or a friend. E-mail brm7@me.com or write to P.O. Box 108, Sharon, PA to request Who Is This Jesus? You can also visit the store at our web site, billrudgeministries.org, and download the free e-book.